Performance Based Value: Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals' struggles at QB undermined their season and made a mess of their roster spending - both directly and indirectly, through their effect on Larry Fitzgerald.
Performance Based Value: Arizona Cardinals
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 Arizona Cardinals:
(* Denotes player missed significant portion of time through injury)
1. Daryl Washington, Linebacker
Considering Washington recently signed a new six-year, $32.5m deal you wouldn’t think him a candidate to be undervalued. But with a cap hit in 2012 of $3.4m Arizona certainly got their money’s worth. Indeed, Washington would finish third in our inside linebacker rankings with a +12.8 grade, with his 23 quarterback disruptions (including getting to the QB nine times) particularly impressive.
2012 Cap Hit: $3.4m
2012 Performance Based Value: $7.5m
Value Differential: +$4m
2. Calais Campbell, Defensive End
Campbell had a $5m cap hit and missed time. Normally those are warning signs that a team should expect to be a little shortchanged, but so brilliant was Campbell while he was on the field that those fears were for naught. Our third-ranked 3-4 defensive end on the year, Campbell walked away with positive grades for both his pass rushing (+14.0) and his run defense (+16.0), with his work in the run game coming along particularly well.
2012 Cap Hit: $5m
2012 Performance Based Value: $8.6m
Value Differential: +$3.5m
3. Patrick Peterson, Cornerback
As a rookie Peterson thrilled us with his punt returning, but he left you wanting more from him in coverage. Well, consider him a man who delivers as the former first-rounder took to the task of shadowing a team’s top receiver without looking out of place. Sure he got beat for six touchdowns, but with six picks and seven more pass break ups, he showed why he was drafted so high (and it was far more than his special teams value).
2012 Cap Hit: $4.2m
2012 Performance Based Value: $7m
Value Differential: +$2.8m
4. Kerry Rhodes, S – Cap: $5m, PBV: $6.8m, Value Differential: +$1.8m
5. Dan Williams, NT– Cap: $1.8m, PBV: $3.5m, Value Differential: +$1.7m
6. Greg Toler, CB – Cap: $1.3m, PBV: $2.7m, Value Differential: +$1.4m
7. Jay Feely, K – Cap: $1.3m, PBV: $2.6m, Value Differential: +$1.3m
8. Quentin Groves, LB – Cap: $500k, PBV: $1.8m, Value Differential: +$1.2m
9. William Powell, RB – Cap: $400k, PBV: $1.3m, Value Differential: +$900k
10. Ryan Lindley, QB – Cap: $400k, PBV: $1.3m, Value Differential: +$900k
1. Larry Fitzgerald. Wide Receiver
Sometimes life isn’t fair. Fitzgerald was put in a position where it was near impossible to succeed, and had the worst year of his career. He still finished the year with a positive grade, but when you’re costing your team that much of their cap, you need to have a bigger impact on the field.
2012 Cap Hit: $14.5m
2012 Performance Based Value: $2.5m
Value Differential: -$12m
2. Kevin Kolb*, Quarterback
If Kolb had started every game for the Cardinals, maybe he could have lived up to the huge cap hit he carried. As unlikely as it seems he had started the season playing pretty well, with a +4.7 grade on his 357 snaps. So who knows what could have happened, as it’s something we’ll never know. Instead we know how much he earned, and how little the Cardinals got back on that investment.
2012 Cap Hit: $10.5m
2012 Performance Based Value: $3.8m
Value Differential: -$6.7m
3. Darnell Dockett, Defensive End
Dockett missed some time for sure, but to use that as an excuse would be to forget he actually played more snaps than Calais Campbell. Instead there was not enough hit (his Week 1 display embarrassing J.R. Sweezy) and too much miss (most of the rest of the season). No surprise that he had the lowest grade (-15.4) of all 3-4 defensive ends.
2012 Cap Hit: $6.7m
2012 Performance Based Value: $1m
Value Differential: -$5.6m
4. Stewart Bradley, LB – Cap: $4m, PBV: $700k, Value Differential: -$3.3m
5. Paris Lenon, LB– Cap: $3.5m, PBV: $1.1m, Value Differential: $-2.4m
6. Beanie Wells, RB – Cap: $3m, PBV: $700k, Value Differential: -$2.3m
7. Daryn Colledge, OG – Cap: $3.2m, PBV: $1.3m, Value Differential: -$1.9m
8. Adrian Wilson, S – Cap: $3.4m, PBV: $1.6m, Value Differential: -$1.9m
9. Jeff King, TE – Cap: $2.3m, PBV: $825k, Value Differential: -$1.5m
10. Adam Snyder, OG – Cap: $2m, PBV: $825k, Value Differential: -$1.2m
Summary – Team Value Differential: -$23.7m
The Cardinals problems start at the quarterback spot, where they didn’t get what they intended out of Kevin Kolb and his replacements rendered their biggest weapon, Larry Fitzgerald, redundant. With hardly any pleasant surprises (their best value was in four high-round picks and one highly paid safety) the Cardinals were never going to get value on a roster that was performed as poorly as it was assembled.
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