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.
Today, we focus on the Washington Redskins, who have a handful of key players slated to become free agents soon. The most pressing contract on the team's plate, though, is the one that belongs to the unpredictable yet extremely talented Fred Davis.
Despite the fact Davis is only 26 and coming off a monster season that saw him post more yards per game than every other tight end in football not named Gronkowski or Graham, he had to settle for a one-year contract worth $5.5 million.
That's because it doesn't appear the team trusts Davis off the field. He's already been suspended for multiple failed drug tests—that's probably the only reason he fell short of 1,000 yards in 2011—and he's still embroiled in a strange yet disturbing civil trial, too.
If Davis can stay on the field this year, he'll certainly land a lucrative long-term contract next spring. But based on what took place in 2011, there's little evidence that being in a contract year will light a fire under a player like him.
Other Redskins Entering Contract Years
Lorenzo Alexander: The 29-year-old might be counted on to help with the transition from London Fletcher to Keenan Robinson in the near future. Even if he doesn't fill a gap by starting, he's a valuable backup who is slated to hit the open market next March.
Kevin Barnes: He's only made three starts in three years, but the former third-round pick's rookie deal expires after this season.
Kedric Golston: He's coming off a knee injury, which is the primary reason he only landed a one-year prove-it deal in the offseason. But the 29-year-old has the ability to earn a longer deal with a solid 2012 season.
Cedric Griffin: The 29-year-old has had some trouble staying healthy, but he'll probably play a fairly large role this season on a one-year contract.
Tim Hightower: He is simply looking to stay healthy and produce as part of a committee backfield. If he can do that, he'll earn something better than a one-year deal somewhere in the offseason.
Tanard Jackson: He might be the most talented safety on the roster, but because of off-field concerns he's only in D.C. on a one-year contract. If Jackson can stay out of trouble, the 27-year-old could be in for a nice payday next year.
Kory Lichtensteiger: Coming off a serious knee injury, he'll have to prove that he can stay healthy while playing under a one-year deal. Unfortunately, he's not off to a good start.
Madieu Williams: As a 30-year-old in his third city in three years, don't expect Williams to earn another long-term contract. That said, he's likely to start this year in D.C. If he finishes the campaign in that spot, he'll be in much higher demand than he was this past offseason.
Other Redskins Playing for Long-Term Deals
Reed Doughty: Considering the recent turnover at safety, this is a huge year for Doughty. The 29-year-old (why does it feel like every one of these players is 29?) has a chance to earn some serious reps in hopes of landing another deal with the team before his contract expires in two years.
Josh Morgan: His free-agent deal was lucrative but not long. Morgan will be entering a contract year in 2013, but he'll try to live up to expectations this year so that he can renegotiate next spring.
Brian Orakpo: His rookie deal pays him less than $2.5 million over the next two years, which is kind of ridiculous. I'm actually a bit surprised this hasn't come up yet, but if Orakpo is once again the team's top pass-rusher this season, it'll be a hot topic next offseason.
Perry Riley: The 24-year-old enters his first season as a full-time starter. If he delivers, he'll be a top candidate to earn a long-term extension. Currently, Riley's slated to make just over $1 million over the next two years.
Josh Wilson: The team's top corner has two years remaining on the contract he signed after leaving Baltimore last offseason. That could be up for discussion again next spring.