Budget Busters and Bargains: No. 5 on Lists

In Part 2 of our series, we tell you the players who earned (and didn't earn) their 2011 salaries. We continue with a record-setting performer who didn't receive even one cent of a signing bonus and a player who ranked fifth in cap money but wasn't as dominant as he was in 2010.

Where did the Green Bay Packers get the most bang from their buck this past season? And where did the contributions fall short of the cash? Packer Report shows you the money in Part 2 of this series.

No. 5 Bargain: Tim Masthay

Masthay definitely earned the second-year minimum salary of $450,000. There was no reporting bonus. No workout bonus. Didn't receiving a penny of a signing bonus.

What a steal.

Masthay set franchise records with a gross average of 45.6 yards (Craig Hentrich held the old record at 45.0) and net average of 38.6 yards (Masthay and Jon Ryan held the old mark at 37.6). After a second consecutive slow start to the season, he averaged 48.1 yards with a net of 43.6 over the last 10 games. His only sub-40.0-yard net during that span was on Thanksgiving at Detroit, when the Lions were stuck inside their 20-yard line four times, with an average starting position of their 16 on five punts.

"I was excited about both records," Masthay said. "One, because of it being the Packers, so that makes it especially special and, second, knowing how highly regarded Craig Hentrich is and I always liked watching him punt. That makes it kind of extra special for me, too."

In two seasons, he's pinned the opponent inside the 20-yard line 48 times with just nine touchbacks. That includes a ratio of 15-to-1 over the last five regular-season games.

The Packers will get a great deal again next year, with a third-year minimum of $490,000. He'll be a restricted free agent after the 2012 season.

No. 5 Budget Buster: Tramon Williams

In terms of total contract, Williams was the fourth-highest-paid player on the Packers this past season, and his 2011 cap number of $5.6 million was behind only Charles Woodson, Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings and Chad Clifton.

Williams gives up clinching touchdown to Manningham.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Williams, however, was nowhere close to the breakout performer who dominated for most of 2010 — and especially so down the stretch as the Packers won the Super Bowl. A shoulder injury sustained in the season-opening game against New Orleans was a big issue. So, too, was the lack of a pass rush, which forced defensive coordinator Dom Capers to abandon aggressive man-to-man defense in favor of a passive zone that didn't work to the strengths of anyone in the secondary.

"I guess I can say half of the year I can put it on the shoulder, but I don't want to fully put it on the shoulder because the second half of the year, it really didn't bother me much," Williams said. "It still wasn't 100 percent, but I felt that I can do the things that I wanted to do with it. The only time I really felt it was if I fell on it. But when I was maneuvering with it, it really didn't bother me much. But the thing was, it didn't have any strength in it. Maybe that could have played a part in it (and) maybe we weren't as aggressive as we were."

According to Pro Football Focus, 66 cornerbacks played at least of his defense's snaps. Williams wasn't bad — he ranked 32nd with 56.5 percent accuracy, 29th with a 79.8 rating, tied for eighth with four interceptions and tied for seventh with 12 passes defensed. However, in 2010, he ranked seventh with 46.8 percent accuracy, second with a 48.3 rating, tied for third with six interceptions and tied for fifth with 12 passes defensed. In 2011, no receiver in the league allowed more than Williams' 1,034 yards.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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