There have been so few extensions around the league this offseason because of the financial uncertainty.
Until Patrick Mahomes got his mega deal, the only extensions we saw were Christian McCaffrey in Carolina and Laremy Tunsil in Houston.
Since then, we’ve seen a couple more finalized with Myles Garrett getting one from the Browns, and on Tuesday night the Chargers signing Joey Bosa to a massive 5-year, $135 million extension.
There’s still a bunch of other players around the NFL waiting their turn for big money deals. With a little over a month until the season is scheduled to start, here’s a rundown of some names to keep an eye on:
Kittle is entering the final year of his deal and is arguably the best tight end in all of football. No tight end in NFL history has more receiving yards (2,945) in his first three seasons than Kittle. He has been grossly underpaid for his production because he was a fifth-round pick. Austin Hooper signed a deal this offseason averaging $10.5 million per year. Kittle’s deal should easily break that and it would not be a surprise if he gets close to wide receiver money. His blocking, receiving, leadership and energy is worth it.
The Texans and Watson have had discussions on a long-term deal this offseason. Don’t expect Watson to go the Mahomes’ route and sign a 10-year deal, but Watson should be able to fetch over $40 million annually on a shorter contract.
The top four picks from the 2016 draft have all gotten paid huge money. Ramsey, the fifth pick, is still waiting. The Rams invested two first-round picks and more to bring Ramsey to LA and the price they paid would suggest that they will at some point get a deal done. Darius Slay is currently the highest paid corner with an average annual salary of just over $16.5 million. Ramsey posted a couple of eye emojis on Wednesday night when Slay tweeted cornerbacks should be getting $22-23 million annually because “lockdown CB don’t just fall off trees”.
White is another cornerback in line waiting to get paid. He was tied for the league lead in interceptions and finally started getting some national recognition as one of the best in the game. The Bills don’t have to do this deal now, as they have White under contract for two more seasons and potentially a third with a franchise tag. Asked about a White extension, GM Brandon Beane said, “Tre’s a guy we love and definitely we want to be here in Buffalo for a long time.”
Stanley, the sixth pick in the 2016 draft, is entering the final year of his deal. Laremy Tunsil reset the tackle market this offseason when he got $22 million annually from the Texans. Stanley was named a first-team All-Pro last season, and he recently told reporters that he’s comfortable with where things currently stand in negotiations.
One of the reasons the Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins was reportedly because he wanted a new or adjusted deal from Houston. That’s despite having three years left on his current deal with base salaries of $12.5 million, $13.5 million and $13.915 million. The highest wide receiver on an average annual basis is Julio Jones at $22 million a year. General Manager Steve Keim said in early April that the Cardinals want to sign Hopkins to a long-term deal and have had talks with his agent.
Unlike Hopkins, Allen is entering the final year of his deal. Allen is reliable in big spots and has racked up over 1,100 yards in each of the past three seasons. His route running is exceptional. He is consistently underappreciated. After paying Joey Bosa big money on Tuesday night, Keenan Allen waits. There’s hasn’t been much reporting on if talks have occurred.
Fresh off a breakout 2019 season (86 catches, 1,333 yards and 9 touchdowns), Godwin enters a contract year with the GOAT as his quarterback. Godwin said in April that there “haven’t been many conversations thus far,” but he isn’t too worried. He also mentioned that the front office has expressed to him that he is atop their to-do list. The goal is to keep Godwin paired with Mike Evans for years to come.
Cook has made it clear that he wants a new deal. In early June, he stopped participated in team-related activities, but he did report to training camp this week for COVID testing. We’ve seen two running back extensions this offseason with Christian McCaffrey at $16 million per year and Derrick Henry at $12.5 million per year. Cook probably wants to get somewhere in the middle of that.
Just like Cook, Kamara is also entering the fourth and final season of his rookie contract. Since entering the league, Kamara has gained 4,476 yards from scrimmage while scoring 37 touchdowns and was voted to the Pro Bowl all three years. GM Mickey Loomis wouldn’t comment on where things stand in talks.
Other notable names to keep an eye on: Cooper Kupp, Aaron Jones, Lavonte David, Budda Baker, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Cam Heyward, Melvin Ingram, Patrick Peterson, Marlon Humphrey, Kenny Clark, Jamal Adams, Joe Mixon, TJ Watt, Allen Robinson
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