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.
Knowshon Moreno– Moreno ate up the Patriots last night rushing for 224 yards. He has been a beast all season, resembling nothing of the frustrating player that has suited up for Denver since 2009. Moreno gained more yards on the ground than Peyton Manning threw for in the air and he is averaging over 74 yards a game. He’s also added almost 350 yards receiving as well. Moreno’s contract will void this offseason making him an unrestricted free agent so his rebirth is coming at the perfect moment. He apparently was injured in the overtime and hopefully it is nothing serious but he has more than earned a new contract with his play in 2013.
Karlos Dansby– I have to imagine Dolphins fans are wondering where this player was in Miami because he has been a very good player and excellent fit inside the Cardinals defense. Dansby was signed to a low cost one year contract in Arizona this offseason and has far exceeded the contract this year with his play. On Sunday Dansby was credited with five solo tackles and had an interception that he returned for a touchdown. The touchdown broke the game wide open giving the Cardinals an insurmountable 21 point lead. He leads all linebackers this year in both unassisted tackled and passes broken up. Dansby isn’t a young man anymore but he has probably earned himself a two or three year contract based on his play with the Cardinals.
Brandon Marshall– On a day where little went right for Chicago, Marshall continued his dominant season with 10 catches for 117 yards, his 3rd 100 yard game in the last 4 games. Marshall has one year remaining on his contract after this season and with the Bears in a state of flux it is very likely that Marshall could see himself with a new contract either with Chicago or another team if he is traded in the offseason. Marshall has been a model citizen since leaving Miami and ranks second in the NFL in receptions and 9th in yards. His production is consistent year after year and shows no signs of going down. Most important he is one of the rare players in the NFL that seems QB proof in that the production remains constant regardless of who he plays with.
New Contract Player Of The Week
Ryan Fitzpatrick– I’ve always given Fitzpatrick a lot of grief for somehow tricking the Buffalo Bills into paying him as a true starting Quarterback off a few game hot streak despite years of being relegated to backup status. On Sunday, however, there was no doubt that Fitzpatrick played to the level of that contract, even if that contract does not exist anymore. Signed in the offseason as insurance for injury prone Jake Locker Fitzpatrick revived the Titans playoff chances with a 320 yard, two touchdown game that his team won in the final seconds on the road against the Raiders. You can not ask for more than that out of anyone.
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.