Performance Based Value: Guards

With big dollars comes big responsibility, and, unfortunately for their teams, these 10 guards did not live up to their contracts.

| 4 years ago
PBV-G-Feature

Performance Based Value: Guards


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)

Let’s take a look at the most overvalued guards in the league for 2012.

1. Carl Nicks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2012 Cap Hit: $14.9m
2012 Performance Based Value: $2.2m
Value Differential: -$12.7m

Tampa Bay’s big free agent splash did not give the Bucs the bang for their buck that they were hoping for. Nicks lasted only 455 snaps before having toe surgery and landing on injured reserve after Week 8. Despite gutting through several weeks with the injury, Nicks did compile a +8.7 rating through the first seven games, but that’s not enough to come close to justifying his $14.9 million cap hit.

2. Logan Mankins, New England Patriots

2012 Cap Hit: $7.0m
2012 Performance Based Value: $2.5m
Value Differential: -$4.5m

Injuries limited Mankins to just 10 games in the regular season, and while his run blocking was more than solid, his Pass Blocking Efficiency rating ranked only 22nd among 50 guards who played enough snaps to qualify. Mankins’ +9.8 grade landed him 19th among all guards, but when you’re a guard making $7 million, you’re not going to be equaling your cap value unless you’re near the top of the list.

3. Chris Spencer, Chicago Bears

2012 Cap Hit: $4.3m
2012 Performance Based Value: $825k
Value Differential: -$3.4m

Spencer started the first two games of the season for Chicago before getting benched in favor of Chilo Rachal. He got his job back in Week 13 but a knee injury cost him two more games, and he finished the season with only 350 snaps. Spencer allowed 13 QB disruptions in only 172 passing plays in 2012, and his 93.9 Pass Blocking Efficiency rating would have been at the bottom of the list for guards had he played enough snaps to qualify.

4. Chris Kuper, Denver Broncos

2012 Cap Hit: $4.4m
2012 Performance Based Value: $1.0m
Value Differential: -$3.4m

It was an injury riddled season in 2012 for Chris Kuper, who appeared in only five regular season games before returning for the Divisional Playoff game vs. Baltimore and racking up an ugly -7.4 grade against the Ravens. Kuper was able to put up a 97.8 Pass Blocking Efficiency rating in limited action during the regular season, and did not allow a sack and only five QB disruptions in 167 passing plays.

5. Leroy Harris, Tennessee Titans

2012 Cap Hit: $4.0m
2012 Performance Based Value: $700k
Value Differential: -$3.3m

A torn ACL ended Harris’ 2012 season in Week 8, however prior to injury his pass blocking was not adding much value. Despite playing less than half of a season, he surrendered five sacks (no guard gave up more than six for the entire season) and Harris allowed 19 total QB disruptions in just 283 passing plays. His 94.5 Pass Blocking Efficiency rating would have been the worst among guards if he had the snaps to qualify.

6. Charlie Johnson, Minnesota Vikings

2012 Cap Hit: $3.9m
2012 Performance Based Value: $1.0m
Value Differential: -$2.9m

Johnson started in all 16 games for the Vikings in 2012 but his performance and salary may make him an offseason casualty in Minnesota. Only five other left guards had a lower run block grade (-4.9) last year than Johnson, and while he allowed only one sack, Johnson gave up 26 total QB pressures in 555 pass snaps.

7. Steve Hutchinson, Tennessee Titans

2012 Cap Hit: $3.5m
2012 Performance Based Value: $925k
Value Differential: -$2.6m

While it’s probable Hutchinson will end up in the Hall of Fame after his career is over, the 35-year-old was not able to justify his value to the Titans in 2012. A knee injury ended his season after 12 games, and Hutchinson could muster only a -2.0 grade run blocking, while allowing four sacks and 22 total QB disruptions before being placed on IR.

8. Justin Blalock, Atlanta Falcons

2012 Cap Hit: $3.9m
2012 Performance Based Value: $1.3m
Value Differential: -$2.5m

Blalock did not miss a snap all season for the Falcons, but his run blocking grade (-7.7) in 2012 was only better than two other starting left guards. Blalock surrendered only one sack last year, but also allowed nine QB hits and 20 pressures, landing him 31st out of 50 guards in our Pass Blocking Efficiency rating.

9. Uche Nwaneri, Jacksonville Jaguars

2012 Cap Hit: $3.9m
2012 Performance Based Value: $1.5m
Value Differential: -$2.4m

Nwaneri played in 15 games this year, battling ankle and knee issues for most of the time before missing the season finale with a concussion. Nwaneri’s +5.4 run blocking grade was seventh-best among right guards for 2012. However he struggled in the passing game, allowing five sacks and 29 total pressures on the season, ranking 41st in our Pass Blocking Efficiency rating out of 50 guards.

10. Chris Williams, Chicago Bears

2012 Cap Hit: $2.5m
2012 Performance Based Value: $250k
Value Differential: -$2.3m

Being let go in midseason by the Chicago Bears is probably enough justification to make this list. Williams played only six snaps (all as an extra tight end) for the Bears before being released in October and getting picked up by the St. Louis Rams. He played in three games for the Rams, subbing in at tackle for one game and as a guard for two others, logging 88 snaps total between the two teams. He allowed five QB pressures in just 40 pass plays, and did nothing in limited action to justify his $2.5 million cap hit.

 

Follow Jeff on Twitter: @PFF_Jeff


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