While reading several comments and various articles which talk about the exceptionally high contract Al Davis paid to Darrius Heyward-Bey I decided to look at his contract and others who've recently signed in comparison to last years.
Matthew Stafford got the standard QB increase, but he still topped out at having increased his guaranteed payment 39% compared to last years. Jake Long received $30 mil guaranteed. This year Stafford received $41.7 mil guaranteed.
Jason Smith drafted 2nd pick had a 12% increase over last year's pick Chris Long.
Tyson Jackson drafted 3rd guaranteed money is actually 8% lower, but only because of the QB premium paid last year to Matt Ryan.
Aaron Curry drafted 4th received a 31% increase and he's a LB compared to a high profile RB like Darren McFadden.
Mark Sanchez drafted 5th had a 27% increase and a QB premium over last year's Glenn Dorsey.
DHB drafted 7th had a 21% increase over last year's Sedrick Ellis.
Andre Smith (6), Eugene Monroe (8), BJ Raji (9), and Michael Crabtree (10) are the rest of the top 10 not to have signed.
So really the winner of this whole draft process so far has been Aaron Curry getting a ridiculous 31% raise above last year's number 4 pick Darren McFadden.
If you really look at the numbers you'll see the truth. Yes some the teams were able to sign their players at rough 10% increase, the Raiders paid 20% which isn't the norm but certainly isn't the maximum either.
Al Davis had his hands tied behind his back because Andre Smith hadn't signed his contract. The whole Smith signing had everything to do with Mike Brown holding his you know what in his hands too long again. In fact because Andre Smith is still holding out his you know what is still in his hands. Al Davis upped the contract some and signed him to a fair contract worthy of the selection he was picked given the uncertain circumstances of what Smith would get.
It would be more interesting to see what Seattle fans say about this anomaly that people some reason aren't talking about? Aaron Curry gets a 31% increase and it's OK. DHB gets a 21% increase and the media freaks out big time.
Aaron Curry was definitely the best linebacker prospect to come out, but was he really worth a 31% increase over what McFadden was paid?
Curry's the true leader so far. If Michael Crabtree somehow convinces San Francisco to up their offer in DHB's range then he'll be the leader above Curry, but right now the mantle rests on Curry's shoulders.