NFC East Contract Year Watch: Philadelphia Eagles
Money talks, people. So in an attempt to help determine who might be hungrier than others in 2012, we're taking a quick look at players from each NFC East team that are headed into the final year of their contracts.
We start with the Philadelphia Eagles, who have the majority of their key cogs wrapped up for at least the next two seasons. That, of course, is a good thing. The problem is that it means there's always a chance guys rest on their laurels in the short term.
I feel pretty confident that won't happen. This is a quality group of players, and there's a lot of pressure on them to perform simply because the Eagles are so stacked.
There's extra pressure, however, on one player: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
DRC is entering the final year of a rookie deal that paid him $15.1 million over five years. He has a Pro Bowl on his résumé, but he failed to live up to expectations in his first year with Philly. He's been a training camp all-star in back-to-back years, but there's no way of knowing if he's ready to step up in 2012.
Rodgers-Cromartie surely benefited from having a full offseason with the team this time, and it'll help that he'll likely be able to focus on press-man from the outside this season. But he also has added responsibilities and has a larger onus with Asante Samuel gone.
This is the epitome of a make-or-break year for the 26-year-old. He has the physical ability to get back to the Pro Bowl on a consistent basis, but he's a poor tackler who is prone to far too many lapses in coverage.
And fine, the adjustment to a new system in Philly was difficult, but DRC was actually ranked dead last among 100 qualifying cornerbacks by Pro Football Focus in 2010, his last season with the Cardinals.
"It's hard to throw against him," Vick lamented Thursday. "He's fast, man. He can jump routes, quick, smart. It's clear he should have been on the outside last year."
If he can keep this up, the former first-round pick could be in for a huge payday come 2013.
Other Eagles entering contract years
Which Eagle is next in line for a long-term deal?
Darryl Tapp: The underrated pass-rusher will be 28 when his three-year contract with Philly expires at the end of the year. So long as he performs the way he has in recent seasons, he'll get a decent deal somewhere. Whether it's in Philly or not is a toss-up.
Joselio Hanson: The 30-year-old has been fairly reliable in the slot for several years, but youngsters like Brandon Boykin and Curtis Marsh could soon make him expendable. His deal expires after 2012.
O.J. Atogwe: Signed to a one-year deal earlier this summer to add depth, the 31-year-old is trying to revive his career. Philly could be the perfect spot to do that.
King Dunlap: Also signed to a one-year deal for depth, but with Jason Peters out and Demetress Bell a question mark, he might have an opportunity to shine and earn a longer deal.
Derek Landri: Another veteran on a one-year deal. It'll be tough for him to gain enough reps to earn a long-term contract.
Other Eagles playing for long-term deals
Jeremy Maclin: If Maclin lives up to expectations in 2012, he'll likely be the next man up to receive a long-term extension. Otherwise, he'll be entering a contract year in 2013.
Kurt Coleman, Jamar Chaney, Phillip Hunt: Three guys who could become key cogs or could completely fade away. All of them are slated to become free agents in 2014. Coleman is probably first in line to receive a new deal, but there's not a lot of urgency here.
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