2016 New Contract Tracker: Pass Rushing Linemen (Week 4)

On a weekly basis, I will be evaluating pass rushing defensive lineman that signed some sort of contract in this offseason. Players on-field performance will be evaluated against the annual salary of their new contract. In terms of on-field production, I will be taking into account stats relevant to the defensive end position such as percentage of defensive team snaps played, tackles, tackles for loss, sacks and hurries. The basis for contract evaluation will be the APY of a given player’s contract.


This week, we will be evaluating two players on the 2015 Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos.

Malik Jackson

Jackson left the Broncos and signed the fourth largest contract for a pass rushing defensive linemen during the offseason. Jackson’s 6 year, $85.5 million deal ranks only behind Muhammad Wilkerson (franchise tag), Fletcher Cox, and Olivier Vernon. Jackson’s 9 QB hurries trail only Aaron Donald through the first quarter of the season. However, Jackson has only recorded one sack on the season. While creating pressure is key to a defense’s pass rush, defensive pass rushers are ultimately evaluated on how often they actually sack the quarterback.

Derek Wolfe

 

Three months before Malik Jackson inked his lucrative deal in Jacksonville, the Broncos and John Elway agreed to a 4 year, $37.5 million contract with fellow defensive lineman, Derek Wolfe. Wolfe’s contract seems more and more like a bargain as each game of this season goes by. Through four games, the Broncos defense seems just as strong as the unit that won them the Super Bowl last season. Wolfe trails only teammate Von Miller in sacks this season with four. The duo has wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks this season, and have done so in large part with the absence of DeMarcus Ware. Wolfe’s contract ranked as the 7th highest in terms of APY for a defensive end this offseason, however, his production has seemed to surpass that value.

Here are the current stats for the newly contracted rushers as tabulated by Sportingcharts.com.

PlayerTeamAPY% Def SnapsSolo TackleTot TackleTFLTFL %SacksHurriesStuffs
Olivier VernonGiants$17,000,00094%810330%182
Fletcher CoxEagles$17,100,00074%911218%350
Derek WolfeBroncos$9,175,00070%1416319%420
Malik JacksonJaguars$14,250,00064%89222%190
Jason Pierre-PaulGiants$10,000,00098%1218211%180
Muhammad WilkersonJets$17,200,00097%1116531%232
Dwight FreeneyFalcons$2,000,00041%33267%240
Chris LongPatriots$2,375,00073%711218%150
Adrian ClaybornFalcons$4,250,00062%77114%071
Jared CrickBroncos$2,000,00074%58225%131
Mario WilliamsDolphins$8,500,00067%57229%131
Jason JonesLions$1,535,00062%51318%220
Charles JohnsonPanthers$3,000,00064%7700%060
Andre BranchDolphins$2,750,00049%39111%132
William HayesRams$5,833,33335%611218%122
Derrick ShelbyFalcons$4,500,00061%46117%031
Benson MayowaCowboys$2,750,00051%23267%101
Stephen PaeaBrowns$1,900,00033%2300%040
Eugene SimsRams$3,333,33337%58113%101
Robert Ayers Jr.Buccaneers$6,500,00032%44125%100
Wallace GilberryLions$1,250,00048%3400%020
Vinny CurryEagles$9,250,00045%2200%020
Mitch UnreinBears$1,130,00058%2700%010
Tyrunn WalkerLions$1,600,00038%61119%001
Cedric ThorntonCowboys$4,250,00032%59111%001
Ziggy HoodRedskins$935,00062%3600%000
Billy WinnBroncos$760,00027%2300%010
Ricardo MathewsSteelers$760,00020%0100%010
Quinton Dial49ers$4,000,66748%51200%000
Tank Carradine49ers$2,650,00035%1500%000
Jarvis JenkinsJets$3,000,00021%3300%000
Kendall ReyesRedskins$2,500,00014%3500%000
Tony Jerod-Eddie49ers$1,000,0002%0000%000
Justin TrattouVikings$810,0001%0000%000
Aldon SmithRaiders$5,750,0000%0000%000
Rob NinkovichPatriots$2,500,0000%0000%000

Rohan is a law student at Villanova Law School. He also writes for the Villanova Sports and Entertainment Law Society Blog. For more insight, follow Rohan on Twitter, @rmohanty3 .

  • McGeorge

    Rohan,
    How is it sorted? Is this in order of pass rushing efficiency, and if so, what is the formula?

    The thing about pass rushers is if they are double teamed, their number can go down, and someone else’s may go up, so it’s a little hard to rate a player just on stats.

    • Rohan

      The list of players is sorted based on overall production which is calculated using a formula that takes into account relevant stats in the above table. The formula is something I’ve come up with on my own, so I’d rather not go into the specific details for the time being.

      As with any position in football, stats are by no means the only evaluative factor. However, pass rushing defensive lineman are ultimately judged on how often they get in the backfield and to the quarterback. Perhaps I can explore the correlation between some of these stats and APY in a later post.

      Thanks for the feedback and I hope you enjoyed this article.

      • McGeorge

        I very much like articles like these.
        At the very least they give us a general sense of production, far better than “Jim Bob has X sacks”.

        I’ll bet Derek Wolfe isn’t so happy he rushed to sign the contract he did. He left a lot on the table.

  • The deals are clearly Chris Long + Dwight Freeney. Two older player still getting it done and showing you that big-money DL doesn’t always pan out.

  • Werner

    As commented for QBs, Derek Wolfe is also a lead competitor for the “Make Elway look smarter by the week” award, but will likely loose out to Brock Osweiler.