Timing is everything. Because of his dominant (and franchise record setting 2015 season with 11 sacks by a DT), KK Short will soon be a very rich man. To use a Foxism, he had a great year to have a great year. Had he simply had five sacks and been solid, then he would be playing this year under his $1M salary with no questions asked. But now he is set to be guaranteed over $60M real soon.
Next up, Kelvin Benjamin. With the top 10 Wide Receivers all making a minimum of $10M, Benjamin is set to be a rich man. So long as he produces. So what does he have to do? Let’s look at the last WR that just got paid after having a good year. Jacksonville Jaguar Wide Receiver Allen Hurns. He just received a four year and $40M deal with $16M guaranteed. That makes him the tenth highest paid WR in the league. Not bad for an UDFA out of Miami in the 2014 Draft.
2014: 51 rec. 677 yards 6 TDs
2015: 64 rec. 1,034 yards 10 TDs
In 2014, Kelvin Benjamin had 73 receptions for 1,008 yards and 9 TDs. Unfortunately for him (and for us) he missed all of 2015 with a torn ACL. And like KK Short, he will be scheduled to make “just” $1M in the final year of his contract (2017). So this goes to show that roughly, should Benjamin stay healthy and reach at least 1,000 yards, he will be the 2017 version of KK Short. Everyone will be checking their Twitter feeds this time next year hoping to see that he has signed for the long term. Should he have a 1,000 yard season, he will be in line for at least a $10M per year contract. If he doesn’t, he’ll be playing in the final year of his contract with no questions being asked. It will be fun to see if he too picks a great time to have a great year.