2016 New Contract Tracker: Pass Rushing Linemen

On a weekly basis, I will be evaluating defensive ends 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 taking a look at players on two surprisingly, undefeated teams.

Fletcher Cox

The attention in Philadelphia is on rookie QB Carson Wentz and rightfully so. However, the Eagles defense quietly leads the league in points against at 9.0 points per game. Fletcher Cox has been an integral part of this success. While the Eagles may not have expected such immediate results from Wentz, the same cannot be said of Fletcher Cox. Cox signed a 6 year, $102.6M deal with the Eagles in the offseason. That type of contract signifies the expectation and confidence the Eagles have in Cox to lead the defense. Through three games, Cox has 11 total tackles, 3 sacks and 4 QB hurries. Cox had a stellar game against the Steelers, recording 2 sacks and a forced fumble. While much of the spotlight has been attributed to Carson Wentz, Cox and the Eagles defense have proved paramount in leading the Eagles to a 3-0 record and first place in the NFC East.

Chris Long

Continuing with the theme of undefeated teams with young QB’s, we move on to the New England Patriots and defensive end Chris Long. Long signed a 1 year, $2.375M deal with the Patriots in the offseason. In many ways, Long’s signing with the Patriots exemplifies a typical Belichick move. A low risk, high reward deal with a veteran player many have started to not believe in. Long has been on the field for 71% of the defensive snaps in New England, a figure that is right in line with his counterpart Jabaal Sheard. 29% of Long’s tackles have been for a loss and he has 1 sack and 3 QB hurries through three games. It will be interesting to see how Long’s production changes with the reinstatement of Rob Ninkovich after week 4, but for now, Long seems to be experiencing a somewhat of a career revival with New England.

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

PlayerTeamAPY% Def SnapsSolo TackleTot TackleTFLTFL %SacksHurriesStuffs
Jason Pierre-PaulGiants$10,000,00098%1115213%170
Fletcher CoxEagles$17,100,00074%911218%340
Muhammad WilkersonJets$17,200,00097%1013431%212
Olivier VernonGiants$17,000,00094%57229%141
Chris LongPatriots$2,375,00071%57229%130
Mario WilliamsDolphins$8,500,00066%34250%131
Malik JacksonJaguars$14,250,00065%34125%140
Derek WolfeBroncos$9,175,00071%910110%220
Charles JohnsonPanthers$3,000,00066%6600%050
Jason JonesLions$1,535,00063%48113%220
Andre BranchDolphins$2,750,00050%16117%130
William HayesRams$5,833,33346%611218%122
Adrian ClaybornFalcons$4,250,00053%44125%031
Jared CrickBroncos$2,000,00077%35120%021
Stephen PaeaBrowns$1,900,00030%1100%030
Benson MayowaCowboys$2,750,00057%12150%100
Derrick ShelbyFalcons$4,500,00057%3400%020
Wallace GilberryLions$1,250,00049%3400%020
Vinny CurryEagles$9,250,00045%2200%020
Robert Ayers Jr.Buccaneers$6,500,00044%44125%100
Dwight FreeneyFalcons$2,000,00040%22150%100
Mitch UnreinBears$1,130,00056%0400%010
Cedric ThorntonCowboys$4,250,00031%47114%001
Ziggy HoodRedskins$935,00063%2500%000
Jarvis JenkinsJets$3,000,00024%3300%010
Quinton Dial49ers$4,000,66752%3900%000
Tank Carradine49ers$2,650,00037%1400%000
Tyrunn WalkerLions$1,600,00037%4800%000
Eugene SimsRams$3,333,33328%3400%000
Billy WinnBroncos$760,00025%2200%000
Ricardo MathewsSteelers$760,00021%0100%000
Kendall ReyesRedskins$2,500,0009%1200%000
Tony Jerod-Eddie49ers$1,000,0003%0000%000
Justin TrattouVikings$810,0001%0000%000
Rob NinkovichPatriots$2,500,0000%0000%000
Aldon SmithRaiders$5,750,0000%0000%00