Marvin Wilson has massive guarantees in Cleveland Browns deal

Jul 17, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive tackle Marvin Wilson speaks during the 2019 ACC Kickoff at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, NC. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 17, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive tackle Marvin Wilson speaks during the 2019 ACC Kickoff at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, NC. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /

Former Seminole defensive tackle Marvin Wilson is reportedly signing with the Cleveland Browns, and will cost the club a bit more than a seventh-round pick would have. 

Former Florida State Seminoles defensive tackle Marvin Wilson will reportedly sign with the Cleveland Browns and is getting guaranteed money for his services — and even a tidy bonus up front.

No doubt that made general manager Andrew Berry wince in pain, but the Browns won the competition as the Browns had to outbid several other teams for his services.

As a result, the rookie may be able to afford to buy a car to drive up to Berea. Better yet, just as a suggestion, a full-size pickup might be a cool ride for a defensive lineman. But just drive carefully, kid.

The undrafted free agents can actually do better financially than the seventh-round draft picks because of the competitive nature of the free market. If you don’t believe it, the information from a not-so-secret source, Wilson’s agent, Nicole Lynn.

The seventh-round picks get guarantees that vary according to their exact draft position. The seventh-round numbers from 2020 were an average of only about $88,000 per contract, and are presumably smaller in 2021 because of the lower salary cap this season.

Hence Lynn’s claim that Wilson has done quite a bit better than all seventh-round picks is surely true. Kudos to a sharp agent for negotiating a good deal for her client. Many agents would have probably taken the easy route and simply signed a standard non-guaranteed contract rather than going the extra distance and taking Andrew to the mat.

Hopefully, there are some rising sophomore and junior football players who will read this article and realize that the choice of agent really does make a difference, especially to a rookie trying to make the team.

Related Story. Why Marvin Wilson slid off draft boards. light

Wilson is another player with known NFL talent, but with his injury history that makes him a risk. His 2020 campaign with the Seminoles was curtailed by an unspecified leg injury that required surgery. The “unspecified” surgery is bothersome because we cannot apply statistics to it.

Injury risks can be calculated if there are detailed medical reports that can be compared against sports medicine studies that have measured the success rate. Mathematically, the front office needs to know the probability of complete recovery, and multiply that times the numerical score assigned to the player’s grade when fully healthy.

That tells them how much to value the player’s services. The answer is usually not zero even for knee injuries requiring surgery as long as it is not too severe, just as long as they can compare it to other knee injuries that have occurred in the past to other players with similar physical characteristics.

In the past, it was known that Wilson had a meniscus injury requiring surgery. The details are vague, but it might have been an injury that dates back to high school that finally reached a point where he needed to be shut down.

Wilson was highly regarded as a prospect, so if they believe the knee can be brought back to playing shape, he is worth taking a gamble on. He might be a second or third-round talent, and the Browns were able to sign him without expecting a draft pick.

There was also some office politics involved, as the coach and players clashed over the proper response to the George Floyd murder. Wilson said some things he later regretted, but the main takeaway is that they worked things out Wilson emerged as a leader, a bit humbled for the experience, and coach Mike Norvell also appeared to be a healing force after some initial misunderstandings.

From the vantage point of an outsider looking in, both men appear to be very high character individuals who were able to reach a common understanding.

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Really, the main task is getting him ready to go physically. This is not a zero-risk signing. However, if it works out, the Browns might have a starting-caliber player here.