Lucrative extensions, franchise tags, and some surprising and unsurprising cuts have dominated NFL headlines. This includes many well known commodities like Adrian Peterson, Antonio Brown, and Kirk Cousins.
Adrian Peterson: At age 31 Peterson is without a doubt reaching the end of his career. After not playing for almost all of 2014 and 2016, he is becoming unreliable to be on the field. Whether it be for injury reasons or off the field reasons, Peterson is simply almost finished. Even when he played last year he did not look like himself at all averaging 1.9 yards per carry. Now, most of the blame can be put on the offensive line because it was one of the worst in the league, but Peterson was not making any explosive plays he normally makes himself. Even at 31 years old, he will surely be signed by someone but it will most likely be short-term deal and way less than he would have made if the Vikings had picked up his option.
Darelle Revis: The 31 year-old cornerback getting cut seemed inevitable after a season which was by far the worst of his career. He was finally looking washed up, but what really did him in was his arrest. Revis was arrested on four felony charges and a misdemeanor after an altercation with other men late on a Sunday night. It is easy to assume this was the last straw for his career as a New York Jet, but his performance on the field was not helping his cause. Revis was still due $33 million and now will only make $6 after being cut. He has had a great career and it would not be shocking if it takes a while for him to get signed or even not signed at all.
Jamaal Charles: This cut came at the expense of injuries beginning to plague his career. Unlike the other two on this list, Charles did nothing bad off the field at any point but has had two torn ACLs and a multitude of knee problems. The Chiefs proved this year they simply do not need Charles anymore because Spencer Ware has stepped into the lead back role and has run away with it. Charles owns the NFL record in yards-per-attempt for running backs with 5.5, but sadly is not gonna be the “wow” factor he used to be with the Chiefs wherever he ends up now.
Kirk Cousins: For the second year in a row, the Redskins have franchise-tagged their QB. The tag they placed on him is considered “exclusive” meaning no other teams are allowed to negotiate a contract with him. Cousins finished 2016 3rd in passing yards 7th in passer rating. He deserves to get the long-term deal he has been after but nor him or the Redskins seem like they can reach a deal. After this tag he will now make $23.94 million making him the 4th highest paid quarterback in the NFL. I think Cousins does not ming making that kind of money and getting tagged each year because he is making more than what he would probably get in a contract extension. Still, the long term certainty is what he most likely wants but it is all on the Redskins to make it happen. The two sides have until July 15 to get a deal done
Le’Veon Bell: Arguably the best running back in the NFL, it was pretty obvious the Pittsburgh Steelers were going to have to make this move. Even after missing three games, Bell was still 5th in the NFL in rushing yards and tied for 28th in receptions. For a running back that is incredible. So with his potential and gifted talent, as a team you cannot let someone of his caliber go. Especially when the Pittsburgh offense would not be nearly as potent without him. Bell will make somewhere around $12 million placing him at the top for salaries at the position.
Jason Pierre-Paul: JPP unlike the other two got the non-exclusive franchise tag as opposed to the exclusive tag. Teams are allowed to negotiate with the defensive end and the question is why would the Giants do this if the cost would still be the same regardless of tag? The answer may be because of the salary cap going up. JPP is set to make $14.65 million which is about two million dollars less than what it would be with the cap going up. He deserves the money for his play but he has had trouble staying on the field the last couple of years. One for the fireworks incident and the other for needing surgery last year for an injury to his groin. He is still among the elite at his position when he does play.
Antonio Brown: Business is certainly boomin after the extension AB got. A four-year $68 million contract now makes him the highest paid receiver in the league. And it is well deserved. Brown leads all receivers in catches the last three years and has topped 1,000 yards and 10 TDs through that span. He is easily one of the top receivers in the league without any argument needed and if there is any receiver who deserves this kind of deal, it is him.
Eric Berry: Berry has been widely known for being one of the best strong safeties in the NFL and is deserving of a deal more than for just that. What he had to overcome after being diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma and still coming back as a star in the league is unbelievable. Berry received a six-year $78 million dollar extension with the Chiefs and deserves every penny. The year after he had the cancer he won AP comeback player of the year, made it on the AP All-Pro team, and got picked for the pro bowl. You gotta respect the work he puts in to be great.