2016 New Contract Tracker: Pass Rushing Linemen (Week 8)

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.


Muhammad Wilkerson

Wilkerson signed the richest contract in terms of APY for a pass rushing defensive lineman this season. His five-year, $86 million deal is nearly identical to the contract signed by Eagles defensive lineman, Fletcher Cox. Wilkerson’s deal is for five years as compared to six for Cox and fully guarantees $36.75 million at signing whereas Cox’s deal guarantees $36.299 million. When the Jets drafted Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and Leonard Williams, their plan was clearly to create pressure on the quarterback. Thus far this season, their plan has not panned out. Through eight games, the Jets have only recorded 15 sacks, projecting them for 30 on the season. The last time the Jets recorded 30 or less sacks in a season was 2012. Wilkerson hasn’t lived up to the hopes of his contract as he as just 3 sacks and 5 hurries. Whether it is a schematic issue or something else, the Jets surely expect more production from Wilkerson and the defensive line as a whole.

Adrian Clayborn

 

Adrian Clayborn has been one of the biggest surprises and best values for defensive lineman signed this off-season. The former first-round draft pick of the Buccaneers may finally be reaching his potential. Paired with fellow, first round-pick, Vic Beasley, the Falcons defense may finally be getting to the point where it can complement their offense. Through Week 8, Clayborn has 4 sacks, 12 QB hurries, and 2 stuffs. Clayborn’s two-year, $8.5-million-dollar deal ranked as the 13th highest in terms of APY this off-season. His production thus far has surpassed his value and the Falcons will continue to look for him to produce on their quest to an NFC South championship.

 

Here are the current stats for the newly contracted rushers as tabulated by Sportingcharts.com. The chart is sorted from highest to lowest based on a production formula that takes into account some of the relevant stats shown in the table.

 

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 .

PlayerTeamAPYAPY RankDef Snaps% Def SnapsSolo TackleTot TackleTFLTFL %SacksHurriesStuffsProd. Rank
Adrian ClaybornFalcons$4,250,000             1335463%1617635%41221
Jason Pierre-PaulGiants$10,000,000                550496%202827%21612
Olivier VernonGiants$17,000,000                347891%1824521%11543
Fletcher CoxEagles$17,100,000                234777%1519526%4924
Derek WolfeBroncos$9,175,000                740872%2028311%5805
Dwight FreeneyFalcons$2,000,000             2521739%69444%31006
Muhammad WilkersonJets$17,200,000                142582%1723730%3527
Chris LongPatriots$2,375,000             2439271%1321419%11018
Andre BranchDolphins$2,750,000             1927856%71716%3929
Malik JacksonJaguars$14,250,000                430762%1112325%110110
Mario WilliamsDolphins$8,500,000                830962%810440%17311
Charles JohnsonPanthers$3,000,000             1729363%101400%28012
Jared CrickBroncos$2,000,000             2545280%1223417%23113
Vinny CurryEagles$9,250,000                619443%58113%19014
Jason JonesDolphins$1,535,000             2927755%1018211%33015
Derrick ShelbyFalcons$4,500,000             1224644%68225%05216
Benson MayowaCowboys$2,750,000             1918540%37343%20117
William HayesRams$5,833,333             1016734%813215%13218
Tyrunn WalkerLions$1,600,000             2821341%1017318%03319
Cedric ThorntonCowboys$4,250,000             1315935%614214%20120
Stephen PaeaBrowns$1,900,000             2717832%4700%06021
Eugene SimsRams$3,333,333             1621243%610220%10222
Rob NinkovichPatriots$2,500,000             2218834%51100%04023
Ziggy HoodRedskins$935,000             3334965%61318%10024
Mitch UnreinBears$1,130,000             3128852%71600%03025
Robert Ayers Jr.Buccaneers$6,500,000                915732%55120%10026
Jarvis JenkinsJets$3,000,000             1710621%7900%03027
Quinton Dial49ers$4,000,667             1525850%122100%00028
Billy WinnBroncos$760,000             3516229%61200%00129
Ricardo MathewsSteelers$760,000             3512126%1400%00030
Wallace GilberryLions$1,250,000             3012524%3500%00031
Tank Carradine49ers$2,650,000             2111923%2600%00032
Tony Jerod-Eddie49ers$1,000,000             32265%1100%00033
Justin TrattouVikings$810,000             3451%00%00034
Kendall ReyesRedskins$2,500,000             2200%3500%00035
Aldon SmithRaiders$5,750,000             1100%0000%00035