JVM: Edge Defenders
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 Edge Defenders:
(* Denotes player missed significant portion of time through injury)
1. Robert Quinn, St. Louis Rams
Robert Quinn’s 2013 season was mightily impressive. Quinn produced a massive +77.2 overall grade in 2013 partly due to the 91 total pressures he generated. His 2013 Pass Rushing Productivity led all 4-3 defensive ends with a mark of 15.3 — the highest PRP we have ever seen for a 4-3 defensive end who qualified with at least 50% of the snaps played by the leading snap-getter at the position. Just like J.J. Watt, Quinn was drafted in the first round of the 2011 draft so he too can start negations for a new contract this offseason.
2013 Cap Hit: $2.6m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $16.5m
Value Differential: +$13.9m
2. Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs
Another from the 2011 draft, Houston did not have the season that Quinn did, but has proven himself a steal for the Chiefs in the third round. In 2013 Houston’s cap hit was a measly $700k… or, in other terms, 4.1% of Jared Allen’s. Since the Chiefs have limited cap space it wouldn’t be surprising if they let Houston play out his deal and either resign him next season or end up franchise tagging him in 2015. What ever happens, Houston has proved that he is one of the top edge defenders in the league and it will be a matter of time until he is compensated as one.
2013 Cap Hit: $700k
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $11.1m
Value Differential: +$10.4m
3. Greg Hardy, Carolina Panthers
The first non-2011 draft pick to feature on the list, Greg Hardy showed how players get better over time. In his first two season it looked like Hardy would be a nice rotational defensive end, but something clicked for him in the 2012 offseason and since that point he has become one of the best 4-3 defensive ends in the league. However, this should be the last time we see Hardy on any undervalued list since as Carolina has tagged him and his cap hit will jump significantly in 2014.
2013 Cap Hit: $1.3m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $11.2m
Value Differential: +$9.9m
4. Elvis Dumervil, Baltimore Ravens
After the 2012 season Dumervil was the No. 1 overvalued player due to his $15.6m cap hit and how he struggled in 2012. 2013, though, was an excellent season for Dumervil, he had the best pass rushing grade (+26.6) of any 3-4 outside linebacker, and the second-highest PRP for a 3-4OLB at 15.1. In past seasons Dumervil has struggled against the run, but in 2013 he was solid in that area, as the Ravens limited him to mostly play against the pass instead of being a full-time player. With his improved play and a big pay cut from the 2012 season, Dumervil became the fourth most undervalued after being the most overvalued edge rusher in 2012.
2013 Cap Hit: $2.5m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $10.4m
Value Differential: +$7.9m
5. Jerry Hughes, Buffalo Bills
A nice surprise for the Bills in 2013, Hughes produced well beyond his $900k cap hit after coming aboard in a trade for Kelvin Sheppard. Owner of the third-best pass rushing grade among 3-4 OLBs in 2013 (+19.7), Hughes also showed well against the run to land this spot in the Top 5 undervalued edge defenders. His cap number jumps significantly in 2014 (to $4m), but if he can duplicate his 2013 output, the Bills will still be getting a deal.
2013 Cap Hit: $900k
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $8.3m
Value Differential: +$7.5m
6. Michael Bennett, SEA – Cap: $4.8M; JVM: $10.5M; Value Differential: +$5.7M
7. Cameron Wake, MIA – Cap: $5.0M; JVM: $10.3m; Value Differential: +$5.3M
8. Lamarr Houston, OAK – Cap: $1.1M; JVM: $6.2M; Value Differential: +$5.1M
9. Brian Orakpo, WAS – Cap: $5.1M; JVM: $10.0M; Value Differential: +$4.9M
10. Trent Cole, PHI — Cap: $5.3M; JVM: $9.4M; Value Differential: +$3.8M
1. Jared Allen, Minnesota Vikings
In 2012 Jared Allen was the four most overvalued edge rushers. In 2013 he managed to beat that and claim the list’s top spot. Part of the problem for Allen is how wildly high his cap number was in 2013 at $17.1m — with such a high cap hit it would be hard for Allen to avoid this list. Since 2011 his play has declined, but in 2012 he still had a decent PRP of 9.2, however, in 2013 that fell to a PFF-Era low for him of 8.0. Since Allen is a free agent this offseason, he should receive a significant cut, but it will be interesting to see what type of market he receives as a declining 32-year-old.
2013 Cap Hit: $17.1m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $3.2m
Value Differential: -$13.9m
2. Julius Peppers, Chicago Bears
Peppers’ contract is one of the many examples to why some teams have not been paying players who are entering the 30’s on long-term big contracts. In 2010 Peppers was one of best seasons we have graded, however since that time his play has fallen off — in 2013 he graded at -4.4. But while his play might have declined his contract figures are still moving up and it will be near impossible for Peppers to avoid being on this list next season if he is kept by the Bears without taking a pay cut.
2013 Cap Hit: $14.4m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $2.4m
Value Differential: -$12.0
3. Anthony Spencer, Dallas Cowboys*
Spencer is on this list due to him being franchised tagged and him missing all but 38 snaps in 2013. Last season was going to be interesting to see how he dealt with adapting to being a 4-3 end for the first time in his career. As an 3-4 OLB Spencer had been one of the better run defenders in the league, while still being able to create pressure, but been moved to having his hand in the dirt it was going to be interesting to see if he could play at the same level. He’s set to enter free agency now and a team might be able to find a discount with Spencer is coming off injury. It would surprise me if Spencer lands on this list again next season.
2013 Cap Hit: $10.6m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $100k
Value Differential: -$10.5m
4. Chris Clemons, Seattle Seahawks
Chris Clemons missed the first two games of the season due to him recovering form a torn ACL he suffered in the previous season’s playoff win over the Redskins, but when made it back to the field he started off strong with 22 total pressures in the first five games. However, Clemons struggled until they needed him most in the playoff games against the 49ers and Broncos. In those two games he had a combined grade of +9.7, compared to the rest of the season where he graded at -10.1. It is expected that the Seahawks will either cut him loose or make Clemons take a pay cut, so it sounds like he will have prove himself all over again.
2013 Cap Hit: $8.2m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $1.4m
Value Differential: -$6.8m
5. Mario Williams, Buffalo Bills
Williams had a good season, but he did not produce at the level of what his contract is paying him — he’d have to play at an elite level to warrant it. What is more worrying for the Bills is that Williams’ contract climbs to around $19m for each of the next three seasons. So, if he want to avoid inclusion on this list again he’ll have to perform as one of the league’s best, otherwise he will be fixture here for sometime.
2013 Cap Hit: $12.4m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $5.9m
Value Differential: -$6.5m
6. Terrell Suggs, BLT – Cap: $13.0M; JVM: $6.5m; Value Differential: -$6.5M
7. Lamarr Woodley, PIT – Cap: $9.2M; JVM: $3.8M; Value Differential: -$5.4M
8. Tamba Hali, KC – Cap: $15.5M; JVM: $10.3M; Value Differential: -$5.2M
9. Red Bryant, SEA – Cap: $7.6M; JVM: $2.5M; Value Differential: -$5.1M
10. Charles Johnson, CAR – Cap: $8.7M; JVM: $3.7M; Value Differential: -$5.0M
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