JVM: Miami Dolphins
Facing one of the more challenging offseasons for 2014, the Dolphins 2013 salary cap to performance by players is reviewed by Nathan Jahnke.
JVM: Miami Dolphins
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 Miami Dolphins:
(* Denotes player missed significant portion of time through injury)
1. Ryan Tannehill, Quarterback
If his draft class wasn’t filled with other star quarterbacks, then Tannehill would probably be getting more attention than he has. When he wasn’t under pressure he was great with a passer rating of 94.2. While he was under pressure a lot and sacked a lot, this was more on his offensive line. He had far more good games than bad ones, and he avoided having terrible games like most quarterbacks have. This makes for a very valuable quarterback.
2013 Cap Hit: $2.9m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $15.3m
Value Differential: +$12.4m
2. Brent Grimes, Cornerback
In 2011 Brent Grimes was one of the best cornerbacks in the game. He missed some time that season as well as nearly the entire 2012 season. The Dolphins took a risk on him despite his age and injury history with a one year contract and the risk paid off. In 2013 Grimes had four interceptions, 14 passes defended, and didn’t allow a touchdown. While he was paid a decent amount, it was nowhere near what one of the best cornerbacks in the game should get paid. The Dolphins already rewarded Grimes with a new four year contract where his future salary more closely matches his past performance.
2013 Cap Hit: $5.5m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $14.2m
Value Differential: +$8.7m
3. Cameron Wake, Defensive End
Part of the reason Wake is so undervalued is that he is still early on in his contract, and his cap hit will be higher in the future. However he deserved to make 10.3 million this year, and he will not make that much in any year of his contract. After a three sack, four hit and three hurry performance to start the season, Wake had a slow first half of the season partially due to injury. He still ended up having two or more hurries in each of his last ten games to keep him as one of the better pass rushers in the game.
2013 Cap Hit: $5.0m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $10.3m
Value Differential: +$5.3m
4. Jared Odrick, DT – Cap: $1.9m, JVM: $6.1m, Value Differential: +$4.1m
5. Brian Hartline, WR– Cap: $2.1m, JVM: $5.5m, Value Differential: +$3.4m
6. Charles Clay, TE – Cap: $600k, JVM: $3.5m, Value Differential: +$2.9m
7. Olivier Vernon, DE – Cap: $700k, JVM: $2.8m, Value Differential: +$2.1m
8. Jimmy Wilson, CB – Cap: $600k, JVM: $2.2m, Value Differential: +$1.6m
9. Rishard Matthews, WR – Cap: $500k, JVM: $2.1m, Value Differential: +$1.6m
10. Chris Clemons, S – Cap: $2.8m, JVM: $4.2m, Value Differential: +$1.4m
1. Paul Soliai, Defensive Tackle
This is an interesting case of a player’s value being hurt by his teammates. Paul Soliai by no means had a bad season, as he had a PFF overall grade of +11.1 largely due to his strong run stopping. The problem was both Randy Starks and Jared Odrick were better interior pass rushers, and Starks was also better against the run. This meant that even though he was the second highest paid player on the team, he played in less than half of the Dolphins defensive snaps. It’s hard to have a high value with that few snaps without excellent play.
2013 Cap Hit: $7.4m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $3.1m
Value Differential: -$4.3m
2. Richie Incognito, Left Guard*
Had Richie Incognito played the entire season at the same level he played to start the year, then Incognito’s cap hit would have been very close to his value on the season. While he allowed six sacks, a figure that is very high for a guard, he only allowed 11 total pressures which led to him being an above average pass blocker. He had a positive run block rating on the 2013 season as well.
2013 Cap Hit: $4.9m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $2.3m
Value Differential: -$2.6m
3. Tyson Clabo, Right Tackle
Clabo had such a low value model completely due to his first six games of the season. Over those six games he had an overall PFF rating of -12.4 due to poor run blocking and pass blocking. Over the last ten games his pass blocking improved immensely while his run blocking improved slightly. This led to an overall PFF rating of +11.6. Had he played the entire season like he did the first six games, he would have been at the minimum. On the other hand if he played the entire season like he did the last ten games, he might be undervalued.
2013 Cap Hit: $3.5m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $1.1m
Value Differential: -$2.4m
4. Dimitri Patterson, CB* – Cap: $4.6m, JVM: $2.4m, Value Differential: -$2.2m
5. Dion Jordan, DE– Cap: $3.7m, JVM: $1.7m, Value Differential: -$2.1m
6. Matt Moore, QB – Cap: $2.5m, JVM: $700k, Value Differential: -$1.8m
7. Dannell Ellerbe, LB – Cap: $2.4m, JVM: $700k, Value Differential: -$1.7m
8. Philip Wheeler, LB – Cap: $2.4m, JVM: $700k, Value Differential: -$1.7k
9. Vaughn Martin, DL* – Cap: $1.7m, JVM: $200k, Value Differential: -$1.5m
10. Mike Wallace, WR – Cap: $3.2m, JVM: $2.1m, Value Differential: -$1.1m
Summary – Team Value Differential: +$26.9m
The Dolphins were very active in free agency last year when it came to adding players from other teams. Six of the Dolphins ten most overvalued players were ones that weren’t on the Miami roster during the 2012 season. Luckily, the Dolphins have hit on a number of recent draft picks as well as getting value in some older players. That all added up to the Dolphins having one of the largest positive differentials in the league.
Follow Nathan on Twitter: @PFF_NateJahnke