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Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Amani Oruvariye: Guessing what a contract extension for Lions CB could look like

During the NFL owners’ meetings in Florida this week, Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes revealed that the team has already begun discussing a contract extension with cornerback Amani Oruvarie.

Asked about potential new deals for Oruvarie and tight end TJ Hockenson, who will have a fifth-year option if the two sides cannot agree on an extension, Holmes was optimistic about closing the young CB. raised voice,

“We’re always looking down on the street and not just trying to be a prisoner of the moment here and there,” Holmes told reporters. “Those are discussions that we’ll have. We’ve already had them, actually. I’m not going to go into details, but we always keep the conversation open.”

What will the contract extension for Oruvariye really look like?

The 2019 fifth-round pick is coming from a strong first season in the active defense of coordinator Aaron Glenn. In 14 games, the opening outside corner led the Lions to go with six INTs and 11 PDs with a career-high 57 tackles. It was a big move for Oruvarie, who had shown potential in his first two seasons under head coach Matt Patricia, but only in fit and spurt. In 2021 under Glenn and head coach Dan Campbell, those fits and spurts expanded to several games.

Now 26, Oruvariye is entering the final season of his four-year rookie contract. He would make just over $2.62 million. Considering the injury questions surrounding him outside CB (Jeff Okudah, Jerry Jacobs) and his ability to play impressively, keeping Oruvarie should be a priority.

Over the Cap lists Oruvarie’s valuation for 2022 at $8.48 million. That’s a good ballpark range for figuring out what the number 24 expansion would be. There are a few other recent cornerback contracts that factor into the game as well. While they are not a perfect comparison, it is a good gauge of what types of money Oruvariye and their representation will look into in detail.

Charvarius Ward: The 27-year-old left the Chiefs for the 49ers on a 3-year contract worth $40.5 million. The deal includes two zero years for cap management purposes and a $12 million (rounded off) signing bonus. Ward’s total guaranteed money on the deal is $18.06 million and a year-end guarantee of $8.56 million (that’s injury protection for the team).

Levi Wallace: The Steelers signed 26-year-old Wallace from the Bills to a 2-year contract worth $8 million, with $2.95 million fully guaranteed. It’s a bit of a deal for Pittsburgh to land Wallace, who started 45 games over the past three seasons for Buffalo.

DJ Reed: The New York Jets spent three years and $33 million on Reid, with an outright guarantee of $10.5 million upon signing. Reid, 25, started 22 games in two seasons at Seattle when the 49ers left him after two ineffective years.

Donate Jackson: Carolina placed Jackson in their second-round pick of the Panthers in 2018 with a 3-year, $35.18 million contract. Jackson, 26, has started four years for the Panthers but is coming off his worst season ever.

Here’s how those CBs stack up statistically in 2021:

tackle INTs public distribution system comp% allowed PFF Coverage Grade
Oruvariye 57 6 1 1 61.0 60.3
jackson 61 2 10 62.7 56.1
reed 78 2 10 47.7 75.4
Wallace 58 2 10 58.0 63.9
Boy 67 2 10 51.3 69.4

The NFL places some premium on interceptions, an area where Oruvaria stands out. From a contractual standpoint, this likely increases the overall value. But Oruvariye’s track record isn’t as strong as that of Jackson, Wallace or Ward.

A three-year extension of $25.5 million, with $10.5 million guaranteed, seems to be in the right range for Oruvarie. He could have demanded more guaranteed money, but a lower overall contract value, something players who could later obtain a more lucrative contract, often opted to do so. A three-year, $24 million plus $13.5 million guarantee offers that kind of deal.

Somewhere between $7.5 and $10 million a year are likely parameters with between a 35-50 percent guarantee that Oruvariye will eventually meet. Lions can structure it so that even the opening cap hit isn’t harmful.

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