2016 New Contract Tracker: Pass Rushing Linemen (Week 8)

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.

Muhammad Wilkerson

Wilkerson signed the richest contract in terms of APY for a pass rushing defensive lineman this season. His five-year, $86 million deal is nearly identical to the contract signed by Eagles defensive lineman, Fletcher Cox. Wilkerson’s deal is for five years as compared to six for Cox and fully guarantees $36.75 million at signing whereas Cox’s deal guarantees $36.299 million. When the Jets drafted Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and Leonard Williams, their plan was clearly to create pressure on the quarterback. Thus far this season, their plan has not panned out. Through eight games, the Jets have only recorded 15 sacks, projecting them for 30 on the season. The last time the Jets recorded 30 or less sacks in a season was 2012. Wilkerson hasn’t lived up to the hopes of his contract as he as just 3 sacks and 5 hurries. Whether it is a schematic issue or something else, the Jets surely expect more production from Wilkerson and the defensive line as a whole.

Adrian Clayborn

 

Adrian Clayborn has been one of the biggest surprises and best values for defensive lineman signed this off-season. The former first-round draft pick of the Buccaneers may finally be reaching his potential. Paired with fellow, first round-pick, Vic Beasley, the Falcons defense may finally be getting to the point where it can complement their offense. Through Week 8, Clayborn has 4 sacks, 12 QB hurries, and 2 stuffs. Clayborn’s two-year, $8.5-million-dollar deal ranked as the 13th highest in terms of APY this off-season. His production thus far has surpassed his value and the Falcons will continue to look for him to produce on their quest to an NFC South championship.

 

Here are the current stats for the newly contracted rushers as tabulated by Sportingcharts.com. The chart is sorted from highest to lowest based on a production formula that takes into account some of the relevant stats shown in the table.

 

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 .

Player Team APY APY Rank Def Snaps % Def Snaps Solo Tackle Tot Tackle TFL TFL % Sacks Hurries Stuffs Prod. Rank
Adrian Clayborn Falcons $4,250,000              13 354 63% 16 17 6 35% 4 12 2 1
Jason Pierre-Paul Giants $10,000,000                 5 504 96% 20 28 2 7% 2 16 1 2
Olivier Vernon Giants $17,000,000                 3 478 91% 18 24 5 21% 1 15 4 3
Fletcher Cox Eagles $17,100,000                 2 347 77% 15 19 5 26% 4 9 2 4
Derek Wolfe Broncos $9,175,000                 7 408 72% 20 28 3 11% 5 8 0 5
Dwight Freeney Falcons $2,000,000              25 217 39% 6 9 4 44% 3 10 0 6
Muhammad Wilkerson Jets $17,200,000                 1 425 82% 17 23 7 30% 3 5 2 7
Chris Long Patriots $2,375,000              24 392 71% 13 21 4 19% 1 10 1 8
Andre Branch Dolphins $2,750,000              19 278 56% 7 17 1 6% 3 9 2 9
Malik Jackson Jaguars $14,250,000                 4 307 62% 11 12 3 25% 1 10 1 10
Mario Williams Dolphins $8,500,000                 8 309 62% 8 10 4 40% 1 7 3 11
Charles Johnson Panthers $3,000,000              17 293 63% 10 14 0 0% 2 8 0 12
Jared Crick Broncos $2,000,000              25 452 80% 12 23 4 17% 2 3 1 13
Vinny Curry Eagles $9,250,000                 6 194 43% 5 8 1 13% 1 9 0 14
Jason Jones Dolphins $1,535,000              29 277 55% 10 18 2 11% 3 3 0 15
Derrick Shelby Falcons $4,500,000              12 246 44% 6 8 2 25% 0 5 2 16
Benson Mayowa Cowboys $2,750,000              19 185 40% 3 7 3 43% 2 0 1 17
William Hayes Rams $5,833,333              10 167 34% 8 13 2 15% 1 3 2 18
Tyrunn Walker Lions $1,600,000              28 213 41% 10 17 3 18% 0 3 3 19
Cedric Thornton Cowboys $4,250,000              13 159 35% 6 14 2 14% 2 0 1 20
Stephen Paea Browns $1,900,000              27 178 32% 4 7 0 0% 0 6 0 21
Eugene Sims Rams $3,333,333              16 212 43% 6 10 2 20% 1 0 2 22
Rob Ninkovich Patriots $2,500,000              22 188 34% 5 11 0 0% 0 4 0 23
Ziggy Hood Redskins $935,000              33 349 65% 6 13 1 8% 1 0 0 24
Mitch Unrein Bears $1,130,000              31 288 52% 7 16 0 0% 0 3 0 25
Robert Ayers Jr. Buccaneers $6,500,000                 9 157 32% 5 5 1 20% 1 0 0 26
Jarvis Jenkins Jets $3,000,000              17 106 21% 7 9 0 0% 0 3 0 27
Quinton Dial 49ers $4,000,667              15 258 50% 12 21 0 0% 0 0 0 28
Billy Winn Broncos $760,000              35 162 29% 6 12 0 0% 0 0 1 29
Ricardo Mathews Steelers $760,000              35 121 26% 1 4 0 0% 0 0 0 30
Wallace Gilberry Lions $1,250,000              30 125 24% 3 5 0 0% 0 0 0 31
Tank Carradine 49ers $2,650,000              21 119 23% 2 6 0 0% 0 0 0 32
Tony Jerod-Eddie 49ers $1,000,000              32 26 5% 1 1 0 0% 0 0 0 33
Justin Trattou Vikings $810,000              34 5 1% 0 0% 0 0 0 34
Kendall Reyes Redskins $2,500,000              22 0 0% 3 5 0 0% 0 0 0 35
Aldon Smith Raiders $5,750,000              11 0 0% 0 0 0 0% 0 0 0 35