A Closer Look at Russell Wilson’s Massive Contract

The numbers are now in on the Russell Wilson extension thanks to Ian Rapoport and it’s a big one.

Clearly there is some give and take on both sides, which I discussed today at the Sporting News, but now let’s focus on the cash flow of the contract to see just how big this deal is compared to the market. Continue reading A Closer Look at Russell Wilson’s Massive Contract »

Russell Wilson’s Upcoming Contract Negotiations

If you like reading these kinds of articles from me, then you’ll love my book coming out this August titled, “#Caponomics: Understanding NFL Roster Building through Super Bowl Champion Salary Cap Analysis.” E-mail Caponomics@gmail.com to be added to our e-mail list, get chapters early, get bonus chapters and be informed when the book is being released!

It was very cool to see Peter King seeming to be using some of the stuff I’ve been discussing in his columns for a second time as he discussed Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers’ contracts in this MMQB article. He’s not talking about the contracts in terms of dollar figures, but as percentages of the salary cap. Continue reading Russell Wilson’s Upcoming Contract Negotiations »

Seahawks Fans Crowdfunding $5 Million for Russell Wilson

If this works, this could seriously be the most game changing thing in salary cap history. If I’m not mistaken, there is no rule against fans starting a crowdfunding campaign to pay an NFL player as this couldn’t have even been imagined in 2011. Granted, I am currently studying it for the NFLPA’s Certification Exam, so maybe I haven’t gotten to that part yet.

Think of this, the NFL had around $10 billion in revenues last year, so fans are obviously okay with spending money on all things NFL. What better way to spend money on the NFL, than to actually directly pay your players, so that your team can save cap room that can then be used to improve the team and make sure your favorite players are paid fair market value.

Continue reading Seahawks Fans Crowdfunding $5 Million for Russell Wilson »

Seahawks and Marshawn Lynch Agree On Contract

According to Pro Football Talk, Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle Seahawks seem to have agreed in principle on a new contract extension that will pay Lynch up to $24 million in new money over the next three seasons. The delay on officially agreeing, one would think, is on the forfeiture provisions in the event Lynch were to retire after this season. Lynch will receive, according to PFT, a $7.5 million signing bonus of which $2.5M a year could be tied to wanting to play football.

The contract itself, despite the high $24 million new money pricetag, is most likey going to simply be a raise for Lynch of $5 million for this year to entice Lynch to come back to the Seahawks. He was previously under contract for $7 million and had indicated he might retire. The way the contract is structured the Seahawks would keep the same cap charge for Lynch in 2015 as if they never reworked the contract. That leads me to believe that they are just dumping some added cap charges into 2016 when he retires/is released.

Lynch’s $12 million payout this year is essentially what would be paid to a “franchise player” on a one year contract. The fact that the new money annual value works out to an even $12 million a year also indicates what the intention is here and they will deal with next season when it happens.

The big question is will this impact the running back market?  Probably not. This salary moves Lynch into the class of recent contracts signed by Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson, both of which were considered outliers in the market. Lynch is in a very unique situation in Seattle where he clearly is their most important offensive player and his style is not really “plug and play” like most of the players currently in the NFL. Peterson would be the one player who could potentially argue that this makes his $13 million salary legit for the 2015 season based on his projected significance to an offense and his past performance.

View Marshawn Lynch’s Projected Contract Details

Ranking the Super Bowl Champions

[adsenseyu1] For those of you who enjoy the Power Rankings I do during the season here is a look at the efficiency rankings of all the Super Bowl champions. For those unfamiliar with the rankings what these percentiles measure is the percent a team either scores or prevents an opponent from scoring above or below their schedules average for the season. So for example a team with a scoring efficiency of 25% means that team scored 25% more points per game than their opponents gave up that season. A defensive score of 25% means that a team held their opponents to 25% below their normal scoring output on the season. The stats are for regular season only.

While most people consider the 1985 Bears the greatest team of all time they actually only rank 4th on this system. The top team is the little praised Redskins who really dominated the league in 1991. The team’s opponents allowed just 19 PPG while the Redskins scored over 30. It’s the top performing scoring unit in the history. The defense wasn’t a slouch either holding teams to 24% below their averages.

The 1996 Packers, who looked like they were going to be the next dynasty franchise, ranked second with a tremendous all around tea. The 73 Dolphins rank 3rd and were far superior to the undefeated team in 1972 that faced a much easier schedule. The 75 Steelers fill out the top 10.  The worst SB champions have been the 70 Colts, 11 Giants, 07 Giants, 01 Patriots, and 87 Redskins, though it’s the bottom 4 that are teams that really surprise as being on the list of champions.

The most productive scoring came from the 91 Redskins, 77 Cowboys, 98 Broncos, 09 Saints, and 94 49ers. Only two teams had a below average scoring output and those were the 01 Patriots and 02 Buccaneers. The 90 Giants, 00 Ravens, and 81 49ers would round out the bottom 5. Defensively the best unit was not the 85 Bears or 00 Ravens but the 73 Dolphins who just edge ot the 02 Buccaneers, who I think people forget when discussing the great defensive teams. The 66 Packers, 85 Bears, and 75 Steelers are the other best ranking teams. At the bottom of the list are the 06 Colts, 11 Giants, 09 Saints, 07 Giants, and 98 Broncos, all of whom were below average.

Perhaps not so surprisingly is that no teams from the current era are close to the top of this list as the NFL is filled with parity and a lack of dominant teams that can run all the way to a title. The 2004 Patriots just cracked the top 10 and the next closest team is the 00 Ravens at 19 and 10 Packers at 22. Of the 13 lowest ranking teams, 6 are from 2001 onwards.

The current era will be represented better by either the Seahawks or Broncos either of whom would rank in the top 20. The Broncos would have the best scoring output of any team on this list but would also grab the “title” for worst defense and it would be by a wide margin. It would be unlikely  to see either mark broken anytime soon. The Seahawks defense would rank 9th all time, which is pretty impressive considering the way the rules have skewed to the offenses in this era.

The table below should be fully sortable.

Super Bowl Champion Rankings

11991Washington Redskins60.77%24.51%85.28%
21996Green Bay Packers45.84%32.45%78.29%
31973Miami Dolphins30.38%45.89%76.27%
41985Chicago Bears31.03%43.10%74.13%
51975Pittsburgh Steelers24.49%42.65%67.14%
61984San Francisco 49?ers36.26%28.10%64.36%
71966Green Bay Packers18.57%43.55%62.12%
81999St. Louis Rams39.72%22.12%61.84%
91994San Francisco 49?ers48.21%10.52%58.73%
102004New England Patriots31.97%26.73%58.70%
111969Kansas City Chiefs16.30%40.95%57.25%
121977Dallas Cowboys54.44%2.23%56.67%
131972Miami Dolphins19.37%35.96%55.33%
141993Dallas Cowboys29.30%25.13%54.43%
151979Pittsburgh Steelers30.93%23.05%53.98%
161997Denver Broncos39.62%13.61%53.23%
171989San Francisco 49?ers27.18%25.88%53.06%
181998Denver Broncos51.09%-0.48%50.61%
192000Baltimore Ravens5.62%42.35%47.97%
201992Dallas Cowboys31.01%16.59%47.60%
211971Dallas Cowboys40.34%6.54%46.88%
222010Green Bay Packers12.70%33.37%46.07%
231978Pittsburgh Steelers13.02%33.05%46.07%
241995Dallas Cowboys29.72%15.68%45.40%
251967Green Bay Packers16.18%28.73%44.91%
262008Pittsburgh Steelers9.30%35.15%44.45%
272009New Orleans Saints50.80%-6.76%44.04%
281976Oakland Raiders31.73%12.10%43.83%
292002Tampa Bay Buccaneers-2.94%45.79%42.85%
302005Pittsburgh Steelers22.48%20.24%42.72%
311986New York Giants13.39%27.10%40.49%
321982Washington Redskins13.18%24.98%38.16%
331990New York Giants1.17%36.89%38.06%
341968New York Jets33.21%4.01%37.22%
352003New England Patriots12.74%23.67%36.41%
361974Pittsburgh Steelers8.66%25.50%34.16%
371981San Francisco 49?ers6.42%24.07%30.49%
381983Oakland Raiders20.68%8.27%28.95%
391988San Francisco 49?ers19.16%8.88%28.04%
402006Indianapolis Colts32.58%-7.96%24.62%
411980Oakland Raiders12.23%6.33%18.56%
422012Baltimore Ravens11.44%6.74%18.18%
431987Washington Redskins7.13%10.26%17.39%
442001New England Patriots-1.54%12.58%11.04%
452007New York Giants9.94%-0.61%9.33%
462011New York Giants15.29%-7.09%8.20%
471970Baltimore Colts8.02%-0.07%7.95%

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Looking at the Seahawks Offense vs the Broncos Defense


Yesterday we looked at how the Broncos offense and Seahawks defense played this past season and now we switch the roles focusing on the Broncos defense and Seahawks offense. The scales here are  essentially how I do my efficiency ratings except for yardage rather than scores. As a quick example the Broncos passed for an average of 340.2 yards per game against a schedule that allowed just 239.8 yards per game which translates into an efficiency rating of 41.9% which is incredibly high for this type of category.

Seahawks Pass Offense vs Broncos Pass Defense

While there seems to be a perception that Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is along for the ride with this team the numbers really do paint a different story. While he is protected by scheme (the Seahawks have thrown the ball 26% less times than expected based on opponent) he is incredibly productive when he does throw the football. His explosive plays on a per attempt basis are actually more impressive than the Broncos offensive output. Really the only category in which he is below average is yards per game and that is because the attempts are so low.


The Broncos defense has been below average in almost every category except completion percentage and the monster 40+ yard pass play. In some cases they were likely affected by big leads and laying off on defense, but overall this was not a good year for the defense. The big play is a big part of the Seahawks offense so if the Broncos prevent that big pass they will do something important. The only other category where Denver should do decent is sacks, where Denver is not great but the Seahawks offense is poor.

Seahawks Run Offense vs Broncos Run Defense

seahawks run off

An interesting matchup as the Broncos have overall been strong at stopping the run with the exception of the 20 yard runs and touchdowns, which perhaps shows an issue with short yardage spots. Seattle’s run offense is productive in part because they run the ball so much, but an attempt basis they are above average but by no means great.

Seattle are grinders on the ground and don’t produce big plays which will make it more difficult to take advantage of that weakness in the Denver D.  If the game is close and the Seahawks run the ball as often as they have all year Denver will need to prove that they can stand up to that kind of run for so many attempts and still be effective. If they can the Seahawks may have to rely on the pass more than they have this year.


If the teams played to around their norms we would expect the Seahawks to pass around 28 times and complete between 50 and 60% of their passes, leading to around 220 yards of offense which is not that far off from our projection for Manning of 240-260 yards. Wilson would probably be looking at 4 plays of 20 or more yards and being sacked 3 times.  Flip categories would be interceptions and the 40 yard play. If Wilson comes out of the day without  an interception it might be a long day for the Broncos. For the run game we would probably be looking at something between 120 and 130 yards at a 3.9 to 4.0 clip.

Scoring wise the Seahawks have been very effective this year.  The team is putting up 17.2% more points than expected while the Broncos are allowing around 10% more. That would be the worst defensive efficiency to ever win a Super Bowl. I believe the worst currently is Manning’s 2006 Colts that were at 8%. Only 5 Super Bowl champs have put up below average numbers on preventing scoring and most were right around the average.

Based on those numbers Seattle should put up around 29 points which is more than is projected for the Broncos against the Seahawk defense. Obviously teams don’t always play to these averages and in games like this teams can be tight early such as the 49ers last year when they were done in by a terrible start against a team they should have beaten. If Seattle can avoid the early game jitters and falling behind they should have an excellent chance to win the Super Bowl.




Looking at the Broncos Offense vs Seahawks Defense


With the Super Bowl coming in just a few days I figured I would take a break from the salary cap breakdowns and look over the stats of the Broncos offense and the Seahawks defense with the flipside coming in a day or two.  The way I wanted to look at this was to determine the performance of each unit in a number of categories against their regular season schedules in 2013. This is essentially how I do my efficiency ratings except for yardage rather than scores. As a quick example the Broncos passed for an average of 340.2 yards per game against a schedule that allowed just 239.8 yards per game which translates into an efficiency rating of 41.9% which is incredibly high for this type of category.

Broncos Pass Offense vs Seahawks Pass Defense

Denver vs Seattle Pass

As far as matchups go I don’t know if there will ever be a more contrasting one than this.  Denver has pretty much ripped the NFL apart with their pass game while Seattle has stopped almost everyone’s passing attack. When looking at things it would seem like Manning will get most of his completions as the Seahawks only held teams to about 3.6% below their average but the question is will the Broncos get the yards they are accustomed to?  While basically an average team in gaining over 20 yards, the Broncos have been very explosive with big pass plays, averaging 0.8 per game. Seattle has only allowed 0.19 per game this season, holding teams to over 60% below their average. That may take away a threat for the Broncos.

Denver should neutralize the pass rush of the Seahawks which was good, but nowhere near as good as the Broncos were at avoiding it, which is credited as much to Peyton Manning as anyone else. The interceptions are an interesting category. Seattle is at nearly double their schedules interception rate while the Broncos cut the interception rate in half for their opponents.

Broncos Run Offense vs Seahawks Run Defense

Denver vs Seattle Run


If both sides play to their average performance levels (which is not really likely) Denver should complete about 65% of their passes for 240 to 260 yards on the night between 9.4 and 9.8 yards per completion. Manning should get sacked once and picked off one time and throw for at least two scores.   Denver’s ground game should be between 3.7 and 3.9 yards per carry and likely end up with around 100 yards, depending on if they show their normal commitment to using the run. The categories where there are likely chances of improving for one side or the other would be the 20 yard pass plays (2 is  win for Seattle while 3 a win for Denver), sacks (1 vs 2), interceptions (1 vs 2) and any 40 yard play is major win for Denver.

Scoring-wise the Seahawks held teams to 36% below their average scoring output in 2013 while the Broncos outscored teams by a ridiculous 63.3%.  That should lead to a game where the Broncos score 23 or 24 points.