CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar reportedly will be paid some $15 million over the next six years under his new contract, making him one of the highest-paid players in the National Football League.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Saturday that Kosar's contract, which becomes effective next season, averages $2.5 million a year, including bonuses and base salary. Kosar will earn $1 million this year, the final year of his original contract with the Browns.
Quoting an unidentified league source, the newspaper reported Kosar's new contract includes a $3 million signing bonus, to be paid in installments during the six-year period. But since the majority of the bonus will be paid during the first two years, Kosar could surpass San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana as the highest-paid player in football during 1990.
Montana is to receive $2.55 million in 1990, 1991 and 1992. Houston Oilers quarterback Warren Moon will earn $4 million in 1993 as part of a five-year, $10 million deal.
The newspaper said some, but not all, of Kosar's contract is guaranteed and none is deferred past the life of the contract.
Kosar negotiated the contract without the assistance of an agent, helped only by his father, Bernie, and attorney Danny Thomas.
'I'm excited about the deal,' Kosar told the newspaper. 'We didn't have to haggle over anything. There was a lot of respect between the two parties that led to this happening. It was an exceptional experience for me, as a 25-year-old, to be able to do this.
'I enjoyed the negotiations. I majored in finance and economics (at the University of Miami). You do that stuff in your classes. To do it when it really meant something was fun and a good learning experience.'
Kosar will be 32 years old at the end of the new contract, which expires after the 1995 season. He has declined comment on details of the contract.