Worst Contracts in the NFL: AFC North

Baltimore Ravens- Joe Flacco, 3 years $66.4M, $44M guaranteed

This one is really just a continuation on a previous disastrous contract that occurred because Flacco backed the Ravens into a corner following a Super Bowl win and Baltimore felt they had no options. The bonus structure on this contract is far and away the worst in the NFL. Since 2013 the Ravens have paid Flacco signing bonuses of $29 million, $15 million, $7 million and the latest one- a whopping $40 million off an injury. The cost of cutting or trading Flacco this year would have been $47.3 million because of all the bonus money. Next year its $28.75 million and the year after that it’s $16 million. Flacco has a total of one 4,000+ yard passing season and has never posted more than 27 touchdowns in a 9 year career. Since winning the Super Bowl and receiving the massive contracts the Ravens have made the playoffs just once in 4 years and are struggling with their salary cap. Flacco’s contract illustrates just about everything that is wrong with the way teams handle their quarterback position. There are few contracts in the league that were more mortgaged than Tony Romo’s but this one met that challenge and topped it. If Flacco’s body breaks down it will get the treated the same way as the team struggles to come out from under it. Continue reading Worst Contracts in the NFL: AFC North »

The Best and Worst Value Defenses in 2016

Over the last two weeks we looked at the best value teams in the NFL as well as the best value offenses and this week we will look at the best and worst values defenses. The metric’s we’ll use here to compare the team’s performance to spending will be Football Outsiders Weighted DVOA for defense and my defensive efficiency metric, which is basically the percentage a team scores above or below their specific opponent’s adjusted  average points allowed.  Punters will be included as part of the defensive spending. The following plot shows the teams spending on offense vs their performance with the size of the bubble indicating the ratio of money spent on offense vs defense. Though normally negative means a better defense I flipped the signs to make it easier to view, so in this case a higher % also means a better defense. Continue reading The Best and Worst Value Defenses in 2016 »

New Contract Tracker: Quarterbacks and Interior DL

Earlier this week, we the people decided who we want to lead us into the near future from the Presidential Palace.  Regardless of whether we as individuals supported the eventual winner or not, ultimately it was decided that a radical change was necessary at the top.

After years of what people felt was a whole lot of wheel-spinning and not enough tangible, positive end results, it was clear that the fear of “more of the same” shook many to their core and was the impetus for taking a different path.

I wonder if those in charge of choosing a leader to guide the LA Rams feel empowered to similarly shake things up in the land of 7-9.

Continue reading New Contract Tracker: Quarterbacks and Interior DL »

Most and Least Valuable Quarterbacks: Week 2

During the offseason I did some work on valuations of a few positions and thought it might be worthwhile to look at a few of them on a weekly basis measure the value that a team is getting from their players. A player’s statistical performance is converted into a salary to attempt to put the numbers in better context. This week we’ll look at quarterbacks and see who were the best and worst players as well as those providing the most and least value this week. Continue reading Most and Least Valuable Quarterbacks: Week 2 »

Best and Worst Contracts 2016: Dallas Cowboys

Best: Tyron Smith, 8 years, $97.6 million, $22.1M guaranteed

Nobody ever associates Dallas with negotiating the best contracts in the NFL, but in this instance they arguably have the best contract in the entire league. Smith is considered the best left tackle in the NFL and pretty much was considered the best tackle in the NFL when he signed this contract. His contract does not come close to reflecting that. Smith’s deal was one of the first extensions signed for a first round player in the new CBA and Dallas hit a home run by proactively approaching this deal. Continue reading Best and Worst Contracts 2016: Dallas Cowboys »

Best and Worst Contracts 2016: San Diego Chargers

Best: Keenan Allen, 4 years, $45 million, $20.7 million guaranteed

I thought this was a pretty easy selection to make. Regardless of his injury last season, Allen is one of the real bright young NFL talents at the position. He plays on a team that lacks playmakers yet is able to stand out despite the attention he gets. He had been consistent his first two years before making the “third year leap” many expect for receivers as he was on his way to a 1,400 yard season before being injured. Continue reading Best and Worst Contracts 2016: San Diego Chargers »

Best and Worst Contracts 2016: Oakland Raiders

Best: Reggie Nelson, 2 years, $8.5 million, $4M guaranteed

Some of the best contracts come by waiting out those initial runs at free agency and that’s what the Raiders did here with Nelson. Despite the fact that Nelson was 32 last season he is still a very productive player, but we often look at that productivity with a glass half full approach when players are on the wrong side of 30. That situation helped Nelson fall into the Raiders lap where he should not only improve the secondary but take on the mentoring role that has been vacated by the retirement of Charles Woodson. Continue reading Best and Worst Contracts 2016: Oakland Raiders »