Some of the top stars in the NFL will negotiate their next huge contract after the NFL Playoffs conclude in the next few weeks.
Several players are still in contention for a Super Bowl Ring, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t questioning who they’ll be playing for in 2013 and beyond. The 2013 free-agent class is relatively deep with a number of Pro Bowlers available to sign with whomever they want.
So which free agents are going to get big paydays?
Here are three players who will definitely be inking some of the biggest deals they’ll ever sign, assuming they don’t have the franchise tag put on them.
Ryan Clady, Offensive Lineman
The Denver Broncos did a great job of protecting quarterback Peyton Manning this season and much of the credit goes to Ryan Clady. As an offensive line, the Broncos collectively allowed the fewest quarterback hits and the second-fewest sacks during the regular season, with 21.
The 26-year old tackle was recently named to his third Pro Bowl and also has been named to the All-Pro team twice in his career and could possibly make his third this year as an alternate.
Clady is in the final year of a five-year deal that paid him $3.5 million for 2012. The Broncos tried to extend him before the season started, according to Mike Klis of The Denver Post, but talks stopped without a new deal. As one of the top lineman in the NFL, he’s sure to make more than $3.5 million in 2013.
Wes Welker, Wide Receiver
Wes Welker is one of the top wide receivers in the NFL despite the fact that he’s not the biggest guy on the field. The 5’9’’ receiver eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark this year for the fifth time in six seasons since joining the Patriots. He’s also caught at least 100 passes in all but one season in New England.
Welker is extremely valuable to the way that the Patriots’ offense operates. He’s mainly used as a slot receiver that catches majority of his passes over the middle of the field. He’s a speedster that quarterback Tom Brady loves to hit as often as possible. His average of 154 targets per year speaks to that.
Welker was franchised tagged this year and later signed a one-year deal for $9.5 million. It’s uncertain as to whether New England will again tag him or try to sign him to a long-term deal.
Dashon Goldson, Defensive Back
Dashon Goldson is worth a multi-year deal, but he just hasn’t received one from the San Francisco 49ers, yet. Goldson picked off three passes during the regular season and made 69 tackles in the San Francisco secondary, good for fourth-most on the team.
Goldson has racked up nearly 350 tackles over his six-year career all with San Francisco. He’s deflected 34 passes and intercepted 14, bringing one back for a touchdown. He’s one of the main reasons that the 49ers have one of the top pass defenses in football.
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote in early November that Goldson will seek a long-term deal, but is unsure if he’ll get that from the 49ers. In the meantime, Goldson will try to help the 49ers win a Super Bowl after earning starting spot for the NFC in the Pro Bowl.