ECV 2015 Expected Outcomes Tracking Update

Due to the fact that rosters will remain mostly static between now and the preseason, I thought that this would be a good time to provide an update as to the status of the players for whom we provided a 2015 expected outcome earlier in the offseason. As a reminder, we ran the Expected Contract Value model on each player under contract for 2015 (as of the very beginning of the offseason) with a scheduled cap number of $2 million or more, and we listed each player’s likelihood of remaining under such existing contract for the 2015 season.

Earlier in the offseason, we presented the expected outcome information in such as way as to evaluate it based solely on whether a player’s expected outcome was greater or less than 50%. If the expected outcome was less than 50%, we had projected the player to be released, and if he was in fact released, we deemed that a successful projection. However, we have since come to the conclusion that this is not a good way to evaluate the forecasts. We actually wouldn’t want all players with an expected outcome less than 50% to be released, and we wouldn’t want all players with an expected outcome greater than 50% to remain under contract.

Instead, we think the best way to evaluate the expected outcome forecasts is to separate the players into bands based on expected outcome ranges, and then to evaluate based on whether the number of players within that band who could expect to be released were in fact released. For example, if there were 100 players within the 90-99% band, we would expect about 5 of them to be released, as the weighted average expected outcome is probably approximately 95%. Below, I have listed 10 bands of expected outcome ranges and the collective status of the players in each.

The final evaluation of the 2015 expected outcomes cannot be performed until rosters are finalized at the conclusion of the preseason, and we expect a significant number of transactions relevant to this analysis to take place as rosters are reduced. So while it currently looks as though ECV predicted far too many releases, the actual number of releases will likely come out to be much closer by September.  Furthermore, it appears as though the forecast would look better without kickers, punters, and star quarterbacks.  As we mentioned in the introduction series, the model may not work well on these types of players.

With respect to the lists provided below, keep in mind that the expected outcomes were determined in February, so for players who have signed extensions or renegotiated contracts since that time, the expected outcomes have changed significantly.  As we explained in the introduction series, a pay cut is treated as a release for purposes of Expected Contract Value. A retirement is also treated as a release.

NFC East   |   AFC East

NFC West   |   AFC West

NFC South   |   AFC South

NFC North  |  AFC North

90-99% Band:

Number of Players: 119

Number of Expected Releases: ~6

Number of Actual Releases: 3 (97.5%)

Players Released: Anthony Davis, Michael Johnson, Anthony Collins

Remaining Candidates: Jake Matthews, Sammy Watkins, Kyle Fuller, Justin Gilbert, Eric Ebron, Jadeveon Clowney, Blake Bortles, Anthony Barr, Odell Beckham Jr, Khalil Mack, Ryan Shazier, Donald Butler, Greg Robinson, Aaron Donald, Mike Evans, Taylor Lewan, Chris Harris, Kyle Rudolph, Tyron Smith, Aaron Williams, Joe Haden, Rob Gronkowski, Earl Thomas, Allen Bailey, Jason Kelce, Luke Joeckel, Kenny Vaccaro, Sheldon Richardson, DJ Fluker, Eric Reid, Tavon Austin, Robert Quinn, Junior Galette, Johnny Hekker, Eugene Monroe, Matt Stafford, EJ Manuel, Star Lotululei, Jarvis Jones, Jurrell Casey, Terrell Suggs, Brian Cushing, Maurkice Pouncey, Joe Flacco, JJ Watt, Linval Joseph, Ezekial Ansah, Everson Griffen, Justin Pugh, Dennis Pitta, DeAndre Hopkins, Jairus Byrd, Cliff Avril, Tyler Eifert, Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Patrick Peterson, Sean Lee, Orlando Scandrick, Andy Dalton, Sharrif Floyd, Eric Decker, Dee Miliner, Dan Bailey, Desmond Trufant, Kyle Long, Gerald McCoy, Golden Tate, Jeremy Kerley, Rily Cooper, Matt Ryan, Datone Jones, Bjoern Werner, Xavier Rhodes, Chance Wharmack, Brandon Fusco, KJ Wright, Brandon Albert, Eric Fisher, Alex Mack, Marcus Gilbert, Tyson Jackson, Zach Martin, DeSean Jackson, DJ Hayden, Jonathan Stewart, Carlos Dunlap, Cortez Allen, Jeremy Zuttah, Sylvester Williams, Colin Kaepernick, Jonathan Cooper, Jon Asamoah, Vontaze Burfict, Jay Cutler, Richard Sherman, Geno Atkins, Barkevious Mingo, NaVorro Bowman, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Daryl Washington, Jared Veldheer, Morgan Burnett, Dion Jordan, Lane Johnson, Zane Beadles, Joe Staley, Sam Shields, Marcus Cannon, Jared Cook, Tim Jennings, Vontae Davis, Luke Kuechly, Fletcher Cox, Michael Brockers, Alterraun Verner

80-89% Band:

Number of Players: 55

Number of Expected Released: ~8

Number of Actual Releases: 4 (92.7%)

Players Released: Percy Harvin, Sam Baker, Trent Richardson, Geoff Schwartz

Remaining Candidates: Calvin Johnson, Clay Matthews, Keenan Lewis, Austin Howard, Zach Strief, Breno Giacomini, Andre Roberts, Antonio Brown, Mark Barron, Alex Smith, Victor Cruz, D’Qwell Jackson, Tramaine Brock, Mike Mitchell, Shawn Lauvao, Michael Floyd, Paul Soliai, Stephon Gilmore, Morris Claiborne, Dontari Poe, Robert Griffin III, Brent Grimes, Quinten Coples, Jason Peters, Jimmy Graham, Aqib Talib, Tony Romo, Roy Miller, Matt Kalil, Kam Chancellor, Graham Gano, Lamarr Houston, Jared Allen, Roger Saffold, Donte Whitner, Doug Baldwin, Jamaal Charles, Eric Wood, Julian Edelman, Kendall Wright, Danny Woodhead, Dre Kirkpatrick, Arthur Jones, Chandler Jones, Mike Wallace, Roddy White, Thomas Morstead, Ziggy Hood, Michael Bennett, Gosder Cherilus, Andy Levitre

70-79% Band:

Number of Players: 57

Number of Expected Releases: ~14

Number of Actual Releases: 10 (82.5%)

Players Released: Michael Oher, Philip Wheeler, Jerod Mayo, David Wilson, Dashon Goldson, Brian Hartline, Lardarius Webb, Jacoby Jones, Vance Walker, Danny Amendola

Remaining Candidates: Karlos Dansby, Dan Carpenter, Clinton McDonald, Wesley Woodyard, William Beatty, Glover Quin, Dexter McCluster, Malcolm Jenkins, Brandon Marshall, Brandon Pettigrew, Jason Hatcher, Chris Williams, Perry Riley, Patrick Chung, Shea McClellin, Melvin Ingram, LeSean McCoy, Chris Baker, Glenn Dorsey, Elvis Dumervil, James Laurinaitis, Andrew Luck, Koa Misi, Evan Kietrich-Smith, T.J. Ward, Pat McAfee, Justin Blackmon, William Moore, Domata Peko, Jason McCourty, Corey Graham, Duane Brown, Antoine Bethea, Nick Folk, Reshad Jones, Toby Gerhart, Joe Thomas, Shaun Suisham, Donta Hightower, David DeCastro, Donald Brown, Whitney Mercilus, Kevin Zeitler, Nick Perry, Rashad Jennings, Matt Slauson

60-69% Band:

Number of Players: 41

Number of Expected Releases: ~14

Number of Actual Releases: 5 (87.8%)

Players Released: Steve Johnson, Kyle Arrington, Dwayne Bowe, Curtis Lofton, Kamerion Wimbley

Remaining Candidates: Carson Palmer, Connor Barwin, Ryan Tannehill, Riley Reiff, Brandon Carr, Joique Bell, Darren Sproles, Andrew Hawkins, Eric Berry, Red Bryant, Jermon Bushrod, Ryan Kalil, Sen’Derrick Marks, TJ Lang, Harrison Smith, Doug Martin, Paul Kruger, Emmanuel Sanders, Desmond Bryant, Demar Dotson, Willie Young, Captain Munnerlyn, Calais Campbell, Charles Johnson, DeMarcus Ware, Adrian Peterson, Lawrence Timmons, Mario Williams, DeAngelo Hall, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Garrett Graham, Heath Miller, Russell Okung, Louis Vasquez, Bruce Irvin, Marcel Reece

50-59% Band:

Number of Players: 39

Number of Expected Releases: ~18

Number of Actual Releases: 10 (74.4%)

Players Released: Henry Melton, Dannell Ellerbe, LaRon Landry, Maurice Jones Drew, Reggie Bush, Jon Beason, Greg Jennings, Ricky Jean-Francois, Ted Ginn, James Jones

Remaining Candidates: Phil Loadholdt, Rob Ninkovich, Steven Hauschka, Josh Sitton, Brian Robison, Joe Hawley, Martellus Bennett, Arian Foster, Max Unger, Britton Colquitt, Daryl Smith, Larry Fitzgerald, Andy Lee, Jason Whitten, Kevin Huber, Kraig Urbik, Ropati Pitoitua, Ryan Clady, Leodis McKelvin, Kory Lichtensteiger, Barry Church, Nick Mangold, Chris Ivory, Mike Neal, Pierre Garcon, Robbie Gould, Chris Clemons, Sam Bradford, John Phillips

40-49% Band:

Number of Players: 45

Number of Expected Releases: ~25

Number of Actual Releases: 16 (64.4%)

Players Released: Brandon Browner, Pierre Thomas, Todd Herremans, Trent Cole, Anthony Fasano, Tyvon Branch, Troy Polamalu, Brodrick Bunkley, Justin Blalock, Brandon Gibson, J.D. Walton, Barry Cofield, Shelley Smith, Keith Rivers, DeAngelo Williams, Tracy Porter

Remaining Candidates: Ahmad Brooks, John Sullivan, Chris Long, Matt Cassel, Nick Roach, Dustin Colquitt, Matt Shaughnessy, Andre Smith, Manny Lawson, Kyle Williams, Sean Smith, Robert Mathis, Stephen Tulloch, Michael Griffin, Cam Thomas, Ben Grubbs, Trent Williams, Donald Thomas, Sebastian Vollmer, Brent Celek, Al Woods, DeAndre Levy, Devin Hester, Mackenzy Bernadeau, Sammie Lee Hill, David Hawthorne, Chase Daniel, Tom Brady, Greg Olson

30-39% Band:

Number of Players: 42

Number of Expected Releases: ~27

Number of Actual Releases: 14 (66.7%)

Players Released: Paul Posluszny, Jake Long, Zach Miller, Brad Jones, Patrick Willis, Chris Johnson, Kendall Langford, Jerome Felton, Marques Colston, Scott Chandler, Joe Mays, Brandon Fields, Shonn Greene, Tamba Hali

Remaining Candidates: Mike Tolbert, Steve McLendon, Marshawn Lynch, Nolan Carroll, Jerraud Powers, Jason Jones, Delanie Walker, Erik Walden, Marshal Yanda, Ramon Foster, Logan Paulsen, Haloti Ngata, Steve Weatherford, Leon Hall, Vincent Ray, William Hayes, Matt Forte, Vernon Davis, Eric Weddle, Alex Boone, Jonathan Babineaux, Wallace Gillberry, Ryan Wendell, Chad Henne, Jahri Evans, Vincent Jackson, Tony McDaniel, Johnathan Joseph

20-29% Band:

Number of Players: 46

Number of Expected Releases: ~35

Number of Actual Releases: 25 (45.7%)

Players Released: Thomas DeCoud, Cary Williams, Lamarr Woodley, Mike DeVito, AJ Hawk, Lyle Sendlein, Darrelle Revis, Chad Rinehart, Mathias Kiwanuka, Mercedes Lewis, Randy Starks, Cortland Finnegan, DeMeco Ryans, Harry Douglas, Charlie Johnson, James Casey, Steven Jackson, Vince Wilfork, Chris Canty, Donnie Avery, Chris Chester, Evan Mathis, Stephen Bowen, Craig Stevens, Chad Greenway

Remaining Candidates: Logan Mankins, Brandon Mebane, Reggie Nelson, Greg Toler, Rashad Johnson, Thomas Davis, James Ihedigbo, Michael Koenen, Steve Smith, Anquan Boldin, Jameel McClain, Drew Stanton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Julius Peppers, Mason Crosby, Ben Roethlisberger, Lorenzo Alexander, Sebastian Janikowski, Adam Jones, Derrick Johnson, Cameron Wake

10-19% Band:

Number of Players: 28

Number of Expected Releases: ~24

Number of Actual Releases: 11 (60.7%)

Players Released: Robert Geathers, Darnell Dockett, Andre Johnson, Antonio Smith, Cullen Jenkins, Chris Myers, Matt Schaub, Scott Wells, Justin Smith, Jarret Johnson, Shaun Phillips

Remaining Candidates: Justin Tuck, Manny Ramirez, Andrew Whitworth, Mike Scifres, Donald Penn, Josh Scobee, Sam Koch, Donnie Jones, Eugene Sims, Charlie Whitehurst, Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, Malcom Floyd, Antonio Gates, Calvin Pace, Fred Jackson, Eli Manning

1-9% Band:

Number of Players: 5

Number of Expected Releases: ~5

Number of Actual Releases: 2 (60%)

Players Released: Josh McCown, Peyton Manning

Remaining Candidates: Shane Lechler, Phil Dawson, Adam Vinatieri

Introduction Part 1:  Justification, Theory, & “Contract Analytics”

Introduction Part 2:  Inputs & Outputs

Introduction Part 3:  Contract Comparison

Introduction Part 4:  Salary Cap Budgeting

Introduction Part 5:  Frequently Asked Questions

Expected Contract Value was created by Bryce Johnston and Nicholas Barton.

Bryce Johnston earned his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center in May 2014, and currently works as a corporate associate in the New York City office of an AmLaw 50 law firm.  Before becoming a contributor to, Bryce operated for 10 NFL offseasons, appearing multiple times on 610 WIP Sports Radio in Philadelphia as an NFL salary cap expert. Bryce can be contacted via e-mail at or via Twitter @eaglessalarycap.

Nicholas Barton is a sophomore at Georgetown University. He intends on double majoring in Operations and Information Management and Finance as well as pursuing a minor in Economics. Currently one of the leaders of the Georgetown Sports Analysis, Business, and Research Group, Nick consults for Dynamic Sports Solutions, an innovative sports start-up that uses mathematical and computational methods to evaluate players. He also writes for the Hoya, Georgetown’s school newspaper, and his own blog, Life of a Football Fan. Nick can be contacted via e-mail at