No way he agrees to that. He gets $5.5M from the Saints already. If he goes and signs a deal with a new team for say, $4.5M, then wouldn't he be getting $9.0M total? Or does that just mean the Saints have to pay the first $5.5M of wherever he signs?
From what I understand, the $5.5 mil is guaranteed money and signing bonus. So he may have already received that money. It isn't necessarily being paid out over the course of next season. It is just hitting the cap next season.
Say that player A signs a 5 year contract that has a $20 million signing bonus, that $20 million doesn't all hit in year 1. It is stretched out over the course of the contract. $4 million cap hit per year. If the player is cut after 3 years then the remainder of bonus that hasn't hit the cap hits at one time. That would be $8 million still on the cap in year 4 after player A is gone.
I think this is right.