Danny Parkins: The Price of Pass Rushing
The price of pass rushing is going up. In fact, it looks like the price of just about everything in the new NFL is going up. Santonio Holmes agreed to a reported $50 million deal. But at least he has a track record and a Super Bowl. The bigger and more relevant to Kansas City news pertains to Carolina pass rusher Charles Johnson. The Panthers locked up the 11.5 sack man from last year to a 6 year, $76 million deal, with a whopping $32 million guaranteed.
Even Johnson himself said he was blown away by the offer.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s a very good player. But Johnson has been a full time starter for exactly one year. One year of above average productivity apparently equates to $30 million bucks to sign on the dotted line.
This relates to the Chiefs because they have a high priced pass rusher of their own. Tamba Hali’s rights are controlled by the Chiefs due to the unpopular franchise tag, but it’s believed to be a top priority within the organization to sign him to a long term deal. Is he worth $32 million guaranteed?
Being two years older than Johnson (27 to 25) and having a history of shoulder issues would suggest not. But from a production standpoint, you can make the case he deserves more. Tamba played in 16 games last year and had 14.5 sacks. Tamba has 3 different years in his career where he has forced 4 or more fumbles. Johnson has forced 4 total fumbles in 3 years. And, I’m not even sure the shoulder issues necessarily work against Tamba in negotiations. His agent could easily argue, “Look at what he did with bad shoulders; imagine what he’ll do now that he’s healthy…”
But figure the age and shoulder issues cancel out the longer track record of greater productivity and I think Scott Pioli just got his bench mark for Tamba’s next deal.
Pass rushing has always been viewed as a necessary and valuable commodity in the NFL. Apparently now more than ever.