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2010 Contract Year Players
Whit Walters
July 22, 2010
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Every fantasy football season the calls for contract year players start to come in. Many fantasy owners seek out those players they fell will give an "extra effort" during the final year of their contract, in the hopes of a big payday the following year. The actual numbers may or may not prove this theory to be true, but for those who believe in the contract year theory you will find a list below.

The difficulty with this theory over the past season and going into this one is the fact that there is still no new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NFL and the players that will extend beyond this, the 2010 season. Under the current CBA, with no new agreement, this year there will be no salary cap for teams - an "uncapped" year. With that in place, players become unrestricted free agents after six years of service instead of the usual four years. Also, with the current CBA expiring in March of 2011, if no deal is reached free agency activity will come to a halt at that time.

So the approach to building this list will be different this year. Players listed will be in the final year of their contract, and they will be listed based on how many years of service they will have after the 2010 season. The players with six years of service will be unrestricted free agents under the current CBA rules, and the players with five years of service will be restricted free agents. Please keep in mind that the free agent rules will likely change in a new CBA. But this is the only criteria we have to go on at this time.

The list this year is peppered with big fantasy names at every position, QB's Brady and Manning, RB's Benson and Williams, WR's Moss and Driver and TE's Gates and Daniels to name a few. Keep in mind that some of the players listed may receive a new long-term deal before the season starts or even during the season. Others may find themselves on this list by signing 1-year deals for this season.

Six Years of Service Six Years of Service Six Years of Service Six Years of Service
Tom Brady, NEP Cedric Benson, CIN Mark Clayton, BAL Anthony Becht, ARI
Kerry Collins, TEN Kevin Faulk, NEP Donald Driver, GBP Antonio Gates, SDC
Brett Favre, MIN Sammy Morris, NEP Braylon Edwards, NYJ Randy McMichael, SDC
Matt Hasselbeck, SEA Fred Taylor, NEP Brian Finneran, ATL Bo Scaife, TEN
Shaun Hill, DET Ricky Williams, MIA Joey Galloway, WAS Stephen Spach, ARI
Peyton Manning, IND Five Years of Service Torry Holt, NEP Jerramy Stevens, TBB
Donovan McNabb, WAS Joseph Addai, IND Vincent Jackson, SDC Ernest Wilford, JAC
J.T. O'Sullivan, CIN Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG Greg Lewis, MIN Five Years of Service
Chad Pennington, MIA Michael Bush, OAK Randy Moss, NEP Kevin Boss, NYG
Sage Rosenfels, MIN Brandon Jackson, GBP Brandon Stokley, DEN Owen Daniels, HOU
Seneca Wallace, CLE Brian Leonard, CIN Troy Williamson, JAC Vernon Davis, SFO
Michael Vick, PHI Laurence Maroney, NEP Five Years of Service Anthony Fasano, MIA
Billy Volek, SDC Leon Washington, SEA Miles Austin, DAL Jeff King, CAR
Five Years of Service DeAngelo Williams, CAR Steve Breaston, ARI Marcedes Lewis, JAC
Kellen Clemens, NYJ   Johnnie Lee Higgins, OAK Zach Miller, OAK
Brodie Croyle, KCC   Jason Hill, SFO Ben Patrick, ARI
Trent Edwards, BUF   Santonio Holmes, NYJ Leonard Pope, KCC
Bruce Gradkowski, OAK   Dwayne Jarrett, CAR Dante Rosario, CAR
Troy Smith, BAL   Jacoby Jones, HOU Tony Scheffler, DET
Tyler Thigpen, MIA   James Jones, GBP Derek Schouman, BUF
    Lance Moore, NOS  
    Legedu Naanee, SDC  
    Laurent Robinson, STL  
    Sidney Rice, MIN  
    Steve Smith, NYG  
    Chansi Stuckey, CLE  

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