Jeremy Cash was one of the most sought-after undrafted free agents following the draft, and the Carolina Panthers paid him like such.
Cash, a former Duke safety who will play linebacker for the Panthers, received a $20,000 signing bonus, according to a league source. That ranks among the highest in the league this year.
Undrafted free agents got standard three-year deals worth $1.62 million this year. But there’s no guaranteed money, and not everyone gets a signing bonus.
Cash’s $20,000 bonus appears to be tied for the most given to an undrafted free agent this year. Tampa Bay gave offensive tackle Leonard Webster a $20,000 bonus, according to NFL Network’s Gil Brandt and salary cap expert Joel Corry.
Offensive lineman La’el Collins topped that with a $21,000 signing bonus last year when he fell off draft boards following the shooting death of a pregnant ex-girlfriend. He was never considered a suspect.
Cash is set to make $450,000 in base salary in 2016 should he make the team. That increases to $540,000 in 2017 and $630,000 in 2018.
Cash said as many as 20 teams targeted him after the draft, and he picked the Panthers over the Bengals.
Receiver Keyarris Garrett earned a $9,000 signing bonus with the Panthers, according to a league source, after being heavily recruited following the draft.