This is a good day for Jeremy Maclin, and he's not even on the field.
Here's why: Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams signed a six-year, $40.25 million contract with $15 million guaranteed. This is a nice contract for Williams, who had a troubled college career at Syracuse but has turned into a productive NFL receiver. Williams had one year left on the deal, and the guaranteed money is comparable to what DeSean Jackson and Victor Cruz received.
This is good news for Maclin, who is entering a contract year. Maclin and Williams have generated comparable production during their careers. Maclin is one year younger, albeit more injury prone. Neither Williams nor Maclin has had a 1,000-yard season.
This is how they break down:
Jeremy Maclin (DOB: May 11, 1988)
CAREER STATS: 258 catches, 3,453 yards, 13.4 yards per catch, 26 TDs (four seasons)
PER YEAR STATS: 64.5 catches, 863.3 yards, 6.5 TDs
PER GAME STATS: 4.4 catches, 58.5 yards, 0.4 TDs
Mike Williams (DOB: March 18, 1987)
CAREER STATS: 193 catches, 2,731 yards, 14.2 yards per catch, 23 TDs (three seasons)
PER YEAR STATS: 64.3 catches, 910.3 yards, 7.7 touchdowns
PER GAME STATS: 4 catches, 56.9 yards, 0.5 touchdowns
This means if Maclin were to sign an extension tomorrow, the Williams contract would likely provide a framework for a deal. But I've spoken to Maclin about his contract on a number of occasions, and he does not seem inclined to sign an extension at this point. Maclin believes his value will ascend this season. He's confident and thinks his best football remains ahead of him, and thus his value will improve with a strong year.
The risk is if Maclin gets hurt, or if he has a poor season. But if he has at the least a similar season to his career averages, then the market has been set at $15 million guaranteed. And that's good news for Maclin.
Contact Zach Berman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @ZBerm.