It's the beginning of summer and football is around the corner and it's the time of year for contract disputes to start making the headlines as players enter the final years of their deals. Looking at who's making the most noise are Andy Dalton, Patrick Peterson, and surprisingly Vontaze Burfict.
We're familiar with Patrick Peterson's negotiations and how statistically he is better than Richard Sherman which warrants more money than Sherman's recent deal. Andy Dalton was selected one pick ahead of Colin Kaepernick and is now looking for a deal similar to Kaepernick's interesting performance based deal. But what's interesting is that Vontaze Burfict is about to be awarded as much as $9 Million per season after just two years ago he was signed to the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent. He's been selected to the Pro Bowl, and he's been an incredible player, especially after giving all of the signs that he would be a bust in the NFL during his combine and pro day appearances and blaming his ASU coaches for poor performance his junior year and subsequently his final year in college.
Those reasons alone make people understand why his draft stock plummeted, but I'll never understand why he went undrafted. The tale of the tape showed he has an incredible amount of talent, and he could have been the poster child for a performance based contract laden with drug tests similar to what was eventually created for TM32. Think about the Cardinals 2012 draft and you'll see a 6th round pick on QB Ryan Lindley and a 7th round pick of OL Nate Potter. It's interesting that in Whisenhunt and Graves' last draft they saw more talent and upside in both of the selected players than they did in the hometown product of Vontaze Burfict.
The results are a less than deep ILB pool in 2014/15, a QB who will be shown the door, and a swing tackle/back up OLineman. There was a gem waiting right there in Burfict, and now he's being coveted as one of the best ILBs in the league after just two seasons. The decision to not select Burfict is showing up this year due to the lack of talent at ILB and will haunt the upcoming season similarly to the selection of Levi Brown over Adrian Peterson for the many years Brown was on the team.
It certainly makes you wonder what if...