2016 New Contract Tracker: Wide Receivers — Week 6

Last week was a strong week for a lot of the newly inked Wide Receivers. This week, however, wasn’t so great. We’re getting into the heart of the season, so, hopefully, these receivers will start to get more consistent. Week Six’s stud is a player who turned back the clock.

Week 6 Stud: Anquan Boldin ($2,750,000 APY)

The Lions have a very solid group of Wide Receivers in Marvin Jones, Golden Tate and Anquan Boldin. Jones has had many impressive games this season, and was featured previously in the New Contract Tracker. Tate has been excellent for the Lions in the past two seasons, but he’s been struggling this year. However, he had a big game this week against the Rams. Boldin is the third option on the team. He’s been targeted by Quarterback Matthew Stafford 37 times, compared to Jones’ 47 and Tate’s 41.  Despite that, he still produced big numbers this week. Boldin statistically compares this week to the season averages of Steve Smith, who is also a receiver in his mid-30’s and the number-one option on his team.

Name Team Targets Receptions Yards TDs Snaps
Anquan Boldin Lions

9

8

60

1

35

Larry Fitzgerald Cardinals

9.5

6.2

68.3

0.8

43

Steve Smith Ravens

8

5.4

62

0.2

35.8

Both Boldin and Smith also have a very similar stat sheet to Larry Fitzgerald, even though he is a few years younger than them. Based on his performance in Week Six, Boldin should be making the same as his Cardinals and Ravens counterparts. However, Boldin’s contract only gives him $2,750,000, while Smith earns $3,500,000 and Fitzgerald surpasses both at $11,000,000. Here is the contract breakdown for Smith and Fitzgerald into dollars-per-statistic

Name Team Targets Receptions Yards Snaps
Larry Fitzgerald Cardinals $1,157,895 $1,783,784 $160,976 $255,814
Steve Smith Ravens $437,500 $648,148 $56,452 $97,765

When you compare Boldin’s line to these dollars-per-statistic numbers, his APY would come on top of both; against Smith’s deal he would make $4,169,927, and versus Fitzgerald’s he would earn $11,449,953. As mentioned before, Fitzgerald is a few years younger than Boldin and Smith, so that difference in age costs Anquan over $7 million.

Week 6 Dud: Travis Benjamin ($6,000,000 APY)

Benjamin has generally been on the other side of this list. His performance in Week Six, however, was something to forget. Here’s how his stat line from this week compares to his averages from Weeks One though Five.

Game Targets Receptions Yards TDs Snaps
Week 6

5

3

17

0

20

Weeks 1-5

7.8

5.6

78.8

0.4

33.8

Benjamin was on the field much less against the Broncos in Week Six, and he was clearly less productive. From an efficiency perspective, he was just as effective being targeted and catching this passes.

Game Snaps/Target Snaps/Reception Yards/Snap Catch Rate Yards/Target Yards/Reception
Week 6 4.0 6.7 0.9 60.0% 3.4 5.7
Weeks 1-5 4.3 6.0 2.3 71.8% 10.1 14.1

Where Benjamin really faltered was in the yards category.

This week he compares to two players: Jermaine Kearse and Rishard Matthews.

Name Team Targets Receptions Yards TDs Snaps
Travis Benjamin Chargers 5 3 17 0 20
Jermaine Kearse Seahawks 4.6 3 27.4 0 36.8
Rishard Matthews Titans 4.5 3.2 47 0.3 22.3

Benjamin’s numbers are very similar to Kearse and Matthews, aside from yards and snaps. Putting the stat lines into efficiency numbers, Benjamin comes ahead and falls behind a couple times, but he’s basically in the same ballpark as Kearse and Matthews.

Name Team Snaps/Target Snaps/Reception Yards/Snap Catch Rate Yards/Target Yards/Reception
Travis Benjamin Chargers 4.0 6.7 0.9 60.0% 3.4 5.7
Jermaine Kearse Seahawks 8.0 12.3 0.7 65.2% 6.0 9.1
Rishard Matthews Titans 5.0 7.1 2.1 70.4% 10.4 14.8

Let’s put the numbers of Kearse and Matthews into dollars-per-statistic:

Name Team Targets Receptions Yards
Jermaine Kearse Seahawks $978,261 $1,500,000 $164,234
Rishard Matthews Titans $1,111,111 $1,578,947 $106,383

Comparing that to Benjamin’s stats from Week Six, he comes out with $4,061,092 against Kearse ($4.5m/year), and $4,033,636 versus Matthews ($5m/year). So he’s worth the same whether you look at him next to either receiver, which is $2 million less than what he’s making this year. Maybe if Benjamin would get more snaps again he’d play better, because he is a big-play player.

Eli (@Ebookstaber) is a big follower of every facet of the NFL: from the contracts, to the game-film, and to the Draft. He also writes for OvertimeIreland.com. Eli compiles their weekly power rankings and analyzes game film. Additionally, in the offseason he writes a variety of articles on free agency and the Draft. Growing up in Silver Spring, Maryland, Eli was brought up as a Redskins fan from the day he heard his dad yell at the TV as a little kid.