Former NFL Network, and current CBS Sports NFL Insider, Jason LaCanfora, just posted his best and worst eleven contracts in the NFL. Two Redskins made the worst list, and Orakpo made the best list. Let's dive into this starting with the worst:
Trent Williams, Redskins, T, $12M: While Orakpo shows how well teams could do in the past finding players in the first round outside the first quarter of the top round, his teammate shows the potential pitfalls and why the system was scrapped. Williams has been spotty on the field, with his motor questioned at times, with injuries an issue, and for repeatedly failing drug tests to the point where he has already faced a four-game suspension and where his next failed test would put him out of the league for a year.
I'm not so sure I agree with this. Trent Williams' contract was part of the old CBA, so it is what it is. Why not add Sam Bradford, Eric Berry, and Gerald McCoy to the list then too? "Williams has been spotty on the field." Oh really? Then why does Pro Football Focus have Silverback rated as their
4th best Tackle in the NFL last year ? [Editor Note: PFF actually had him ranked 16th best...4th best overall performance was for a game]. If there's one position to shell money on besides QB, it's the Left Tackle. As for the weed, if Ricky Williams can come back from it, I'm not worried about Trent.
DeAngelo Hall, Redskins, CB, $6.5M:
This one looms large on several fronts. Hall is prone to outbursts, gambles far too often on routes and gets burned a ton, and also isn't known for his tackling. He gets some interceptions, but his plus-minus rating wouldn't be good. He can be disruptive and is making a boatload of money in a secondary that got shredded at times last season. Oh, and the Redskins dumped about $19 million in cash in his contract into the 2010 uncapped year, which led to the eventual sanctions by the NFL that included a $36 million cap hit over two seasons. (I thought the NFL coming out years later and agreeing to a side-deal on these cap ramifications was unfair, but whatever your opinion of that, the reality is that cap space is gone.) So, yeah, um, that's a prohibitive contract under any standard.
OK, there's not much to argue here. Cerrato and Snyder orchestrated this deal....nuff said. If there's any silver lining, the majority of DHall's money was via the signing bonus, so $6.5 mil isn't all that expensive for a corner. Of course, what motivation does he have to work hard when he was paid three years ago? Got me.
Brian Orakpo, Redskins, LB, $1.39M: Washington was desperate for a young edge presence when it took Orakpo in the first round 2009, after flirting with quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez leading up to the draft, and he has delivered. He had a monster rookie season and there is no doubt his presence opened things up for rookie Ryan Kerrigan to shine on the opposite side in 2011. Orakpo could make another $500,000 in escalators in 2012, and in 2013, if he hits all escalators, then he would max out around $4.5M. For a double-digit sack guy, that's about as good of a bargain as you'll find. This is yet another example of how the old rookie system, outside of the first seven or eight picks, still allowed for teams to hit absolute home runs financially if they drafted well. Can't imagine Orakpo actually plays out his rookie deal, however, and the Redskins are willing to spend. And clearly he is a good sport, putting up with whoever was the creative genius behind those Geico commercials.
Orakpo has been the ultimate player and I have a strong feeling all of his hard work during these down seasons is going to come in the form of "pay me top dollar or I'm out." Rak never experienced losing at High School or Texas, so another down year in D.C. is going to make things tough for Bruce Allen. The good news is the Redskins will be out of the salary cap penalties when Rak is a free agent in 2014.