JVM: Minnesota Vikings
In this series of pieces, Pro Football Focus is hammering into the value of players. To us it’s a “Janke 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 Minnesota Vikings:
(* Denotes player missed significant portion of time through injury)
1. Everson Griffen – Defensive End
Everson Griffen tops the list of undervalued Vikings in 2013. He finished 19th overall in our 4-3 DE grading and his 52 QB pressures was also ranked in the top 20. His work in the run game was above average as well. Not bad for a guy that cost the Vikings less than a million dollars last year. With Griffen and Jared Allen up for free agency, the Vikings might want to put more effort into bringing back the younger Griffen.
2013 Cap Hit: $770k
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $5.9m
Value Differential: +$5.1m
2. Brandon Fusco – Guard
After barely playing as a rookie in 2011, he struggled in all phases in 2012. Last year Fusco cracked the top ten among all guards in our overall rankings and turned into a nice surprise for the Vikings. His strong work in the run game was a huge factor as his +11.6 grade in that area ranked 5th overall. With Fusco and the also undervalued John Sullivan, the Vikings have a great interior line to look forward to in the future.
2013 Cap Hit: $594k
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $5m
Value Differential: +$4.43m
3. Blair Walsh – Kicker
Having a kicker in the top three isn’t very exciting, but it still remains a position of great importance. Walsh has hit on 89.7% of his kicks in his first 2 years in the league, has a lot of power, and is solid on kickoffs. Having a top ten kicker for only 500k a year is a steal for Minnesota.
2013 Cap Hit: $514k
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $1.85 million
Value Differential: +$1.85 million
4. Rhett Ellison, TE/FB – Cap: $560k, JVM: $2.15m, Value Differential: +$1.59m
5. John Sullivan, C – Cap: $4.25m, JVM: $5.83, Value Differential: +$1.58m
6. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR – Cap: $1.31m, JVM: $2.88m, Value Differential: +$1.56m
7. Jarius Wright, WR – Cap: $590k, JVM: $1.95m, Value Differential: +$1.36m
8. Chase Ford, TE – Cap: $285k, JVM: $1.4m, Value Differential: +$1.1m
9. Jerome Simpson, WR – Cap: $2.1m, JVM: $3.1m, Value Differential: +$1m
10. Audie Cole, LB – Cap: $492k, JVM: $1.52m, Value Differential: +$1m
1. Jared Allen – Defensive End
It’s hard to play up to the value of the 5th most expensive contract in the NFL last year, that’s part of the reason why Jared Allen is here. The other reason is age and wear and tear. Allen will be turning 32 this year and his numbers are starting to reflect that age. His pass rushing grade has been on a slow steady decline since 2008 when he put up a staggering +23.7 grade. In 2013 he graded negatively (-4.1) in pass rushing for the first time ever in our time evaluating. Allen could be back in Minnesota, but only for a fraction of the price.
2013 Cap Hit: $17.07m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $3.23m
Value Differential: -$13.84m
2. Chad Greenway – Outside Linebacker
It has been quite a precipitous fall for Chad Greenway. In 2008 he was PFF’s 4th best 4-3 OLB and showed talent in all phases of the game; pass coverage, run stopping, and even rushing the passer. He has gradually been slipping in all areas. Over the last 3 years no linebacker has allowed more yards in coverage. His run grade was also a career worst -11.0 in 2013 and overall he ranked 34th out of 35 OLBs. Greenway could be a cap casualty for the young and rebuilding Vikings.
2013 Cap Hit: $8.7m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $825k
Value Differential: -$7.88m
3. Adrian Peterson – Running Back
Adrian Peterson had the 10th most expensive contract in the NFL last year. A 13.9 million cap number for a running back is unheard of. Things won’t get much better as his contract is projected to climb all the way to $17m by 2017. Peterson is still a dominant force however. His 67 forced missed tackles gave him a league leading 64.6 Elusive Ratingin 2013. He has also finished with a running grade in the top 3 among all backs in each of the last 4 years (including the highest we’ve ever graded, a whopping +30.2 in 2012). With running backs normally declining around 30 and with his contract gradually climbing, it will be interesting to see what the Vikings do with Peterson over the next couple seasons.
2013 Cap Hit: $13.9m
2013 Jahnke Value Model: $6.54m
Value Differential: -$7.36m
4. Kevin Williams, DT – Cap: $5 million, JVM: $2.25m, Value Differential: – $2.75m
5. Matt Kalil, LT – Cap: $4.5 million, JVM: $1.89m, Value Differential: – $2.6m
6. Charlie Johnson, LG – Cap: $3.85 million, JVM: $1.27m, Value Differential: – $2.58m
7. Greg Jennings, WR – Cap: $5 million, JVM: $2.83m, Value Differential: – $2.18m
8. Letroy Guion, DT – Cap: $2.8 million, JVM: $700k, Value Differential: – $2.1m
9. Chris Cook , CB – Cap: $2.3 million, JVM: $615k, Value Differential: – $1.69m
10. Josh Freeman, QB – Cap: $2 million, JVM: $525k, Value Differential: – $1.48m
Summary – Team Value Differential: -27.2m
With the Vikings struggling as a team, it’s no surprise they failed to get their money’s worth out of their roster. They had the 3rd most underperforming roster in 2013. With Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, and several older veterans possibly leaving via free agency, the Vikings should have several younger and more inexpensive players filling the roster. This should lead to a better result in their team value differential next year.
You can follow Chris on Twitter: @PFF_CPhillips