In the abysmal 2012 season, defensive lineman Darnell Dockett's play declined throughout the year. He started out like a gangbuster, disrupting plays like no other during the team's winning streak. Then the losing happened and he was not the same player. Or maybe he wasn't the same player and the losing happened.
Either way, he did not have the year he would have liked. He is even singled out by Pro Football Focus as a player that was wildly overvalued, based on his contract.
His 2012 salary cap hit was $6.7 million. According to PFF, his play was only worth $1 million, making him the sixth most overvalued interior defender.
"Darnell Dockett, much like the rest of the Cardinals, started off the season in prime form. In Week 1 he had 10 total pressures and posted the highest single game grade of any 3-4 end all season with a +9.8. His grade for the rest of the season was an abysmal -25.2, though, as he logged only one more positively-graded game. Dockett had fewer than two hurries in eight games and his 5.4 Run Stop Percentage was almost half that of teammate Calais Campbell's (10.4). Between Dockett turning 32 years old in May and having averaged 965 snaps the past five years, it's going to be tough for him to reach his cap hits the next couple seasons."
He does not seem to be a candidate to be a salary cap casualty as of right now. When he was hired, new head coach Bruce Arians made it a point to reach out to Dockett and talk to him about his plans for him this season.
Perhaps it was being played out of position, perhaps it is age, or perhaps it was just seeing his play decline with the losing, but Dockett did not play up to his contract last season. He does not seem to be in any real risk to be let go, but if his 2013 is like his 2012, he might not be so fortunate.
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