I like ESPN’s Kevin Seifert most of the time.
Titled, “NFL Nation says: QB bang for the buck” and accompanied by the following graphic, Kevin Seifert and the NFL Nation — comprised of bloggers covering all 32 NFL teams — attempt to weigh all 32 starting quarterbacks results against their salaries.
And, honestly, I love the concept. With salaries skyrocketing, it’s a useful analysis (in concept) and a rather timely one, particularly since Joe Flacco made bank this offseason and proceeded to be rather Kevin Seifert (henceforth code for “meh”) through the first five games.
But ESPN blew it. And here’s how they did it, Seifert’s words in bold:
The dichotomy of NFL quarterback compensation was on full display Sunday.
First, we saw two of the league’s better quarterbacks battle at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Indianapolis Colts’ Andrew Luck plays under a contract that averages $5.527 million per season, while the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson averages $749,000.
Later that afternoon, another pair of top quarterbacks squared off: The Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning ($19.2 million) and the Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo ($18 million).
I honestly didn’t know Tony Romo was earning $18 million per year. Thank you, Kevin Seifert. You are informing me.
At the moment, at least, we can agree that the highest-paid player among the four — Manning — would be the preferred starter for all 32 NFL teams.
Does that mean he’s the best value? (SPOILER ALERT) NOT NECESSARILY.
As with any industry, however, the highest-paid employees are not always the most effective.
Looking at you, Obama.
So after five weeks of NFL games, ESPN’s NFL Nation sought to determine which quarterbacks are providing the best value — the proverbial bang for the buck.
This task proved to be a highly subjective analysis,
Wait. Why is this “highly subjective”? Oh, I bet it’s because there aren’t any statistical ratings for quarterbacks. If only ESPN had invented a quarterback ratings system and done like, I don’t know, an hour-long special to discuss it and emphasize that it removes the necessity for so much subjectivity. Oh, well. Maybe in another life.
but it did include a few objective facts for parameters.
Just because, I dunno, throwing together some hodgepodge of names with no rhyme or reason except whatever I think might not have constituted a scientific analysis. AND THEN WHAT WOULD WE HAVE DONE WITH THAT SWEET, SWEET GRAPHIC ABOVE?
I considered the average per year (APY) compensation for each starter,
Good to consider compensation, though, if you’re only looking at production through five games, perhaps you should have used the salary that player is earning this season. Or, better yet, through those five games.
Nah. Too much work. Understandable.
provided by ESPN’s Roster Management System,
and compared it to his Total QBR as well as his team’s win total.
Why are we still using wins as the ultimate metric for a quarterback if QBR, in the words of ESPN’s press release, “calculates the per-play net impact of the quarterback on the ability to score. Each play is weighted by the situation (i.e., down and distance, field position, time during the game) and its importance to the game’s outcome.” Doesn’t that suggest a quarterback shouldn’t get screwed because, say, his defense committed an egregious penalty in the waning seconds of a game to set up his opponent with a field goal?
We also took into account the natural advantage a team has with a young starter drafted in 2011 or later, on his first contract under the new collective bargaining agreement. Those contracts are lower by NFL rule and have helped spur a spike in the second and third contracts of established starters.
This is actually a really good point, Seifert. I’m super-glad you took this into account and won’t be front-loading this list with players drafted in the last three years.
Good job, buddy.
But in some cases, cheap contracts are not of much value if they come with sub-par performance.
What follows is one rendering of the football’s best value at the position, based on those parameters. NFL Nation team reporters provided their take and I offered a comment to explain my ranking and any discrepancies that might have arisen.
Alright, time for the list. Little bit dickish of you to consult all those NFL Nation writers and then take all the credit for the rankings, but who am I to judge? And certainly from this point forward I will only be upset with you if the rankings don’t make a lot of sense/are garbage/etc.
So who ya got up first, Kev?
What the flim-flam?
Listen, I like Andrew Luck. He’s having a very good season. Seven touchdowns and two picks through five games isn’t revolutionary, but, hey, kid’s in his second year and he’s been sacked 12 times. Indianapolis is 4-1 and, sure, perhaps you could argue that’s in part due to the team having a top 10 defense this season, but Luck has been good too.
But you know who else has seven touchdowns? Peyton Manning. Got ‘em week one. He’s up to 20 now. TWENTY. If Peyton Manning was getting paid $68.5 million ($0.1 million less than the rest of the offense) it wouldn’t be too much.
And didn’t you say in your introduction, “At the moment, at least, we can agree that the highest-paid player among the four — Manning — would be the preferred starter for all 32 NFL teams.”
I THOUGHT WE HAD AN AGREEMENT, KEVIN.
And a 4-1 record? I raise you 5-0.
Ugh, whatever. NEXT.
And I’m only going to write a blurb here because Manning is getting paid $13.5 million this season (which, again, should be used since we’re only considering the first five games of this season) and Kevin said he’s “earning every penny” of it.
Alright, Kevin, you lied to us.
You clearly said in the introduction that you considered that players drafted in 2011 or later have a particular advantage in terms of salary. Yet here we are with three quarterbacks drafted in 2012 in the top four, and you justifying Kaepernick because “it is difficult to overlook the value of his second-round salary.”
And let’s be clear here: the 49ers are 3-2 and the offense has been absolutely garbage against good defenses. You know what, let me just show you using ESPN:
He’s completing passes at a rate that would make maybe Tim Tebow jealous. And his QBR (that’s the one stat y’all are using for this, right?) is 57.4, which, going back to that presser, “A season rating of 50 is considered average.”
AVERAGE. AVERAGE AVERAGE AVERAGE.
Mother of god. NEXT.
This would be a more-or-less acceptable ranking if Kaepernick wasn’t ahead of him. But he is. So this is nonsense.
Aaaaand now you’ve jumped the Megashark eating a plane that’s flying into a much larger sharknado.
You know, Kevin, it was your idea to include wins and losses in this ridiculous ranking, yet Michael Vick (2-3) is #7. And he’s getting paid $12.2 million this season. That’s a lot of money, Kevin. That’s almost as much as Peyton Manning. But here he is. On the list. Number seven.
And Jake Locker? Top six value? One spot removed from Drew Brees? Do you WANT to insult Drew Brees like that, Kevin? What’d Brees ever do to you? Do you not like that he took Brett Favre’s place in those godawful Wrangler commercials? Do you not think the U-shaped crotch flatters him? What is it, Kevin? Tell me. We can work through this.
But I cannot work through any more of this article. Except to say that Aaron Rodgers is 14 (paid less than Michael Vick this season) and Tony Romo is 12 (having an ungodly season in terms of production, but his defense gave up 51 against Denver, so let’s penalize him for that).
And I’ll include #32, just to redeem Kevin a little.
Nice one, Kevin. Good to see you got one right.