NFL salary cap experts at Over The Cap (overthecap.com) have been naming their Best/Worst NFL contracts for each of the 32 teams in the league, ending their week with the Oakland Raiders and identifying the best and worst work of Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie at managing his salary cap.
After naming kicker Sebastian Janikowski as the Raiders worst contract in 2013, Over The Cap once again named SeaBass as McKenzie’s worst deal which was more than understandable based on the problems with missed field goals the veteran had last season.
On the positive, Over The Cap once again praised the Raiders ability to find bargains at defensive back naming Tarell Brown their best 2014 contract after signing with the Raiders on a one year deal from the San Francisco 49ers in free agency.
Here is what OTC had to say about Brown and Janikowski.
I selected Tarell Brown because I feel he not only has the most upside of their signings but was someone that probably could have gotten a better contract elsewhere. Brown’s deal is a pure one year contract worth $3.5 million, all of which is guaranteed. That is in the same range as players like the always injured Dimitri Patterson, Antonio Cromartie and Charles Tillman, all of whom are coming off worse seasons with more to prove than Brown.
I feel like this is a situation where the Raiders presented Brown with a strong chance to stand out on a defense that does not have a great reputation which could lead to a bigger payday down the line. It is the ultimate “prove it” contract in that he should get more exposure and credit than he had before and thus has every incentive to play exceptionally well for Oakland. While you would have liked to have seen this as a two or three year contract, the clear tradeoff for getting Brown at this figure was the one year contract so that he could cash in next season. The Raiders should get the most out of Brown in 2014 at a pretty reasonable price.
Last year the Raiders finally had a chance to get things right with their kicker. He was in the final year of his outlandish contract and the Raiders finally should have been poised to move on. GM Reggie McKenzie had purged the roster of almost every bad deal and this contract was one of the lasting memories of everything wrong with the Raider organization in the 2000’s. But Janikowski is apparently like one of the characters of the Matrix movies that survives the reboot and lives forever.
Amazingly the Raiders rewarded Janikowski with a new contract that would guarantee him $8 million, which worked out on a yearly basis to about double the closest guarantees at the position. The Raiders had moved away from using signing bonuses but gave one to Janikowski anyway such that he would still have $1 million in dead money in 2015 if they cut ties with him.
Janikowski’s contract ranks in the top 10 of the Raiders annual salary structure, top 3 in total value for the team among veterans, and first overall among kickers in the NFL. He has never been the best kicker in the NFL and only been selected to participate in one Pro Bowl. The Raiders making him highest paid and guaranteed kicker just defies all logic for whatever the team seems to be trying to accomplish as they rebuild their franchise.
It is clear that Jason Fitzgerald of OTC justifiably is not fond of Janikowski’s massive contract that was given to him to remain in Oakland, sharing a sentiment that some Raiders fans showed in 2013 whenever a missed field goal further hurt their chances of winning. While Janikowski is a fan favorite and has been a Raider for life, his contract is quite expensive by Reggie McKenzie standards and makes salary cap experts cringe.
Agree with Jason Fitzgerald’s assessments of the Raiders best/worst contracts? Let us know who your picks for Best/Worst contract’s are in the comments.