10 Best NFL Players Entering Contract Seasons In 2014

10 Best NFL Players Entering Contract Seasons In 2014

Brian Orakpo
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The 2015 NFL free agent class could be overloaded with talent depending on which teams have the space to bring back some key players. The class could receive a huge boost if all 10 of these players are allowed to test the free agent market.

10. RB Ryan Mathews (San Diego Chargers)

Ryan Mathews
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10. RB Ryan Mathews (San Diego Chargers)

Ryan Mathews
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Ryan Mathews came into his own last season for the Chargers, producing a career-year. Mathews has always been an injury-prone runner, but proved to stay healthy in 2013. If Mathews can stay healthy during 2014 and produce another big season for the Chargers, he could be in-line for a nice pay day, despite the position he plays.

9. FS Devin McCourty (New England Patriots)

Devin McCourty
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9. FS Devin McCourty (New England Patriots)

Devin McCourty
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Devin McCourty is one of the NFL's most underrated defensive backs and plays an important role in the back-end of New England's defense as the team's defensive quarterback and ball-hawk. McCourty has been a stable starter for New England and had another stellar season in 2013, collecting 69 total tackles (48 solo), nine passes defensed, one interception and two forced fumbles. New England should pay this man, but if they don't someone else will.

8. TE Jordan Cameron (Cleveland Browns)

Jordan Cameron
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8. TE Jordan Cameron (Cleveland Browns)

Jordan Cameron
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Jordan Cameron broke out in 2013, collecting 80 receptions on 117 targets for 917 yards (11.5 avg) and seven touchdowns. Cameron was one of Cleveland's best players overall and arguably the most important offensive player outside of WR Josh Gordon. Cameron has since changed his Twitter info from "Cleveland Browns Tight End" to "Cleveland Browns Pass Catcher" to ensure he gets his cash if Cleveland decides to use their franchise tag on him.

7. WR Michael Crabtree (San Francisco 49ers)

Michael Crabtree
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7. WR Michael Crabtree (San Francisco 49ers)

Michael Crabtree
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Michael Crabtree has been one of San Francisco's top play-makers and would be a huge loss if the team could not afford to bring the former Texas Tech product back on a team-friendly deal. Crabtree only played in five games last season, collecting 19 receptions on 33 targets for 284 yards (14.9 avg) and one touchdown, but his presence was felt when he returned to the lineup. He owns some of the best hands in the league, and will get paid like it.

6. DT Ndamukong Suh (Detroit Lions)

Ndamukong Suh
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6. DT Ndamukong Suh (Detroit Lions)

Ndamukong Suh
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Ndamukong Suh has been one of the NFL's most disruptive DTs during his four-year career, but has been one of the league's most undisciplined players during that time as well. Suh has collected numerous personal fouls for bone-head stunts on the field; no doubt, his production is there, though. Suh has collected 27.5 sacks in four seasons and has been an offensive coordinator's nightmare during that time. He will get paid nicely somewhere.

5. OLB Justin Houston (Kansas City Chiefs)

Justin Houston
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5. OLB Justin Houston (Kansas City Chiefs)

Justin Houston
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Justin Houston has been one of the NFL's most consistent pass rushers over his three-year career with the Kansas City Chiefs. Houston has collected at least 10 sacks in two straight seasons and is coming off a career-high 11.5 sack season in just 11 games. Houston is about as dynamic as they come as a 3-4 outside linebacker and will get paid as such. He may be in line for an extension from Kansas City as early as training camp in 2014.

4. WR Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos)

Demaryius Thomas
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4. WR Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos)

Demaryius Thomas
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Demaryius Thomas has become one of the league's best overall receivers during his four-year career in Denver. The former Georgia Tech receiver is coming off a career-year, in which he totaled 92 receptions on 143 targets for 1,430 yards (15.5 avg) and 14 touchdowns. Thomas is QB Peyton Manning's favorite target, and it's hard to believe the team will allow Thomas to test the market, especially after losing WR Eric Decker this offseason.

3. DT Gerald McCoy (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Gerald McCoy
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3. DT Gerald McCoy (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Gerald McCoy
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Similar to Thomas, it's hard to imagine Tampa allowing Gerald McCoy to test the free agent market, as he has been one of the team's top defensive players over his four-year career with the team. McCoy is coming off a career-year in 2013 where he collected 50 total tackles (35 solo), 9.5 sacks and four passes defensed. He is one of the league's most complete DTs and it's hard to imagine head coach Lovie Smith allowing him to walk.

2. OLB Brian Orakpo (Washington Redskins)

Brian Orakpo
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2. OLB Brian Orakpo (Washington Redskins)

Brian Orakpo
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Brian Orakpo has been one of the league's most dominant 3-4 outside linebackers, and is an incredibly dynamic pass rusher for Washington. Over five seasons with the team, Orakpo has collected 39.5 sacks, which is about eight sacks per season. Washington has created a shaky situation with their stud pass rusher after franchise tagging the former Texas Longhorn, after stating that they would not do so. Orakpo will hit the open market in 2015.

1. WR Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys)

Dez Bryant
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1. WR Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys)

Dez Bryant
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Dez Bryant has become one of the NFL's most dynamic play-makers on offense for Dallas and has turned himself into a legitimate top-three caliber receiver in the league. Bryant offers speed, speed and more speed, along with strong hands and great body control. Bryant collected 93 receptions on 160 targets for 1,233 yards (13.3 avg) and 13 touchdowns in 2013. If Bryant hits the open market, expect a free agency frenzy to occur for his services.


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