Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa was a sixth-round draft pick in 2014 who made just $2.3 million combined in his first four seasons -- not a ton by NFL standards.
Now, he could be on the verge of a significant payday next offseason, when he is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.
"That's always in the back of my head," Enunwa told NJ Advance Media this week. "But it's more so just being the player that I know I can be."
He still maintains the prove-it mentality of a sixth-round pick, especially in a contract year.
"I'm not the No. 1 receiver in the nation, and until people believe that, I'm going to always feel that," he said. "I think everybody should feel that way."
By no means is Enunwa focusing entirely on his contract year in 2018. He understands that would be a distraction. But in the NFL, since players have relatively small earning windows, that second contract (after the initial rookie deal) can be an enormous moment.
The big questions for Enunwa this season, as he returns from neck surgery that cost him the entire 2017 season: How much will he get paid next offseason? And will the Jets re-sign him?
Enunwa didn't do much as a pro until 2016, when he had 58 catches for 857 yards and four touchdowns. So he needs a productive year in 2018. He got off to a good start in Monday's season-opening win at the Lions -- six catches for 63 yards and a touchdown.