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.
Ike Taylor– The 33 year old corner was torched by Browns receiver Josh Gordon to the tune of 169 yards on 11 targets according to Pro Football Focus. Though the Steelers playoff hopes remain alive it does not change their salary cap situation in 2014 and Taylor with an $11.9 million dollar cap charge is likely on his way out the door. I believe the Steelers would be interested in keeping him at a lower cost but its games like this that have to make them worry about matching him up against some of the young talented wideouts that have made their way into the AFC North.
Ben Tate– Injury or no injury, Tate’s stock has plummeted. 7 carries for 1 yard against the Jaguars? Maybe the Texans have given up on the year but Tate can not afford to do the same in a contract season. Case Keenum is not the answer at QB but teams rumored to be looking at Tate were likely thinking that he would help alleviate pressure on a below average QB. A few weeks ago Tate criticized Texans fans for not giving the Texans the support they deserve. For the last few weeks Tate’s failed to give the fans the production they expected to see.
Santonio Holmes– Holmes had one of those “who cares” games on Sunday where he seemed to be going through the motions seeing the writing on the wall for his team. Holmes had two drops and just one reception for the beleaguered Jets. Though not entirely his fault, Holmes has only caught 38% of his targets this season which is brutal, even for the Jets. The next worst receiver on the team is Stephen Hill with a 49% catch rate. If you take away his huge game against the Bills he is averaging a 32% catch rate with 1,6 receptions and 34.4 yards per game. He’s guaranteed to be cut this year due to his cap figure and was hoping to cash in elsewhere. Between injuries, lack of effectiveness, and general perceptions about his attitude that pool of teams will be rapidly shrinking as will any offers for him.
New Contract Disappointment Of The Week
Sebastian Janikowski– In our best and worst contract series I had pegged Janikowski as the worst contract on the Raiders and that was before they inexplicably signed him to another extension in the offseason. Janikowski carries a $4.9 million base cap charge this season and over $3 million next year. The Raiders continue to make him the highest paid kicker in the NFL despite the fact that there is no metric in the world that would rank him as the best kicker or anywhere close to it. The only thing he has going for him is that Oakland is confident in letting him try from long range knowing it will reach the goalpost. Yesterday he missed a 32 and a 48 yard field goal which proved to be the Raiders undoing in a game where they could have taken control of the Wildcard lead. Janikowski seemed to blame his holder. He now has 4 misses inside 50 yards this year.
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.