Tuesday, July 17, 2012

. . . They Paid Me!

Now that the July 16 deadline for teams to reach deals with their franchised players has passed, I wanted to give you a quick update on those players hit with franchise tags who did and did not ink new deals with their teams.  Click here If you missed last week's "They Pay Me, They Pay Me Not" post.

Before we get to that, however, there’s big news on the rookie front (well, big here in the DC area, anyway).  Teams usually have their rookies report to training camp several days earlier than the veterans and the Washington Redskins are no exception; their rookie camp started on Monday.  First round draft pick (and second overall pick) Robert Griffin III (a.k.a. “RG3”) (below) has not yet shown up for camp as he hasn’t signed his contract yet.  He’s not considered a “holdout” because he team training camps don’t officially start until July 26.  However, his absence is significant considering that the team will be putting him into use immediately and he needs all the time he can get to acclimate himself to the pro game.

The amount and duration of Griffin’s contract are set (4 years for $21 million), but the two sides apparently are fighting over language in the contract that governs what would happen to his guaranteed money if he is waived before the contract expires.  Before you think that RG3 (or his agent) is being greedy, though, you should know that Griffin isn’t the only one who isn’t rushing to grab a pen.  According to CBS Sports, 14 of the 32 first round picks, including Indianapolis Colts #1 overall pick Andrew Luck, have yet to sign their contracts.

But back to the veterans…


Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints:  CHA CHING!  Late last week, Brees and the Saints agreed to a contract of 5 years and $100 million ($60 million guaranteed with $37 million signing bonus).  This is the richest NFL contract ever.

Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears:  Matt Forte was rewarded for his patience this offseason with a four-year, worth roughly $30 million over its term.

Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens:  Did the Bears and Ravens talk?  Rice’s contract is also worth about $8 million per year, but he got one more year on his contract than Forte.

Josh Scobee, K, Jacksonville Jaguars:  The 8-year veteran came to terms with the Jags, signing a 4-year, $13.8 million deal on Monday.


Wes Welker, WR, New England Patriots:  My apologies to Wes—I neglected to include him in the list of significant franchisees who hadn’t come to terms with their team.  Welker actually signed his franchise tender fairly soon after he was tagged.  It was a gesture of good faith, a sign of his faith that the Patriots would be eager to make a multi-year deal and the two sides would work things out in a way that would make everyone happy.  I think it was this high-road approach that made me take his situation for granted.  Apparently the same was true for the Patriots.  The deadline passed without the two sides shaking hands on a long-term contract; unless something drastic happens, you should expect to see Wes Welker on the free agent market in 2012.  In the meantime, Welker should earn about $9.5 million this year, the expected value for all wide receiver franchisee contracts in 2012.

Cliff Avril, DE, Detroit Lions:  The Lions were busy this season negotiating several long-term deals, including one with superstar receiver Calvin Johnson (a 7-year deal worth $132 million, by the way).  It’s unfortunate that Avril didn’t get a piece of the pie, but it might not be a huge surprise.  Avril has said that he not sure if he’ll report to training camp on July 26th (he can sit out until just before regular season starts and still get his $10.6 million franchise tender), but he has mentioned being able to be there for his son’s first birthday, which is the first week in August.

"Did you remind them that I had
over 1,100 yards receiving last year?"
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs:  This one may seem bewildering to fans, since Bowe is (so far) the most productive receiver for the Chiefs by a good margin.  However, like Avril, Bowe may be the victim of a situation where his team has a lot of issues to address.  The good news for KC fans, however, is that Bowe has said that he’ll be at training camp.  As for his payday, he’ll get the same 2012 salary as Wes Welker, $9.5 million.

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