Stock Down: Week 14


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 hurt 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 did not live up to the expectations that his contract sets for the player.

Stock Down

Aqib Talib– It’s been a rough few weeks for Talib. After a terrific start to the season Talib got injured and he has not been the same players since. He was bad against the Panthers and Texans and this week got steamrolled by Josh Gordon of the Browns. His QBR against the last 4 games, according to stats maintained by Pro Football Focus is around 115. Talib looked like a surefire candidate to get the low end of the tier 1 cornerback salary, but now he’s really in the same position he was in before he accepted a one year contract this season. He’s probably going to need a noteworthy postseason to earn that money he was hoping for.

Fred Davis– There are plenty of Redskins that probably could earn a place here but I’m not sure any has been more useless than Davis. Davis did get a few opportunities yesterday was targeted twice and came up with a grand total of 0 receptions. He has just 5 receptions on the season for 38 yards. The Redskins have not been successful at much this season but they did successfully damage Davis’ value even further with multiple deactivations and letting it known how poor of a worker Davis has been for the team. I doubt he gets more than a tryout with a team in 2014.

Terrell Thomas– The return of Thomas is a nice story  for the Giants, but with the Giants likely about to undergo massive changes you have to wonder if they will look to bring Thomas back again next season or not. Outside of NY I am not sure what kind of market there will be and he simply is not a very good coverage guy.  Yesterday the Giants could not find a matchup that he could really win. He was around 6 different receivers who were targeted and each time he gave up the reception including 43 yard TD early in the game that just set the tone for the blowout to come.

New Contract Disappointment Of The Week

Erik Walden– The Colts signed Walden to a head scratcher contract worth $4 million a season because they felt he would be a good pass rusher if given more opportunities. The Bengals passed the ball 35 times on Sunday and not once was Walden close to Andy Dalton. Walden only has 3 sacks on the season and is near the bottom of the league in pressures generated. His big claim to fame this year came after being blocked out of a play by TE Delanie Walker and subsequently ripping Walkers helmet off so he could head butt him with his helmet.



Best & Worst Contracts: The Indianapolis Colts


A few weeks ago Jason LaCanfora published a list of best and worst contracts in the NFL so I thought it might make a good idea for us to do the same here at OTC, with a team by team approach. I’ll try to be a bit more analytical in terms of why money was paid and how it fits in the market, but the general premise is the same. The one key difference is outside of restructured rookie contracts under the old CBA we will only use veteran contracts as there is a big difference between best draft picks and best contracts.  Please note that there is a difference between a bad player and a bad contract when discussing some of the selections. Clicking on a players name will take you to his salary cap page.

Reggie WayneBest Contract: Reggie Wayne

The Colts are a tough team to come up with a best number for and I am hesitant to put a 34 year old receiver making over $5 million a year out there as the best, but there really is no other option. Wayne was incredibly productive in 2012 and became QB Andrew Luck’s favorite target. His 1355 yards were tied for the second most receiving yards ever by a player at least 34 years of age and he clearly brought veteran leadership to the team.

In some ways the Colts lucked into keeping Wayne. Wayne expected to see more interest in free agency but with questions about age and how well he would fit without Peyton Manning the doors re-opened to return to Indianapolis.

His $5.8 million a year deal was only slightly more than Santana Moss’ with Redskins and a few million less than Steve Smith’s with the Panthers, the other two notable plus 30 players in the NFL. Wayne was arguably more productive than both leading up to the extensions they received with their respective clubs. His guarantee was only slightly more than Moss’.

Wayne will be 35 this season and would have carried a $5 million dollar dead money fee had his production dropped off significantly. Benchmarked against the Smith deal that is not as bad a number as it sounds. At 35 Smith will carry a $9 million dollar hit if released. While it is not likely that Wayne will produce the yardage he did in 2012, his value that season to the team was likely enough to justify the entire contract.

Erik Walden Worst Contract: Erik Walden

Really you could just take your pick here. The Colts were flush with cap space in 2012 and seemed to make a decision to use it all up even if it meant overpaying a number of players to come to the team. Out of the entire group none was luckier than Walden to land the contract that he did.

Walden produced little in his time with the Packers. He generated 8 sacks in 2 ½ seasons despite playing alongside one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. There was no market for Walden in 2012 so the Packers brought him back on a nothing contract. After a 2012 season that was about identical to his 2011 season you wouldn’t think the market changed much for Walden, except it did.

Walden received a $16 million dollar 4 year deal from the Colts with a whopping 50% of the total guaranteed. His $8 million in guarantees assures him of a roster spot until 2015. He ended up with better security than Osi Umenyiora, Dwight Freeney, and Cliff Avril, players who can actually rush the passer a little bit and be productive. Walden has potential to be the most overpaid player in the NFL a situation that should have been avoided but the Colts saw something that nobody else saw and paid him as if he had done it already.

Check out Our Other Best & Worst Contract Articles

AFC East: Buffalo BillsMiami DolphinsNew England PatriotsNew York Jets

AFC North: Baltimore RavensCincinnati BengalsCleveland BrownsPittsburgh Steelers

AFC South: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars (July 5)