In the final installment of the starting Salaries series, I present the cost of a Quarterback Sack for the Denver Broncos as well as the rest of the league. I will attempt to show the 3 main pass rushing threats for each team last year, or at least the three players who accumulated the most in their Sack attack. Then we will look at what percentage of their teams Sacks they contributed and finally what was the price tag for a Sack for each team. This will help us understand how the Salaries for Pass Rushers have escalated and who got the best value for their buck. The values may be skewed a little because of the players out performing their rookie contracts, but to me, that makes a statement on the talent evaluators in each teams Scouting staff.
I will break it down for you in order to understand the chart. The teams are listed by their Sack total for 2011 from most to the least. The three main Sack contributors for each team are next with their contributions in parentheses. After that is the percentage of their team's Total Sacks (%of SKS), the total Salaries of those three contributors in 2011(2011 Cost in Millions) and what each Sack from those three players cost their team (Value in Thousands). Then I ranked each team according to the cost per Sack, from the lowest to the highest, their projected 2012 expense (at present time) and any Free Agents they must deal with.
|Team||SK||Top 3 Sack men (2011 Sacks)||% of SKs||2011 Cost||Value||Rank||2012 Cost||Notes|
|Philadelphia Eagles||50||Jason Babin (18),Trent Cole (11),Cullen Jenkins (5.5)||69||8.77||254K||12||19.34|
|Minnesota Vikings||50||Jared Allen (22),Brian Robison (8),Kevin Williams (5)||70||15.67||448K||24||15.65|
|New York Giants||48||Jason Pierre-Paul (16.5),Osi Umentiora (9),Justin Tuck (5)||63.5||7.05||93K||2||8|
|Baltimore Ravens||48||Terrell Suggs (14), Pernell McPhee (6), Paul Kruger (5.5)</td>||53.1||4.425||174K||10||6.01|
|Cincinnati Bengals||45||Geno Atkins (7.5),Jonathan Fanene (6.5),Michael Johnson (6)||44.4||2.085||105K||3||1.055||Jonathan Fanene: UFA|
|Houston Texans||44||Connor Barwin (11.5),Antonio Smith (6.5),Brooks Reed (6)||54.5||6.25||261K||13||7.24|
|Dallas Cowboys||42||DeMarcus Ware (19.5),Anthony Spencer (6),Jason Hatcher (4.5)||71.4||8.4||280K||14||6.5||Anthony Spencer: UFA|
|Arizona Cardinals||42||Calais Campbell (8),Sam Acho (7),Daryl Washington (5)||47.6||6.25||313K||17||0.955||Calais Campbell:UFA|
|San Francisco 49ers||42||Aldon Smith (14),Justin Smith (7.5),Ahmad Brooks (7)||67.8||9.79||344K||21||9.4||Ahmad Brooks: UFA|
|Washington Redskins||41||Brian Orakpo (9),Ryan Kerrigan (7.5),Stephen Bowen (6)||54.8||3.85||171K||7||4.44|
|Detroit Lions||41||Cliff Avril (11),Kyle Vanden Bosch (8),Lawrence Jackson (4.5)||57.3||7.82||333K||20||5.92||Cliff Avril: UFA|
|Miami Dolphins||41||Cameron Wake (8.5),Jason Taylor (7),Jared Odrick (6)||52.4||1.98||922K||30||1.13||Jason Taylor (retiring)|
|Denver Broncos||41||Von Miller (11.5),Elvis Dumervil (9.5),D.J. Williams (5)||63.4||24.15||929K||31||24.25|
|New England Patriots||40||Mark Anderson (10),Andre Carter (10),Rob Ninkovich (6.5)||66.2||3.08||116K||4||0||All 3 are UFA's|
|St. Louis Rams||39||Chris Long (13),James Hall (6),Robert Quinn (5)||61.5||4.96||207K||11||6.11|
|Oakland Raiders||39||Tommy Kelly (7.5),Kamerion Wimbley (7),Richard Seymour (6)||52.5||25.5||1.25M||32||24.5|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||35||James Harrison (9),LaMarr Woodley (9),Jason Worilds (3)||60||2.75||131K||5||9.2|
|New York Jets||35||Aaron Maybin (6),David Harris (5),Bart Scott (4.5)||44.3||6.42||414K||23||15.5||Aaron Maybin: RFA|
|Seattle Seahawks||33||Chris Clemons (11),Leroy Hill (4),Alan Branch (3)||54.5||5.48||305K||16||6||Leroy Hill: UFA|
|New Orleans Saints||33||Roman Harper (7.5),Will Smith (6.5),Junior Galette (4.5)||56.1||8.3||448K||25||14.61|
|Chicago Bears||33||Julius Peppers (11),Henry Melton (7),Israel Idonije (5)||69.7||13.38||582K||27||9.46||Israel Idonije: UFA|
|Atlanta Falcons||33||John Abraham (9.5),Sean Weatherspoon (4),Ray Edwards (3.5)||51.5||11.4||671K||28||6.73||John Abraham: UFA|
|Cleveland Browns||32||Jabaal Sheard (8.5),Ahtyba Rubin (5),Phil Taylor (4)||54.7||3||171K||8||6.84|
|San Diego Chargers||32||Antwan Barnes (11),Cam Thomas (4),Shaun Phillips (3.5)||57.8||5.9||319K||18||6.49|
|Carolina Panthers||31||Charles Johnson (9),Greg Hardy and Thomas Keiser (4)||54.8||4.78||281K||15||5.7|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||31||Jeremy Mincey (8),Daryl Smith and Matt Roth (3.5)||48.4||7.2||480K||26||4.7||Jeremy Mincey No $ for 2011, UFA in 2012. Matt Roth:UFA|
|Green Bay Packers||29||Clay Matthews (6),Desmond Bishop (5),Erik Walden (3)||48.3||2.4||171K||9||3.63||Erik Walden: UFA|
|Buffalo Bills||29||Marcell Dareus (5.5),Chris Kelsay (5),Nick Barnett (3)||46.5||4.37||324K||19||8.3|
|Indianapolis Colts||29||Robert Mathis (9.5),Dwight Freeney (8.5),Jamaal Anderson (3)||72.4||14.58||410K||22||14.03||Robert Mathis, Jamaal Anderson: UFAs|
|Kansas City Chiefs||29||Tamba Hali (12),Justin Houston (5.5),Wallace Gilberry (2.5)||68.9||14.53||727K||29||12.69||Wallace Gilberry: UFA|
|Tennessee Titans||28||Karl Klug (7),Dave Ball (4),Jason Jones (3)||50||2.23||159K||6||0.465||Dave Ball, Jason Jones: UFAs|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||23||Adrian Clayborn (7.5),Michael Bennett (4),Brian Price (3)||63||1.26||87K||1||1.24||Michael Bennett: RFA|
As you can see, the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles led the league in Sacking the Quarterback as a team in 2011. The Eagles got a better value since they only spent $254K per Sack, while the Vikes shelled out $448K. However, I believe that since they achieved 70% of that statistic with 3 players, that cost is worth it. Obviously each team will be different in placing a priority on the Sack statistic and the money allotted to that. The Green Bay Packers for instance, rely on a greater part of their Defensive personnel to contain and pressure the Quarterback, forcing a mistake by being patient and disciplined rather than forcing the issue with all out blitzes per se. Teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts and and the Denver Broncos balance their Pass rush with "Book ends," a pass rush specialist on each side of the line. Pittsburgh does it with Outside Linebackers James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley. The Colts have Defensive Ends Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney and the Broncos use one of each, OLB Von Miller and DE Elvis Dumervil to wreak havoc on opposing Quarterbacks.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent the least amount per Sack in 2011 at $87K. However, they also produced the least amount of Sacks. Is their ownership a Miser? Perhaps. perhaps not. They had 3 players on their rookie contracts producing their pressure and in their defense (no pun intended), Gerald McCoy will be back after a stay on the Injured Reserve List in 2011. I didn't include his salary in the 2012 projection.
The Denver Broncos outspent all but the Raiders for each Sack produced in 2011 at $929K per Sack. Their expense in 2012 rises very minimal, but the Denver Front Office has to be concerned with the production return on that investment. Sure, you could blame it on injuries. Elvis Dumervil was struggling with a shoulder injury in the early part of the season and finally returned to 100% a little past the halfway mark. Von Miller broke a thumb and lost one source of leverage, making him less effective. That is reason enough for me to think the Broncos 2011 Sack total of 41 will increase.
There are greater depths that can be derived from this list and maybe one of you will journey down that path to solve the questions of, which player was paid the highest per Sack and which team got the best value for an individual Pass Rusher? Another interesting question would be the correlation of Sacks to Wins and if that was that big of a factor?