JVM: Atlanta Falcons
Gordon McGuinness looks at the 2013 Falcons to see whose performance were undervalued and who didn't meet their contract expectations.
JVM: Atlanta Falcons
In this series of pieces, Pro Football Focus is exploring 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 Atlanta Falcons:
(* Denotes player missed significant portion of time through injury)
1. Desmond Trufant, Cornerback
Our defensive rookie of the year, Trufant was incredibly productive for the Falcons in his first season in the league. Getting better as the year went on, he was our eight highest graded player at the position, and seventh highest in coverage. That’s great news for a Falcons team that won’t have him on a relatively small rookie deal.
2013 Cap Hit: $1.5m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $7.1m
Value Differential: +$5.6m
2. Matt Ryan, Quarterback
2013 was a down year for Ryan, with a four game skid in the middle of the year that saw many begin to question him. That was harsh, with his body of work throughout his career more than enough proof of how good he is. Despite it being a down year, he was still our 14th highest graded quarterback on the year. That’s not fantastic, but it’s stellar given that four game wobble and, in the first year of a new deal, was good value for the Falcons.
2013 Cap Hit: $9.6m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $13.5m
Value Differential: +$3.9m
3. Matt Bosher, Punter
When a punter is your third most undervalued player from a season, it’s safe to say you haven’t had a great year as a team. Still, take nothing away from Bosher, who had a very good year and finished as our fifth highest graded punter. Just 33 of his 68 punts resulted in a return, while he had 29 downed inside the 20-yard line.
2013 Cap Hit: $584k
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $2.7m
Value Differential: +$2.1m
4. Jaquizz Rodgers, RB – Cap: $608k, JVM: $2.7m, Value Differential: +$2.1m
5. Drew Davis, WR – Cap: $485k, JVM: $1.7m, Value Differential: +$1.2m
6. Joe Hawley, C – Cap: $749k, JVM: $1.7m, Value Differential: $1m
7. Garrett Reynolds, RG – Cap: $1.1m, JVM: $1.9m, Value Differential: $800k
8. Corey Peters, DT – Cap: $1.5m, JVM: $1.9m, Value Differential: $400k
9. Jeremy Trueblood, RT – Cap: $555k, JVM: $917k, Value Differential: $362k
10. Ryan Scraeder, RT – Cap: $400k, JVM: 730k, Value Differential: 325k
1. Roddy White*, Wide Receiver
While White didn’t play up to his contract last year, that was more down to playing through injuries much of the year. He managed just 711 yards on the season, but had two games with 140 yards or more, showing flashes of the potential we know he is capable of.
2013 Cap Hit: $9.1m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $825k
Value Differential: -$8.3m
2. Asante Samuel*, Cornerback
Our 57th highest graded cornerback in 2013, the Falcons already made the decision to part ways with him just a few weeks ago. That makes sense, given that he wasn’t playing up to his lofty contract status, and given that they have some talented youngsters waiting in the wings.
2013 Cap Hit: $5.7m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $925k
Value Differential: -$4.8m
3. Justin Blalock, Left Guard
Though he was tied for 24th among all guards, Blalock still didn’t play to the level of his contract. That’s concerning considering it was his highest graded year since 2010, but given the struggles elsewhere on the roster it doesn’t seem so bad.
2013 Cap Hit: $7.7m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $3.8m
Value Differential: -$3.9m
4. Kroy Biermann*, DE/OLB – Cap: $3.4m, JVM: $875k, Value Differential: -$2.5m
5. Jonathan Babineaux, DT – Cap: $5.2m, JVM: $1.9m, Value Differential: -$3.3m
6. Sam Baker*, LT – Cap: $3m, JVM: $394k, Value Differential: -$2.6m
7. William Moore, S – Cap: $3.9m, JVM: $1.7m, Value Differential: -$1.8m
8. Matt Bryant, K – Cap: $3m, JVM: $825k, Value Differential: -$2.1m
9. Sean Weatherspoon*, LB – Cap: $2.4m, JVM: $346k, Value Differential: -$2m
10. Thomas DeCoud, S – Cap: $2.5m, JVM: $700k, Value Differential: -$1.8m
Summary – Team Value Differential: -$25.2m
Given their struggles on the field it’s no surprise that the Falcons weren’t getting value for money with the players they had on the field. Some of that was due to injury, but with the fourth worst value differential, they’ll be hoping for a big turnaround in 2014.
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Gordon McGuinness | Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst
Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.