Performance Based Value: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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 Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
(* Denotes player missed significant portion of time through injury)
1. Doug Martin, Halfback
Over the past five years, there have been seven times where a running back had 1,000 yards after contact in a season. Martin’s rookie season was one of those. He emerged as one of the better backs in the league, and he became a threat in the passing game as well. With the rookie wage scale as it is, if someone plays well in their rookie year they are undervalued. If they play great, then they will be one of the most undervalued on their team.
2012 Cap Hit: $1.2m
2012 Performance Based Value: $9.4m
Value Differential: +$8.2m
2. Michael Bennett, Defensive End
If there is one thing that Bennett does well, it is making tackles for losses. In 2012 he had 13, which was second-most among all defensive linemen, behind J.J. Watt, and in 2011 he tied for the most with 10. In 2012 he improved on his pass rushing as well with nine sacks, 14 hits and 48 hurries, making him one of the most well rounded edge defenders in football. This offseason we fully expect him to get paid as such.
2012 Cap Hit: $2.7m
2012 Performance Based Value: $10.6m
Value Differential: +$7.9m
3. Lavonte David, Outside Linebacker
Early indications are the Buccaneers had a very good 2012 draft class, as David had 70 stops on the year which was third to just Derrick Johnson and J.J. Watt. His 13 missed tackles were a little high, but he has already put himself in the discussion of the better 4-3 outside linebackers in the game. Over the next few years it will be interesting to see if Martin or David will be the most undervalued on the team.
2012 Cap Hit: $630k
2012 Performance Based Value: $7.5m
Value Differential: +$6.9m
4. Mike Williams, WR – Cap: $680k, PBV: $5.2m, Value Differential: +$4.5m
5. Ronde Barber, S – Cap: $3.0m, PBV: $6.5m, Value Differential: +$3.5m
6. E.J. Biggers, CB – Cap: $1.5m, PBV: $4.1m, Value Differential: +$2.7m
7. Leonard Johnson, CB – Cap: $390k, PBV: $3.1m, Value Differential: +$2.7m
8. Demar Dotson, OT – Cap: $1.0m, PBV: $3.3m, Value Differential: +$2.3m
9. Luke Stocker, TE – Cap: $590k, PBV: $2.3m, Value Differential: +$1.7m
10. Gary Gibson, DT – Cap: $710k, PBV: $2.3m, Value Differential: +$1.6m
1. Carl Nicks, Guard*
It’s not too often that one of the best players at his position becomes a free agent, but that is what happened with Nicks last offseason, and the Buccaneers paid handsomely to get him on their roster. Unfortunantly for Tampa Bay he played in only seven games. During that time he was playing well with just eight pressures allowed and a +4.9 run block rating, but even if he kept that pace up for the entire year it would still be his lowest graded season in the pros.
2012 Cap Hit: $14.9m
2012 Performance Based Value: $2.2m
Value Differential: -$12.7m
2. Quincy Black, Outside Linebacker*
Due to the emergence of Lavonte David, when Black was healthy he was reduced to a two-down role. He played in only 47.2% of the snaps when he did play, and was out for the year after an unfortunate Week 10 injury that resulted in nerve damage. When you have a player who saw his time get reduced when healthy, then missed time with an injury, and wasn’t playing all that great in the little time he had, chances are you have an overvalued player.
2012 Cap Hit: $6.4m
2012 Performance Based Value: $920k
Value Differential: -$5.4m
3. Eric Wright, Cornerback*
When Wright signed his contract with Tampa Bay last offseason, it looked like one of the year’s worst deals. One year has passed and the move doesn’t look much better. He was yet another Buccaneer to miss time late in the season with injury. While healthy he looked better than his last year with the Lions, but was still a below average starter. His 14.6 yards per catch allowed and nine missed tackles were both too high, and with some young talent at cornerback on the roster, the Buccaneers might want to look at getting out of this deal.
2012 Cap Hit: $6.0m
2012 Performance Based Value: $1.1m
Value Differential: -$5.0m
4. Vincent Jackson, WR – Cap: $15.4m, PBV: $10.7m, Value Differential: -$4.8m
5. Josh Freeman, QB – Cap: $8.5m, PBV: $4.4m, Value Differential: -$4.2m
6. Jeremy Trueblood, OT* – Cap: $4.3m, PBV: $830k, Value Differential: -$3.4m
7. Connor Barth, K – Cap: $4.3m, PBV: $1.2m, Value Differential: -$3.2m
8. Jeremy Zuttah, G – Cap: $3.9m, PBV: $2.2m, Value Differential: -$1.7m
9. Mark Barron, S – Cap: $2.6m, PBV: $1.0m, Value Differential: -$1.6m
10. Donald Penn, T – Cap: $6.4m, PBV: $5.0m, Value Differential: -$1.4m
Summary – Team Value Differential: -580k
There are few teams with such extremes in terms of under and overvalued players. The Buccaneers have a lot of young talent that makes the future look bright. They made the biggest free agent splash last year, but three of the four big contract players they signed ended up on our overvalued list.
Follow Nathan on Twitter: @PFF_NateJahnke