Every week during the season I’ll take a look back at the games and select three players who are entering important stages of their contract that may have helped their stock in upcoming negotiations with their play on gameday. 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. So let’s see who made the cut in week 1…
Matt Forte– Running back is the toughest position in the NFL to convince a team you are worthy of a third contract that carries a high cost, but Forte did all he could to prove he’ll be the exception with his 141 yard game against the Packers. Forte kept the Bears in the game and had they run him more may have just snuck out of there with an upset. Forte was hoping for a new deal this offseason which didn’t happen, but a few more games like this and the Bears may bite.
DeMarcus Ware– Staring at an $11.7 million cap hit in 2016, this is essentially a free agent year for Ware who needs to prove he can stick at the price. He certainly did that on Sunday when he just abused the Ravens defensive line. Every time you looked up he was in the backfield coming down on Joe Flacco. He was only credited with one sack but he was likely within an arms length of Flacco 10 times.
Muhammad Wilkerson– Wilkerson could be the best player from the 2011 draft with no off field issues to not have a new contract, but if he continues to play as he did on Sunday he’ll get one soon. Wilkerson consistently collapsed the pocket, registered a sack, was in on 5 tackles, and helped cause a fumble. Thats a nice start to a season.
New Contract Player Of The Week
Julio Jones– Jones dismantled the Eagles secondary on Monday, just blowing right by highly paid Byron Maxwell to the tune of 140 yards and two touchdowns. While there were many wide recievers who got big contracts this offseason, Jones is the only one who produced at the level of his salary and delivered on the field. He may win recognition as the best in the NFL if he continues this dominance.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.