Chicago Bears: Comparing Nick Kwiatkoski contract to Danny Trevathan

The Chicago Bears re-signed Danny Trevathan, losing Nick Kwiatkoski in the process. Was there a difference in salary, and who would you choose?

The Chicago Bears had a big decision to make at inside linebacker. Danny TrevathanNick Kwiatkoski, and even Kevin Pierre-Louis entered free agency. The Bears had cap space, but not nearly enough to keep all three, especially after the two backups played well to end the season.

Before free agency started, the Bears re-signed Danny Trevathan to a three-year deal worth $21.75 million. The deal has incentives and options to be longer, but that is the base of the deal. When looking at what Nick Kwiatkoski got, it was nearly the same deal.

Kwiatkoski got 3-years, and $21-million. Trevathan got $13.625 million guaranteed.  Kwiatkoski got $13.5 million guaranteed. So, Trevathan got $750K more in total salary and $100K more in guarantees.

Trevathan will have cap hits of $4.1 million, $5.1 million, and $5.9 million. He also has a 2021 cap hit of $2.4 million, almost incentivizing the Bears to keep him for a fourth year. Adding the option years, and making this an extension for Trevathan does give him lower cap hits than Kwiatkoski.

However, Kwiatkoski has a dead cap hit of $6.7 million in 2020 and does not carry dead cap into 2021. The Bears would carry dead cap of $13 million in 2021, and dead cap that goes into the 2023 season. Trevathan is essentially guaranteed to be on the team for the next three years while Kwiatkoski is only guaranteed the next two.

We did an analytical breakdown of Kwiatkoski and what his market may be and compared it to Trevathan, and what the advanced stats say about his potential market.

Kwiatkoski was better on the field than Trevathan in 2019, he is younger, and does not have injury risks. Trevathan is 30 and has had just one healthy season in the past four years. However, Kwiatkoski has also played just six solid games over a four-year career. There is much more unknown, where the Bears know exactly what Trevathan brings to the locker room, but also as a play-caller on the field.

With both contracts being nearly identical, would you rather have the younger and healthier Kwiatkoski or the older, but proven veteran in Trevathan?