GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers cornerback Demetri Goodson was a sixth-round pick in 2014, the same draft class that included tight end Richard Rodgers and wide receiver Jeff Janis, two players who will become unrestricted free agents next week.
Were it not for the debilitating knee injury that sidelined Goodson all of last season, he would be hitting the open market with them.
Instead, Goodson’s rookie contract tolled — meaning it essentially paused for a year — and will resume with the final year of the deal next season. Goodson will then become an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2018 league year, a source said.
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Goodson tore his ACL, MCL, meniscus and dislocated his kneecap on Nov. 20, 2016, in a game against Washington. He began the 2017 season on PUP and was added to the active roster in early December. However, Goodson never appeared in a game and was eventually placed on injured reserve with a hamstring problem.
Together, all of those conditions meant Goodson met a very specific set of circumstances outlined in Article 20, Section 2 of the collective bargaining agreement: He was in the final year of his contract; he began the year on PUP; and he was still unable to play after the sixth game of the regular season.
Section 2. Physically Unable to Perform: Any player placed on a Physically Unable to Perform list (“PUP”) will be paid his full Paragraph 5 Salary while on such list. His contract will not be tolled for the period he is on PUP, except in the last year of his contract, when the player’s contract will be tolled if he is still physically unable to perform his football services as of the sixth regular season game.
For those reasons, Goodson’s contract tolled as if last season never happened.
Instead, the 2018 season will be the final year of his rookie deal.