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.
Jairus Byrd– Byrd fought all summer with the Bills over a new contract and then spent a good portion of the season injured while trade rumors swirled around him. He devastated the Jets yesterday in every phase of the game. Byrd picked up two interceptions off Jets QB Geno Smith, broke up a few more passes, and brought the young QB down on a safety blitz where Byrd went completely unnoticed by anyone wearing a green jersey. Byrd now has 3 interceptions in his last two games and is pretty much re-establishing himself as one of the best Safeties in the NFL. He may have to battle the Bills over the Franchise tag again, but he deserves a big contract.
Gerald McCoy– McCoy has established himself as the best Defensive Tackle in the NFL. He has one more season under contract to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but it’s an expensive season with a $13.19 million cap charge so the Bucs should look to reward him with a new deal. He had 3 sacks yesterday, all in the first half of the game, that completely set the tone for what became a blowout win against the Atlanta Falcons. McCoy has 6 sacks on the year and will set his career high in that category shortly. He is a building block player and he’ll be aiming for a contract that may surpass the deal Geno Atkins received from the Bengals.
Jon Beason– Beason has found new life since being traded from the Panthers to the Giants. In many ways he has been the leader of a defense that has played much better football the last few weeks and is seemingly always around the football. Beason had 6 tackles yesterday and was a key reason why the Giants held the Packers’ Eddie Lacy to just 1.9 yards per carry. Beason also intercepted a pass and is making waves on the Giants. Beason will be a free agent this season and seems like he would like to remain in New York. The team will have some cap room next season and could definitely be considering working on a deal to keep Beason, who was a forgotten man in Carolina, on the team.
New Contract Player Of The Week
Rashad Jennings– Jennings came over from the Jaguars this season and has been a terrific addition to the Oakland Raiders. Jennings ran for 150 yards yesterday in the win over the Houston Texans, his second 100 yard game in three weeks. He is doing things that Darren McFadden has never been able to do and should have replaced McFadden at this point even when McFadden is healthy. Jennings will be a free agent next season and there is no reason why the Raiders would not look to give him an upgraded contract to keep him as a Raider. It’s quite the turnaround for someone who garnered limited interest from teams around the league last 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.