Posts Tagged ‘eric decker’

That time of year again is here where NFL players have expired contracts and are either on the prowl for a new team or hoping to stay with their current team for a bigger contract.  Free agency can be a stressful for the fans, owners, and the players.  In the 2014 draft there were some players that were signed quickly because the team recognizes the value in keeping them, but we have also seen some high value players hit the free agency market due to either off field issues or cant afford them anymore.  What has been interesting is seeing how some teams have dived right into this and signed a bunch of players, and to see some teams sit back and let all the players slip through their fingers.  Some teams have had salary cap issues so it makes sense why they have been sitting back not doing anything; and they have been focusing on keeping their current players or waiting for the draft.  Some times the free agent period can make or break a team and its shaping up to be an interesting 2014 season.  Below are some of the big named receivers that have signed to new teams. 

Wide Receivers

1. Steve Smith – Went from the Panthers over to the Ravens.  The Ravens are giving him $11 million with a $3.5 million signing bonus for 3 years.  Even at the age of 35 Smith can still offer a lot to the struggling pass offense of the Ravens.  With Torrey Smith on the other side and Dennis Pitta across the middle it should be an open field for Steve Smith.  And we all know that Flacco could use another weapon in the offense.

2. Eric Decker – Went from the Broncos over to the Jets.  This was kind of surprising since he was in the best pass offense and he is now going to a team that had very serious pass issues.  Now Decker did hit pay dirt by signing a 5 year $36.25 million deal with $15 million being guaranteed money.  The Jets finally released Sanchez, but signed Michael Vick to replace him.  This is going to give Decker to shine now that he is out of the shadow of Thomas and Welker.

3. James Jones – Went from the Packers over to the Raiders.  I think this is a good move for Jones and his career.  The Raiders have added a lot of people to the roster already and with Jones being a deep threat it should add a lot of depth to the offense.  The Raiders added Matt Schaub and even though Schaub had a terrible 2013 campaign he should be able to connect with Jones.  We have to remember Schaub fed the ball to Andre Johnson for a lot of years so he should have no problem getting it to Jones.  Jones was bound to get picked up quick with how he has a knack for getting in the endzone. 

4. Golden Tate – Went from the Seahawks to the Lions.  I can see this going very well, or very bad.  Tate just helped the Seahawks win their first Super Bowl and now he is going to a team that has never been to the big game.  The plus is that the Lions is a pass happy team who has the best WR in the game in Calvin Johnson.  Now Stafford may not be the most consistent QB in the game, but he will have no problem getting the ball to both Tate and Johnson.

5. Hakeem Nicks – Went from the Giants to the Colts.  This is a great pickup for the Colts and I really think that Nicks needed to get away from the Giants.  As long as Nicks can stay healthy he should be able to have a fresh start with the Colts.  Andrew Luck is just getting better and better and Nicks could be a useful tool to help the team get farther in the playoffs.  Nicks was a big part of the offense in New York and when he was healthy he was almost unstoppable. 

Emmanuel Sanders – Went from Steelers to the Broncos
Andre Roberts – Went from Cardinals to the Redskins
Brandon LaFell – Went from Panthers to the Patriots
Devin Hester – Went from the Bears to the Falcons
Dexter McCluster – Went from Chiefs to Titans

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We get to hear it all the time on how much the superstars of the NFL make, but what about the players that are play-makers but don’t make the big bucks?  The way that the NFL negotiates contracts is very flawed in some sense, but what surprises me is the players I am about to list.  The players I am going to add to this list are constantly making big plays or being a major factor on the team.  Before the 2013 season started we heard a bunch of players re-negotiating their contracts to make room for new players and draft picks to be signed; which shows how dedicated some players are to having there team win as apposed to how fat they can make their wallets.  Even with all the re-negotiations that took place, the players I am about to list out should be paid more than what they are getting paid. 

Torrey Smith WR Ravens – The Ravens traded away Anquan Boldin in the offseason so it pretty much left Smith to be the main target in Baltimore.  With that, I assumed the Ravens would want to secure him with a better contract because as of right now Smith is slated to make $683,000 in 2013.  I know to normal people like me that seems like a lot of money, but compared to other receivers in the NFL that is pretty low.  The average for a WR in the NFL is about $1.6 million dollars so the Ravens are getting Smith for a pretty good discount.

Josh Gordon WR Browns – The Browns leading receiver in 2012 was Gordon; and remember that the Browns drafted him as a supplemental draft pick.  In 2013 Jordan Cameron has emerged as a big target, but the majority of the passes are going to Gordon.  In his rookie year he hauled in 50 receptions (40 of those were for first downs), 5 TDs, and averaged 16.1 yards per catch.  So as you can see he is a big player in Cleveland, but the Browns are only paying him $632,802 for 2013.  Another AFC North team is getting a steal on a superstar receiver.

DeMarco Murray RB Cowboys – I know, I know Murray needs to stay healthy.  So far in his young career he is yet to play injury-free, but with the Cowboys releasing Felix Jones, Murray is really the best option for the Cowboys.  Think back to when Murray was in college; he was a bruising RB who also showed great speed.  So far in 2013, he has missed some time but he is showing signs of improvement in his running abilities and decision making.  The Cowboys are notorious for dropping huge contracts on players, but not Murray he is slated to make $620,000 for the 2013 season.  I feel pretty confident that if he can stay healthy that he could one day earn that big contract.

Eric Decker WR Broncos – The Broncos now have a killer receiving squad with Thomas, Welker, Thomas, and Decker; but Decker is getting the short end of the stick.  In 2012, Decker was second in the NFL in TD receptions with 13 and had over 1,000 receiving yards.  But instead of getting Decker a bigger contract, they brought in Welker and gave the contract to him.  As of right now everything is working great in Denver, but imagine being Decker right now.  Decker is going to make $575,000 in 2013 while his receiver buddies are all making at least double that.  It shows that Decker really wants to be on a championship team, but I am sure that has to be frustrating at times.

Randall Cobb WR Packers – Cobb just blew up in the 2012 season by returning kicks and being a solid target for Aaron Rodgers.  Cobb led the Packers in receiving yards with 954 and in receptions with 80.  With the departure of Greg Jennings I think we all assumed that the Packers would want to get him that contract that would help turn him into a franchise receiver.  Cobb and Torrey Smith are kind of a similar story because Cobb is slated to make $666,766 for the 2013 season.  With Cobb being injured now it worked out for the Packers to not give him a big contract, but if the Packers want to keep him for the rest of his career they are going to eventually need to open up that check book.

JJ Watt DE Texans – This is where the draft can determine how much your contract is.  Now don’t feel too bad for Watt because his contract is $1.396 million for 2013, but when you look at how well he has performed since he was drafted in 2011 everyone knows he should be paid more.  Remember that Watt was drafted as the 11th overall pick in the 2011 draft; so he was one spot away from being drafted in the top 10 where if he would have been taken one pick earlier his contract would be almost doubled.  So until his rookie contract runs out, the Texans are getting a huge steal on Watt; but once that contract is up the Texans better be ready to pay him what he deserves or another team will scoop him up.

Cecil Shorts WR Jaguars – It has been a long time since the Jaguars were even remotely a good team, but they have been very good about finding awesome receivers.  With the inconsistent play of Justin Blackmon; the weight of the receiving responsibilities fell on Shorts and in 2012 he took advantage of that opportunity.  In 2012, he led the Jags in receiving yards, receiving TDs, yards per catch, yards after catch, and receptions over 20 yards.  In 2013 he picked up right where he left off and has been one of the few bright spots in a dismal Jaguar offense, but for his efforts he is only going to make $617,922 for the 2013 season.  Next time you watch a Jags game keep an eye on him and yo uwill really see how much of an impact Shorts makes on this dreadful team.

Ryan Tannehill QB Dolphins – I was actually pretty shocked when I saw his salary because its bordering on the league minimum.  Now Tannehill is no Drew Brees and he is very young with a lot to learn, but what the Dolphins are paying him shows they really dont have a lot of confidence in him at all.  For the 2013 season Tannehill is slated to make $484,841; he does have some bonus opportunities, but even if he received all the bonuses it would still be well under a million dollars.   Once again, if someone was to offer me that kind of money I would be happier than a kid in a candy store, but there are backups who make more money than Tannehill.

Blair Walsh K Vikings – I am putting him in here next to Tannehill for two reasons.  The first is that their salaries are almost the same; and two, a kicker and a QB are not the same thing so why are they paid the same?  Walsh had an amazing 2012 season by connecting on 35 out of 38 field goals and was 10 for 10 on field goals longer than 50 yards.  As of right now Walsh is going to make $480,000 for 2013 which is much lower than the average kicker makes in the NFL.

Jimmy Graham TE Saints – You would have to be under a rock to not know who Jimmy Graham is.  For the last two seasons he has been one of the most dominant receivers/tight ends in the NFL.  When Graham was drafted he was signed to a rookie contract that did not pay him much money.  For 2013 he is going to make $575,000 which is obviously extremely low for a player like Graham.  For the last few seasons the Saints have Graham at a serious discount.  Everyone knows that Graham will be getting a significant raise at the end of this season, but it is kind of shocking to see that one of the best players in the NFL is making less than half of the NFL.

Denarius Moore WR Raiders – I know that the Raiders have had difficulty finding a QB to actually get the ball to their receivers, but Moore has been a pretty reliable target for the Raiders since being drafted.  As it stands Moore is going to make $555,000 for the 2013 season.  I thought that would have been more since the Raiders traded away Heyward-Bey to the Colts.  With Pryor now being the QB for the Raiders it may raise the price for Moore, but as of right now I do not see any re-negotiations for him in the future.

Russell Wilson QB Seahawks – Wilson has quickly become the franchise QB for the Seahawks by being smart, talented, and classy player.  He has a great arm, great vision, and is a great runner.  So you would think he would have a great contract right?  Wrong.  For the 2013 season Wilson is going to make $526,217.  He is also under a rookie contract so the Seahawks are getting a really good bargain on him right now; but once that contract ends they will also need to open the checkbook if they plan on keeping him in Seattle.

Alfred Morris RB Redskins – The Redskins drafted Morris in the 6th round of the 2012 draft, so I dont really think they expected much out of him so they signed him to a rookie contract,  After one of the best rookie seasons a player could ask for he is already turning into an elite RB.  In his rookie year he racked up 1,613 rushing yards with was second only to Adrian Peterson.  For the 2013 season Morris is slated to make $480,000 which is a huge bargain for an elite RB.  The Redskins are already in hot water with their salary cap so they are going to need to make some adjustments in order to keep Morris in the roster.