Cameron Wake has more than earned the four-year contract extension worth $49 million he received yesterday that stirred NFL keyboard hermits during what was otherwise a quiet weekend. But while his performance since coming from the NFL’s minor leagues that’s otherwise referred to as Canada’s version of mutant professional football three years ago has been superb, there are three numbers here which at first create mild hesitation.

The equation goes something like this: Wake’s overall contract value + the contract term – his age = uh oh.

Wake is 30, and he has one year left on his current deal, meaning that he’s now under contract until he’s 35. So despite his 28 sacks over just his three years in the league (including 14 in his second season), we’re forced to wonder if his performance could begin to fade significantly towards the end of a lucrative contract.

But fear not, easily fearful friends, because the guaranteed number that’s attached to Wake’s contract matters much more, as it always does. Of that $49 million, only $20 million is guaranteed. That’s still a substantial sum of greenery, but as Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post noted, it puts Wake–now one of the league’s elite pass rushers–firmly in the middle tier in terms of guaranteed contract value.

Here’s the list Volin compiled of the guaranteed cash being payed to the league’s best pass rushers, with Wake slotted firmly in the middle:

1. Mario Williams (2012) – $50 million over 6 years
2. Elvis Dumervil (2010) – $43.156 million over 6 years
3. Julius Peppers (2010) — $42 million over 6 years
4. DeMarcus Ware (2009) – $40 million over 7 years
5. Terrell Suggs (2009) – $38.1 million over 6 years
6. Tamba Hali (2011) – $35 million over 5 years
7. Charles Johnson (2011) – $32 million over 6 years
8. Jared Allen (2008) – $31 million over 6 years
9. Dwight Freeney (2007) – $30 million over 6 years
10. Lamarr Woodley (2011) — $22.5 million over 6 years*
11. Calvin Pace (2008) – $21.5 million over 6 years
12. Cameron Wake (2012) – $20.665 million over 5 years
12. James Harrison (2009) – $20 million over 6 years
12. Justin Smith (2008) — $20 million over 6 years
15. Robert Mathis (2012) — $17 million over 4 years
16. Chris Canty (2009) – $16 million over 6 years
17. Trent Cole (2012) – $15 million over 6 years
18. Red Bryant (2012) — $14.5 million over 5 years
19. Antonio Smith (2009) — $12.5 million over 5 years
20. Kyle Vanden Bosch (2010) – $10 million over 4 years

That’s tremendous value for the Dolphins when we factor in Wake’s age, but especially when we look at the short time he’s had to demonstrate his talents compared to others hovering about his contract bracket.

For example, Jared Allen is making $11 million more in guaranteed money, which may seem substantial at first, but Allen has had six double-digit sack seasons. Wake’s had one.

And now you want to know the rest of the story…

  • Eli Manning didn’t quite match his brother in hilarity during his SNL appearance, but he still successfully carved the image of a banana penis into our collective memories. Also, when he’s calling audibles this fall, he’ll be speaking in broken Swedish. [videos via Cindy Boren]
  • A collection of terrific out of context screen grabs from Eli on SNL. [KSK]
  • Also filed under weekend fodder that you may have missed while jubilantly cleaning off your balcony or deck, LaDainian Tomlinson has said that he’s 95% retired. [Jim Trotter on Twitter]
  • In what looks like just a precautionary measure, the Jaguars held Justin Blackmon out of the final day of rookie camp over the weekend due to a sore foot. [Big Cat Country]
  • We should probably enjoy professional football while it’s still around, guys. Bernard Pollard says that it’ll be dead in 20-30 years. [Baltimore Beat Down]
  • Drew Brees was among the over 100 surfers in Oceanside, California who paddled out into the ocean Sunday afternoon for a touching tribute to Junior Seau. [Shutdown Corner]
  • Of course Mike Shanahan named Robert Griffin III his starter after just a handful of practices. But now he has to answer the real question on the minds and hearts of Redskins fans: CAN HE HANDLE THE PRESSURE FROM KIRK COUSINS??? [Washington Post]
  • When he first came to LSU, Morris Claiborne was recruited as “an athlete,” and he practiced with both the offense and defense. That changed in a hurry once head coach Les Miles saw that he might be kind of awesome as a cornerback. [Dallas Morning News]
  • Roddy White is now the Falcons’ best possession receiver. Wait, what? [The Falcoholic]
  • Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff may have an even more extensive role in mind for Tim Tebow, one that involves him functioning as an “more potent Brad Smith.” [New York Daily News]

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