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.
CJ Spiller– At this point 2012 looks as if it was a fluke campaign as Spiller is back to essentially being a nobody in Buffalo. Spiller had opportunities to trigger escalators in his contract that essentially would have pushed him into free agency this year. Coming off last season where he was arguably the second most productive back in the NFL behind Adrian Peterson Spiller was poised to make big money and follow the steps of LeSean McCoy and Ray Rice. Now he has become Darren McFadden, a one season wonder with question marks about both durability and skills. Spiller’s 6 carry 11 yard day is not even his worst of the season (he went 10 for 9 against the Jets earlier this season) marking him as a player whose stock is plummeting to below replacement level just 7 weeks into the season.
Sam Bradford– You never want to place a player in this category for injury, but unfortunately the NFL is a cold business and Bradford is probably going to feel that this upcoming offseason. The Rams had been a disappointment all year, pretty much non-competitive in all but their first game when they matched up with a decent opponent. Bradford was expected to make a big leap this season and really had not with the same questions surrounding him as often surround other talented draft picks- what if he had an offensive line and better skill players. This will be Bradford’s second extended absence from the Rams due to injury and coupled with his college injury all teams will be taking the possibility of injury into account. He is set to earn $14 million next year from the Rams, a number the injury likely takes completely out of play. He will most likely be forced into taking an incentive laden contract to prove his worth in 2014, and considering his rocky career might not earn that money back.
Darrelle Revis– This has nothing to do with Revis the player but everything to do with the situation Revis has found himself in. With the Buccaneers sitting hopeless at 0-6 and likely looking at massive organizational changes in the offseason the contract of Revis may again come into question. Revis is earning $16 million a season but has no guaranteed money in his contract, meaning the cost of releasing Revis would be $0 on the teams salary cap. Revis is arguably the best corner in the NFL, but when defensive systems are run that minimize his ability to play man up on the best player on the other side of the field he is nearly worthless. This weekend’s game where the secondary was torched by Harry Douglas just illuminated how wasted the dollars are on Revis right now. Revis makes $6 million more a year than the next highest paid corner and there are few, if any, teams that would see a fit for him at that pricetag. Most teams simply don’t have the personnel or confidence in their personnel to allow Revis to do what he did in New York under Rex Ryan. With the team in shambles the no guarantee gamble might see the contract simply vanish this offseason. If it does he will still make great money, but I tend to think it will be about 75% of what he makes now.
New Contract Disappointment Of The Week
Tom Brady– Much was made in the offseason about Brady’s willingness to accept less than market value for the Patriots in return for receiving what should be a fully guaranteed contract through the age of 40. But Brady has not played like the Tom Brady we all expected. He has failed to complete 50% of his passes in three starts this season and only twice has been above 60%. On Sunday the Jets held him to under 48% passing and picked him off for a touchdown, Brady’s third interception in as many games. Brady is now on pace for his most interceptions since 2009 and least touchdowns in a non-injury year since 2001. This has really been the first time in his career that the loss of the passing game weapons has affected him. I’ve grown to think he was immune to that. I know the standards for Brady are higher than most but I do think it’s fair to recognize that this has not been a good season for him whatsoever.
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.