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.
Mike Vick– Vick had two things he had to do this season. The first was to be effective as a starting QB and the second was to actually play in a majority of games. In general he has failed in both regards. Vick was inconsistent during the first few weeks of the season, at times dazzling and at times dreadful, which has been the story of his career. He looked terrible at the start of Sundays game before aggravating his hamstring injury and being forced to the bench again. He’s now missed a portion of at least 4 games this year. A team can not commit to a left handed, run first QB that is constantly injured. At best Vick is a piece you can bring in and hope to get something out of, but you can’t spend much money on him and you need to have a capable backup that can somehow run the same style offense. His options will be limited. He played this year for a maximum of $7.5 million. He probably will not come close to that in 2014.
Marcedes Lewis– One of the most overpriced Tight End contracts will soon be coming to an end as Lewis’ dead money figure is just $2.8 million in 2014. Lewis has missed most of the season with a calf injury caught just 1 pass for 6 yards in the blowout loss to the 49ers, bringing his season total to just 2 receptions. Pro Football Focus graded Lewis negative in the run blocking game as well, which had been the one thing he had done well over the last few seasons. Scheduled to earn $6.85 million next year he may have a difficult time earning anything more than a token bonus if these numbers persist for the rest of the season.
Antonio Cromartie– This will be at least the second time Cromartie’s name has come up in this section. He is having a downright awful season. He looks to have lost significant speed and is basically getting caught grabbing at guys who then just run away from him. Cromartie allowed another huge reception on Sunday, this time a 53 yard pass to AJ Green where Cromartie wasn’t within 5 yards of Green who just went right by him. Scheduled to carry a $14.95 million dollar cap hit in 2014 he has no chance of playing his contract out. Though the player they drafted in the first round is struggling terribly the Jets may look at this as having a first round investment in the position and Cromartie being expendable. Even if he is not the money he will make will pale in comparison to what he received in his last extension with the team.
New Contract Disappointment Of The Week
Matt Ryan– Just last week I had put Ryan in the Stock Up category and boy does that look like a mistake now. Ryan looked to be in control at home without his favorite targets, but on the road against a good defense he looked anything but. His 4 interceptions were one off his career high and the overall performance was likely the worst of his career. When a team commits the kind of money they sunk into Ryan the expectation has to be that the QB can perform at a high level even when his targets begin to get injured. Aaron Rodgers was able to do it this week and others have been able to do that in the past. If Ryan needs to have three superstar receivers at all times the contract is going to be an albatross for the Falcons. He needs to bounce back over the next few weeks.
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.