Mad Chemist: The Price of Admission

By
Updated: December 5, 2013
Is that mustache worth the money?

Is that mustache worth the money?

Hard Facts

This week I felt a little pressed for time (the holidays do that to us all), so I decided to address an issue of heavy discussion on the blogs. [I figured if a subject could get MaC to make comments that weren't just one-liners, it must be of import.]  The issue at hand was quarterback spending; are they paid too much, does it hurt the team overall, who is worth what?

This subject could fill tomes, and it will take centuries to evaluate fairly, but I decided to just place the real numbers before you. Much of the trouble arises because of allegiances to teams, and the high turnover rate among teams in the Free Agency Era. I have no concrete answers. It is difficult to come to any certainty while the players involved are in flux. I will share some thoughts I have, though I am doing this as more of a starting point for an open forum.

Team
Cost of QBs on Roster by yearly average of contract
Total QB cost in 2013
Playoff Appearances the last 5 seasons
Average wins the last 5 seasons
Denver Broncos 21.5M 18.8M 2 8.2
New Orleans Saints 21.3M 18.2M 3 10.4
Green Bay Packers 20.7M 13.1M 4 10.6
Dallas Cowboys 20.6M 13.8M 1 8.4
Baltimore Ravens 20.6M 7.4M 5 10.8
Atlanta Falcons 19.9M 10.3M 4 11.2
Detroit Lions 18.5M 21.6M 1 4.4
New York Giants 16.6M 22.4M 2 9.6
San Diego Chargers 16.6M 16M 2 9
New England Patriots 14.8M 14.6M 4 12
St. Louis Rams 14.6M 13.8M 0 3.8
New York Jets 14.5M 15.5M 2 8.6
Houston Texans 14.2M 11.8M 2 9
Pittsburgh Steelers 14M 15.4M 3 10.6
Kansas City Chiefs 11.8M 14.7M 1 5
Chicago Bears 11.6M 11.7M 1 9
Arizona Cardinals 11.3M 12.4M 2 7.4
Indianapolis Colts 9.2M 8.5M 4 9.8
Minnesota Vikings 9.1M 8.6M 3 8.2
Philadelphia Eagles 8.4M 13.5M 3 8.4
Miami Dolphins 8.2M 5.9M 1 7.6
Tennessee Titans 7.7M 8.5M 1 8.4
Washington Redskins 6.8M 6M 1 6.6
Jacksonville Jaguars 6.4M 8M 0 5.4
Buffalo Bills 6.3M 8.5M 0 5.8
Carolina Panthers 6.3M 7.5M 1 7
Cleveland Browns 5.6M 5.2M 0 4.6
Cincinnati Bengals 2.8M 2.8M 3 7.4
San Fransisco 49ers 2.5M 3.1M 2 9
Oakland Raiders 1.9M 14.3M 0 6
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1.7M 10.9M 0 6.6
Seattle Seahawks 1.6M 5.7M 2 6.8

Note: All figures come from spotrac.com

My Musings

MadScientist

What new horror has our resident mad scientist Robert brought upon us this week?!

Here are my thoughts while compiling this information:

  1. What if Chicago hadn’t fired Lovie Smith and company, but instead insisted he incorporate the changes they wanted, and hired Trestman as the OC?
  2. Baltimore and NE are just run better than everybody else!
  3. LOLions!
  4. The Arizona Cardinals are a microcosm of most NFL teams. Quarterbacking is very important, maybe most important. Warner, Anderson, Kolb, Skelton; teams live and die by smart QB and coaching decisions.
  5. The rookie pay scale has changed everything! I agree with it. Rookie pay was growing far out of line! Still, it has done as much to change the fortunes from year to year as Free Agency has. Maybe it is this dynamic that has scrambled the betting lines. It is not just Platstat and myself that have had wildly fluctuating results. There are numerous articles from life long Vegas prognosticators that this has been a very “unpredictable year”.
  6.  Evaluating coaches and QBs is overwhelmingly the difference between the “haves” and the “have nots” in the NFL! Which means that the General Manager is also key.
  7. When you see a wide margin between the average annual pay for a team’s QB and the 2013 actual expenditures, you should take keen note. The media, teams, and agents proclaim the high pay and grab your attention, but future pay is subject to change with a whim or an injury. Smart (or lucky) teams find high quality quarterbacks. At times they have to re-sign them. The price seems high initially, but over 4 or 5 or even 7 years the costs seem less expensive. Some teams give record contracts, but much of the price is on the back end of long term deals. If they cut the player in the final years, they extract 20-30% of that pay from ever happening.

On that last note, lets take Joe Flacco as an example. Many scoff at the high pay he legitimately earned.

Is Joe Flacco Overpaid? Or did the Ravens smartly structure his deal to ensure financial security?

They say he rode the coattails of a top notch defense. That is true.

But he passed on an offer in 2011. Then in 2012 he not only returned to the playoffs, and won a Superbowl, but it was in a down year for his defense. He put up incredible numbers in the playoffs.

Was he lucky? Maybe.

Is he worth the pay? Who knows?

But the public, whether they value Flacco or not, is looking at the wrong things.

All the masses see is that it is 6 years for $120.6M, or $20.1M per year. What they don’t see are the details. Flacco only makes 6.8 this season, 14.8 next year, and 14.55 in 2015. If Flacco fails to put up the numbers and playoff success, these next 3 years the Ravens can cut him and the contract will in actuality pay him 62M over 5 years. 36.15M for his 3 years of service (12.05M per year) and then about 10M in dead money in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. But the Ravens have far more leverage than that. Good or bad, they can return to Flacco in 2015 and renegotiate. If he earns the 14M/year They can offer him another back-loaded deal and get him at 17M in the early run. If he falls short, they can give him a 7 year deal averaging 13M/year.

Abridged version: Ozzie Newsome is smarter than your (and my) GM. The Ravens in reality are only spending in the Texans/Jets/Rams range for far greater results thus far, and maybe, just maybe, young master Flacco is as good as he wagered he was when he passed up the lower end deal.

The Best Point

Here is how this subject began and the best comment made about it from our own Johnathan Wood!

“Teams who are confident in their starting QB to the point they can say he’ll be their starter next year (and they’re ok with that): GB, NO, NE, DEN, SEA, SF, DAL, DET, NYG, SD, PIT, ATL, CAR, IND.

Remove the guys on rookie contracts. That leaves you GB, NO, NE, DEN, DAL, DET, NYG, SD, PIT, ATL.

How many of those guys are making $15+M per year?

Every damn one of them!

If you have a starting QB, sooner or later you’re paying him that much. It’s simply a fact in the NFL. Jay Cutler is a starting QB, so he will make $15M+ a year from somebody next year.”

If You Love Tight Games

I regained some on Platstats, and this continues to be a neck-and-neck race that will go down to the wire. With a rare winning week I gained ground; I am now 21-29-1. Platstats still holds a one game lead with 22-28-1.

Here is the Week 14 slate. Will the lead change yet again? Neither one of us has held more than a 2 game lead.

Pick Line Opponent
Deep Cool Agrees
Denver Broncos -12 vs. Tennessee Titans
Deep Cool Disagrees
Robert's Pick Line Deep Cool's Pick
Houston Texans -3 @ Jacksonville Jaguars

As to my other picks, I am now  38-25-3. Here are the 60.3% winners this week

  • Buffalo +2 @ Tampa Bay
  • Dallas +1 @ Chicago
  • New Orleans -4 vs. Carolina
  • Cleveland +10.5 @ New England
  • Detroit +3 @ Philadelphia
  • Minnesota +6 @ Baltimore
  • St. Louis +6 @ Arizona
  • NY Giants +3 @ San Diego
  • Houston -3.5 @ Jacksonville
  • Kansas City -2.5 @ Washington

P.S. Keep Pounding

About the author(s)

A self-described NFL addict and "stats geek," Robert J. Russ loves to demolish conventional wisdom with cold, hard numbers. When reputation doesn't jive with reality, he plows tirelessly through play-by-play charts and statistical tables to separate fact from fiction. A military brat who was born in California, raised in North Carolina, and bounced between the two states through college, Russ has lived in Coastal Carolina since 1990. He owns a small pest-control business and a free fantasy football and NFL betting line website. Feel free to contact him at with questions, comments, or ideas for future articles.

1358 comments
Big Cheese
Big Cheese

This is a very good article, and I like that it was borne out of our conversations.

andylet445
andylet445

i think its funny ashley fox is arguing that wilson should be MVP over manning.  wilson isn't even the mvp on his own team let alone the league.  fucking dumb bitch.  

Building With Clay is back SON
Building With Clay is back SON

I'm probably going to post this like 3 or 4 or 8 more times today.

SI.com and Vegas have Lacy as the OROY favorite.

Suck it hatters.

thebaskett
thebaskett

The brownies or (hobgoblin or elves) is where the browns got their old logo from.



andylet445
andylet445

I hope santa brings me that threesome i put on my wishlist.  

thebaskett
thebaskett

Did you know that in some countries that santa's helpers are not called elves, but Brownies.. Hilarious..


LambeauOrWrigley
LambeauOrWrigley

Did Aaron Rodgers change agents and pick up same guy representing Derrick Rose?

Building With Clay is back SON
Building With Clay is back SON

I want to believe in the Badgers basketball squad this season, but I know they are going to be the same as every other Badger team.

They will come in 2nd or 3rd in the big 10, won't lose at home, and then lose to a much more athletic team than them in the sweet 16.

Donny33
Donny33

just saw. LOLHouston. Man they suck.

LambeauOrWrigley
LambeauOrWrigley

Good morning.

Rourke gets a job.  US Unemployment goes down to 7%.  Damn Rourke, you were holding back the nation.

Extend Capers thru 2020
Extend Capers thru 2020

Why do people treat animals as if they are human?

Do people know that animals are generally retarded? 

Shit drives me crazy. 

It's fine to love your pets, but just realize that they aren't human. The people that treat their pets like that typically don't realize that their pet is unhealthy because they aren't meant to be fat and lazy like actual humans are.

thebaskett
thebaskett

when you have 2 in 3 years, then we'll talk

Rourke
Rourke

Your gift certificate for Inflatable Imogene is in the mail.

thenichels
thenichels

You and two Chippendale's dancers?

thenichels
thenichels

Are they the good brownies?  You know...the 'special' kind that you don't let the kids have?

Childerz...
Childerz...

I'm interested to see how the Gophers perform.... historically big ten teams have been shredded by the types of teams the Gophers are becoming.. I still think they're a year out. 

andylet445
andylet445

i think they can hang in with a much more athletic team than they used to.  i haven't been watching marquette this year but i will assume that will be a good test to see how they sit.  

Donny33
Donny33

without fail, this is the Badger bball season in a nutshell.

Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!
Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!

I hate the unemployment rate, it is a garbage stat to me.  Its only people actively looking for jobs, not the ones who have given up, or the ones who leach.

andylet445
andylet445

that and MKE that's two in a month's time.  

Childerz...
Childerz...

 


Here you go ethan its a history on dog breeding and why its deforming them  

thenichels
thenichels

FURRY BEASTS WITH BUGS IN THEIR FUR ARE PEOPLE!!!!

Childerz...
Childerz...

not only that but 100 years of retarded breeding has turned most dogs into unhealthy deformed beasties. 

bp.
bp. moderator

Wrong.

andylet445
andylet445

i can deal with it as long as they are hot and have big tits. 

Building With Clay is back SON
Building With Clay is back SON

I would put more stock in the game if it weren't at the Kohl Center.

They never have any trouble beating just about anyone there.

Extend Capers thru 2020
Extend Capers thru 2020

exactly. People rely on the unemployment rate when there are much better statistics out there to judge how well a country is doing economically.

Childerz...
Childerz...

Fuck them they're making OBAMA LOOK GOOD!! 

Extend Capers thru 2020
Extend Capers thru 2020

There are only a select few animals that can actually think logically. Chimps, Dolphins and a select few others.

However, the rest is all just instinct.

thenichels
thenichels

Our dog has his own thoughts and feelings...of this, I am sure.  However, I challenge you to spend one hour with him before you say he isn't retarded.  :)

Extend Capers thru 2020
Extend Capers thru 2020

Do you really think that dog is going to start pondering the reasons it can't mate anymore?

Extend Capers thru 2020
Extend Capers thru 2020

that girl's dog is literally going to wake up, realize it can't mate anymore, and go on living life like nothing happened. IT DOESN'T GIVE A SHIT

bp.
bp. moderator

Manning is also ahead of Wilson.

Get thee to BBAO.

bp.
bp. moderator

Nick Foles is on record-breaking pace.

Now go to BBAO.

andylet445
andylet445

take more taxes from the people so the government can spend more money so more  people are employed so we can take more taxes.... seems legit

Donny33
Donny33

chalk the lowering unemployment #s to gov't spending.

andylet445
andylet445

no, no they are not.  nothing can make this government look good.  

Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!
Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!

And we don't all deserve the same equality.  Our for fathers (over 3 generations in my family) fought for OUR rights.

Extend Capers thru 2020
Extend Capers thru 2020

it should be people > animals.

We are all one people, there is no point in separating it by region

Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!
Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!

Always help your neighbor first.  Our people > our animals > other people > other animals.


I may be a bit fucked though...

Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!
Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!

What about the people who save a child in need in some other country, when we have children in need here....

Extend Capers thru 2020
Extend Capers thru 2020

and if you spend money on "saving dogs and cats from the pound" instead of a child in need, you're an idiot.

Childerz...
Childerz...

i'm sorry I couldn't keep a straight face when I typed that 

Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!
Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!

So we should give zero fucks about animals because they can't think logically?  Should we just kick down sydrome kids to the curb?