Falcons’ Dante Fowler to get paid by the sack

Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry (left) works against Atlanta Falcons defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (56) during the second half Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (Ashley Landis/AP)
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Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry (left) works against Atlanta Falcons defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (56) during the second half Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (Ashley Landis/AP)

Credit: AP

Falcons defensive end Dante Fowler’s restructured contract is reported to include a bonus based on sack totals.

NFL business analyst Joel Corry correctly forecast in February that the Falcons would approach Fowler, who had a $18.5 million salary-cap number, to take a pay cut and get him into an incentive-laden deal back.

“I might approach Dante Fowler for a pay cut because it doesn’t really benefit you to cut him because of the guarantee,” Corry told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution while forecasting how the Falcons would get under the salary cap. “He has a $6 million base salary guaranteed, and the other $7 million becomes guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year. I’d approach him for a pay cut where he could make the money back if he produces.”

Fowler agreed to restructure his contract Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Fowler was set to receive $13 million in base salary in 2021 and $14 million in base salary in 2022, according to NFLPA documents. His deal was reduced by $6 million and added $4 million in incentives, according to a tweet by Zach Klein of Channel 2 Action News. Klein also reported that Fowler would receive $1 million for five sacks. The total becomes $2 million if he reaches seven sacks, $3 million if he reaches nine and $4 million if he reaches 11.

Klein also tweeted that Fowler was to receive $14 million in the coming season, but that number conflicts with NFLPA documents and Corry’s analysis. Corry is a former agent who has a finance degree from Emory. He hosts the “Over The Cap” podcast.

Fowler signed a three-year deal worth $45 million last season.

Fowler had a tumultuous first season with his third NFL team in 2020. Things did not go well for Fowler after he signed with the Falcons on March 25. He played in 14 games and made 13 starts. He finished with 23 tackles, three sacks, eight quarterback hits, four tackles for losses, a pass defensed and a forced fumble.

Falcons’ 2021 draft position: Here are the picks in D. Led’s Mock Draft 2.0: Top five picks

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence (QB, Clemson)

2. New York Jets: Justin Fields, (QB, Ohio State)

3. Miami Dolphins: Ja’Marr Chase (WR, LSU)

4. Falcons: Kyle Pitts (TE, Florida)

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, (OT, Oregon)

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