In this series of pieces, Pro Football Focus is hammering into the value of players. To us it’s a “Jahnke Value Model” number, telling you what players were worth (by our grading) in 2013. You can read about the work we’ve done to create it here, but in short:
• It’s solely about what a player did on the field in 2013
• Players are grouped by positions so their play essentially earns them a portion of the positional salary pool
• It’s all about cap hits (these values are approximate)
Here are 2013′s most undervalued and overvalued New York Jets:
(* Denotes player missed significant portion of time through injury)
1. Damon Harrison, Nose Tackle
As the NFL becomes more and more of a passing league, it becomes harder for 3-4 nose tackles to get noticed. After barely playing in his rookie year after being undrafted, there was no way we couldn’t notice Harrison this year. His Run Stop Percentage of 13.2 was the best for all defensive tackles in 4-3 or 3-4 defenses. It was also the best for a defensive tackle over the last six years. When you are paying that dominant of a player the minimum, he is bound to be greatly undervalued.
2013 Cap Hit: $500k
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $9.0m
Value Differential: +$8.5m
2. Sheldon Richardson, Defensive End
The NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year wasn’t all that far behind Harrison with a Run Stop percentage of 9.8%. There wasn’t a single game during the season where Richardson had a negative run defense grade. His play against the run wasn’t quite as impressive as Harrison’s, and his rookie salary was more than three times higher than Harrison’s sophomore salary. Because of this, Richardson has to settle for second place on this list.
2013 Cap Hit: $1.8m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $8.5m
Value Differential: +$6.6m
3. Muhammad Wilkerson, Defensive End
The Jets are a very unique team because their top four most undervalued players all play on the defensive line. The only defensive linemen to receive a snap for the Jets not in the top four is Legar Douzable, and he should have been paid twice as much as he was. Wilkerson’s third year in the league wasn’t quiet as impressive as his second. His sack numbers were up, but so were his missed tackles while his total stops were down. Lucky for Wilkerson he will be the first of the Jets defensive linemen likely to get a big pay day.
2013 Cap Hit: $1.9m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $5.8m
Value Differential: +$3.9m
4. Kenrick Ellis, DT – Cap: $700k, JVM: $3.7m, Value Differential: +$3.0m
5. Kellen Winslow, TE– Cap: $400k, JVM: $3.3m, Value Differential: +$2.9m
6. Nick Folk, K – Cap: $600k, JVM: $3.2m, Value Differential: +$2.6m
7. Willie Colon, RG – Cap: $1.2m, JVM: $3.1m, Value Differential: +$1.9m
8. Jeremy Kerley, WR – Cap: $600k, JVM: $2.0m, Value Differential: +$1.4m
9. David Nelson, WR – Cap: $400k, JVM: $1.6m, Value Differential: +$1.2m
10. Austin Howard, RT – Cap: $2.0m, JVM: $3.2m, Value Differential: +$1.2m
1. David Harris, Inside Linebacker
In 2011 the Jets gave Harris a deal with a very high percentage of his money being guaranteed. This meant that after his play went downhill in 2012 it made it hard for the Jets to cut him. Luckily his play was a bit better in 2013 with his 53 run stops, but he still missed 13 tackles. He had the highest cap hit of all linebackers outside of 3-4 outside linebackers. He was certainly worth some money, but nowhere near the amount that he was paid.
2013 Cap Hit: $13.0m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $2.3m
Value Differential: -$10.7m
2. Santonio Holmes, Wide Receiver*
Due to Holmes contract, it made more sense for the Jets to keep him than to cut him despite the high cap hit. After three years mixed with mediocre play and injuries, it’s hard to remember that Holmes did have one good year with the Jets in 2010. When he was healthy in 2013, he dropped seven of the 30 catchable balls thrown his way which led him to have the third worst Drop Rate in the league.
2013 Cap Hit: $9.0m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $800k
Value Differential: -$8.2m
3. Nick Mangold, Center
In the six years we’ve been grading players, there hasn’t been a better center than Nick Mangold. He has been paid accordingly, but 2013 was a down year for the great center. He had a few strings of negatively graded games and the Bills became his kryptonite. Luckily Mangold is still a great pass blocker, and he strung together five straight games with a positive grade to end the season and give him some value.
2013 Cap Hit: $9.1m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $2.5m
Value Differential: -$6.6m
4. Antonio Cromartie, CB – Cap: $6.5m, JVM: $800k, Value Differential: -$5.7m
5. D’Brickashaw Ferguson, LT– Cap: $5.6m, JVM: $3.3m, Value Differential: $-2.3m
6. Dee Milliner, CB – Cap: $2.3m, JVM: $400k, Value Differential: -$1.9m
7. Kyle Wilson, CB – Cap: $2.0m, JVM: $600k, Value Differential: -$1.4m
8. Stephen Hill, WR – Cap: $1.1m, JVM: $400k, Value Differential: -$700k
9. Chris Ivory, HB – Cap: $1.5m, JVM: $1.0m, Value Differential: -$500k
10. Clyde Gates, WR* – Cap: $600k, JVM: $200k, Value Differential: -$400k
Summary – Team Value Differential: -$700k
The Jets are a very interesting team in that their defensive line has a cap differential of +22.5 million while the rest of their team has a differential of -23.2 million. That differential is even worse when you consider Mark Sanchez who wasn’t included in this study. It will be interesting to see if the Jets can retain their elite defensive line for years to come as well as see which highly overvalued players get cut in the upcoming days.
Follow Nathan on Twitter: @PFF_NateJahnke