In 2009, Jeremy Maclin and Hakeem Nicks were drafted 10 spots apart in round one, with Maclin going 19th to the Eagles and Nicks going 29th to the Giants.
Both completed their rookie contracts in 2013. Both signed one-year deals for 2014. Maclin stays in Philly; Nicks heads to Indy.
Nicks, per multiple reports, signed a contract with a base value of $3.5 million with up to $2 million more in incentives. Maclin’s deal has a base value of $5.5 million ($3.5 million guaranteed), with a maximum value of $6 million.
And Maclin tore an ACL in training camp.
It’s a stunning contrast. Maclin suffered an injury that Nicks surely feared he’d sustain in his contract year (remember how he stayed away from offseason workouts?), and Maclin still had a better contract year than Nicks, who started 15 games.
This year, Nicks and Maclin each have a clear incentive to have strong contract years. But Nicks had a strong incentive last year, too. Unlike Maclin, Nicks was healthy enough to capitalize.