Once again, it comes as no surprise that the Jacksonville Jaguars have another player on Pro Football Focus’ most overvalued players by position. This time it’s at tight end with overpaid and underperforming Marcedes Lewis. It feels like each position PFF does performance based value for, the Jags are just expected to be on there. It comes with the horrendous nature of Gene Smith’s tenure at general manager.
Lewis turned a great 2010 (contract year) season into a lucrative deal. That year, Lewis had 58 catches for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns. Lewis is a massive redzone target and should be able to at least get near that level of production each season. In 2011, however, he reverted to his “developing” form and dropped numerous balls and didn’t look nearly like the pass catching tight end the Jags thought he could transition into. Lewis’ blocking is still very good and he should not be slighted as just a run-blocking tight end, but his production over the last two years has simply not been on par with the contract he signed following 2010. His 2012 was much better than his 2011.
Lewis had a strong season, finishing as our fourth-highest graded tight end, behind outstanding blocking and decent receiving numbers. Given his +13.9 overall grade, his play on the field was clearly not a problem for the Jaguars. Rather, his inclusion on this list is a function of having the highest cap hit of all tight ends in 2012, a figure that no player at the position would have surpassed this season. Jacksonville got a very good player in Lewis, and the best player (per PBV) on this list, but he’ll still have to play better to match the value of his $35 million dollar contract.
The Jags overpaid Lewis to keep him. Now is the time to find a motivator that brings him back up to 2010 form. He has humbly acknowledged that he is not playing his best, but with a young and struggling quarterback he needs to be the reliable outlet as Blaine Gabbert grows. In the first year of the Dave Caldwell era, we shall see if he can return to form.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims