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Agent Perspectives: 10 Aggressive Recovery Candidates Trying to Prove They Still Belong

Every season, different players come to crossroads or prove something for different reasons. The most common reasons are related to age, contract or salary his cap issues, injuries, poor performance, or off-field issues.

Here are 10 offensive players who aren’t quarterbacks who fit into one of the categories to watch in 2022.

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Elliott has gone statistically wrong since becoming the first running back in league history to sign a $100 million contract. The two-time rushing champion signed a six-year, $90 million contract extension, ending a lengthy preseason holdout just before the 2019 regular season began, making him the highest-paid running back in the NFL. With two years left on his rookie contract, Elliott set a new standard for running backs with $50,052,137 fully guaranteed and $28,052,137 fully guaranteed at signing.

Elliott averaged a career-low 58.9 rushing yards last season. Before Elliott extended his contract, he was averaging 101.2 yards rushing per game. Elliott wasn’t Dallas’ most effective running back last season. Believed to be the best running back on the Cowboys’ roster was Tony Pollard.

If this season proves to be the case, it’s hard to imagine Elliott returning to the Cowboys in 2023. Flowing.

Elliott is expected to earn $10.9 million in 2023 with a salary cap number of $16.72 million. 1 designation.

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Thomas missed the 2021 season after a setback in rehab following ankle surgery in June. The Saints were already frustrated with Thomas, who waited until weeks before training camp to undergo surgery on the left ankle he injured during the 2020 season.

The 2020 season has been a challenge for Thomas as well. He was the subject of trade rumors after receiving a one-game suspension for a practice altercation with his teammate, and was limited to seven regular-season games due to his ankle. rice field.

Thomas has been an afterthought in best wide receiver debates over the last two seasons with several young players popping up in the position. In his 2019, Thomas’ last healthy season, he set a single record for his 149 receptions and was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

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Barkley’s stellar debut season, leading the NFL with 2,028 yards from scrimmage (rushing and receiving yards combined) and earning 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in the process, seems like a distant memory. increase. He had a sluggish 2021, coming back from a 2020 season limited to two games due to a torn right ACL. Barkley had 3.7 yards per carry and 593 rushing yards in 13 games last season. The second pick in the 2018 draft, he is at risk for his five-year rookie contract, averaging $7,682,350 a year, which includes his current option salary of $721. It includes $7,000, making it the largest deal of his NFL career.

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Robinson left a lot to be desired in his contract year when he was playing in the $17.88 million franchise tag. The 2021 season has been Robinson’s worst NFL campaign (other than tearing his left ACL in the 2017 Jaguars’ season opener). Robinson recorded his 36 catches for 410 yards with one touchdown in 12 games.

Nevertheless, the Rams signed Robinson to a three-year, $46.5 million deal (valued up to $48 million with incentives) with $30.75 million fully guaranteed. Robinson will be able to put Boyd out in his third season in 2022 and he will reach 2,201 receiving yards in 2023 combined with him in 2024. Traded to the Titans in a salary-dump move to accommodate Robinson’s signing.

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Stanley tied his 2019 All-Pro campaign to a five-year, $98.75 million extension worth up to $100 million through incentives with a record guaranteed offensive lineman contract for the mid-2020 season. His overall guarantee amounted to just over $65.5 million, with his just over $58.8 million fully insured at the time of signing.

Since then, Stanley has played only two games. He suffered a season-ending left ankle injury that required surgery just days after signing his contract. I’ve had additional surgery. Returning to his previous level of play would be a huge boost for the Ravens.

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Goladay was the recipient of the pass catcher’s biggest deal of 2021 after the Lions refused to designate him as a franchise player. , signed a four-year, $72 million (up to $76 million value through incentives) contract with a $40 million guarantee. 14 games last season. Golladay will probably have to thrive in new head coach Brian Dabor’s offensive system this season. If you don’t, you won’t have a third year in New York.Part of March.

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When the Patriots signed a three-year deal averaging $12.5 million a year in free agency in 2021, Smith exceeded most reasonable contract projections. He set a record for the highest fully guaranteed tight end deal of $31.25 million.

Smith did not live up to the old adage that “more is given, more is expected.” He had 28 catches for 294 yards and he had only one touchdown in 16 games, while robbing the New England offensive of his 47.64% of his snaps (525 out of 1,102 plays) last season. Among tight ends, Smith was 34th in NFL receiving and 31st in receiving yards. Smith won’t receive his $12 million salary in 2023 because there’s another season like 2021.

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The Browns signed Conklin to a three-year, $42 million deal and paid big dividends for earning All-Pro honors in 2020. Conklin missed a career-low seven games last season with a dislocated left elbow and a torn right patellar tendon. Conklin cut his $4 million salary from $12 million to his fully guaranteed $8 million. He recently said he wants to stay in Cleveland beyond this season. Conklin could benefit from a dramatic rise in the right tackle market in 2021 by returning to his 2020 form this season. Last year, four of Wright’s tackles averaged over $17 million.

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With interest in free agency waning, Smith-Schuster returned to Pittsburgh last season on a one-year “proof” deal worth $8 million. He was reportedly looking for over $15 million a year on the public market.

Smith-Schuster didn’t prove much when he missed the regular season with a left shoulder injury after five games. rice field. Smith-Schuster returned in the wild card playoff game against the Chiefs with five catches for 26 yards.

Interest in Smith-Schuster during free agency this year was less than in 2021. $60,000 per game), so you can now win an additional $510,000.

Without the No. 1 wide receiver established in Tyreek Hill’s trade to the Dolphins, Smith-Schuster has a tremendous opportunity in Kansas City. He could be positioned for the big payday that missed him in free agency next March in a very productive 2022 season.

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Engram’s disappointing 2021 campaign with the Giants saw him catch 46 passes for 408 yards and three touchdowns, but that didn’t stop him from signing a one-year, $9 million contract with the Jaguars. This includes a full warranty of $8.25 million. He could make up to $10 million through incentives, the base value of the contract not far below his $9.293 million it would have cost the Giants to designate Engram as a transition player.

Engram could be in the right place to show himself off in free agency in 2023. Jaguars new head coach Doug Pederson’s offense with the Eagles was tight end and friendly . During his five seasons as head coach at Philadelphia, Zack Aerts averaged nearly 80 catches per year, and in 2018 set the NFL single-season reception record for a tight end with 116.

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