Pro Football Focus’ Performance Based Value stat continues to show the Jacksonville Jaguars’ previous regime to have made some poor moves. This time the good statisticians at PFF take a look at linebackers across the league and the Jags have two of the most overvalued linebackers in the NFL.
As much as I, and other Jags fans, like Paul Posluszny, he simply hasn’t justified the contract he signed with the team two years ago. Being a tackling machine in the traditional middle linebacker sense is not as valued as it once was and “Poz” sees his value deflated as a result. The guy puts on a clinic and pours his heart and soul into the game, but he isn’t producing enough big plays to justify his contract. Playing without Daryl Smith on the outside likely hurt him as well. Here’s what PFF has to say:
Season 2012 was quite the downer for Paul Posluszny. He graded out the lowest we’ve ever seen from him and took a significant step back from his successful 2011 campaign. He had one of the lowest Run Stop Percentages among inside linebackers, at 7.5, and he was fairly average in coverage as well. His .95 yards per coverage snap was 20th among middle linebackers. Those numbers were both down from his 2011 level of play where he was PFF’s seventh-highest graded inside linebacker. The good news for the Jags is that he has shown he can be one of the best middle linebackers in the league, but the bad news is he will have to play like it to be worth his $8m+ cap hits the next three seasons.
Smith, the franchise leader in tackles, is the other Jaguar on the list of most overvalued linebackers. While Performance Based Value really hurts you when injured for the majority of the season, the play that Smith did contribute in the final two games of the season was not nearly as inspired as his previous seasons with the team. He may walk in free agency this offseason but is usually a force when playing a full season. Here is what PFF had to say about Smith:
Daryl Smith missed the first 14 games of 2012 with a groin injury. He came back from IR utilizing the league’s new one player exemption. He missed only 11 snaps in the two games he played, and had an overall grade of -1.3. Smith is a free agent this offseason and has been one of the premier 4-3 outside linebackers the past couple of years, and had the highest grade of any 4-3 outside linebacker in 2009.
Given an injury-free season, it would be unlikely that Smith winds up on this list.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims