Let me preface this blog by saying I like Darnell Dockett.
I like him as a player, his attitude in the game, his demeanor in the game, his commitment to the game. I even like his off the field antics, his constant jawing and daring acts (naked shower). I often argue amongst fans and acquaintants who are disgusted my the antics of the likes of Dockett, Porter, Ocho, and TO.
Would you enjoy the game if all the players were as timid and reserved on and off the field like Peyton Manning (except for sony commercials)?
But this blog is not about evaluating Dockett's attitude, demeanor, and commitment. This blog is about evaluating if Dockett is truly worth the large contract we all seem to be in agreement that he deserves. I know there is a hefty amount of players in the NFL that are overpaid, some how or another someone deemed their salary appropriate well the rest of the NFL world gawked (Deon Branch?). Dockett is good no doubt but should we make him a top earner in the NFL?
There are roughly 64 starting defensive ends in the NFL league, 32 teams times a left and right end. Darnell Dockett ranked 23 overall amongst them even ousted by 2nd year end Calais Campbell who is 22nd with the same amount of sacks. In reality based on sacks alone and counting players with the same number of sacks as one, Dockett ranks 13th tied with 9 other players.
Dockett has never missed a game in his 6 seasons and managed to rack up 26 career sacks, 20 in the last three years. Joey Porter has 19 in the past 2 years, not playing a full schedule. Jared Allen has 34.5 sack in the past two years. Julius Peppers has 25 sacks in his last 2 years.
Allen also has 6 seasons in the books like Dockett and Peppers has 8 seasons.
NINE-O fares better in the tackling game than he does in the sack game, putting up 42 unassisted tackles to the league leading 48 for DE's, and has done so consistently for the past 3 years registering 37 and 43 in the years prior.
Maybe I'm just obsessed with the highlight plays of the game "TDs, INTs, SACKs" to give his tackles their fair recognition. But when I think of a end who wants to be paid top dollar I want a guy who puts the QB on his back 15 times a season.
Ending my post I'd like to iterate that I understand Dockett hasn't had the best supporting cast, Eric Green and Rod Hood being exploited makes it easy for QB to get rid of the ball quick. Haggans and Okeafor not being able create havoc coming around the end. But Dockett did start to flourish when he got accompanying offensive nightmares, Smith and Campbell, maybe Big Dan only helps him more.
Darnell unfortunately chomped at his extension too quickly and should have played out his rookie deal, if Dockett puts in a awesome year like the past 3 seasons then we should definitely owe it to him to pay the man, and not get stuck paying the man, just because he's the best we can get.
Do you think DD is worth being paid like a top 5 DE? Does he have to put in another solid season? What are your thoughts on the amount and length of deal we should give him?