Free Agency AfterMath: Front Seven

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
Olivier VernonNYG$85,000,0005$71,726,27684%
Malik JacksonJAX$86,500,0006$63,936,94574%
Mark BarronLA$45,000,0005$33,397,90974%
Damon HarrisonNYG$46,250,0005$32,542,85570%
Vinny CurryPHI$46,250,0005$31,250,14068%
Bruce IrvinOAK$37,000,0004$26,171,71871%
Danny TrevathanCHI$24,500,0004$19,574,29780%
Tamba HaliKC$21,000,0003$14,267,78068%
Derrick ShelbyATL$18,000,0004$13,611,02476%
William HayesLA$17,500,0003$12,546,62972%
Cedric ThorntonDAL$17,000,0004$12,510,31674%
Derrick JohnsonKC$21,000,0003$11,457,79455%
Robert AyersTB$19,500,0003$11,250,96358%
Mario WilliamsMIA$17,000,0002$10,647,22463%
Jerrell FreemanCHI$12,000,0003$8,567,55271%
Ahtyba RubinSEA$12,000,0003$8,564,45871%
Akiem HicksCHI$10,000,0002$8,238,01382%
Jaye HowardKC$10,000,0002$8,054,83881%
Brandon MebaneSD$12,000,0003$7,875,29458%
Vincent ReyCIN$10,500,0003$7,254,93469%
Haloti NgataDET$12,000,0002$7,115,17559%
Al WoodsTEN$10,500,0003$7,110,77568%
Steve McLendonNYJ$10,500,0003$6,749,08564%
Eugene SimsLA$10,000,0003$5,408,34054%
Total$611,000,000 $439,830,33472%
 

The comparison between Oliver Vernon and Malik Jackson highlights the insights provided by Expected Contract Value. While the deals are very similar in terms of stated value, Vernon can expect to earn significantly more money than Jackson. During their respective third, fourth and fifth contract seasons (2018-2020), Jackson is scheduled to earn $41.25 million and Vernon is scheduled to earn $44 million. The probabilities of remaining under contract during these seasons are 83%-70%-49% for Jackson and 91%-74%-51%. Vernon certainly has an advantage over Jackson in these contract seasons, but the more significant advantage is attributable to the fact that Vernon will be paid $40.5 million over the first two contract seasons while Jackson will only be paid $31.5 million (each of which with near certainty).

Instead, Jackson’s sixth contract season contains $13.75 worth of salary that he only has a 33% probability of receiving. So while both players have similar stated contract values, Jackson’s contract shifts (in comparison to Vernon’s contract) a significant amount of money from the first two seasons – when there would be a near-100% probability of receiving the money – to the final contract season – when there is a significant probability of not receiving the money. As always, the timing and character of contract amounts can matter as much, if not more, than the quantity.

Neither Vernon nor Jackson approach Ndamukong Suh in terms of stated value ($114.375 million) or Expected Contract Value ($79.836 million) even though the players are two and three seasons younger, respectively, than Suh was at the time of signing. This is largely attributable to the advantage Suh had in cash flow over the first two contract seasons, but another interesting point is that neither Jackson nor Vernon was able to secure the fully guaranteed third contract season that Suh obtained.

Marcel Dareus (stated value of $103.16 million and Expected Contract Value of $82.6 million) did not obtain a fully guaranteed third contract season, but he did obtain Accelerated Future Team Option Deadlines on his 2017 and 2018 salaries (2017 salary guarantee vests in 2016, partial 2018 salary guarantee vests in 2017). This type of provision increases Expected Contract Value by forcing the team to make a decision as to a future contract season during a current contract season in which there is already a high probability of the team retaining the player. Neither Jackson nor Vernon secured an Accelerated Future Team Option Deadline for the 2018 contract season.

Despite these considerations, both Jackson’s contract and Vernon’s contract are very strong for the players. Jackson’s 74% expected earnings is comfortably above average in a vacuum and very impressive for a six-year deal, while Vernon’s 84% expected earnings is among the best I have ever calculated. Both players have at least a 50/50 probability of being retained in their fifth contract seasons, which is very rare.

I tend to think that Jaye Howard and Akiem Hicks made smart decisions to sign two-year deals that allow them to return to free agency in 2018. While each player presumably sacrificed some amount of guaranteed money and/or total contract value as a tradeoff for avoiding team options in 2018/2019/2020, the upside of reaching free agency again before the age of 30 may be worth this additional risk. Mark Barron, Damon Harrison, Vinny Curry and Bruce Irvin may have been compensated enough to agree to multiple team option years, but I wonder if Danny Trevathan or Derrick Shelby considered signing shorter deals before ultimately agreeing to four-year deals.

Olivier Vernon
Stated Value: $85,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
2016$250,00099.8%$249,442$28,750,000
2017$250,00098.5%$246,328$11,250,000
2018$13,000,00090.7%$11,785,963
2019$13,500,00074.4%$11,526,850
2020$15,500,00051.1%$7,917,693
Subtotal$31,726,276$40,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$71,726,276 (84%)
Malik Jackson
Stated Value: $85,500,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201699.7%$18,000,000
201797.6%$13,500,000
2018$13,500,00082.7%$11,997,674
2019$13,000,00070.3%$9,143,042
2020$13,750,00049.0%$6,735,551
2021$13,750,00033.2%$4,560,677 
Subtotal$32,436,945$31,500,000
Expected Contract Value:$63,936,945 (74%)
Mark Barron
Stated Value: $45,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201699.3%$10,000,000
2017$5,000,00092.5%$4,624,881$5,000,000
2018$9,000,00073.0%$6,572,644
2019$8,000,00056.0%$4,481,841
2020$8,000,00034.0%$2,718,543
Subtotal$18,397,909$15,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$33,397,909 (74%)
Damon Harrison
Stated Value: $46,250,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
2016$250,00099.5%$248,700$12,750,000
2017$250,00095.1%$237,749$7,250,000
2018$8,000,00074.0%$5,922,832
2019$7,000,00055.1%$3,857,541
2020$9,250,00024.6%$2,276,033
Subtotal$12,542,855$20,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$32,542,855 (70%)
Vinny Curry
Stated Value: $46,250,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201699.4%$11,000,000
201796.0%$7,000,000
2018$9,000,00072.0%$6,483,211
2019$9,250,00047.9%$4,427,033
2020$10,000,00023.4%$2,339,896
Subtotal$13,250,140$18,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$31,250,140 (68%)
Bruce Irvin
Stated Value: $37,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
2016$250,00096.3%$240,715$12,250,000
2017$4,750,00081.9%$3,891,625$2,250,000
2018$8,250,00055.3%$4,561,594
2019$9,250,00032.2%$2,977,785
Subtotal$11,671,718$14,500,000
Expected Contract Value:$26,171,718 (71%)
Danny Trevathan
Stated Value: $24,500,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
2016$100,00099.2%$99,204$10,000,000
2017$100,00096.6%$96,556$2,000,000
2018$5,900,00074.2%$4,378,444
2019$6,400,00046.9%$3,000,093
Subtotal$7,574,297$12,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$19,574,297 (80%)
Tamba Hali
Stated Value: $21,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
2016$1,250,00095.0%$1,187,993$5,750,000
2017$1,250,00061.3%$766,733$5,750,000
2018$7,000,00011.6%$813,054
Subtotal$2,767,780$11,500,000
Expected Contract Value:$14,267,780 (68%)
Derrick Shelby
Stated Value: $18,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201698.8%$6,000,000
2017$3,000,00091.4%$2,740,921
2018$4,500,00068.3%$3,071,256
2019$4,500,00040.0%$1,798,848
Subtotal$7,611,024$6,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$13,611,024 (76%)
William Hayes
Stated Value: $17,500,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201692.1%$7,000,000
2017$2,500,00057.0%$1,425,283$3,000,000
2018$5,000,00022.4%$1,121,346
Subtotal$2,546,629$10,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$12,546,629 (72%)
Cedric Thornton
Stated Value: $17,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201698.4%$6,000,000
2017$3,000,00088.2%$2,646,226
2018$4,000,00062.8%$2,510,595
2019$4,000,00033.8%$1,353,495
Subtotal$6,510,316$6,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$12,510,316 (74%)
Derrick Johnson
Stated Value: $21,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
2016$250,00088.9%$222,185$6,750,000
2017$4,000,00043.6%$1,742,661$2,000,000
2018$8,000,0009.3%$742,948
Subtotal$2,707,794$8,750,000
Expected Contract Value:$11,457,794 (55%)
Robert Ayers
Stated Value: $19,500,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201685.9%$7,500,000
2017$6,000,00041.5%$2,490,331
2018$6,000,00021.0%$1,260,633
Subtotal$3,750,963$7,500,000
Expected Contract Value:$11,250,963 (58%)
Jerrell Freeman
Stated Value: $12,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201694.1%$5,000,000
2017$2,500,00063.0%$1,573,952$1,000,000
2018$3,500,00028.4%$993,600
Subtotal$2,567,552$6,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$8,567,552 (71%)
Ahtyba Ruin
Stated Value: $12,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
2016$500,00095.0%$474,772$5,500,000
2017$2,200,00071.9%$1,582,676
2018$3,800,00026.5%$1,007,010
Subtotal$3,064,458$5,500,000
Expected Contract Value:$8,564,458 (71%)
Akiem Hicks
Stated Value: $10,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201696.5%$5,000,000
2017$5,000,00064.8%$3,238,013
Subtotal$3,238,013$5,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$8,238,013 (82%)
Jaye Howard
Stated Value: $10,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
2016$240,00096.1%$230,700$5,760,000
2017$4,000,00051.6%$2,064,138
Subtotal$2,294,838$5,760,000
Expected Contract Value:$8,054,838 (81%)
Brandon Mebane
Stated Value: $13,500,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201691.4%$5,500,000
2017$3,500,00048.4%$1,695,416
2018$4,500,00015.1%$679,879
Subtotal$2,375,294$5,500,000
Expected Contract Value:$7,875,294 (58%)
Vincent Rey
Stated Value: $10,500,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
2016$1,500,00087.4%$1,311,620$3,000,000
2017$3,250,00058.1%$1,888,171
2018$2,750,00038.4%$1,055,143
Subtotal$4,254,934$3,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$7,254,934 (69%)
Haloti Ngata
Stated Value: $12,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
2016$250,00081.4%$203,457$6,000,000
2017$5,750,00015.9%$911,717
Subtotal$7,115,175
Expected Contract Value:$7,115,175 (59%)
Al Woods
Stated Value: $10,500,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
2016$250,00095.0%$237,379$3,750,000
2017$3,000,00066.6%$1,996,666
2018$3,500,00032.2%$1,126,729
Subtotal$3,360,775$3,750,000
Expected Contract Value:$7,110,775 (68%)
Eugene Sims
Stated Value: $10,000,000
YearSalaryExpected OutcomeExpected ValueGuaranteed
201689.5%$3,000,000
2017$3,250,00048.2%$1,567,755
2018$3,750,00022.4%$840,585
Subtotal$2,408,340$3,000,000
Expected Contract Value:$5,408,340 (54%)

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.