Free Agency AfterMath: Defensive Backs

The chart below compares the Expected Contract Value with the stated contract value for each contract of $10 million or more signed during the 2016 offseason. Expected Contract Value 1.1 is applied at the time of signing. Expected Contract Value 1.1 takes into account the nature and timing of contract amounts, the resulting relationship between dead money and APY in each year of the contract, the length of the contract, and the position and age of the player. Expected Contract Value 1.1 is therefore a performance-neutral measurement of expected contract earnings. As a result, the primary way a player can exceed or fall short of his Expected Contract Value is to perform better or worse than the performance expectations implied by his contract.

Player Team Stated Contract Value Length Expected Contract Value % Expected to be Earned
Janoris Jenkins NYG $62,500,000 5 $45,456,714 73%
Byron Maxwell MIA $49,500,000 5 $27,419,095 55%
Malcolm Jenkins PHI $40,000,000 5 $26,580,492 66%
Sean Smith OAK $38,000,000 4 $24,967,580 66%
Rodney McLeod PHI $35,000,000 5 $24,060,495 69%
Tashaun Gipson JAX $36,000,000 5 $23,832,753 66%
George Iloka CIN $30,000,000 5 $20,924,969 70%
Jeremy Lane SEA $23,000,000 4 $16,638,860 72%
Eric Weddle BAL $26,000,000 4 $14,679,380 56%
Casey Hayward SD $15,300,000 3 $11,726,258 77%
Adam Jones CIN $22,000,000 3 $11,326,225 51%
Coty Sensabaugh LA $17,000,000 3 $10,057,344 59%
Isa Abdul Quddus MIA $12,750,000 3 $8,782,080 69%
Andrew Sendejo MIN $16,000,000 4 $8,079,526 50%
Brent Grimes TB $14,000,000 2 $7,813,054 56%
Tracy Porter CHI $12,000,000 3 $6,961,034 58%
Total $449,050,000   $289,305,859 64%
 

The weighted average “% Expected to be Earned” was 70% for the 82 contracts signed this offseason for which we calculated Expected Contract Value. Historically, we have found this amount to be approximately 67%. In this light, the defensive backs as a group performed somewhat poorly in contract negotiations. A number of the contracts listed above with the lowest percentage of expected earnings – Sensabugh, Sendejo, Grimes, Jones and Maxwell – did not include signing bonuses. These players may have guaranteed salary amounts in the first two contract seasons, but without signing bonus proration they will have no protection from being released in year three and beyond.

The players who will play the 2016 season at only 26 years of age – George Iloka, Tashaun Gipson, Jeremy Lane and Rodney McLeod – probably should have pushed hard to sign contracts of only two seasons in length. None of them received full salary guarantees at the time of signing in the third contract season (i.e. 2018), so each gave his respective team two or three years of team options. These team options have value to the teams, so presumably the players received more guaranteed money and/or more money per year than they would have received on a two-year deal. But for these younger players I think the upside of reaching free agency again at age 28 in 2018 is worth giving up some amount of money during 2016-2017. Instead, these players have given up control of the entire prime of their respective careers to the teams, who hold all of the upside and none of the downside during the 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons.

The ranking of Expected Contract Value generally mirrors the ranking of stated contract value, but the discrepancies – Eric Weddle and Adam Jones – highlight the impact that a player’s age has on the calculations. It is certainly possible that both players could play well enough that their teams decide to retain them through the conclusion of their contracts, but the number of (non-QB/K/P) players in the league playing on a sizeable contract during an age-34 contract season is quite small. The Expected Contract Value formula therefore heavily penalizes older players, but it still contemplates that some outliers will exist. This is why a player’s probability of remaining under contract in any given year will never be 0%.

Maxwell’s Expected Contract Value on the five seasons remaining on his contract with the Eagles prior to being traded was $28,655,730. He received more guaranteed money in 2016-2017 than previously scheduled, but this was more than offset by the reduction in gross money during 2016-2017 and a lower expected outcome in 2018 as a result of potential dead money protection accelerating onto the salary cap of the Eagles in connection with the trade. As a general matter, the acceleration of signing bonus proration against the salary cap of the original team results in lower expected earnings for traded players following a trade.

Janoris Jenkins
Stated Value: $62,500,000
Year Salary Expected Outcome Expected Value Guaranteed
2016 $100,000 99.6% $99,600 $15,900,000
2017 $100,000 95.9% $95,900 $12,900,000
2018 $11,000,000 72.9% $8,023,170
2019 $10,250,000 49.8% $5,101,439
2020 $12,250,000 27.2% $3,336,560
Subtotal $16,656,714 $28,800,000
Expected Contract Value: $45,456,714 (73%)
Byron Maxwell
Stated Value: $49,500,000
Year Salary Expected Outcome Expected Value Guaranteed
2016 96.7% $8,500,000
2017 $7,000,000 77.6% $1,429,602 $3,000,000
2018 $10,000,000 51.8% $5,177,814
2019 $10,000,000 33.6% $3,356,229
2020 $11,000,000 17.1% $1,885,937
Subtotal $16,349,583 $11,500,000
Expected Contract Value: $27,349,583 (55%)
Malcolm Jenkins
Stated Value: $40,500,000
Year Salary Expected Outcome Expected Value Guaranteed
2016 99.2% $10,000,000
2017 94.9% $6,000,000
2018 $8,500,000 64.4% $5,477,077
2019 $8,250,000 41.2% $3,399,267
2020 $7,750,000 22.0% $1,704,148
Subtotal $10,580,492 $16,000,000
Expected Contract Value: $26,580,492 (66%)
Sean Smith
Stated Value: $38,000,000
Year Salary Expected Outcome Expected Value Guaranteed
2016 $250,000 97.5% $243,770 $10,750,000
2017 $5,250,000 78.3% $4,112,076 $4,250,000
2018 $8,500,000 44.2% $3,760,157
2019 $9,000,000 20.6% $1,851,578
Subtotal $9,967,580 $15,000,000
Expected Contract Value: $24,967,580 (66%)
Rodney McLeod
Stated Value: $35,000,000
Year Salary Expected Outcome Expected Value Guaranteed
2016 99.6% $9,000,000
2017 97.7% $4,000,000
2018 $6,000,000 82.0% $4,918,061
2019 $7,500,000 53.8% $4,036,042
2020 $8,500,000 24.8% $2,106,391
Subtotal $11,060,495 $13,000,000
Expected Contract Value: $ 24,060,495 (69%)
Tashaun Gipson
Stated Value: $36,000,000
Year Salary Expected Outcome Expected Value Guaranteed
2016 $500,000 99.4% $496,775 $7,000,000
2017 $500,000 96.0% $480,010 $5,000,000
2018 $6,250,000 76.4% $4,777,605
2019 $8,250,000 47.2% $3,897,836
2020 $8,500,000 25.7% $2,180,528
Subtotal $11,832,753 $12,000,000
Expected Contract Value: $23,832,753 (66%)
George Iloka
Stated Value: $30,000,000
Year Salary Expected Outcome Expected Value Guaranteed
2016 $2,600,000 97.2% $2,527,640 $5,000,000
2017 $4,800,000 89.4% $4,290,645
2018 $5,600,000 74.2% $4,155,919
2019 $6,000,000 51.9% $3,111,687
2020 $6,000,000 30.7% $1,839,078
Subtotal $15,924,969 $5,000,000
Expected Contract Value: $20,924,969 (70%)
Jeremy Lane
Stated Value: $23,000,000
Year Salary Expected Outcome Expected Value Guaranteed
2016 98.7% $7,000,000
2017 $4,000,000 90.3% $3,612,905
2018 $6,000,000 64.4% $3,862,685
2019 $6,000,000 36.1% $2,163,271
Subtotal $9,638,860 $7,000,000
Expected Contract Value: $16,638,860 (72%)
Eric Weddle
Stated Value: $26,000,000
Year Salary Expected Outcome Expected Value Guaranteed
2016 95.5% $9,000,000
2017 $4,000,000 72.5% $2,900,189
2018 $6,500,000 31.1% $2,024,213
2019 $6,500,000 11.6% $754,978
Subtotal $5,679,380 $9,000,000
Expected Contract Value: $14,679,380 (56%)
Casey Hayward
Stated Value: $15,300,000
Year Salary Expected Outcome Expected Value Guaranteed
2016 96.8% $6,800,000
2017 $4,250,000 73.0% $3,101,858
2018 $4,250,000 42.9% $1,824,400
Subtotal $4,926,258 $6,800,000
Expected Contract Value: $11,726,258 (77%)
Coty Sensabaugh
Stated Value: $14,500,000
Year Salary Expected Outcome Expected Value Guaranteed
2016 96.3% $4,500,000
2017 $4,000,000 68.5% $2,740,487 $1,000,000
2018 $5,000,000 36.3% $1,816,857
Subtotal $4,557,344 $5,500,000
Expected Contract Value: $10,057,344
Isa Abdul-Quddus
Stated Value: $12,750,000
Year Salary Expected Outcome Expected Value Guaranteed
2016 $25,000 97.1% $24,265 $4,225,000
2017 $4,250,000 69.2% $2,941,606
2018 $4,250,000 37.4% $1,591,209
Subtotal $4,557,080 $4,225,000
Expected Contract Value: $8,782,080 (69%)
Tracy Porter
Stated Value: $12,000,000
Year Salary Expected Outcome Expected Value Guaranteed
2016 $250,000 89.8% $224,549 $4,250,000
2017 $3,750,000 45.5% $1,706,669
2018 $3,750,000 20.8% $779,816
Subtotal $2,711,034 $4,250,000
Expected Contract Value: $6,961,034 (58%)
 

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

Bryce Johnston earned his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in May 2014, and currently works as a corporate M&A associate in the New York City office of an AmLaw 50 law firm.  Before becoming a contributor to overthecap.com, Bryce operated eaglescap.com 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 bryce.l.johnston@gmail.com or via Twitter @NFLCapAnalytics.

Nick Barton is  a junior at the McDonough School Business at  Georgetown University.  He is majoring in Finance and Operations and Information Management. Nick currently interns with an NFL team . His prior work experience includes interning with CollegeSplits and Dynamic Sports Solutions, and working as a research assistant for the Center of Applied Research of the Apostolate.