Performance Based Value: Denver Broncos
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 are 2012′s most undervalued and overvalued Denver Broncos:
(* Denotes player missed significant portion of time through injury)
1. Von Miller, Linebacker
What can you say about Miller that hasn’t already been said? His 86 combined sacks, hits and hurries were the joint most of any defensive player, and what makes that all the more impressive is the nature of them as outlined here. Not only that, but Miller is exceptional at getting off blocks in the run game to make plays, and made 15 tackles for losses. He’s every bit the playmaker he was drafted to be and near impossible to overvalue. Miller naturally finished the year our top ranked 4-3 outside linebacker, and even treating him as an edge rusher (as we did in this study) saw him valued extremely highly.
2012 Cap Hit: $4.8m
2012 Performance Based Value: $18m
Value Differential: +$13.2m
2. Chris Harris, Cornerback
There are those who will probably say Harris had an easier job of things with Champ Bailey tracking a team’s top receiver. That only tells half the story, with Harris not only coping outside, but showing his worth as a slot cornerback who proved capable of defending two-way releases. His work in the run game warrants a mention as well, with only Antoine Winfield having more defensive stops in the run game than the 16 he managed. A fine all-around player who somehow went undrafted. How?
2012 Cap Hit: $475k
2012 Performance Based Value: $9.4m
Value Differential: +$8.9m
3. Demaryius Thomas, Wide Receiver
Do you think Thomas liked playing with Peyton Manning? His breakout year saw him reel in a number of spectacular catches, finish second overall in our wide receiver rankings and average a quite ridiculous 2.5 yards per route run. His cap hit isn’t designed to be team friendly, but his performances ensured that it is, with a bumper new deal bound to follow shortly.
2012 Cap Hit: $5.1m
2012 Performance Based Value: $10.5m
Value Differential: +$5.3m
4. Rahim Moore, S – Cap: $1m, PBV: $5.5m, Value Differential: +$4.5m
5. Orlando Franklin, OT – Cap: $1m, PBV: $4.7m, Value Differential: +$3.7m
6. Eric Decker, WR – Cap: $750k, PBV: $4.3m, Value Differential: +$3.6m
7. Wesley Woodyard, LB – Cap: $1.8m, PBV: $4.7m, Value Differential: +$2.9m
8. Brandon Stokley, WR – Cap: $500k, PBV: $3.4m, Value Differential: +$2.9m
9. Tony Carter, CB – Cap: $600k, PBV: $3.5m, Value Differential: +$2.9m
10. Zane Beadles, OG – Cap: $800k, PBV: $3.8m, Value Differential: +$2.8m
1. Elvis Dumervil, Defensive End
This may seem odd, given that Dumervil got to the quarterback for 12 sacks but what else did he do and how quickly did those sacks come? His 60 combined sacks, hits and hurries isn’t a terrible return for a pass rusher, but when you get swallowed up as much in the run game as Dumervil and get flagged for eight penalties, are you really worth such a big cap hit?
2012 Cap Hit: $15.6m
2012 Performance Based Value: $1.6m
Value Differential: -$14m
2. Chris Kuper*, Guard
Now Kuper obviously had some health issues that limited his ability to play (he would see just 316 regular season snaps) and that is the chief reason for his lack of value. His pass blocking when he came in was fine, and though he struggled to get much push in the running game he wasn’t a liability. Sometimes it’s just all about the playing time.
2012 Cap Hit: $4.5m
2012 Performance Based Value: $1m
Value Differential: -$3.4m
3. Tracy Porter*, Cornerback
Porter didn’t exactly start the year off playing particularly well, but injury saw him leave the line-up and the fine form of Chris Harris and Tony Carter would ensure there wasn’t a spot for him when he was deemed healthy enough.
2012 Cap Hit: $4m
2012 Performance Based Value: $700K
Value Differential: -$3.3m
4. Joe Mays*, LB – Cap: $3.7m, PBV: $750k, Value Differential: -$2.9m
5. Ty Warren*, DE – Cap: $2.8m, PBV: $50k, Value Differential: $-2.8m
6. Champ Bailey, CB – Cap: $11.3m, PBV: $8.6m, Value Differential: -$2.6m
7. D.J. Williams*, LB – Cap: $3.7m, PBV: $1.4m, Value Differential: -$2.3m
8. Peyton Manning, QB – Cap: $18m, PBV: $16.3m, Value Differential: -$1.7m
9. Robert Ayers, DE – Cap: $2.2m, PBV: $1.2m, Value Differential: -$900k
10. Willis McGahee, RB – Cap: $2.5m, PBV: $1.8m, Value Differential: -$700k
Summary – Team Value Differential: +$30.4m
There’s no other way to spin it, the Broncos killed it with finding regular season value. Even counting how much they’re overpaying Dumervil the tremendous value they’re getting throughout the team (especially on defense) is a testament to an extremely well built roster. In total, 28 players earned negative scores and 33 earned positive ones.
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