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.
Troy Polamalu– There used to be a time when every week Polamalu would be making big plays and be a featured player on Sportscenter or whatever highlight show you preferred to watch on Sunday night and Monday morning. Those days are pretty much gone. Polamalu gave up two big receptions on Sunday, only made one tackle, and missed another according to PFF. The Steelers won the game on the strength of their offense but that should not hide the fact that Polamalu may be in trouble next season. The Steelers will free up over $8 million in cap space by releasing him. He could struggle to find a home if that happens next year.
Antonio Cromartie– Maybe each week I should just have a permanent Cromartie section, but another week and another long bomb for a score was completed against Cromartie. Cromartie just got run past and that has been a problem all year. He just seems flatfooted and looking who knows where at the snap leading to players running right by him. He’s also inconsistent in his approach at times this year giving cushions in short yardage situations and playing man up on longer plays. He is going to be cut this offseason and now it is getting to the point where he may be looking at a minimum contract unless the level of play improves.
Andy Dalton– I almost feel like Dalton is back to square one. He might be the most inconsistent player in the NFL. A few weeks ago I had Dalton on the other side of this because he was playing great. Now he is abysmal. Never has a QB done less in a game where his team scored 41 points than in the win against the Browns. Dalton threw for just 93 yards on 48.1% passing. He threw a pick six to Joe Haden and had another ball picked off. I don’t see how the Bengals can consider extending him in the offseason unless this up and down ride stabilizes. He is probably in a position where he has to now wait another year for any type of extension talks.
New Contract Disappointment Of The Week
Rashard Mendenhall– 13 carries for 14 yards against the Jaguars? The Cardinals signed Mendenhall to bring something to their ground game and he’s been flat put awful this year. He is averaging 2.9 yards per carry and has two fumbles on the year to boot. I’m sure some of the blame lies on the offensive line, and nobody in Arizona ran well yesterday, but they paid Mendenhall $2.5 million to be their workhorse runner and he’s simply not productive. I tend to think he won’t be in the NFL next season.
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.