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Predicting the Next Wave of NFL Mega Contracts


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SOURCE: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2944287-predicting-the-next-wave-of-nfl-mega-contracts
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Summary

After mandatory minicamp in June, several NFL teams will lock star players into long-term megadeals.While some general managers and head coaches have made public comments about negotiations in the works, other teams prefer not to discuss in-house bookkeeping matters with the media.Players cannot sign extensions until after their third season, so several young veterans from the 2018 draft class will become eligible to ink new contracts that could reset the market.We profiled eight players who will soon make the leap from grossly underpaid to the highest-paid in the league with a projection on the average annual value (AAV) and guaranteed money for their potential deals.Last July, the Seattle Seahawks acquired Jamal Adams and a 2022 fourth-round pick from the New York Jets in exchange for two first-rounders (2021 and 2022), a 2021 third-rounder and safety Bradley McDougald. Although Adams isn't a reliable deep-cover defender, his impact on the pass rush gives him enough leverage to reset the safety market, so he'll top Justin Simmons' four-year, $61 million contract.Projected Extension: Four years, $66 million ($36 million guaranteed)In a crucial third year, Josh Allen made the jump from a young inconsistent quarterback to a Pro Bowl player who helped lead the Buffalo Bills to the AFC Championship Game. Other than that, there nothing I can give you." Beane didn't dismiss the anticipation of an extension, so we could hear something from the team this summer.Back in January, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said the Bills would approach Allen's camp with a massive offer that would make him one of the highest-paid players.Allen's representatives could use Dak Prescott's four-year, $160 million contract as a benchmark in negotiations. Yet the Ravens' signal-caller has an MVP trophy that he can use as leverage to boost the asking amount on his extension.Projected Extension: Four years, $168 million ($130 million guaranteed)At 25 years old, Darius Leonard has accomplished some extraordinary feats through three terms.In 2018, Leonard had an All-Pro campaign and won Defensive Rookie of the Year, logging a league-leading 163 tackles, 12 for loss, seven sacks, four forced fumbles, eight pass breakups and two interceptions.Leonard has earned Pro Bowl or All-Pro honors in each of his seasons, and he's the only player in NFL history to record at least 15 sacks, seven interceptions through three campaigns (h/t NFL Research).According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Indianapolis Colts have opened a dialogue with Leonard's camp about an extension that may surpass linebacker Bobby Wagner's $18 million AAV.Once the Colts agree to terms with Leonard, he'll likely become the highest-paid off-ball linebacker. In part because of availability, he has more sacks than Joey Bosa and Myles Garrett, the league's two highest-paid defenders in terms of AAV.Projected Extension: Five years, $145 million ($105 million guaranteed)                  Player salaries courtesy of Over The Cap.Enjoy our content?

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