Neil’s NFL Daily: April 23, 2013

Neil Hornsby takes a look at how Kam Chancellor's new deal with the Seahawks stacks up against his safety peers, and details the most blitz-happy teams in the league.

| 4 years ago

Neil’s NFL Daily: April 23, 2013

As Thursday’s draft draws near, the news appears to be about 70% wild speculation about potential draftees, 20% rumor about current players, and 10% substance. Given the small percentage of a draftee’s plays an NFL team looks at, never mind the less-diligent draft pundits, I’m staying a long way away from that bag of worms. Instead, let’s focus on the most substantial thing that transpired yesterday — the Seahawks extending Kam Chancellor.


Tuesday, April 23rd

Seattle Signs Chancellor to $28m Extension

With the notable exception of signing Brady Quinn, I’ve been very high on everything the Seahawks have done this offseason. From trading for Percy Harvin, to signing Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett and latterly Antoine Winfield, it’s been an exciting but still financially prudent upgrade across the board.

Now, I’m less enthusiastic about this particular move. I’m certainly not consigning it to the realms of the Quinn pick-up, because I like Chancellor, but overall I think the cost is a little steep — four years, $28m, $17m guaranteed.

The safety market place is a bit ‘all over the place’ so it’s hard to gauge true value, but in my opinion only two guys in the Top 10 paid safeties are worth what they get — Eric Weddle and (to a lesser degree) Tyvon Branch.

By far the most outlandish contract is that of perennial underachiever Michael Griffin, who somehow got a contract extension in June last year for $7m per year. Now, granted he actually did OK in 2011, but his performances in 2009 and 2010 are a much better indication of his true level of play. It was this standard that he regressed to after signing his deal last year, somehow conspiring to have the sixth-lowest tackling efficiency in the running game, as well as the second-poorest against the pass. Combined, this led to the worst overall rating, with a horrible 22 missed tackles compared to 69 solos made. If a safety can’t tackle it doesn’t leave much else to discuss in my view.

So, Chancellors deal fits him in at that level (sixth-highest paid) and if Griffin was properly slotted you’d say the Seahawk had undersold himself. Unfortunately, I think the whole safety marketplace is in dire need of restructuring, as can be seen in this article on the performance based value at the position.

Overall Chancellor is a good but not great player who spends about 55% of his time within 8 yards of the line of scrimmage. His role therefore is part run stuffer, part underneath coverage defender and, contrary to popular view, it’s the former of those which is his bigger weakness. Weakness is actually too strong a term but for a guy built like a linebacker with his change of direction ability you expect more plays against the run. His overall Run Stop Percentage last year was only equal-20th, and when you expand that just to plays when he lined up within 8 yards he drops to 37th. Now, as far as coverage is concerned (for his strong safety position) Chancellor is much more in line with those financial numbers. Although he had problems in the playoffs, surrendering three touchdowns, he’s generally been good in that regard.

It’s not a bad move in my opinion, just a tad risky and probably about $1m a year and $3-to-5m in guarantees overvalued. I’d have said an identical deal to that William Moore signed ($6m a year, $14m guaranteed) would have been a more realistic measure of value.


PFF Mailbag

I get questions nearly every day, either directly or on twitter (@PFF_Neil), and I felt this was a good forum to share the answers. Any questions I get that can be better answered without a character restriction I’ll respond to here. 

Blitz Percentage

If possible, can you tell me the pass rush %s from defenses coached by Rob Ryan over the past few years? Thanks. – @cianaf

As it would be a tad rude to exclude other teams, how about having everyone’s blitz percentages for the past three years?





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| PFF Founder

Neil founded PFF in 2006 and is currently responsible for the service to the company's 22 NFL team customers. He is constantly developing new insights into the game and player performance.

  • Ben Fitzgerald

    More bad defenses at the bottom of that chart

    • [email protected]

      Not really, SF and CHI are pretty low.

  • Joey Gardner

    It’s interesting to see the Broncos’ dropoff in 2012. I guess that’s what you get when you can count on one guy getting to the passer.

  • Soren Rasmussen

    Could you specify what you mean by blitz? A lot of people would call a play where the 3-4 OLB rushes a blitz even though it is still only a 4 man rush. Does a blitz mean someone other than a down lineman rushed or does it mean more than 4 people rushed?

  • Colin William Weaver

    Wow look at IND…

  • JaTerrance Dwayne Young

    Can u turn this into a sortable table??