2016 New Contract Tracker: Pass Rushing Linemen (Week 4)

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.

This week, we will be evaluating two players on the 2015 Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos.

Malik Jackson

Jackson left the Broncos and signed the fourth largest contract for a pass rushing defensive linemen during the offseason. Jackson’s 6 year, $85.5 million deal ranks only behind Muhammad Wilkerson (franchise tag), Fletcher Cox, and Olivier Vernon. Jackson’s 9 QB hurries trail only Aaron Donald through the first quarter of the season. However, Jackson has only recorded one sack on the season. While creating pressure is key to a defense’s pass rush, defensive pass rushers are ultimately evaluated on how often they actually sack the quarterback.

Derek Wolfe

 

Three months before Malik Jackson inked his lucrative deal in Jacksonville, the Broncos and John Elway agreed to a 4 year, $37.5 million contract with fellow defensive lineman, Derek Wolfe. Wolfe’s contract seems more and more like a bargain as each game of this season goes by. Through four games, the Broncos defense seems just as strong as the unit that won them the Super Bowl last season. Wolfe trails only teammate Von Miller in sacks this season with four. The duo has wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks this season, and have done so in large part with the absence of DeMarcus Ware. Wolfe’s contract ranked as the 7th highest in terms of APY for a defensive end this offseason, however, his production has seemed to surpass that value.

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

Player Team APY % Def Snaps Solo Tackle Tot Tackle TFL TFL % Sacks Hurries Stuffs
Olivier Vernon Giants $17,000,000 94% 8 10 3 30% 1 8 2
Fletcher Cox Eagles $17,100,000 74% 9 11 2 18% 3 5 0
Derek Wolfe Broncos $9,175,000 70% 14 16 3 19% 4 2 0
Malik Jackson Jaguars $14,250,000 64% 8 9 2 22% 1 9 0
Jason Pierre-Paul Giants $10,000,000 98% 12 18 2 11% 1 8 0
Muhammad Wilkerson Jets $17,200,000 97% 11 16 5 31% 2 3 2
Dwight Freeney Falcons $2,000,000 41% 3 3 2 67% 2 4 0
Chris Long Patriots $2,375,000 73% 7 11 2 18% 1 5 0
Adrian Clayborn Falcons $4,250,000 62% 7 7 1 14% 0 7 1
Jared Crick Broncos $2,000,000 74% 5 8 2 25% 1 3 1
Mario Williams Dolphins $8,500,000 67% 5 7 2 29% 1 3 1
Jason Jones Lions $1,535,000 62% 5 13 1 8% 2 2 0
Charles Johnson Panthers $3,000,000 64% 7 7 0 0% 0 6 0
Andre Branch Dolphins $2,750,000 49% 3 9 1 11% 1 3 2
William Hayes Rams $5,833,333 35% 6 11 2 18% 1 2 2
Derrick Shelby Falcons $4,500,000 61% 4 6 1 17% 0 3 1
Benson Mayowa Cowboys $2,750,000 51% 2 3 2 67% 1 0 1
Stephen Paea Browns $1,900,000 33% 2 3 0 0% 0 4 0
Eugene Sims Rams $3,333,333 37% 5 8 1 13% 1 0 1
Robert Ayers Jr. Buccaneers $6,500,000 32% 4 4 1 25% 1 0 0
Wallace Gilberry Lions $1,250,000 48% 3 4 0 0% 0 2 0
Vinny Curry Eagles $9,250,000 45% 2 2 0 0% 0 2 0
Mitch Unrein Bears $1,130,000 58% 2 7 0 0% 0 1 0
Tyrunn Walker Lions $1,600,000 38% 6 11 1 9% 0 0 1
Cedric Thornton Cowboys $4,250,000 32% 5 9 1 11% 0 0 1
Ziggy Hood Redskins $935,000 62% 3 6 0 0% 0 0 0
Billy Winn Broncos $760,000 27% 2 3 0 0% 0 1 0
Ricardo Mathews Steelers $760,000 20% 0 1 0 0% 0 1 0
Quinton Dial 49ers $4,000,667 48% 5 12 0 0% 0 0 0
Tank Carradine 49ers $2,650,000 35% 1 5 0 0% 0 0 0
Jarvis Jenkins Jets $3,000,000 21% 3 3 0 0% 0 0 0
Kendall Reyes Redskins $2,500,000 14% 3 5 0 0% 0 0 0
Tony Jerod-Eddie 49ers $1,000,000 2% 0 0 0 0% 0 0 0
Justin Trattou Vikings $810,000 1% 0 0 0 0% 0 0 0
Aldon Smith Raiders $5,750,000 0% 0 0 0 0% 0 0 0
Rob Ninkovich Patriots $2,500,000 0% 0 0 0 0% 0 0 0

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 .