Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Darnell Dockett's contract is scheduled to pay him $3.5 million this season and $11.25 million through 2011. Holding out for a new one would have cost him money in fines and lost salary, one reason Dockett decided to honor his deal.
If Dockett is a bargain at that rate, what does that make Cardinals receiver Steve Breaston, Seahawks defensive tackle Brandon Mebane and Seahawks tight end John Carlson? Those three emerging NFC West players are scheduled to earn a combined $1.34 million this season. They stand as three of the biggest bargains in the division. Another starter, Cardinals center Lyle Sendlein, is scheduled to earn $460,000 this season.
The 49ers' Patrick Willis also qualifies as a good value -- his salary is $500,000 -- but he can make more than $10 million over the next three seasons without getting a new deal [the 49ers will almost surely give him a new one before then]. Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin, though underpaid in relation to teammate Larry Fitzgerald, has pocketed more than $17 million under his current deal, with another $5.75 million on the way through the 2010 season.
"Bargain" is a relative term.