NFL 2012 Free Agency: Thomas DeCoud's Contract Could Help Establish Reggie Nelson's Value

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 28: Thomas DeCoud #28 of the Atlanta Falcons enters the field during player introductions before facing the Green Bay Packers at Georgia Dome on November 28 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

On Tuesday the Atlanta Falcons reportedly signed safety Thomas DeCoud to a five-year deal worth $17.5 million in base salary with another $4 million in guaranteed money. For Cincinnati the contract that DeCoud reportedly signed could be a baseline for Cincinnati's attempts to sign safety Reggie Nelson.

During his final season with the Falcons, DeCoud generated 86 tackles and four interceptions, compared to Nelson who recorded 85 tackles, four interceptions while also posting two forced fumbles, two quarterback sacks and an interception return for a touchdown.

Are we saying that Nelson will get the $3.5 million average per season? No. If we simply forget every season that ever happened before 2011, then Nelson would likely get something north of $4 million per season for less seasons. Regardless it's likely that DeCoud's deal would appear closer to what would represent what Nelson could receive, which is far less than the $6.2 million price tag if the team franchised Nelson before the March 5 deadline.

There are several reports of interest for Reggie Nelson, including a likely scenario of Nelson following former defensive backs coach Kevin Coyle to the Miami Dolphins.

Reggie Nelson Thomas DeCoud
Opp. QB Rating 73.9 90.6
Perc. Completion 65.7% 69.4%
YAC Allowed 138 147
TDs Allowed 2 3
Tackles 85 86
Interceptions 4 4
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