There’s nothing quite like finding a unique stat out in the sea of statistics. The guys at Pro Football Focus always do a fantastic job of manipulating the numbers to give us a clearer indication of how players have performed. This time they are measuring each team’s value based on performance. Here’s the basic idea:
We set out to take the highest cap hit at a position and match that up with that position’s highest-rated player. Then take the second-highest cap hit and match it with the second-highest-graded player, and so on. All players who were either active or inactive for at least one game were included, and players who spent the entire year on injured reserve or as free agents, ignored. The goal being to set salaries right, based solely on player performance during the 2012 season.
So, what do they have to say about the Jacksonville Jaguars?
The majority of the Jags’ undervalued players came on defense. Topping the list was defensive tackle C.J. Mosley. According to PFF, the Jags really got a bargain in Mosley, who the team signed to a three year deal in last year’s offseason. Next up was wide receiver Cecil Shorts III. Shorts had a ridiculously good season, so it makes sense that he’s on the list. He may have outgrown his rookie contract, according to PFF. Third on the list is DT Terrance Knighton who lost his starting job to Mosley by week five. Like Shorts, he outgrew his rookie contract. Only this time it may be his last one with the Jags. Here’s the rundown of those who were undervalued:
- C.J. Mosley, DT: +$3.9 million
- Cecil Shorts, WR: +$2.1 million
- Terrance Knighton, DT: +$1.9 million
- Austen Lane, DE: +$1.9 million
- Dwight Lowery, S: +$1.2 million
- Bryan Anger, P: +$990 thousand
- George Selvie, DE: +$940 thousand
- Julian Stanford, LB: +$380 thousand
- Mike Harris, CB: +$370 thousand
- Rashad Jennings: +$280 thousand
Injuries are a primary reason behind much of the poor value the Jags had in the 2012 season. The three most overvalued players were LB Paul Posluszny, HB Maurice Jones-Drew, and LB Daryl Smith. According to PFF, Posluszny is being paid like one of the best in the league but is below average at best. Despite playing well when he was on the field, MJD’s injury caused him to be overvalued for 2012. Similarly, Smith caused a big hit with an injury that kept him out every game except the final two. Here’s the most overvalued players on the roster:
- Paul Posluszny, MLB: -$5.8 million
- Maurice Jones-Drew, RB: -$5.4 million
- Daryl Smith, OLB: -$4.7 million
- Mike Thomas, WR: -$4.6 million
- Dawan Landry, S: -$3.6 million
- Marcedes Lewis, TE: -$3.5 million
- Greg Jones, FB: -$3.3 million
- Aaron Ross, CB: -$3 million
- Uche Nwaneri, G: -$2.4 million
- Brad Meester, C: -$2.3 million
On the whole, the Jaguars did not fare well. Hopefully the Jaguars have solved the problem of overvaluing players (especially the non-injured ones) was solved this offseason with the firing of GM Gene Smith and the hiring of GM Dave Caldwell. It is important to note that the performance based value that PFF uses is not indicative of potential future performance. However, there is obviously a lot of dead weight on the Jags roster. Just looking at the most overvalued players I can count three or four players who could potentially not be with the team for the 2013 season.
Overall, the Jags value differential is -$37.7 million. Over 15 players are being overvalued by $1 million+. We’ll see if the new regime can turn things around.
Brilliant work by PFF, thanks again for being diligent data analysts!
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims