Free Agency AfterMath: Defensive Backs

The chart below compares the Expected Contract Value with the stated contract value for each contract of $10 million or more signed during the 2016 offseason. Expected Contract Value 1.1 is applied at the time of signing. Expected Contract Value 1.1 takes into account the nature and timing of contract amounts, the resulting relationship between dead money and APY in each year of the contract, the length of the contract, and the position and age of the player. Expected Contract Value 1.1 is therefore a performance-neutral measurement of expected contract earnings. As a result, the primary way a player can exceed or fall short of his Expected Contract Value is to perform better or worse than the performance expectations implied by his contract.

PlayerTeamStated Contract ValueLengthExpected Contract Value% Expected to be Earned
Janoris JenkinsNYG$62,500,0005$45,456,71473%
Byron MaxwellMIA$49,500,0005$27,419,09555%
Malcolm JenkinsPHI$40,000,0005$26,580,49266%
Sean SmithOAK$38,000,0004$24,967,58066%
Rodney McLeodPHI$35,000,0005$24,060,49569%
Tashaun GipsonJAX$36,000,0005$23,832,75366%
George IlokaCIN$30,000,0005$20,924,96970%
Jeremy LaneSEA$23,000,0004$16,638,86072%
Eric WeddleBAL$26,000,0004$14,679,38056%
Casey HaywardSD$15,300,0003$11,726,25877%
Adam JonesCIN$22,000,0003$11,326,22551%
Coty SensabaughLA$17,000,0003$10,057,34459%
Isa Abdul QuddusMIA$12,750,0003$8,782,08069%
Andrew SendejoMIN$16,000,0004$8,079,52650%
Brent GrimesTB$14,000,0002$7,813,05456%
Tracy PorterCHI$12,000,0003$6,961,03458%
Total$449,050,000 $289,305,85964%
 

The weighted average “% Expected to be Earned” was 70% for the 82 contracts signed this offseason for which we calculated Expected Contract Value. Historically, we have found this amount to be approximately 67%. In this light, the defensive backs as a group performed somewhat poorly in contract negotiations. A number of the contracts listed above with the lowest percentage of expected earnings – Sensabugh, Sendejo, Grimes, Jones and Maxwell – did not include signing bonuses. These players may have guaranteed salary amounts in the first two contract seasons, but without signing bonus proration they will have no protection from being released in year three and beyond.

The players who will play the 2016 season at only 26 years of age – George Iloka, Tashaun Gipson, Jeremy Lane and Rodney McLeod – probably should have pushed hard to sign contracts of only two seasons in length. None of them received full salary guarantees at the time of signing in the third contract season (i.e. 2018), so each gave his respective team two or three years of team options. These team options have value to the teams, so presumably the players received more guaranteed money and/or more money per year than they would have received on a two-year deal. But for these younger players I think the upside of reaching free agency again at age 28 in 2018 is worth giving up some amount of money during 2016-2017. Instead, these players have given up control of the entire prime of their respective careers to the teams, who hold all of the upside and none of the downside during the 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons.

The ranking of Expected Contract Value generally mirrors the ranking of stated contract value, but the discrepancies – Eric Weddle and Adam Jones – highlight the impact that a player’s age has on the calculations. It is certainly possible that both players could play well enough that their teams decide to retain them through the conclusion of their contracts, but the number of (non-QB/K/P) players in the league playing on a sizeable contract during an age-34 contract season is quite small. The Expected Contract Value formula therefore heavily penalizes older players, but it still contemplates that some outliers will exist. This is why a player’s probability of remaining under contract in any given year will never be 0%.

Maxwell’s Expected Contract Value on the five seasons remaining on his contract with the Eagles prior to being traded was $28,655,730. He received more guaranteed money in 2016-2017 than previously scheduled, but this was more than offset by the reduction in gross money during 2016-2017 and a lower expected outcome in 2018 as a result of potential dead money protection accelerating onto the salary cap of the Eagles in connection with the trade. As a general matter, the acceleration of signing bonus proration against the salary cap of the original team results in lower expected earnings for traded players following a trade.

Janoris Jenkins
Stated Value: $62,500,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
2016$100,00099.6%$99,600$15,900,000
2017$100,00095.9%$95,900$12,900,000
2018$11,000,00072.9%$8,023,170
2019$10,250,00049.8%$5,101,439
2020$12,250,00027.2%$3,336,560
Subtotal$16,656,714$28,800,000
Expected Contract Value:$45,456,714 (73%)
Byron Maxwell
Stated Value: $49,500,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201696.7%$8,500,000
2017$7,000,00077.6%$1,429,602$3,000,000
2018$10,000,00051.8%$5,177,814
2019$10,000,00033.6%$3,356,229
2020$11,000,00017.1%$1,885,937
Subtotal$16,349,583$11,500,000
Expected Contract Value:$27,349,583 (55%)
Malcolm Jenkins
Stated Value: $40,500,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201699.2%$10,000,000
201794.9%$6,000,000
2018$8,500,00064.4%$5,477,077
2019$8,250,00041.2%$3,399,267
2020$7,750,00022.0%$1,704,148
Subtotal$10,580,492$16,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$26,580,492 (66%)
Sean Smith
Stated Value: $38,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
2016$250,00097.5%$243,770$10,750,000
2017$5,250,00078.3%$4,112,076$4,250,000
2018$8,500,00044.2%$3,760,157
2019$9,000,00020.6%$1,851,578
Subtotal$9,967,580$15,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$24,967,580 (66%)
Rodney McLeod
Stated Value: $35,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201699.6%$9,000,000
201797.7%$4,000,000
2018$6,000,00082.0%$4,918,061
2019$7,500,00053.8%$4,036,042
2020$8,500,00024.8%$2,106,391
Subtotal$11,060,495$13,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$ 24,060,495 (69%)
Tashaun Gipson
Stated Value: $36,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
2016$500,00099.4%$496,775$7,000,000
2017$500,00096.0%$480,010$5,000,000
2018$6,250,00076.4%$4,777,605
2019$8,250,00047.2%$3,897,836
2020$8,500,00025.7%$2,180,528
Subtotal$11,832,753$12,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$23,832,753 (66%)
George Iloka
Stated Value: $30,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
2016$2,600,00097.2%$2,527,640$5,000,000
2017$4,800,00089.4%$4,290,645
2018$5,600,00074.2%$4,155,919
2019$6,000,00051.9%$3,111,687
2020$6,000,00030.7%$1,839,078
Subtotal$15,924,969$5,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$20,924,969 (70%)
Jeremy Lane
Stated Value: $23,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201698.7%$7,000,000
2017$4,000,00090.3%$3,612,905
2018$6,000,00064.4%$3,862,685
2019$6,000,00036.1%$2,163,271
Subtotal$9,638,860$7,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$16,638,860 (72%)
Eric Weddle
Stated Value: $26,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201695.5%$9,000,000
2017$4,000,00072.5%$2,900,189
2018$6,500,00031.1%$2,024,213
2019$6,500,00011.6%$754,978
Subtotal$5,679,380$9,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$14,679,380 (56%)
Casey Hayward
Stated Value: $15,300,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201696.8%$6,800,000
2017$4,250,00073.0%$3,101,858
2018$4,250,00042.9%$1,824,400
Subtotal$4,926,258$6,800,000
Expected Contract Value:$11,726,258 (77%)
Coty Sensabaugh
Stated Value: $14,500,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201696.3%$4,500,000
2017$4,000,00068.5%$2,740,487$1,000,000
2018$5,000,00036.3%$1,816,857
Subtotal$4,557,344$5,500,000
Expected Contract Value:$10,057,344
Isa Abdul-Quddus
Stated Value: $12,750,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
2016$25,00097.1%$24,265$4,225,000
2017$4,250,00069.2%$2,941,606
2018$4,250,00037.4%$1,591,209
Subtotal$4,557,080$4,225,000
Expected Contract Value:$8,782,080 (69%)
Tracy Porter
Stated Value: $12,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
2016$250,00089.8%$224,549$4,250,000
2017$3,750,00045.5%$1,706,669
2018$3,750,00020.8%$779,816
Subtotal$2,711,034$4,250,000
Expected Contract Value:$6,961,034 (58%)
 

Expected Contract Value was created by Bryce Johnston and Nick Barton.


Bryce Johnston earned his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in May 2014, and currently works as a corporate M&A associate in the New York City office of an AmLaw 50 law firm.  Before becoming a contributor to overthecap.com, Bryce operated eaglescap.com for 10 NFL offseasons, appearing multiple times on 610 WIP Sports Radio in Philadelphia as an NFL salary cap expert. Bryce can be contacted via e-mail at bryce.l.johnston@gmail.com or via Twitter @NFLCapAnalytics.

Nick Barton is  a junior at the McDonough School Business at  Georgetown University.  He is majoring in Finance and Operations and Information Management. Nick currently interns with an NFL team . His prior work experience includes interning with CollegeSplits and Dynamic Sports Solutions, and working as a research assistant for the Center of Applied Research of the Apostolate.