2017 Contract Estimates: Sylvester Williams

As the NFL juggernaut steams toward the most exciting part of the season, General Managers are spending time formulating various virtual team roster models that stretch out as many as three years into the future, beginning with the 2017 league year. One of the important components of a roster model involves decisions revolving around unrestricted free agents.

We have followed the weekly play of interior defensive linemen that signed new contracts in 2016. Keeping with the NT/DT theme, I want to peer into the contract future of the top interior linemen that are set to become UFA’s after the 2016 season ends.

The seven gentlemen we will evaluate are a mix of 3-4 and 4-3 defense players: Nick Fairley, Johnathan Hankins, Bennie Logan, Dontari Poe, Kawann Short, Brandon Williams and Sylvester Williams.

Today’s featured subject is Denver Broncos nose tackle Sylvester Williams.

Continue reading 2017 Contract Estimates: Sylvester Williams »

2016 NFL Free Agency: Cornerbacks Overview

In this weeks free agency feature we will take a look at the cornerbacks who may be available in 2016. As usual there will be no shortage of talent, though only one player looks to be a surefire bet to hit a monster contract in free agency…

Josh Norman, Panthers

Norman will likely win the award for best timing for free agency. He is combining the great season on an undefeated team giving him the kind of press and hype that will always maximize value. Norman currently leads the upcoming group of free agents in passes defensed and is second in interceptions. He doesn’t give up much in the way of completions and is generally regarded as the best corner in the NFL in 2015. All of this obviously adds up to massive money for cornerbacks, a position in ultra high demand last offseason. For Norman this year has basically doubled his value, similar to Byron Maxwell the year before.

Continue reading 2016 NFL Free Agency: Cornerbacks Overview »

2016 NFL Free Agency: Defensive Ends Overview

With a few big names, some potentially very good high end players, and good depth, this looks to be an interesting year for teams looking for a defensive end, specifically teams who employ the 34 defense. I’ll take a look at who I believe may be the highest paid players in free agency and give a listing of everyone available this year.

Muhammad Wilkerson, Jets

Wilkerson needed a big statistical season to cement his argument that he is the second best 34 DE in the NFL and he is having that season. Wilkerson currently projects to be the only free agent defensive end to hit double digit sacks this year and will likely be right near the top in tackles and tackles for loss. He is also one of the rare players that will play almost every snap and you do not need to rotate in and out for certain situations because he is such a well rounded player.  If there is something to nitpick about Wilkerson it is the fact that he is not as consistent a rusher as some others. He is able to turn pressures into sacks at a very high rate, but the pressure rate is not as high as some of the others. Continue reading 2016 NFL Free Agency: Defensive Ends Overview »

2016 NFL Free Agency: Tight Ends Overview

It looks to be a very poor year for the free agent tight end in 2016. Few players have stood out this season and those who have are both big surprises for older players who likely won’t see a big spike in value because of their age. So let’s see who is available and what their costs might be next season.

Antonio Gates, Chargers

Gates is nearing the end of his career but is still very productive when healthy. He missed four games this year due to suspension and will still likely finish with close to 600 yards which is pretty impressive. Obviously the major negative is age as Gates will be 36 next season, which in football years for a non-quarterback is like the equivalent of being 55 years old. So many older players who switch teams fail that I don’t think there will be much interest in Gates outside of San Diego, especially seeing what is happening with Andre Johnson in Indianapolis this year. Continue reading 2016 NFL Free Agency: Tight Ends Overview »

2016 NFL Free Agency: Quarterbacks Overview

Over the last two weeks I have given my opinions on the upcoming class of free agent running backs and wide receivers, and this week I turn my attention to the quarterbacks. Since there are not many starting quarterbacks who will be available I have also included thoughts on the bigger name players who will likely be rumored to be moved in the offseason. As usual I will give my opinion on some salary ranges for the players and remember you can always keep up with NFL free agents on our free agent pages.

Sam Bradford, Eagles

Bradford may be the hardest player to value in quite some time. Rarely do former top draft picks at the position hit true free agency (plenty are released and available) but there is a real chance Bradford will make it there. Bradford has been in the NFL for six years and at best you can give him an incomplete as a pro. He had five injury riddled seasons in St Louis and at no time during his healthy periods did he look as if he was a special quarterback. He was traded to the Eagles this year and has continued to battle inconsistency. Continue reading 2016 NFL Free Agency: Quarterbacks Overview »

2016 NFL Free Agency: Wide Receiver Overview

Last week we looked at the upcoming free agent running backs and this week we will continue our run up to the offseason with a look at who is available at wide receiver. Though we don’t have the top line talent available this year at wide rceiver there are certainly some viable second and third targets with upside. We’ll look at the players projected stats for the year and where the biggest name players may slot into the salary ranges at the position in 2016

Alshon Jeffery, Bears

Jeffery missed 4 games this season and is still on pace for over 1,300 yards this year. He has been a dominant receiver in every sense of the word with over 1,400 yards in 2013 and 1,100 yards in 2014. He’s done it with two quarterbacks (Jay Cutler and Josh McCown) and both with and without help from a secondary target in the offense. He is everything you want in a receiver with great size at 6’4”, good hands, and youth.

Jeffery ranks in our domination index (a measure of how much that player accounts for production at the position) around a 225 on a per game basis, which means he essentially counts for over 50% of the Bears offense at receiver. The only player more important to a team’s receiving core is Julio Jones of the Falcons at a 240.  Continue reading 2016 NFL Free Agency: Wide Receiver Overview »

2016 NFL Free Agency: Running Back Overview

Nearly halfway through the 2015 season, we are now at the point where we can start looking forward to free agency in 2016 based on this year’s current performances. This week we will take a brief look at the players who may project to be the top unrestricted free agents this season at the running back position and estimate some potential ranges for a new contract in 2016.

Doug Martin, Buccaneers

Martin has come from nowhere to produce big this season for the Buccaneers. Martin is averaging over 90 yards a game and is on pace for over 1,400 yards this year. Martin’s career arc is relatively unique. He exploded onto the scene as a rookie in 2012, rushing for 1,454 yards and being a threat in the passing game. He was poor in 2013 before an injury ended his season and landed in the doghouse in 2014 while seemingly dealing with more bumps and bruises. To come back to the 1,400 yard level after that is not that normal. Continue reading 2016 NFL Free Agency: Running Back Overview »