Hendrickson, who totaled a career-high 13.5 sacks last season, just signed a $60 million contract with the Bengals. When Joe Burrow isn’t throwing touchdowns, Hendrickson will be tasked with getting to the quarterback and creating havoc in the trenches.
Although last year’s breakout season set Hendrickson up to cash in, the journey to such a large contract arguably began before his senior season in college.
Trey Hendrickson went on a massive diet change in college
Before he ever lined up on the same team as Drew Brees and Michael Thomas, Trey Hendrickson was a dynamic pass-rusher at Florida Atlantic University.
Hendrickson totaled 13.5 sacks and 15 total tackles for loss as a junior in 2015. Only Penn State’s Carl Nassib, a future third-round pick of the Cleveland Browns, had more sacks among players at the FBS level that year.
That wasn’t good enough for Hendrickson. According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Hendrickson changed his diet in the spring of 2016. The Sentinel reported that Hendrickson was consuming roughly 4,000 calories a day, including vegetables that he blended before drinking.
The diet change paid off. Hendrickson recorded 9.5 sacks and 15 tackles for a loss en route to becoming Conference USA’s Defensive Player of the Year. The senior also led FBS players with four blocked kicks.
Hendrickson broke out last year with the Saints
It took Trey Hendrickson until his fourth season with the New Orleans Saints to truly carve out a spot in the starting lineup.
A third-round pick in 2017, Hendrickson fully took advantage last season when he recorded 13.5 sacks, 12 tackles for a loss, and 25 quarterback hits in 15 starts. The fourth-year pass-rusher also forced a fumble.
Hendrickson had flashed before, recording 4.5 sacks and four tackles for a loss in 13 games during the 2019 season. But everything changed last year when Hendrickson became the Saints’ finisher on pass-rushes.
Trey Hendrickson is now a $60 million dollar man
Trey Hendrickson may now be financially set for life.
The Cincinnati Bengals aren’t known for spending big in free agency, but they just signed Hendrickson to a four-year contract worth $60 million. According to Sports Illustrated, Hendrickson received a $10 million signing bonus and can receive $20 million in 2021.
According to Fox 19 in Cincinnati, Hendrickson said he signed with the Bengals to help build them into a contender.
“It’s the incentive to change something…wouldn’t that inspire you more than riding off [of] Tom Brady into the sunset? That’s not my style.”
If things don’t work out, the Bengals can part ways with Hendrickson following this coming season. None of his contract is guaranteed for the 2022-24 campaigns.
Considering that Hendrickson was a third-round pick from a mid-major school, that he’s reached this point financially is an incredible milestone. Who would have guessed that vegetables and a blender would set Hendrickson on the path to earn a $60 million contract?