It might not come with the glitz and glamor of a graded A+ trade deal or a diamond pick in the NFL free agency market. But teams need to stay two steps ahead in the NFL. So getting the right players in the locker room tied down to new deals can be just as important (if not more) as new additions to the roster.
With the 2021 NFL Draft approaching, there are several quality talents yet to sign new deals with their teams, many of whom will be free agents come March 2022.
If a team's big star opts to re-sign, it's great news for all concerned: coaches, locker room, fans. But of course, not every team can afford to re-sign their best players every spring, and that's where Madden gets difficult.
Five stars who could sign long-term deals before the 2021 NFL Draft:
For the NFL teams frugal enough to have cap room available and, with it, the ability to offer attractive deals, it's a good idea to get new player contracts penned before the Draft, with cap room at its heights. So some players could sign long-term deals before next month's NFL draft.
On that note, let's take a look at five players who are likely to sign new deals with their teams before the 2021 NFL Draft.
#1 Robby Anderson, Wide receiver (Carolina Panthers)
The Carolina Panthers' triple threat receiving cops of DJ Moore, Curtis Samuel and Robby Anderson was a real threat in the NFC last year. The trio caught a combined 3,140 yards of airmail, of which Anderson was responsible for 1,096.
Curtis Samuel has already left Carolina, though. Fans of the AFC East can look forward to seeing the versatile, smash-happy receiver running out in a revamped New York Jets offense come autumn.
They might be a receiver down, but the Panthers are expected to pluck for a new quarterback with their first pick (No. 8 overall) at the 2021 NFL Draft. Head coach Matt Rhule would want to keep at least two of last season's triple-prong attack in Carolina for the next couple of years. If it's not broken, why fix it, right? Plus, who's the new kid going to throw the ball to otherwise?
Robby Anderson is now in the final year of a two-year deal he signed with the Panthers last season. The receiver is rumored to want a contract averaging out to about $10 million per year plus add ons.
The Carolina Panthers have more than $23 million in available cap room. At 27 years of age and with a productive first NFL season in the bag, why wouldn't the Panthers try to tie the Former Jet down for a few more years as soon as they can?
For my money, there's a decent chance of some movement on a deal here soon.