Trust me, I am a big fan of Tracy Porter. I think he’s a solid cornerback but this was a rough season for him. He played hurt for most the year and that caused him to be less than effective on the field. He gave up some big plays and that is not typical of Porter. Is it time to let him go? Has he reached his limit?
Porter has been in the NFL since 2008 and has played in a lot of games. With that, he has suffered a lot of injuries. It appears that his long NFL career has finally caught up to him. He has also become more of a liability than an asset.
He signed a three-year deal before the start of the 2016 season. In 2016, he had a base salary of $1,750,000 coupled with a $300,000 signing bonus and a $1,818.750 roster bonus. That meant that the Bears paid him a total of $3,868,750.
Unlike some of the other contract numbers previously shown, Porter’s is heavily incentive laden. Some of those incentives, which will kick in 2017, include earning a per game bonus of $15,625. If he makes the Pro Bowl, he will earn one million dollars. There is the $200,000 playing time bonus (that is not likely to be earned per the contract). Finally, he can receive an annual interception bonus of $250,000 (that is likely not to be earned per the contract).
His base salary in 2017 is $3,500,000. He will also receive a signing bonus of $300,000 plus a roster bonus of $250,000. His total salary will be $4,050,000. If the Bears were to let him go they would have $600,000 in dead cap space.
The decision about what to with Porter hinges a lot on what they decide to do with Fuller. If they let Fuller go, Porter would be the only well-experienced number one corner left on the team. If they let Porter go then Fuller would be that last number one. Letting Porter go wouldn’t save that much money but having him in the lineup, especially if he gets injured again, could be a liability.
The Bears should probably keep Porter around for one more season letting him finish out his contract. He could still help in the secondary. So, unless the Bears bring someone better in, look for Porter to remain a Bear through 2017.