I thought it might be a good idea to do a running thread where I just give some quick thoughts on the reported contracts. Obviously there is more to these deals than what we have so far, but this should at least cover initial reactions to the contracts. Feel free to chime in.
Malik Jackson Signs With Jaguars for around $15M per year
This is a monstrous contract for a player with 5.5 sacks last year. The Jaguars have pushed prices with Julius Thomas, Jared Odrick, etc… so its not a complete surprise coming from them especially with all their cap room. I tend to think this is like a Haloti Ngata type signing where you are signing for versatility and non numerical benefits but at the end of the day end u disappointed in the deal. Unlike the Ngata deal with the Ravens I would not expect the monstrous signing bonus that locks him in forever. This clearly should impact the market and what Muhammed Wilkerson and Olivier Vernon are seeking.
Kelechi Osemele Signs With Raiders for around $11M per year
My first thought is that this cleary signals the end of Donald Penn in Oakland and for this amount of money Oakland is moving Osemele to left tackle rather than playing guard. Could they do one year at guard? I guess so but nobody pays this money for a guard, even with the salaries already exploding this year. A few years back the Raiders signed Rodger Saffold to play tackle when most thought he was a guard and this to me is the same situation. Between this deal and the recent Lane Johnson contract I would expect Russell Okung and Mitchell Schwartz to increase their asking price.
Jason Pierre-Paul stays in New York for $10.5 million for one year
This is a little higher than I expected but I would imagine this represents a maximum value based on incentives such as sacks and playtime. JPP was always meant to sign a one year deal and doing it in a place he is familiar with makes the most sense for both sides. I dont think there was going to be that kind of interest in him outside of NY. JPP said Arizona was interested but that is an entirely different defense and one that he might not maximize his value in.
Mario Williams takes his talents to Miami for $8 million
Dolphins general manager Mike Tannebaum is in full splash mode with this signing, which Id imagine ends up similar in structure to the Julius Peppers deal in Green Bay from a few years ago. A lot of people have speculated that with this contract Miami will rescind the transition tag on Olivier Vernon, but Im not so sure. You dont want to go into next season with a 31 year old Williams, known to take plays off, and a 34 year old Cameron Wake coming off injury. Thats not even remotely caring about the future. Id guess Wake goes without immediately accepting a pay cut, Expect Charles Johnson to look for a shade more than this.
Vikings cut Mike Wallace to save $11.5 million
As easy a move as any for a team to make. This was one of the worst trades in recent memory as the Vikings took on a player who hadnt played well in three years and had a top tier contract. Needless to say it didnt work. Walllace is probably worth around $3 million these days unless there is someone still in love with what he did years ago. Maybe a WR needy team like the Panthers will call.
Broncos cut 3 to save around $8.4M in cap
Denver is in the post Manning era and it makes little sense to hold onto Louis Vasquez or Owen Daniels without him. The Broncos are in a cap crunch and need to free up as any assets as possible both in real dollar terms and cap accounting terms so these moves feed into that.
Barksdale sticks with Chargers for $5.55 million a year
Barksdale overplayed his hand last season and ended up having to settle for a one year deal late in the process from the Chargers. That probably helped seal this contract before free agency began The Chargers basically guaranteed his first two years which is one of the higher true guarantees for a veteran right tackle. The Chargers are going to become a choice destination along with the Cardinals for players willing to sign one year “prove it’ contracts as a springboard to a better contract the next year.
Richie Incognito Re-signs with the Bills for around $5.5 million a year
Incognito played so well last year for Buffalo they had no choice but to do this deal. For a player in his 30’s this is a steep price. This currently puts Inconito towards the top tier of guard salaries but that should change by next week. Younger players should look to jup the value on this one.
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.