Last offseason Alex Okafor signed a one-year 'bet on me' contract for $3 million. The hope was Okafor would roll the dice on a short term deal in 2017, have a good season, then sign a more lucrative, long-term deal in 2018.
For most of the season, that plan worked. Okafor became a great complement to Cam Jordan on the defensive line and the Saints pass rush greatly improved.
But then came week 11 against Washington where Okafor tore his Achilles. Just like that, his promising season was cut short.
So now he enters the market coming off an injury. His stats were solid: 4.5 sacks, 4 pass breakups and two forced fumbles. It's reasonable to project that Okafor would've finished the season coming close to double-digit sacks.
On the flipside, Okafor may not be ready for the start of training camp. And even if he is, there's no guarantee he will return to the same form he had before the injury.
There's also a question of cost. What is Okafor worth?
Before the injury, perhaps he could've commanded a lot on the open market; pass rushers are coveted on just about every NFL team. But with his current health status, he's likely in the $5-$7 million a year range based on last year's signings at the position with similar stats to his.
The Saints will have to decide if that's a worthwhile investment or move on to another player.
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