I thought it might be helpful to show how much money Dwight stands to lose by not re-signing / maintaining his Bird Rights.
Essentially, by losing his Bird Rights he forfeits 3% of his salary over 4 years. And one year duration on his next contract, which, is also the highest paying year.
I felt like the best way to demonstrate the difference was to go year-by-year. So here is the next 5 years.
"Bird" represents what his salary would be if he re-signed or was traded in time. "Birdless" is if he walked or was traded too late.
Year 1: Bird: $17.4 Million Birdless: $17.4 Million Difference: $0
Year 2: Bird: $18.7 Million Birdless: $18.2 Million Difference: $0.5 Million
Year 3: Bird: $20.1 Million Birdless: $19.02 Million Difference: $1.08 Million
Year 4: Bird: $21.6 Million Birdless: $19.88 Million Difference: $1.72 Million
Year 5: Bird: $23.2 Million Birdless: $17.4 Million* Differece: $5.8 Million
Total: Bird: $101 Million Birdless: $91.9 Million Difference: $9.1 Million
So if Howard for whatever reason loses his Bird Rights before signing his next deal it will cost him $9.1 million guaranteed. And he will also lose some security, as he will be depending on staying healthy for the next four years to keep the damages at only $9.1 million. In the event of a career ending injury during that time, he would stand to lose $32.3 million. (eek)
So you can see why his camp is so adamant about wanting to get a deal done early.