Performance Based Value: Indianapolis Colts
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 Indianapolis Colts:
(* Denotes player missed significant portion of time through injury)
1. Reggie Wayne, Wide Receiver
When Wayne was a free agent last season, there didn’t seem to be much interest which allowed the Colts to re-sign him for a relatively cheap amount. He made sure Indianapolis didn’t regret it with at least 70 receiving yards in all but four games in 2012. While there were a few receivers that had better receiving seasons than Wayne, he benefited from also being our highest rated wide receiver in terms of both blocking and not getting penalized.
2012 Cap Hit: $3.2m
2012 Performance Based Value: $10.4m
Value Differential: +$7.2m
2. Dwayne Allen, Tight End
He wasn’t even the first tight end drafted on his own team in 2012, but he far exceeded expectations. His 1.42 Yards Per Route Run was above average for tight ends, but his consistency was an asset with just three drops on the year. What makes him really stand out is his run blocking, where he was the third-best run-blocking tight end in 2012, and was also above average as a receiver. That adds up to a very good tight end who was paid as a third-round rookie.
2012 Cap Hit: $570k
2012 Performance Based Value: $6.1m
Value Differential: +$5.5m
3. Andrew Luck, Quarterback
Oh, what a difference the new rookie wage scale has been making. It used to be nearly impossible to get good value for the first overall pick in the draft, but now teams are more easily able to do it. Luck had his ups and downs in his rookie season, but with the amount of money quarterbacks make, all it took was for Luck to be an average starter, and that made him very under paid.
2012 Cap Hit: $4.0m
2012 Performance Based Value: $8.5m
Value Differential: +$4.5m
4. Jerrell Freeman, ILB – Cap: $400k, PBV: $4.9m, Value Differential: +$4.5m
5. Jerry Hughes, OLB – Cap: $1.7m, PBV: $4.0m, Value Differential: +$2.3m
6. Darius Butler, CB – Cap: $510k, PBV: $2.6m, Value Differential: +$2.2m
7. Kavell Conner, ILB – Cap: $560k, PBV: $2.6m, Value Differential: +$2.1m
8. Anthony Castonzo, T – Cap: $1.8m, PBV: $3.9m, Value Differential: +$2.1m
9. Pat McAfee, P – Cap: $1.3m, PBV: $3.1m, Value Differential: +$1.8m
10. Moise Fokou, ILB – Cap: $620k, PBV: $2.4m, Value Differential: +$1.8m
1. Dwight Freeney, Outside Linebacker
It didn’t take any kind of statistical analysis to show that Freeney was not worth a $19 million cap hit in 2012. Each of the past few years we have seen a decline in Freeney’s pass rushing production. His five sacks, nine hits and 33 pressures in 2012 was still better than the average pass rusher, but not nearly as good as Freeney once was. As always, he wasn’t very good in run defense. Luckily teams value pass rushers so Freeney’s pass rushing alone should get him a few million dollars, but having a cap hit of $19 million is a little ridiculous.
2012 Cap Hit: $19.0m
2012 Performance Based Value: $5.9m
Value Differential: -$13.1m
2. Antoine Bethea, Safety
While in the past Bethea has played well, 2012 was a down year for the long-time Colt safety. The big reason for that was his 10 missed tackles in the run game, which was fourth-worst for safeties. It also didn’t help that Bethea saw his yards per catch allowed jump up from 9.3 last year to 16.8 this year.
2012 Cap Hit: $6.2m
2012 Performance Based Value: $1.4m
Value Differential: -$4.9m
3. Adam Vinatieri, Kicker
Yes, I know, we’re talking about a kicker. First off the majority of kickers are used for kicking off and field goals/extra points, but Vinatieri is one of the few who is used only for field goals and extra points. He wasn’t even great at that, making only 17 of 24 kicks beyond 30 yards in 2012. There isn’t much of a point in paying a kicker at a rate among the best in the league when he does only half the work that most kickers do, and doesn’t do his half any better than most.
2012 Cap Hit: $3.2m
2012 Performance Based Value: $930k
Value Differential: -$2.3m
4. Robert Mathis, OLB – Cap: $5.8m, PBV: $3.8m, Value Differential: -$1.9m
5. Austin Collie, WR* – Cap: $1.4m, PBV: $130k, Value Differential: -$1.3m
6. Antonio Johnson, DE – Cap: $2.0m, PBV: $720k, Value Differential: -$1.3m
7. Samson Satele, C – Cap: $1.9m, PBV: $760k, Value Differential: -$1.1m
8. Donald Brown, HB – Cap: $1.9m, PBV: $950k, Value Differential: -$940k
9. Jerraud Powers, CB* – Cap: $1.5m, PBV: $800k, Value Differential: -$680k
10. Cory Redding, DE – Cap: $1.7m, PBV: $1.1m, Value Differential: -$600k
Summary – Team Value Differential: +$15.6m
When most of your talent comes from young players in the first year of their contract, it makes it easy to get value for your money. The Colts were among the teams that spent that least in 2012, so that also contributed in making the most of their money. Having so few high paid players injured also helped.
Follow Nathan on Twitter: @PFF_NateJahnke