It was tough not to notice the two-year contract Packers tight end Jermichael Finley signed yesterday in the context of free agents, potential free agents and the landscape of the NFL over the next couple of years. It was an odd choice for a young player, doing just a two-year deal, but it speaks to the potential of the new TV contract in 2014 — when, in this instance, Finley’s deal is up — and the spike in the salary cap that is expected.
That’s going to be one of the underlying factors as teams try to sign players to long-term contracts over the next couple of seasons. It’s very possible it is/will be a factor in the Cards’ talks with defensive end Calais Campbell. On a more basic level, any player that has gotten to this point will be tempted to hit the market rather than get a new contract done before March 13. It can’t hurt, right?
“There is risk on both sides,” Cardinals general manager Rod Graves said. “There is risk in players waiting, and there will be choices for other teams. It can be a positive or a negative in terms of getting your own players done. There are options for us.”
Campbell is the top priority but the Cards have the franchise tag with which to work if necessary. But then you look at a guy like cornerback Richard Marshall, who won’t be franchised but whom the Cards want back. What makes sense for him? What makes sense regarding him for the Cards? Graves said he is hoping to have a few deals done with his own players before free agency starts. It’ll be interesting to see exactly how that will happen. Because of all the one-year contracts signed last season and the short-term way many teams have dealt with players over the last year or two, the free-agent market is going to be flooded in certain areas. Waiting for free agency, like Graves said, has risks all the way around.
“There is a point where the temptation to experience the market is strong with these guys, but that doesn’t mean deals can’t be done,” Graves said. “There will be deals done before free agency, and I am hoping we get some success with our players.”
Tags: free agency, Rod Graves
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