Valuing & Projecting Notable NFL Contract Extension Candidates

With recently drafted rookies signing brand new contracts for NFL teams, we’ll switch focus to players with soon-to-be expiring contracts. The following is a list of notable contract extension candidates from each NFL team, including a look at contract valuations for each. We’ve listed two projected values per player. The calculated values are derived from our market value formula, comparing statistics for a player’s previous two seasons against players of similar age and production from that position. The likely values represent our thoughts on how the deal may actually turn out (if at all) based on reports, intangible trends, etc…

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Related Links: Full List of Contract Valuations

 

John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Calculated: 4 years, $36M ($9M AAV; $18M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $36M ($9M AAV; $18M guaranteed)

He’s battled through concussions, illnesses and cysts over the past year, but appears to be on track to regain form this summer. With Michael Floyd out of the picture and Larry Fitzgerald all but certainly nearing his final season with the Cardinals, Brown could be viewed as the WR1 in waiting this season. Paying him now would not only ensure that, but save a potentially save Arizona a few dollars. View the full projection

 

Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

Calculated: 4 years, $40M ($10M AAV; $18M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $34M ($8.5M AAV; $18M guaranteed)

Freeman has been saying all the right things about his inevitable new contract in Atlanta. The workhorse was a major reason for their Super Bowl run in 2016, and the 25 year old is set to earn $1.8M in 2017, the final year of his rookie deal. As you might imagine, his $10M calculated market value ranks 1st among multi-year running back contracts. But with the market still dipping at the position, we’ll slot his likely projection just north of LeSean McCoy’s $8M/year deal with the Bills, with just north of 50% of the deal guaranteed. View the full projection

 

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Calculated: 5 years, $118.5M ($23.7M AAV; $85M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $95M ($23.7M AAV; $68M guaranteed)

The Super Bowl runner-up QB posted just under 5,000 yards, 38 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions in 2016. His current contract runs through the 2018 season, and includes salaries of $15.75M & $19.25M, none of which is guaranteed. It’s like the Falcons do right by their leader in the coming months, and will need to up the pay significantly to do so, as Ryan carries a calculated market value of $23.7M into the summer.  View the full projection

 

C.J. Mosley, ILB, Baltimore Ravens

Calculated: 5 years, $45M ($9M AAV; $25M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $55M ($11M AAV; $30M guaranteed)

The #17 overall selection in the 2014 draft has become an instant leader in the middle of the Ravens’ defense. While the sack & QB pressure numbers won’t be as high as players in other schemes, Mosley does plenty to impact games week in and out. He’ll reel in $1.6M in 2017 before an $8.718M 5th-year option kicks in for 2018. While his current calculated market value stands at $9M per year, it’s hard to imagine he won’t be pressuring Luke Kuechly’s $12M+ figure when it’s said and done. View the full projection

 

Terrance West, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Calculated: 3 years, $10.5M ($3.5M AAV; $4M guaranteed)
Likely:
3 years, $10.5M ($3.5M AAV; $4M guaranteed)

West was thrust into a starting role in 2016, and finished with 1,000 yards from scrimmage and 6 scores. While his production may dip a bit in 2017 with the addition of Danny Woodhead to the lineup, West appears poised to be a big factor in the Ravens offense. Set to earn a $1.8M tender in 2017, West carries a $3.5M calculated market value into the summer.  View the full projection

 

Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills

Calculated: 5 years, $61M ($12.2M AAV; $27M guaranteed)
Likely: 
No extension.

The Bills made the decision to decline Watkins’ 5th-year option for 2018, meaning he’ll be entering a contract year ($3.13M) this season. Foot injuries have limited his ability to stay on the field and produce at a level the Bills expected when they traded up to draft Watkins at #4 overall in 2014. A healthy, productive year might leave the Bills with no choice but to slap the franchise tag on him before hammering out an extension. View the full projection

 

Eric Wood, C, Buffalo Bills

Calculated: 2 years, $14.5M ($7.25M AAV; $7M guaranteed)
Likely:
2 years, $14.5M ($7.25M AAV; $7M guaranteed)

Wood has battled injuries since being selected #28 overall back in 2009, but he’s also been a solid player in the middle of the Bills’ O-Line. While Buffalo may decide to turn the position over and go younger/cheaper, extending Wood wouldn’t be a terrible play either. He’s set to earn $4.5M in 2017, the final year of his contract, and carries a $7.25M calculated market value. Max Unger’s 3 year, $22.2M deal with the Saints is a target for Wood. View the full projection

 

Andrew Norwell, OG, Carolina Panthers

Calculated: 4 years, $36M ($9M AAV; $20M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $40M ($10M AAV; $22M guaranteed)

He’s been a Top 10 rated guard the past two seasons according to Pro Football Focus, and recently signed a $2.746M restricted tender for the 2017 season. His production compares closely with Steelers guard David DeCastro, who recently signed a 5 year $50M extension. View the full projection

 

Star Lotulelei, DT, Carolina Panthers

Calculated: 4 years, $24M ($6M AAV; $14.5M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $30M ($7.5M AAV; $18M guaranteed)

The #14 overall selection back in 2013 is set to play out a $6.757M 5th-year option in 2017. Primarily used as a run stuffer, Lotulelei’s flashy stats fall well below that of the top-paid interior defensemen in the league, rendering his calculated market value at just $6M per year. It’s possible Jonathan Hankins’ $9M/year free agent contract is a plausible target, but it’s stretch statistically to get there. View the full projection

 

Akiem Hicks, DL, Chicago Bears

Calculated: 3 years, $32M ($10.6M AAV; $13M guaranteed)
Likely: 
3 years, $32M ($10.6M AAV; $13M guaranteed)

Hicks had his best season to date in 2016, posting 7 sacks and 57 tackles for the Bears, who signed the free agent to a contract before the 2016. He’s entering a contract year in 2017, set to earn $5.7M, and is best matched statistically to Mike Daniels (GB). He carries a $10.6M calculated market value into the summer. View the full projection

 

Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals

Calculated: 5 years, $46M ($9.2M AAV; $21M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $46M ($9.2M AAV; $21M guaranteed)

Eifert’s inability to stay on the field and recent dip in targets/receptions drove his calculated value under recent contracts for Travis Kelce &  Jordan Reed, but still near the top of highest paid tight ends. Set to earn a $4.782M 5th-year option in 2017, the Bengals may need to see another healthy year before locking him in for the future. View the full projection

 

Vontaze Burfict, OLB, Cincinnati Bengals

Calculated: 5 years, $50.5M ($10.1M AAV; $20M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $50.5M ($10.1M AAV; $20M guaranteed)

He’s had his share of controversy in 5 seasons with the Bengals, but the undrafted free agent has been a solid linebacker for Cincy, especially against the run game and especially in the past two seasons. He enters the final year of his sophomore contract set to earn $3.95M, carrying a calculated market value north of $10M. Ryan Kerrigan and Nick Perry’s recent extensions should be considered target deals.  View the full projection

 

Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Calculated: 4 years, $17.5M ($4.375M AAV; $8M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $17.5M ($4.375M AAV; $8M guaranteed)

The Bengals 2nd round selection in 2014 looked all the part with an 1,400 yard, 9 TD rookie season. But his overall production has declined each year since. Hill has done well to find the endzone in each of his 1st three seasons, and has appeared to harness his early fumbling problem. With that said, the selection of Joe Mixon by the Bengals this month may have sealed Hill’s future with the team. Hill is set to earn $931,000 in 2017, and carries a calculated market value of $4.3M into his contract season. View the full projection

 

Christian Kirksey, ILB, Cleveland Browns

Calculated: 4 years, $29.4M ($7.3M AAV; $14M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $30M ($7.5M AAV; $16.5M guaranteed)

After quiet seasons in 2014/15, Kirksey had a breakout year in 2016, posting 94 solo tackles, 50 assisted tackles, and 2.5 sacks for the Browns. His performance bonus raised his 2017 salary to $1.8M, the final year of his rookie contract. He’ll carry a calculated market value north of $7M into the summer, and should be looking at  Mychal Kendricks‘  $7.25M deal with the Eagles as a baseline for an extension. View the full projection

 

Zack Martin, OG, Dallas Cowboys

Calculated: 5 years, $64M ($12.8M AAV; $35M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $64M ($12.8M AAV; $35M guaranteed)

The 26 year old has more than lived up to his 1st round selected back in 2014, rating out as a Top 5 guard according to Pro Football Focus. He’s set to earn $1.6M in 2017, then $9.341M with his exercised 5th-year option in 2018. His calculated market value of $12.8M would make him the highest average paid guard in football. View the full projection

 

DeMarcus Lawrence, DE, Dallas Cowboys

Calculated: 5 years, $52M ($10.4M AAV; $21M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $52M ($10.4M AAV; $21M guaranteed)

After an excellent 2015 campaign (8 sacks, 55 tackles), Lawrence saw limited action in 2016. His starting role should be solidified again for the upcoming season, the final year of his rookie contract. He’ll earn $1.1M, and holds a solid $10.4M calculated market value. His best statistical comparison is Mike Daniels (GB).  View the full projection

 

T.J. Ward, SS, Denver Broncos

Calculated: 3 years, $23M ($7.6M AAV; $11M guaranteed)
Likely:
3 years, $23M ($7.6M AAV; $11M guaranteed)

Ward is entering the final year of a 4 year extension at $5.625M per year. He’s set to earn $4.5M in 2017, but carries a calculated market value of $7.6M, which would make him a Top 3 average paid strong safety. The Broncos may choose to let him play out his current contract before extending. View the full projection

 

Matt Paradis, OC, Denver Broncos

Calculated: 5 years, $32.7M ($6.5M AAV; $18M guaranteed)
Likely: 
No extension.

Quite the comeback. The Broncos 6th round selection in 2014 was waived prior to his first season, and signed a minimum salary to rejoin the squad in both 2015 and 2016. He was the top-rated center in all of football last year according to Pro Football Focus, and is set to play on a minimum $615,000 tender in 2017. Denver may need another year to prove he’s the real deal before locking him into a long-term contract, but he’s well on his way to a pay raise. View the full projection

 

Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

Calculated: 5 years, $112.5M ($22.5M AAV; $62M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $127M ($25.4M AAV; $90M guaranteed)

The 29-year old is entering a contract year in Detroit, and all signs point to him signing an extension that makes him the highest average paid player in the history of football. The best statistical comparison for Stafford is Joe Flacco, who signed a 3 year $66M extension last offseason. But when adjusting for Stafford being 2 years younger and 8% more efficient statistically in the past two seasons (in comparison to Flacco from 2014-15), we’re left with a likely market value of $25.4M. View the full projection

 

Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Detroit Lions

Calculated: 5 years, $66.5M ($13.3M AAV; $35M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 year $65M ($13M AAV; $40M guaranteed)

Ansah has been one of the more stable players to come out of the top of the 2013 draft, and is set to play out a $12.7M 5th-year option in 2017. With a near $17M franchise tag looming next year, and a calculated market value just north of $13M, it appears the better business play for Detroit would be to lock Ansah in this offseason – once Stafford’s contract is in place. View the full projection

 

HaHa Clinton-Dix, FS, Green Bay Packers

Calculated: 5 years, $55M ($11M AAV; $34M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 year $52.5M ($10.5M AAV; $31M guaranteed)

The 2014 #21 overall selection has posted back to back strong seasons in Green Bay, and has yet to miss a game in his career. Combine that with coverage stats/ratings that are comparable with the top-paid free safeties in the game, and result is a calculated market value of a whopping $11M (3rd to Berry, Mathieu). Dix is set to earn $2.6M in 2017, and $5.6M for his 2018 5th-year option, so the Packers certainly don’t need to rush this extension, but it appears Harrison Smith’s 5 year 51.25M deal in Minnesota will be a target when it happens. View the full projection

 

Corey Linsley, C, Green Bay Packers

Calculated: 5 years, $34M ($6.9M AAV; $15.5M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 year $37.5M ($7.5M AAV; $17M guaranteed)

The 5th round selection back in 2014 has cemented his role in the middle of the Packers’ offensive line. He’s posted excellent advanced ratings each year, including a Top 15 performance in 2016. He enters his contract year set to earn $1.8M, while carrying a calculated market value of nearly $7M. With 6 centers currently earning more than $8M, it’s likely Linsley’s new deal is in the $8-$9M range. View the full projection

 

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

Calculated: 5 years, $76M ($15.2M AAV; $49M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $61M ($15.25M AAV; $33M guaranteed)

Hopkins has been a reliable, durable, productive player for the Texans the past four seasons. Set to play out a $7.915M 5th-year option in 2017, the Texans could decide to use the franchise tag on Hopkins in 2018 (projected $16M as of now). He’s on track to sign a deal similar to A.J. Green’s 4 year $60M extension with the Bengals, including more than half fully guaranteed. View the full projection

 

Jadeveon Clowney, OLB, Houston Texans

Calculated: 5 years, $73M ($14.5M AAV; $36M guaranteed)
Likely: 
No extension (yet).

After limping through his rookie season, Clowney has posted back to back strong seasons, including 6 sacks and 50+ tackles in 2016. He appears on track to become the edge player Houston was banking on when they selected him #1 overall in 2014. Set to earn $3.4M in 2017, with a $13.8M 5th-year option awaiting him next year, Clowney has raised his calculated market value up to $14.5M (Top 5 among active OLBs). The Texans’ likely wait until next offseason to lock him in long-term. View the full projection

 

Duane Brown, LT, Houston Texans

Calculated: 4 years, $49M ($12.25M AAV; $24M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $48M ($12M AAV; $24M guaranteed)

Brown has 2 years and $19.4M remaining on his deal with the Texans, none of which is guaranteed. He’s been above average for the better part of 4 years now, and has seen other tackles soar past him in average pay, including a few players older than him. A $12M per year extension would make him a Top 5 average paid left tackle, and the 31-year-old would likely see his 2017 & 2018 salaries fully guaranteed. View the full projection

 

Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Calculated: 4 years, $42M ($10.5M AAV; $26M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $36M ($9M AAV; $22M guaranteed)

After a nice 2015, injuries limited his 2016 campaign to just 9 games. He still managed to find the end zone 7 times. The 2014 3rd round pick is set to earn $1.8M in the final year of his contract currently, but the Colts may be in a position to extend him prior to the upcoming season. Touchdowns + a lack of dropped targets have Moncrief holding a $10.5M calculated market value. But it’s likely the deal is a bit closer to his statistical comp, Kenny Stills ($8M).  View the full projection

 

Jack Mewhort, OG, Indianapolis Colts

Calculated: 6 years, $61.5M ($10.25M AAV; $26M guaranteed)
Likely:
6 years, $61.5M ($10.25M AAV; $26M guaranteed)

Mewhort has posted back to back strong seasons in front of Andrew Luck, and enters a contract year where he’s set to reel in $907,000. His calculated market value places him as one of the top 3 highest average paid guards in football, and if the Colts decide not to pay it, someone will. View the full projection

 

Brandon Linder, OC, Jacksonville Jaguars

Calculated: 5 years, $36.5M ($7.3M AAV; $17M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $40M ($8M AAV; $20M guaranteed)

A shoulder injury kept Linder’s 2015 season to just 3 games, but he bounced back with an excellent 2016. He’ll enter his contract year set to earn $1.8M, but carrying a calculated market value north of $7M. It’s possible the Jaguars make him a top 5 average paid center by the end of the year.  View the full projection

 

Telvin Smith, OLB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Calculated: 5 years, $57.7M ($11.5M AAV; $25M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $60M ($12M AAV; $30M guaranteed)

Smith has been a tackling machine since joining the Jaguars from the 5th round back in 2014, amassing 104, 128, and 119 respectively. He’s been durable, reliable, and done well in coverage when asked to do. His calculated market value and statistical breakdowns compare well with Nick Perry (GB), whose $11.8M per year deal should be a baseline for Smith’s extension going forward.  View the full projection

 

Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

Calculated: 4 years, $40M ($10M AAV; $16M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $40M ($10M AAV; $16M guaranteed)

Robinson too a bit of a step back in 2016 after a breakout 2015 campaign. His best statistical comparison is Randall Cobb (GB), who also signed a 4 year $40M contract. The biggest factor holding back Robinson from Top 10 money are his dropped passes, which are more than double of any variable WR used in this projection. View the full projection

 

Dee Ford, OLB, Kansas City Chiefs

Calculated: 5 years, $43.5M ($8.7M AAV; $21M guaranteed)
Likely:
No extension.

Ford has shown flashes of hitting the #23 overall ceiling the Chiefs are hoping to get from him. With Dontari Poe now elsewhere, and Tamba Hali likely headed for his final season in KC, Ford appears to have a role for the foreseeable future. He’s set to earn $1.5M in 2017, before his $8.718M 5th-year option kicks in for 2018.  It’s likely the Chiefs will take another year to see if Ford can take that next step on a more consistent basis before locking him in. View the full projection

 

Melvin Ingram, OLB, Los Angeles Chargers

Calculated: 5 years, $86.8M ($17.3M AAV; $50M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $86M ($17.2M AAV; $52M guaranteed)

The Chargers slapped the franchise tag on Ingram this spring, meaning a $14.55M salary for the upcoming season as of now. In terms of production, Ingram has gotten better, and better, and better since being selected #18 overall back in 2012. He’s carrying a calculated market value north of $17M. With the Chargers in a bit of cap trouble currently, signing Ingram to a long-term deal could free up space.  View the full projection

 

Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams

Calculated: 6 years, $110M ($18.3M AAV; $68M guaranteed)
Likely: 6
 years, $108M ($18M AAV; $60M guaranteed)

He’s arguably been the best defensive lineman in football over the past three seasons, averaging 9 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 55 tackles a year in that span. Set to $1.8M in 2017 with a $6.8M 5th-year option available in 2018, it’s likely Donald and his camp will start making noise for a new deal very soon. He heads into summer with a whopping $18.3M calculated market value, and appears poised to become the highest average paid defensive player not named Suh.  View the full projection

 

Trumaine Johnson, CB, Los Angeles Rams

Calculated: 5 years, $68.5M ($13.7M AAV; $40M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $68.5M ($13.7M AAV; $40M guaranteed)

The Rams are playing it slow with the 2012 3rd round pick, franchise tagging him in both 2016 and now again in 2017. It doesn’t appear the two sides are close on a long-term extension yet this offseason, but with a $16.742M salary to be had this season, it makes sense for a deal to get done. His closest comparison Stephon Gilmore just cashed in a $13M per year deal with the Patriots, raising Johnson’s calculated market value to $13.7M. View the full projection

 

Maurice Alexander, SS, Los Angeles Rams

Calculated: 4 years, $22M ($5.5M AAV; $10M guaranteed)
Likely: 
No extension

Alexander followed up an average 2015 with a very nice 2016 campaign (50 tackles, 2 INT). The 2014 4th round selection enters a contract year set to earn $1.8M, carrying a market value of $5.5M. His best statistical/projection comparison appears to be Ron Parker (KC, $5M). The Rams will probably need to see one more strong year before locking him in. View the full projection

 

Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins

Calculated: 4 years, $54M ($13.5M AAV; $27M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $56M ($14M AAV; $30M guaranteed)

Landry has posted back to back strong seasons in Miami, averaging 100 catches and 1,110 yards in that span. His struggles to find the end zone consistently keep his calculated value slightly below the top paid receivers, but he appears poised for a very nice pay raise this summer. The 24 year old is set to earn $893,000 in 2017, the final year of his rookie contract. View the full projection

 

Xavier Rhodes, CB, Minnesota Vikings

Calculated: 4 years, $45M ($11.25M AAV; $23M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $44M ($11M AAV; $20M guaranteed)

Set to earn an $8M 5th-year option in 2017, the 2013 first round selection carries a calculated market value just north of $11M. His statistical comparisons are Darius Slay, and Janoris Jenkins, both of whom rate slightly better and have recently signed contracts north of $12M per year. Rhodes should fall in right below that figure if an extension comes this summer. View the full projection

 

Sam Bradford, QB, Minnesota Vikings

Calculated: 4 years, $94M ($23,5M AAV; $62M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $94M ($23,5M AAV; $62M guaranteed)

Bradford has quietly put together back to back strong seasons in Philly and now Minnesota, averaging 3,800 yards, 20 TD, 9 INT, and a 93 passer rating. With Teddy Bridgewater’s future unclear, the Vikings may look to the 29-year-old Bradford as the QB solution of their immediate future. Set to earn $18M in the final year of his contract, Bradford carries a healthy $23.5M calculated market value into 2017.  View the full projection

 

Nate Solder, OT, New England Patriots

Calculated: 4 years, $44M ($11M AAV; $23M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $44M ($11M AAV; $23M guaranteed)

Solder missed most of 2015, but bounced back nicely last season on Tom Brady’s blindside. He’s set to earn $7M in the final year of his contract, and carries a calculated market value of $11M into the summer. It’s not a sure bet that New England will look to extend Solder prior to 2017.  View the full projection

 

Malcolm Butler, CB, New England Patriots

Calculated: 5 years, $64.5M ($12.9M AAV; $38M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $70M ($14M AAV; $40M guaranteed, via free agency)

Butler is in a tough spot, having been the talk of trades, offer sheets, and now apparently set to play out his restricted tender in New England. The bottom line he’s been VERY good, especially in 2016, and has raised his calculated market value up near the $13M mark that Stephon Gilmore just scored with the Patriots. The undrafted free agent may need to wait until free agency for his payday, but we project that will mean at least $14M per year when he gets there.  View the full projection

 

Kenny Vaccaro, SS, New Orleans Saints

Calculated: 4 years, $21.7M ($5.4M AAV; $12M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $26M ($6M AAV; $14M guaranteed)

The #15 overall selection back in 2013 will no doubt be targeting Tony Jefferson’s recent $8.5M per year deal once his extension discussions begin. But from a statistical evaluation standpoint, he’s simply just not there. The $5.6M 5th-year option salary for 2017 is actually more inline to his calculated market value.  View the full projection

 

Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans Saints

Calculated: 5 years, $48.5 ($9.7M AAV; $24M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $50M ($10M AAV; $30M guaranteed)

With Brandin Cook & Kenny Stills both out of the picture, Snead appears to be the Saints’ WR1 for the foreseeable future. His recent numbers show he’s up to the task, catching 70 balls and 900+ yards in limited snaps the past two seasons. His $9.7M calculated market value is quite a leap from the $615,000 restricted tender  he’s set to earn in 2017. It should be noted that Snead is slotted for Restricted free agency after 2017, so the Saints don’t necessarily need to rush this extension. View the full projection

 

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

Calculated: 3 years, $72.5M ($24.2M AAV; $52M guaranteed)
Likely: 
No extension until after 2017.

Brees and the Saints went down to the wire the last time his contract was expiring. With his current deal set to void after the 2017 season, the two sides may be at an impasse of how to proceed from here. The 38 year old had one of his best statistical seasons in 2016, posting 5,200 yards, 37 TD, 15 INT, and a 101.6 rating. He carries a $24.2M market value into the summer (the exact same number he was extended by last September). Brees earned $19M in 2015, $31.25M in 2016, and is slated for $13M in 2017. The Saints may need Brees to accept more team-friendly salaries for cap/team-building purposes as he finishes his career. View the full projection

 

Justin Pugh, OG, New York Giants

Calculated: 5 years, $39.9M ($7.9M AAV; $14.5M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $36M ($9M AAV; $22M guaranteed)

The #19 overall selection back in 2013 had been increasingly solid for the Giants, but took a bit of a step back in 2016. As it stands, his fully guaranteed $8.821M 5th-year option salary for 2017 appears to be a safe “likely” valuation for Pugh who carries a calculated market value down near $8M. View the full projection

 

Weston Richburg, C, New York Giants

Calculated: 6 years, $50M ($8.3M AAV; $26M guaranteed)
Likely:
6 years, $51M ($8.5M AAV; $27M guaranteed)

With QB Eli Manning now  under contract through 2019, the Giants need to shore up the line in front of him, with both Justin Pugh and Richburg entering contract years. Richburg has posted back to back strong campaigns, and should have no trouble finding top 10 center money in the next 12 months. His calculated market value stands just south of $8.5M. View the full projection

 

Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants

Calculated: 5 years, $78M ($15.6M AAV; $42M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $87.5M ($17.5M AAV; $50M guaranteed)

All he’s done through his first three seasons is average 96 receptions, 1,375 yards, and 12 TDs. Set to earn $1.8M in 2017, with am $8.5M 5th-year option awaiting him in 2018, it’s very possible Beckham Jr. begins to come forward about the need for a new deal – possibly even threatening to hold out from summer activities. His calculated market value falls in at $15.6M, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t become the highest average paid WR in football (currently Antonio Brown at $17M).  View the full projection

 

Sheldon Richardson, DE, New York Jets

Calculated: 4 years, $50M ($12.5M AAV; $28.5M guaranteed)
Likely: 
No extension.

Richardson has been discussed more as a trade candidate than one for an extension, but if the tides turn in New York, they’ll need to shell out some coin to keep him in house. He’s been suspended twice since being selected #13 overall back in 2013, and his production has declined gradually since a breakout year in 2014, but Richardson still carries a solid $12.5M calculated market value heading into his contract year.  With more questions than answers right now in New York, this extension is likely on hold. View the full projection

 

Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders

Calculated: 5 years, $116M ($23.2M AAV; $81M guaranteed)
Likely: 
5 years, $116M ($23.2M AAV; $81M guaranteed)

Carr has done nearly everything possible to prove he’s the long-term answer for the Raiders at the QB position, and his contract should be a priority this summer. He’s set to earn $1.15M in 2017, but carries a calculated market value north of $23M. His pay day is coming. View the full projection

 

Khalil Mack, DE, Oakland Raiders

Calculated: 6 years, $122M ($20.3M AAV; $75M guaranteed)
Likely: 
5 years, $100M ($20M AAV; $60M guaranteed)

Like Carr, Mack has shown he’s a franchise type player since being selected #2 overall back in 2014. He’s set to reel in just under $3M in 2017, with a $13.8M 5th-year option exercised for 2018. A franchise tag in 2019 projects to be valued around $17.5M for a defensive end, so the Raiders could play it safe and keep Mack on the books this way for a combined $34M through 2019. With a calculated market value north of $20M, Mack is projected to become the highest average paid defensive player of all-time. View the full projection

 

Timmy Jernigan, DT, Philadelphia Eagles

Calculated: 5 years, $38M ($7.6M AAV; $21M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $38M ($7.6M AAV; $21M guaranteed)
Jernigan, traded from Baltimore a month ago, has yet to play a down with the Eagles yet. But all signs point to this being a very strong fit, as the run stuffer fills an immediate need alongside Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham. Jernigan is set to earn $1M in the final year of his rookie contract. View the full projection

 

Nigel Bradham, OLB, Philadelphia Eagles

Calculated: 4 years, $35M ($8.8M AAV; $12.5M guaranteed)
Likely:
No extension
Bradham joined back up with Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz in Philadelphia, and the results appear to be a match made in heaven. He posted 100 tackles, 2 sacks, a FF and an INT in 2016. If not for a reported legal issue looming, this extension is likely already done, especially as his $8.8M calculated market value doesn’t break the bank. For now this deal is likely on hold until his off the field concerns are resolved.  View the full projection

 

Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Calculated: 5 years, $53M ($10.6M AAV; $35M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $45M ($9M AAV; $20M guaranteed)

The Steelers extended WR Antonio Brown this winter, meaning the franchise tag was looming for Bell. While a $12.12M salary is nothing to slouch at, multi-year security is certainly the better deal. It’s likely that Devonta Freeman and Bell will be waiting each other’s contract figures out in order to reset the market. Both carry calculated market values north of $10M, with likely signings a bit less than that. View the full projection

 

Stephon Tuitt, DL, Pittsburgh Steelers

Calculated: 6 years, $90M ($15M AAV; $40M guaranteed)
Likely:
6 years, $90M ($15M AAV; $40M guaranteed)

Tuitt’s numbers are above average across the board. He’s a true “5-tool” defensive lineman, and appears to be poised for a heck of a pay day in the coming months. He’s set to reel in $1M for the final year of his contract with the Steelers, and holds a calculated and likely market value of $15M. View the full projection

 

Jimmie Ward, CB, San Francisco 49ers

Calculated: 4 years, $38.5M ($9.6M AAV; $20M guaranteed)
Likely:
No extension.

The 1st round selection back in 2014 has played nickel cornerback, outside cornerback and both safety positions in 3 seasons with the Niners. He appears poised to fall into the free safety role with the new regime, set to earn $1.4M in 2017, followed by an $8.5M 5th-year option in 2018. San Francisco will probably wait until next offseason to address an extension, which projects to a $9.6M market value currently. View the full projection

 

Justin Britt, C, Seattle Seahawks

Calculated: 5 years, $40.7M ($8.1M AAV; $21M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $40.7M ($8.1M AAV; $21M guaranteed)

The 2014 2nd rounder got off to a slow start in his career, but had a breakout season in 2016. He’s slated to earn $891,000 in his contract year, while carrying a whopping $8.1M calculated market value into the summer. View the full projection

 

Kam Chancellor, SS, Seattle Seahawks

Calculated: 3 years, $27.5M ($9.2M AAV; $12M guaranteed)
Likely:
3 years, $36.75M ($12.25M AAV; $20M guaranteed)

Chancellor’s contract holdout back in 2015 didn’t affect his play – and hasn’t since. He had arguably his best season in 2016, and enters a contract year in 2017 where he’s set to earn a healthy $7M. But the recent 5 year $60M extension for Reshad Jones in Miami likely puts the Seahawks on notice with Kam’s contract. His $9.2M calculated market value ranks 2nd behind Jones’ new deal, but it’s hard to imagine Chancellor’s team not expecting to make the highest paid strong safety in football. View the full projection

 

Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Calculated: 5 years, $65M ($13M AAV; $29M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $80M ($16M AAV; $45M guaranteed)

The #7 overall selection back in 2014 followed up a breakout season in 2015, with an even better 2016 campaign. His yards per game and dropped passes leave his calculated market value short of the elite receivers, but Tampa will need to pay him like one regardless. Tampa Bay doesn’t include signing bonuses into their veteran extensions, so Evans should expect 3 years of salary guaranteed, starting with the $13.2M 5th-year option in 2017.  View the full projection

 

Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Calculated: 5 years, $36M ($7.2M AAV; $16M guaranteed)
Likely: 
No extension until after 2017.

Brate had a breakout season in 2016 (57 receptions. 660 yards, 8 TD), and signed the standard $690,000 exclusive rights tender for 2017. He’s slotted for restricted free agency after the upcoming season, so a long-term extension isn’t urgent, but if he picks up where he left off in 2016, it will make sense for Tampa to lock him in at least on the short-term to avoid the possibility of a restricted offer sheet. The 1st round selection of O.J. Howard may also complicate Brate’s long-term earning potential in Tampa. View the full projection

 

Taylor Lewan, OT, Tennessee Titans

Calculated: 5 years, $61M ($12.2M AAV; $26M guaranteed)
Likely:
5 years, $61M ($12.2M AAV; $26M guaranteed)

Lewan has increased productivity and reliability each year since being selected #11 overall by the Titans back in 2014. He’s set to earn $1.9M in 2017, with a $9.341M 5th-year option awaiting him in 2018, so this extension isn’t necessary, but seems inevitable at some point in the next calendar year. Lewan’s $12.2M calculated market value ranks 4th among active left tackles. View the full projection

 

Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins

Calculated: 4 years, $95M ($23.7M AAV; $60M guaranteed)
Likely:
4 years, $95M ($23.7M AAV; $60M guaranteed)

The longer the Redskins’ wait, the bigger quarterback contracts are getting around the league. Slapped with the franchise tag for the 2nd straight year, Cousins’ is inline for a very healthy $23.9M salary. As it stands, this is nearly identical to his current calculated market value. The Redskins have been rumored to have offered Cousins a long-term deal averaging $20M, with insufficient guarantees. It’s simply a matter of who wants him at this point. View the full projection

 

Trent Murphy, OLB, Washington Redskins

Calculated: 5 years, $51M ($8.2M AAV; $20M guaranteed)
Likely: 
No extension.

Murphy had a breakout campaign in 2016, posting 8 sacks, 47 tackles and 3 forced fumbles. But he was popped with a 4 game suspension to start 2017 for use of PEDs. It’s likely his next contract is on hold until he shows he can get back on track. The 26-year-old carries a solid $8.2M calculated market value into his contract year, where just $787,000 due to the suspended games. View the full projection

 

 

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Category: NFL Free Agency

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Article by: Michael Ginnitti

Managing Editor of Spotrac