Atlanta Falcons: Three reasons why signing Derrick Shelby was a good move
By Adnan Ikic
2) A Cheap Contract
Free Agency is a period when the checkbooks open up. With the NFL absolutely booming as a business, and the salary cap going up year after year (it was at a record $155,270,000 this year), the contracts over the years have gotten much fatter.
However, even with all of that influx in money, some of the contracts handed out this year have been borderline ridiculous.
The day’s overpays started when the New York Giants made former Rams conerback Janoris Jenkins the 7th highest payed CB in the NFL (in terms of yearly salary), with a contract that gives him $12.5 million annually. Jenkins’ salary puts him in the ballpark with proven stars at the position such as Joe Haden, Richard Sherman, and Patrick Peterson.
Malik Jackson, who many thought would get around $9-$11 million at most, signed with the Jaguars for $15 million on average over 6 years. He’ll earn $17,100,000 in 2016, which makes him the league’s second highest payed defensive lineman this year (Ndamukong Suh at $19,062,500 will make the most).
The league’s third highest payed defensive lineman in 2016 will be Shelby’s former pass rushing mate, Olivier Vernon. Vernon will earn $17,000,000 this year, and $85,000,000 over 5 years ($17 million per year), with $52.5 million guaranteed.
Following these massive overpays (there were a few more than this on day 1), it looked very cost effective that the Falcons got Derrick Shelby on a contract that will pay him $4.5 million on average, long term. NFL Featured Columnist on Bleacher Report, Ian Wharton, says he though that Shelby was all-around more effective than Vernon most of the time, last season.
Vernon will now make almost as much annually ($17 million) as Shelby will total over the entire course of his 4-year contract ($18 million, not counting incentives).
Next: No. 3