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.
Greg Hardy– Just another day at the office for Mr Hardy who continues his incredible hot streak, this time taking advantage of a porous Falcons offensive line to the tune of 4 sacks on Sunday. Hardy was dominant and he had to be if the Panthers wanted to clinch a first round bye. The offense simply did not have it on Sunday but Hardy helped provide the team with the spark it needed to clinch the NFC South. Hardy will be a free agent in 2014.
LaGarrette Blount– Blount carried the Patriots to victory on Sunday with an impressive 189 yards and two td’s on just 24 carries. It was one of the most impressive games you will ever see for a running back and the head coach showed his appreciated as he took him off the field to a standing ovation from the Patriots crowd. Blount was also a new addition for the Patriots this year as they traded for him after he fell out of favor with the Tampa Bay coaching staff in 2012. He reworked his contract to take a paycut in order to get an opportunity in New England as he approached free agency. Now he has a major game to fall back on when looking for a new contract.
Justin Tuck– In a meaningless season for the Giants, Tuck made the most of the situation and put up his best statistical year since 2010 finishing the season with 63 tackles and 11 sacks. He pretty much owned the Redskins this year racking up two sacks on Sunday and four sacks the last time the two teams met. While I personally would be worried about handing over too much money to Tuck, I have to think more than a few teams, if not the Giants, will be asking him to rush the passer on an incentive based deal next season.
New Contract Player Of The Week
Anquan Boldin – Boldin began the season in this spot and finished it here as well after his 9 catch 149 yard performance for San Francisco. The 49ers running game fell flat leaving the passing game to pick up the offense and Boldin responded greatly. The Ravens made a mistake in trading Boldin who finished the year with nearly 1200 yards and was a big member of the 49ers team. He’ll be 34 next season but is proving that someone needs to give him a mid range contract next 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.