Rodney Hudson news is starting to become a daily trend.
First, we learned that the Kansas City Chiefs met with his reps at the combine. Then there were hints that the Oakland Raiders were eyeing him. Now there’s speculation that he wants to become the richest center in the league.
NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal writes, “There are whispers that Hudson’s goal is to become the NFL’s highest-paid center. We aren’t quite as high on him as we were on Alex Mack last year.”
There are a few ways to look at this.
For starters, different players have different priorities. If we’re talking guaranteed money, Cleveland’s Alex Mack easily headlines centers with $26 million. On the other hand, if we’re talking average salaries, Pittsburgh’s Maurkice Pouncey, who’s scheduled to make just over $8.8 million per year, tops the group.
Hudson looked the part of a top-five center last year—Pro Football Focus’ metrics ranked him No. 3 overall in 2014. The year before, he finished No. 17 on the same list but still graded out well above average.
In 2012, he missed 13 games due to a broken leg. While that won’t help him in contract negotiations, it might not hurt him as much as one might presume. Pouncey inked his extension after tearing his ACL and MCL in Week 1 of the previous season.
Regardless, Hudson plays a bigger role in Kansas City’s offense than most realize, and he’s one of the best open-field blockers in the league.
Two of the most memorable touchdowns of 2014—Jamaal Charles’ record-breaking run (at San Diego) and De’Anthony Thomas’ sole offensive score (at San Francisco)—wouldn’t have come to fruition without No. 61 bulldozing defenders.
Centers don’t play the most glamorous of positions, but they’re the nucleus of the offensive line.
Considering the state of Kansas City’s, it can’t afford to lose Hudson. However, with each day that passes, it seems more likely that opposite will hold true.