NFL Stock Up: Week 1

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Every Monday during the season we will take a look back at three players who are entering important stages of their contract that may have helped their stock in upcoming negotiations with their play on Sunday. In addition we will also look at one player signed in the offseason to a new contract that exceeded all expectations and provided exceptional value to his team.

Stock Up

AJ Green– I can not figure out why people don’t realize how special Green is. Outside of the touchdown production he is every bit as productive as Calvin Johnson was at the same point in his career and there is no reason for AJ Green to not be the top paid receiver in the entire NFL. This week he put together a 131 yard game including the game winning 77 yard haul that took all the steam out of a Ravens team that had just battled back to take the lead. IMO, this is the best receiver in the NFL.

Julius Thomas Thomas obliterated the Colts secondary to the tune of 7 receptions for 103 yards and 3 touchdowns. He was getting open at will and toying with the coverage schemes of the Colts. Thomas is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and a few more games like this and he may end up getting a new deal before seasons end. Thomas is in an interesting contract position because the Broncos have another potential franchise tag free agent in Demaryius Thomas meaning one of the two should be able to jump into a new offer.

Jake Locker Locker did not get the option year picked up on his contract and gets the opportunity at free agency in 2015. There was a lot of talk about how well the new coaching staff might benefit him and for this week it certainly did. Locker completed 66.7% of his passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns. Locker completed passed to eight different receivers and was very effective in leading his team to a surprising dominating win against the Chiefs.

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New Contract Player Of The Week

Knowshon Moreno– I very easily could have gone with JJ Watt who had a dominating performance in every phase of the game for the Texans, but Moreno hit a second gear that seemed to completely catch the Patriots off guard. 24 carries for 134 yards acting like a workhorse back that could take the entire load on his shoulders and power a team to a win. His score with about 3 minutes left in the game cemented one of the big upsets of the week.

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  • Two big reasons why A.J. Green won’t become the league’s highest-paid receiver: he didn’t start his career as a very high pick under the old rookie contract system that gave Johnson and Fitzgerald leverage that produced those deals, and he’ll be negotiating with the Bengals.

    • NW86

      I agree. The Bengals still have some leverage over him with the option year and the franchise tag after that. IMO AJ is still the 2nd best receiver behind Megatron but it is getting very close. I still only expect him to become the #3 highest paid though, somewhere around $15M/yr.

    • Id put more stock in the Bengals part of it only because weve seen a few guys get some big deals (Watt, Peterson, etc…) but the Bengals are tough. Ive said it for awhile that this is their first real premier contract to negotiate and many Bengals fans bring up Geno Atkins and then Carson Palmer from a decade ago. This is a different beast and I cant imagine a deal coming together anytime soon. That said if Im another big name receiver and I have a bigger than Wallace deal on the table Id take it for fear of how things change if the Bengals get their way with Green.

  • John

    Byron Maxwell is going to have a bunch of picks if teams never throw to the other side.