One of the contract extension talks going on right now is between the Green Bay Packers and their defensive end Mike Daniels, although things haven’t been going too well between them.
Daniels, a 2012 fourth round pick, has done quite well for himself, slowly breaking into the Packers first-team defense, starting all 16 games last season, and posting 12 sacks in 2013 and 2014. Heading into the final year of his rookie deal, he would like to get paid like one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in the league.
Daniels is looking for around $10 million on average per season, something only five other defensive ends in that system, among them J.J. Watt and Jordan Cameron, make. According to Pro Football Focus, he ranked as eighth-best 3-4 end in 2014. Players like Cameron Heyward (Steelers, $10.4 million a year) and Corey Liuget (Chargers, $10.2 million a year) are those he wants to follow in terms of salary. In terms of overall performance, Heyward did slightly better than him, Liuget was far worse.
In that aspect, and with the salary cap rising and rising, Daniels isn’t asking for something too out of the ordinary. However, the Packers have gotten used to re-signing players for below market value (unless your name is Aaron Rodgers or Clay Matthews) and Ted Thompson is never in a rush to spend, which means that there’s a better chance of Daniels lowering his demands to stay with Green Bay than the Packers going out of their way to keep him and make him very happy.