Jay Ajayi might be the best value in football.
He’s in the second year of his rookie contract. His base salary is $525,000. As a fifth-round pick, his signing bonus in 2015 was a paltry $221,000.
Pretty good deal for one of the league’s most dangerous offensive weapons.
Ajayi enters Week 17 ranked sixth in rushing (1,213 yards), fifth in yards per carry among players with at least 150 attempts (5.0) and tied for 10th in rushing touchdowns (8).
So if there’s anyone due a raise, it’s Ajayi. Thirty-three Dolphins players have a higher cap figure than him this year.
Bad news: He won’t get one for a while. The soonest the Ajayi is eligible for an extension is the 2018 offseason.
So he will play Year 3 on the same rookie deal.
And despite running for more than 1,200 yards, he’s not in line for any incentive bonuses, either. He signed a standard late-round contract, a source tells the Miami Herald.
Ajayi will get his playoff share, of course. That will help.
But he also appears to be in line for a nice bump when the league hands out its performance-based pay this spring. The league awards bonuses for playing time based on their salary levels.
Ajayi, who is making the league minimum for a player of his experience, has been on the field for 61.5 percent of his team’s offensive snaps this year.
Ajayi has one other way to make a buck this season: if one of the three AFC running backs picked for the Pro Bowl backs out.
Ajayi didn’t make the team, but he’s a first alternate. He sees that as a bit of a snub.
“You want to be one of those guys that’s considered the best at your position, obviously,” Ajayi said. “That’s what I’m striving to do. It’s just a little bit more added motivation, just keep working, keep striving to be the best.”
Does he consider himself the best at his position?
“I consider myself one of the best. I do.”