We’ve just hit the halfway point of the season. This is the time when players are evaluated for their first half performance, which is projected to their full season potential. It’s also a good time to see if the players who signed new contracts in the off-season are playing to the value which they were paid. A lot of the wide receivers who were recently inked have had up-and-down games. It’s hard to get a good picture of their performances when looking at them on a weekly basis. So let’s take a look at the best and worst performers of the first eight weeks.
First Half Stud: Marvin Jones ($8,000,000 APY)
Marvin Jones kicked off the season with some huge games, comparable to the level of the top receivers in the league. Even though he had some less than average weeks, Jones is still playing much better than his salary would suggest. His stats are comparable to two wide receivers in the league who are the number one options on their respective teams: Demaryius Thomas and Jeremy Maclin.
Jones is right on par with Thomas and Maclin in terms of targets and receptions per game, and leapfrogs them in the amount of yards he has accumulated on average. He has even been played by the Lions like a number one receiver, even though he is making number two receiver money. That shows neither the Lions nor Jones anticipated such a great season.
Comparing Jones’ $8 million per year to Thomas’ salary by conversion of dollars to statistic, he would eclipse Thomas’ $14 million APY by $38,785. That’s over 60 percent more than what he’s making now. By doing the same comparison to Maclin’s contract, Jones’ value would come in at $12,882,117, almost $2 million more than his Chiefs counterpart.
Jones has been balling in the first half of the season, and the Lions have definitely gotten a huge bargain on his deal, which was made in the off-season, especially if he keeps up his play.
First Half Dud: Jermaine Kearse ($4,500,000 APY)
The Seahawks re-signed two wide receivers in the off-season: Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse. Baldwin has been returning their investment, but Kearse has been overpaid through the midway point of the season. The Seahawks have been giving him plenty of opportunities. Kearse has seen the field on an average of 36.4 passing snaps per game. However, he’s been less productive than Rams wide receiver Brian Quick, who’s been given almost ten fewer chances on average per game.
Kearse was narrowly targeted more than Quick, which was reciprocated by the amount of receptions by each player. However, Kearse falls behind in the categories of yards and touchdowns. With the amount of snaps he got, Kearse is clearly the less productive receiver in terms of efficiency.
Quick has been the better player through the first half of the season by a wide margin, coming in ahead in every stat category aside from catch rate.
Quick is only making $1,750,000 per year, and since Kearse isn’t playing as well as he, his salary value should drop from $4.5 million to below $1.75 million. At least Kearse has the second half of the season to make up that $3 million difference.
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.