But if memory serves, Peppers' contract, while structured differently, was the sort of don't-let-him-leave-town deal that Buffalo threw at Mario Williams. No pretense, just a simple admission that the team has big needs, no leverage, and plenty of money. In Buffalo's case, here's a guarantee of $40 million over the next two years, and wouldn't you like to know the name of a good realtor?
Greg Hardy and Michael Johnson don't have quite the hype behind them that Peppers and even Williams did, but they're the marquee pass-rushers this FA season, and since they know it, I imagine that they'll be angling for as much upfront/early-years guaranteed money as they can get. That's what had me thinking about buy-low guys: their interests are likelier to line up with ours, and after Cutler's contract, we're under increased (if still light) constraints to push money down the line a bit.