Performance Based Value: Buffalo Bills
In this series of pieces, Pro Football Focus is hammering into the value of players. To us it’s a “Performance Based Value” number, telling you what players were worth (by our grading) in 2012. 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 2012
• 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’s who we found to be the most undervalued and overvalued Buffalo Bills in 2012.
1. Jairus Byrd, Safety
In 2011 Byrd did enough to convince us big things were in store for his future. Well, 2012 was an even bigger step forward where he put forth a season that should have earned him All-Pro honors. He finished second in our safety rankings with the highest grade of all his peers in coverage. That’s what happens when you’re targeted 21 times and manage to pick off five balls and not allow a single touchdown.
2012 Cap Hit: $1.1m
2012 Performance Based Value: $8.8m
Value Differential: +$7.8m
2. C.J. Spiller, Running Back
They don’t get much more elusive than Spiller. He turned his 207 rushes into 1,244 yards largely because of his ability to turn a little into a lot. That’s why his 2012 Elusive Rating (94.6) was the best we’ve ever recorded. A threat every time he touched the ball and a snip at costing the Bills $3.5m of their cap.
2012 Cap Hit: $3.5m
2012 Performance Based Value: $9.9m
Value Differential: +$6.4m
3. Andy Levitre, Left Guard
The scary thing is we’re not as high on what Levitre did this year as others. He wasn’t bad by any stretch and finished the year our ninth-ranked guard, but we’d have liked to have seen more from him in the run game (where he earned a negative grade). But for less than a million bucks of the Bills’ cap that’s still incredible value.
2012 Cap Hit: $970k
2012 Performance Based Value: $4.4m
Value Differential: +$3.4m
4. Kyle Williams, DT – Cap: $6m, PBV: $9m, Value Differential: +$3.1m
5. Alex Carrington, DT – Cap: $760k, PBV: $3.3m, Value Differential: +$2.6m
6. George Wilson, S – Cap: $3.6m, PBV: $5.7m, Value Differential: +$2.2m
7. Nick Barnett, LB – Cap: $4m, PBV: $5.8m, Value Differential: +$1.8m
8. Scott Chandler, TE – Cap: $2.5m, PBV: $4.2m, Value Differential: +$1.7m
9. Bryan Scott, LB – Cap: $600k, PBV: $2.3m, Value Differential:+ $1.7m
10. Cordy Glenn, T – Cap: $880k, PBV: $2.1m, Value Differential: +$1.2m
1. Mario Williams, Defensive End
There have been plenty of excuses made for Williams; a new scheme and injuries chief among them. But the truth is he didn’t actually play all that badly, finishing the year 17th overall in our defensive end rankings. That was ahead of guys like Julius Peppers and Jared Allen. It’s just expectations were so high based on the hype and salary he had commanded, and unfortunately he was unable to live up to them.
2012 Cap Hit: $9.8m
2012 Performance Based Value: $3m
Value Differential: -$6.8m
2. Chris Kelsay*, Defensive End
This is a little tough on Kelsay who would miss seven games of the season (and a large part of another). While he was on the field he had some problems generating pressure, with only his outing against a horrible Cardinals set of tackles helping him pad his stats. He would have had a lot of trouble making his cap hit even if he played a full year.
2012 Cap Hit: $4.8m
2012 Performance Based Value: $925k
Value Differential: -$3.8m
3. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Quarterback
It should come as a surprise to nobody that Fitzpatrick would finish 35th out of 38 quarterbacks who played enough snaps to qualify for our end-of-season rankings. He was consistently bad and just couldn’t do what good quarterbacks do: make their team better. He became gun shy (his 10.1 percent of passes attempted being deep balls represented the second-worst score of all QBs) and a liability for the team.
2012 Cap Hit: $6m
2012 Performance Based Value: $2.7m
Value Differential: -$3.3m
4. Brad Smith, WR – Cap: $3.9m, PBV: $870k, Value Differential: -$3m
5. Terrence McGee, CB* – Cap: $3.8m, PBV: $925, Value Differential: -$2.9m
6. Spencer Johnson, DT – Cap: $4m, PBV: $1.2m, Value Differential: -$2.8m
7. Mark Anderson*, DE – Cap: $3.5m, PBV: $825k, Value Differential: -$2.7m
8. Tyler Thigpen, QB – Cap: $2.5m, PBV: $700k, Value Differential: -$1.8m
9. Erik Pears*, T – Cap: $2.5m, PBV: $825k, Value Differential: -$1.7m
10. Shawne Merriman, DE – Cap: $2.2m, PBV: $880k, Value Differential: -$1.3m
(* Denotes player missed significant portion of time through injury)
Summary – Team Value Differential: -$770k
When all was said and done the Bills didn’t do a terrible job, having a Team Value Differential of -$770k. Exactly 35 of the players they had on their books at one time earned them credit… and 35 others created a value differential deficit. Balance. Still they were top heavy on the good end, and needed big years from C.J. Spiller and Jairus Byrd to come so close to breaking even.
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