Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Which picks should get second contracts
By Mike Sando
Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor recently became the fourth 2010 NFC West draft choice to sign a second contract with his original team.
The number of choices a team signs to second contracts can help evaluate overall draft success, especially over time. Bill Barnwell alluded to it during his recent piece suggesting teams have only a general idea what they're doing in the draft.
Teams should now be starting to think about re-signing some of those 2010 players, particularly those who signed four-year contracts. That generally includes players drafted after the first round.
I've broken down the choices into a few categories for easy analysis.
First round: Anthony Davis, RT, San Francisco 49ers. Davis has started all 48 regular-season games and five playoff games in three seasons for the 49ers. He does not turn 24 years old until October. He is now under contract through 2019 on a deal featuring nearly $17 million in guarantees.
Second round: Daryl Washington, ILB, Arizona Cardinals. Washington has 47 starts and is coming off a nine-sack season. The Cardinals gave him $5 million guaranteed as part of a contract extension signed last season. The deal includes a $10 million option bonus due following the 2013 season. Washington must first serve a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on substance abuse. His long-term future is bright if he avoids additional positive drug tests.
Third round: NaVorro Bowman, ILB, 49ers. Bowman became one of the best inside linebackers in the NFL after succeeding Takeo Spikes in the lineup. The 49ers gave him $25.5 million in guarantees on a deal running through 2018. Bowman appears in position to produce at a high level for a long time. The team felt as though he could remain productive even if the team changed its scheme.
Fifth round: Chancellor, SS, Seahawks. Chancellor signed a four-year extension through the 2017 season. The deal is expected to average $7 million per year over the final four years. The average would fall if we divided by the five years until Chancellor becomes a free agent. We'll revisit this one once the contract figures can be confirmed.
Awaiting Their Turns
First round: Russell Okung, LT, Seahawks. Signed through 2015. Earned Pro Bowl honors last season. Another injury-free season would put Okung in prime position.
First round: Earl Thomas, FS, Seahawks. Signed through 2014. Earned Pro Bowl honors last season. Chancellor re-signed before Thomas simply because his deal was expiring first. Thomas should be a priority to re-sign.
First round: Mike Iupati, LG, 49ers. Signed through 2014. Earned Pro Bowl honors last season. Davis re-signed before Iupati, but the 49ers want to keep both.
Pivotal 2013 Seasons
First round: Sam Bradford, QB, Rams. Bradford is signed through 2015, so there is time. Bradford still must play at a higher level to maximize his value, beginning this season.
First round: Dan Williams, NT, Cardinals. Williams is signed through 2014. He is on his third defensive coordinator in four seasons. Scheme matters for a player Arizona drafted as a 3-4 nose tackle.
Second round: Rodger Saffold, RT, Rams. Saffold is entering the final year of his deal. He is expected to move from left tackle to the right side following Jake Long's addition. He needs better luck with injuries to maximize his value.
Second round: Golden Tate, WR, Seahawks. Tate is entering the final year of his contract. He broke out with eight touchdown receptions last season. Seattle expects Percy Harvin to open up opportunities for Tate, but significant financial outlays at the position call into question Tate's future with the team beyond this season.
Third round: Andre Roberts, WR, Cardinals. Roberts is entering the final year of his contract. All the Cardinals' receivers, including Larry Fitzgerald, suffered from poor quarterback play last season. Roberts has an opportunity to bounce back with Carson Palmer throwing to him.
Gotta Stay Healthy
Fourth round: Walter Thurmond, CB, Seahawks. Signed through 2013, Thurmond has played in eight games over the past two seasons. Time could be running out.
Fourth round: O'Brien Schofield, OLB, Cardinals. Schofield is signed through 2013. He appears to have largely overcome the knee trouble that hurt his draft stock. The injury he suffered last season was freak in nature. Still, missing seven games prevented Schofield from enhancing his value.