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.
Hakeem Nicks– Nicks took a one year deal with the Indianapolis Colts to turn the perception around that he wasn’t worth big receiver money. It seemed like a great pairing since we all know Nicks has talent and the Colts system puts up great numbers, but Nicks has been a dud and the ship has sailed at being paid anywhere near a top end number 2, let alone number 1 receiver. Nicks produced just 1 reception despite being targeted 6 times this week.
Michael Vick– One would think Vick was using this season to hope to land one more starting job down the line, but in his second appearance of the year Vick continued to show many of the bad traits he showed in his final years in Philadelphia. Vick completed just 50% of his passes and turned the ball over three times in relief of Geno Smith. Vick should get his chance to start the rest of the season and he has to do better than this to prolong his career.
Jordan Cameron– Cameron had his breakout game a few weeks ago and then proceeded to go back to looking like just another guy again. Cameron has a chance to cash in as a potential difference maker at the position, but he needs to do more than a few catches and not being very useful as a blocker when used on the line.
New Contract Disappointment Of The Week
Lamarr Houston– The biggest risk in free agency is how a player will react once they get paid big money and in the case of the Bears and Houston it looks like they grabbed the guy who stopped playing with the contract. The Bears defense has been a joke all season and nothing was more of a joke than Houston getting injured while celebrating a sack down by a billion points. Houston has made no impact this season- that sack was just his first and he has only 11 tackles on the year. In his contract year he produced 69 tackles and 6 sacks.
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.
Lamarr Houston– The Raiders Defensive End is going to be one of the most sought after free agents on the market provided that he is not slapped with the Franchise tag, which would seem likely. Houston is one of those rare pass rushers in the NFL that can be just as effective against the run as he is sacking the QB. He finished Sundays game with 1 sack and 5 tackles, two of which were for a loss. He is one of the most well rounded players at the position. The Raiders salary cap situation is so unique that he could find himself getting an incredibly lucrative front loaded contract if this level of play persists. He can be a force for a long time on what is becoming a formidable defense.
Andy Dalton– I had pretty much thrown Dalton out for the rest of this season when it came to contract talks next year, but over the last three weeks he has shown improvements and I think we can at least discuss the possibility of an early extension for the Bengals QB. Dalton ripped the Jets apart for 325 yards and 5 touchdowns bringing his 3 week total to 1,034 yards with 11 Td’s to just 2 interceptions. Statistically that is an incredible pace and way into the upper echelon of QB play in the NFL. Sure he still may miss a few deep throws here and there, but the bottom line right now is nobody can say that the Bengals are winning in spite of Andy Dalton. As they look to lock up their young core talent Dalton may be in line for that extension after all.
Antrel Rolle– Rolle only has one more year remaining on his contract with the Giants and at a $9.25 million dollar cap charge he is either going to become a free agent or get extended. Rolle is the vocal leader of the Giants defense but put forth an effort where he was more than just vocal. Rolle began the day by intercepting the Eagles and helped set the tone for the Giants defense all day long. Rolle was all over the field with 4 tackles, a sack, and a pass broken up to go along with his interception. Rolle is set to earn $7.25 million if he is not cut next season. Big games like this one might give him the opportunity to earn that much money from the Giants or someone else.
New Contract Player Of The Week
Aaron Rodgers– Rodgers looked every bit the highest paid player in the NFL with his performance against the Vikings on Sunday night. Rodgers, despite his lack of receiving targets, sliced and diced his way through the Vikings defense with pinpoint accuracy. Some of the throws he made were incredibly difficult as he helped bring his team to a 41-17 point lead in the 4th quarter. This year has not been kind to the $20 million plus contract players except Rodgers, who is the only mega dollar player at the position who looks like he deserves the money and can justify the spending.