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Cyber Monday: The Best Value Deals in the NFL

With deals aplenty this holiday season, Boardroom breaks down some of the best value contracts in the NFL currently.

Cyber Monday is here and folks around the world are expected to spend $11 billion, the most ever. So, how does this pertain to sports, you ask?

Well, 32 teams across the NFL spent a total of $10.3 billion this offseason, which is also the most ever. In the same way people find their own diamonds in the roughs on the world wide web, teams around the NFL have to find their own gems that carry more value on the field than their paycheck may indicate.

Like a rare, inexpensive item you may find on Cyber Monday, the value of such an object will likely increase or resell for a larger price at a later date. That’s how it is for sports players, too, specifically in football where so many superstar players are just waiting for their big payday.

In this particular example, we’re looking at guys on rookie deals like Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, Josh Jacobs, Jalen Hurts, Joe Burrow, Saquon Barkley, and so many more who belong on this list. But how about those who are ballin’ for a bargain without a rookie contract? Let’s take a look some of the best deals in the NFL.

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Austin Ekeler: RB

The seven-year vet is still on his first contract extension — he re-upped with the Bolts after the 2020 season. Hybrid pass-catching RBs are quietly the league’s biggest commodities, but they’re also some of the league’s most underpaid players. Ekeler ranks No. 4 in the NFL for receptions (80) and he’s accumulated the 10th-most yards from scrimmage (1,051) among all offensive players.

Needless to say, he shouldn’t be much of a bargain after the 2023 season.

Years: 4League Rank
Total Value: $24.5MNo. 260
Avg. Salary: $6.12MNo. 329

Jamaal Williams: RB

Williams entered the season in a packaged backfield alongside D’Andre Swift, but he’s shown just how lethal he can be as the No. 1 option. He leads the league in rushing touchdowns with 13, has the most games with 2+ rush TDs (5), and paced 48 first downs this year — second among RBs.

The 27-year-old will get paid when he hits the free agent market this offseason, but it still won’t look like much given how poor running backs are paid. Nonetheless, he’ll at least likely double his salary. Spotrac projects his market value around two years, $13.9 million — good for 11th among RBs.

Years: 2League Rank
Total Value: $6MNo. 646
Avg. Salary: $3MNo. 565

Geno Smith: QB

Well, well, well … Geno Smith. Who would’ve thought we’d talk about him being underpaid in 2022? The Seahawks got him on an absolute bargain, making him a low-risk, high-reward pickup who has completely shocked the world as a top QB (and team) in the NFL this season.

Well, we’ve got news for the Seahawks: Enjoy it now. He’ll come at an expensive price next year.

Years: 1League Rank
Total Value: $3.5MN/A
Avg. Salary: $3.5MNo. 495

Zay Jones: WR

The 27-year-old wideout was one of many castoff additions for the Jags this year. His numbers don’t necessarily jump off the page, but most star receivers are paid as such if they aren’t already on rookie deals. This is one of of those rare deals that seems fair given his production. Hard to call it an overpay or underpay. But it’s proving worthwhile.

Jones ranks 13th in the NFL for receptions (58) for 56.2 yards per game. More importantly, he’s become one of Trevor Lawrence’s favorite receivers, leading the team in receptions and ranking second for yards (562) and first downs (32).

Years: 3League Rank
Total Value: $24MNo. 264
Avg. Salary: $8MNo. 270

Remember: Just because something is on sale or comes at a cheaper price doesn’t always mean you should necessarily go for it. With that in mind, we’ll send you off the rest of this Cyber Monday with the same advice GMs in the NFL give themselves to find the best deals — spend wisely.

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