Which Bronco player was most cost effective in 2013?

Jeff Zelevansky

So often we just look at raw numbers when it comes to production or salary. One of the biggest movements in modern sports statistics has been looking at this on a "per" basis or a ratio. Take for example passing yards or touchdowns, we as fans of the sport are evolving away from merely stating totals and looking at YARDS PER ATTEMPT instead of yards or TOUCHDOWN PERCENTAGE instead of just touchdowns. By doing this we are able to get a clearer picture of a players true impact. Two players with 30 touchdowns aren't the same if one did it with 100 fewer attempts. With the rise in economics in the NFL as well, we rarely ask "what is the dollar amount per snap we are paying this player?"

By overlooking this we don't truly see if a player is a value to the team or not. To frequently we'll say "this player only had six sacks, that's not worth it." Without realizing he's making half the money of a player who had eight sacks, with this we can see which player is of more value in terms of cost per production. I also include special teams snaps since they impact play on the field as well. This also does not factor in injuries, for better or worse.

So I am going to look at this just from the Broncos point of view, we'll take a gander at each position and see how each valued out. For the varying positions there will be a differing of categories but for each we will be consistently looking at cost per snap. For position specific stats I'll include an explanation of them before the appropriate table. It's important to remember that for some players it's hard to gauge their value sabermetricly since many metrics are still too young. Offensive line is one position I won't include much since it's hard to truly put their impact into monetary value just yet. Finally I excluded players who went on Injured Reserve prior to the season starting.

All these figures come from Spotract.

*All these tables are sortable*

Quarterbacks

Name Cap Snaps $ per Snap Attp $ per Attp Yards $ per Yard TD $ per TD
Manning $17,500,000 1181 $14,818 677 $25,849 5357 $25,849 55 $318,182
Osweiler $799,244 51 $15,671 18 $44,402 87 $44,402 0 $799,244
Dysert $417,050 0 $417,050 0 $417,050 0 $417,050 0 $417,050

Running Backs

- Touches are rushing attempts plus receptions
- Total yards are rushing and receiving yards combined
- Touchdowns are the combination of rushing and receiving touchdowns

Name Cap Snaps $ per Snap Touches $ per Touch Total Yards $ per Yard TD $ per TD
Moreno $3,287,000 724 $4,540 301 $10,920 1586 $2,073 13 $252,846
Hillman $687,708 159 $4,325 67 $10,264 337 $2,041 1 $687,708
Ball
$629,878 329 $1,915 140 $4,499 704 $895 4 $157,470
Anderson $409,166 29 $14,109 7 $58,452 38 $10,768 0 $409,166

Wide Receivers

Name Cap Snaps $ per Snap Touches $ per Touch Total Yards
$ per Yard
TD
$ per TD
Welker $4,150,000 799 $5,194 73 $56,849 778 $5,334 10 $415,000
Thomas $2,430,250 1139 $2,134 92 $26,416 1430 $1,699 14 $173,589
Decker $1,506,037 1075 $1,401 87 $17,311 1288 $1,169 11 $136,912
Caldwell $900,000 299 $,3010 17 $52,941 207 $4,348 3 $300,000

Tight Ends

Name Cap Snaps $ per Snap Touches $ per Touch Yards $ per Yard TD $ per TD
Tamme $3,458,333 333 $10,385 20 $172,917 184 $18,795 1 $3,458,333
Dreesse $3,333,333 268 $12,438 7 $476,190 47 $90,722 1 $3,333,333
Thomas $651,000 921 $707 65 $10,015 788 $826 12 $54,250
Green $572,250 369 $1,551 9 $63,583 45 $12,717 0 $572,250

Offensive Line

Name Cap Snaps $ per Snap
Ramirez $1,231,666 1288 $956
Vallos $555,000 16 $34,688
Vasquez $3,250,000 1297 $2,506
Kuper $2,008,916 108 $18,601
Beadles $1,060,000 1288 $823
Clark $1,548,666 1142 $1,356
Justice $991,176 20 $49,559
Clady $12,600,000 153 $82,353
Franklin $1,188,000 1179 $1,008

Defensive Line

- Total Pressures is the culmination of sacks, hits, pressures and holding penalties forced
- Pressure isn't the perfect way to measure the value of a defensive lineman but it's better than sacks, tackles for a loss or merely tackles.

Name Cap Snaps $ per Snap Sacks $ per Sack
Total Pressures
$ per Pressure
Ayers
$2,241,250 514 $4,360 7 $320,179 48 $46,693
Wolfe
$1,036,691 566 $1,832 4 $259,173 35 $29,620
Jackson
$533,403 616 $866 6 $88,901 46 $11,596
Mincey
$1,525,000 61 $25,000 0 $1,525,000 5 $305,000
Phillips
$1,400,000 784 $1,786 11 $127,273 52 $26,923
Williams
$1,378,500 301 $4,580 2 $689,250 13 $106,038
Knighton
$1,250,000 611 $2,046 4 $312,500 35 $35,714
Unrein
$555,000 369 $1,504 0 $555,000 14 $39,643
Fua
$163,235 12 $13,603 0 $163,235 0 $163,235
Vickerson
$2,500,000 411 $6,083 1 $2,500,000 17 $147,059

Linebackers

- Total Pressures is the culmination of sacks, hits, pressures and holding penalties forced
- Pressure isn't the perfect way to measure the value of a defensive lineman but it's better than sacks, tackles for a loss or merely tackles.
- I exclude tackles for linebackers since tackles are determined more by the defensive line, hard for players to control.

Name Cap Snaps $ per Snap Pressures $ per Pressures INT $ per INT
Lenon $1,540,000 291 $5,292 4 $385,000 0 $1,540,000
Irving $728,750 366 $1,991 6 $121,458 0 $728,750
Johnson $484,000 33 $14,667 0 $484,000 0 $484,000
Woodyard $3,250,000 803 $4,047 18 $180,556 1 $3,250,000
Trevathan $506,018 1007 $503 18 $28,112 3 $168,672
Marshall $28,235 15 $1,882 0 $28,235 0 $28,235
Miller $4,921,215 552 $8,915 41 $120,030 0 $4,921,215

Defensive Backs

- I exclude tackles for linebackers and secondary players since tackles are determined more by the defensive line, hard for players to control.

Name Cap Snaps $ per Snap INT $ per INT
Bailey $10,750,000 193 $55,699 0 $10,750,000
Rodgers-Cromartie $2,900,000 799 $3,630 3 $966,666
Carter, T $715,000 331 $2,160 1 $715,000
Bolden $598,607 336 $1,782 0 $598,607
Harris $555,668 1066 $521 3 $185,222
Webster $539,950 612 $882 1 $539,950
Adams $2,000,000 788 $2,538 1 $2,000,000
Jammer $1,500,000 261 $5,747 0 $1,500,000
Bruton $1,200,000 331 $3,625 0 $1,200,000
Ihenacho $480,000 801 $599 0 $480,000
Huff $296,470 50 $5,929 0 $296,470
Moore $1,213,125 672 $1,805 2 $606,526

Takeaways

Best Per Snap Value:
1. Danny Trevathan, LB, $503
2. Chris Harris, CB, $521
3. Duke Ihenacho, S, $599
4. Julius Thomas, TE, $707
5. Zane Beadles, OG, $823

Worst Per Snap Value:
-
Zac Dysert, QB, $417,050
- Ryan Clady, OT, $82,353
- Champ Bailey, CB, $55,699
- Winston Justice, OL, $49,559
- Steve Vallos, OL, $34,688

An important thing to note is that players near the end of their rookie contracts and those on their 2nd or 3rd contracts are obviously going to be making a lot more money than rookies who make far less, even early round picks, these rookies may make a small impact which may seem to be cost effective purely because they are incredibly cheap.

Now to wrap up this isn't perfect obviously, it was never intended to be, and snaps isn't the best way to measure a persons production, but it does measure if they impact the game, you have to be on the field to produce, period.

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