Offensive as it may be to those who prefer their professional football pure and uncorrupted by business, there is still such a thing as the “contract year” in the NFL, and there are still players who just happen to have the best season of their careers when they’re looking forward to free agency and a big payday the following offseason.
Reggie Nelson was the NFL’s definitive “contract year” guy in 2015, and it landed him in the 60th spot on the NFL Network’s ranking of the league’s top 100 players for 2016.
Nelson tied for the NFL lead with eight interceptions last season. He also notched a career-high 14 pass breakups, tied his career high with two fumble recoveries, made 77 tackles, and he helped the Cincinnati Bengals win the AFC North for the franchise’s fifth straight postseason appearance.
Nelson’s efforts on the field earned the 32-year-old his first Pro Bowl selection in his ninth pro season, and he was named to the Associated Press All-Pro second team.
And then in the offseason, Nelson was rewarded with a two-year, $12 million contract from the Oakland Raiders.
The contract year is simply part of the game in professional sports. Nelson played that game almost to perfection this past season.
You can watch the NFL Network segment on Nelson HERE, and check out a highlight reel below: