2016 New Contract Tracker: Pass Rushing Linemen (Week 9)

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.

Mario Williams

Mario Williams, the former first overall pick of the Houston Texans, signed a two-year, $17 million deal with the Dolphins this off-season. With names like Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake, the Dolphins were surely expecting to create a formidable pass rushing defense. So far this season, the Dolphins are right dead in the middle of the league, with 19 sacks on the season. Williams, now 31, is a big name, who may be on the downslope of his career. He has only recorded one sack on the season. In the 2015 season, Williams had 5 sacks in 15 games. However, in the three years’ prior, Williams averaged roughly 12.5 sacks a season, with his lowest output during that time span coming in 2012, when he recorded 10.5 sacks. There has been a significant dip in his production, but it would be tough to argue that teams around the league didn’t see this coming. Williams’ $8.5 million deal reflects the Dolphins may have paid up a bit for the name recognition and the short length of the contract indicates the risk in signing a 31-year old defensive end.

William Hayes

Another 31-year old defensive lineman that signed a contract this off-season is William Hayes of the Los Angeles Rams. Hayes signed a three-year, $17.5 million deal with the Rams, with $10 million guaranteed. Hayes was likely signed to replace his former teammate Chris Long. Like the aforementioned Williams, Hayes too has only recorded one sack on the season. With the exception of All-Pro, Aaron Donald, the Rams defense has struggled to get to the quarterback this season. In fact, Donald is responsible for a third of the Rams sacks as a team. Hayes had been relatively consistent over the past four seasons, recording anywhere from four to seven sacks a season. One reason Hayes’ production may be down is an ankle injury which caused him to miss two games this season. Hayes too might be on the tail end of his career, but the Rams are surely hoping to squeeze some production out of him through the rest of his contract.

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 .

PlayerTeamAPYAPY RankDef Snaps% Def SnapsSolo TackleTot TackleTFLTFL %SacksHurriesStuffsProd. Rank
Adrian ClaybornFalcons$4,250,0001340863%1920840%51221
Olivier VernonGiants$17,000,000354891%2229621%21842
Jason Pierre-PaulGiants$10,000,000557596%233339%21823
Fletcher CoxEagles$17,100,000239777%1724625%41034
Derek WolfeBroncos$9,175,000744868%2130310%51005
Dwight FreeneyFalcons$2,000,0002521734%69444%31006
Muhammad WilkersonJets$17,200,000147482%2029724%3537
Charles JohnsonPanthers$3,000,0001734365%111500%21408
Malik JacksonJaguars$14,250,000434863%1113323%21019
Andre BranchDolphins$2,750,0001932258%91915%310210
Chris LongPatriots$2,375,0002439271%1321419%110111
Vinny CurryEagles$9,250,000622443%711218%112112
Mario WilliamsDolphins$8,500,000832859%810440%17313
Jason JonesDolphins$1,535,0002929853%1119211%34014
William HayesRams$5,833,3331020637%1318317%16315
Jared CrickBroncos$2,000,0002553582%1324417%20116
Eugene SimsRams$3,333,3331623843%913431%20317
Benson MayowaCowboys$2,750,0001920240%48338%20118
Derrick ShelbyFalcons$4,500,0001224638%68225%05219
Cedric ThorntonCowboys$4,250,0001317134%715320%20220
Tyrunn WalkerLions$1,600,0002822939%1018317%03321
Stephen PaeaBrowns$1,900,0002717728%51000%05022
Rob NinkovichPatriots$2,500,0002218834%51100%04023
Ziggy HoodRedskins$935,0003334965%61318%10024
Mitch UnreinBears$1,130,0003128852%71600%03025
Robert Ayers Jr.Buccaneers$6,500,000921338%57114%10026
Jarvis JenkinsJets$3,000,0001712021%7900%03027
Tank Carradine49ers$2,650,0002114825%510110%00028
Ricardo MathewsSteelers$760,0003512624%25120%00029
Quinton Dial49ers$4,000,6671531452%162500%00030
Billy WinnBroncos$760,0003519329%61200%00131
Wallace GilberryLions$1,250,0003012521%3500%00032
Tony Jerod-Eddie49ers$1,000,000325810%1100%00033
Justin TrattouVikings$810,0003451%0000%00034
Kendall ReyesRedskins$2,500,0002200%5700%00035
Aldon SmithRaiders$5,750,0001100%0000%00035