Neil’s NFL Daily: May 24, 2013

Neil Hornsby returns to the Daily with some thoughts on Jared Allen's contract stand off and asks the question: Is Allen worth one of the largest defensive salaries in the ...

| 4 years ago

Neil’s NFL Daily: May 24, 2013

A quick thank you firstly to Khaled for standing in yesterday while I was off doing my bit for NFLUK by joining Neil Reynolds on his weekly podcast at short notice. It wasn’t that Neil needed me of course, but it was nice of him to ask knowing I’m not the sort to turn down a free lunch. Talking of “free”, I see Khaled was trying to bribe my loyal readers with the offer of a free subscription in his Drop Rate competition. This awkwardness has been brewing since I asked to restructure his burgeoning contract, which leads me (incredibly crudely) on to my topic of the day — Is Jared Allen worth the $14m he refuses to take a pay cut from. Now, if only I could get Khaled down to that much!


Friday, May 24th

 Jared Allen Won’t Budge on His Value

Based on Average Per Year (APY) Allen isn’t the highest paid defensive end in football (he’s actually fourth) but, unlike the players above him, 2013 is the last year of his contract and his cap hit this season (just over $17m) is the largest at his position. In terms of production that’s an incredibly difficult number for anyone to have to justify and my immediate reaction was “come on Jared – be realistic”, but when I examined his performance in more detail I felt perhaps he has a point.

Getting Your Money’s worth

There’s often a debate at PFF towers about the value of a defensive lineman staying on the field for a large percentage of plays but (perhaps as a result) being not quite as productive on a per play basis as someone who plays fewer snaps. Allen very much falls into the first category and in his primary role (that of a pass rusher) last year no one came close to rushing the quarterback as many times as he did.


Defenders Ranked by 2012 Regular Season Pass Rush Snaps

RankNamePass Rush SnapsRun Defense SnapsCoverage SnapsTotal Snaps
1Jared Allen680356131049
2Gerald McCoy6353032940
3J.J. Watt61131016937
4Ray McDonald6103448962
5Cameron Jordan604422131039
6Michael Bennett60031938957
7Ryan Kerrigan5863491291064
8Will Smith58538814987
9Jabaal Sheard57439219985
10Connor Barwin57033791998

In fact those 45 snaps that separate him from the man in the No. 2 position (Gerald McCoy) are a typical game’s worth in today’s NFL.

Further, consider the players who have a higher APY than him all played significantly less snaps overall — if the average amount of snaps for a “full-time” DE is 60 snaps then Mario Williams (APY of $16m) played two full games less (121 less snaps), Charles Johnson (APY of $12.6m) played over 3.5 games less (216 snaps) and Julius Peppers (APY of $14m) more than a quarter of a season and nearly 4.5 games less (266 snaps). Whatever you wish to say about Allen, you cannot say he doesn’t give value in terms of playtime.

The Production Debate

Obviously, if you stay on the field for enough plays, even a blind squirrel will sometimes find a nut, so is Allen productive for the amount of snaps he plays?

Here are our Pass Rush Productivity (PRP) rankings for 4-3 ends in 2012, and given what we have already seen above, that Allen ranks 16th is a remarkably creditable performance.


 4-3 ends Ranked by 2012 Regular Season Pass Rush Productivity

RankNameTeamPass Rush SnapsSkHtHuTotal PressurePRP
1 Cameron WakeMIA5311723468612.9
2 Charles JohnsonCAR4921411507512.1
3 Chris LongSL543129557611
3 Derrick MorganTEN511921427211
5 Greg HardyCAR4401312345910.8
6 John AbrahamATL417108385610.7
7 Bruce IrvinSEA3241012204210.5
8 Carlos DunlapCIN375513325010.3
9 Israel IdonijeCHI32273314110.1
10 Michael BennettTB56991448719.8
11 Elvis DumervilDEN489121137609.8
12 Chris ClemonsSEA489111137599.6
13 Juqua ParkerCLV3656830449.5
14 Julius PeppersCHI48713737579.4
15 Lamarr HoustonOAK44851435549.3
16 Jared AllenMIN638111747759.2
17 Mario WilliamsBUF49811738569
18 Trent ColePHI40141329468.9
19 Michael D. JohnsonCIN50613834558.8
20 Kamerion WimbleyTEN5247447588.6

Additionally, it should be mentioned that of those above him only Hardy, Parker and Peppers rushed from the right side over 80% of the time — Allen played every snap on the right.

Taking a Stand

On the surface, in terms of pure productivity, it’s quite difficult to argue that Jared Allen is currently a better player than, for example, either Cameron Wake or Jason Pierre-Paul — never mind defenders at other positions like J.J. Watt, Von Miller or Geno Atkins — but when you consider the whole picture it’s much easier to say he deserves that money. When you play over 25% more than an equally productive, better paid player who wasn’t injured, the context of the argument changes somewhat.

It’s doubtful he’ll ever get close to $12m a year again, particularly given the NFL’s current distrust of older players, but for now at least I think he deserves his compensation and is right to stand his ground.


Other editions of Neil’s NFL Daily can be found HERE


Follow Neil on Twitter: @PFF_Neil


| 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.

  • TitanLegend

    You have Derrick Morgan listed at 9 sacks, yet has him listed at 6.5…why is there a 2.5 sack difference? Did the stat recorders for the NFL really miss 2.5 sacks?

    • Leo

      I think it might be because PFF don’t count half-sacks or half-tackles they count a tackle behind the line of scrimmage as one sack.

    • Kevin

      Yeah, Leo got it right. PFF doesn’t give half sacks out which most
      likely resulted in the 2.5 sack difference. PFF compiles their own stats
      and do see things differently than the NFL. It’s common for players to
      be credited with more sacks on PFF than by the NFL