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Broncos free agents: Cost per snap, sack, and interception

Projecting the Broncos' new toys' cost per snap based on 2014 contracts and 2013 numbers.

David Welker

In free agency we often look just at the money and not at the value compared to who these free agents are replacing or their peers in free agency. The Broncos first big move of free agency was signing safety T.J. Ward to a four year deal worth an estimated $5.5 million a year. At the same time three other top safeties signed deals, So I wanted to compare these deals while also looking at who Ward is replacing. To do this we'll be looking at Ward, Whitner, Bethea, and Brown as well as the Broncos' two top safeties in 2013 Mike Adams and Duke Ihenacho.

It is important to remember that all contracts for players getting new contracts in 2014 are estimates, since the official numbers haven't been released yet (see Mike's excellent post for what we believe the breakdowns are). Also remember that snap counts and production are based on 2013 so they may or may not be a predictor of future success.

Broncos Sign SS T.J. Ward

The snaps included are from 2013 (except for Brown who was on IR in 2013 so we'll use his 2012 snaps). The cap numbers for Adams and Duke are from 2013.

*These are sortable tables*

Name Cap Snaps $ per Snap
Mike Adams (2013) $2,000,000 788 $2,538
Duke Ihenacho (2013) $480,000 801 $599
T.J. Ward (2014) $5,500,000 1124 $4,893
Donte Whitner (2014) $7,000,000 1033 $6,776
Bethea (2014) $6,500,000 1048 $6,202
Brown (2014) $4,000,000 846 $4,728

So while not a perfect comparison for Ward to be worth his money he'll need to be about twice as good as Adams. I think this is entirely possible and needs to happen for the Broncos defense to improve.

Broncos Sign CB Aqib Talib

The Broncos have now signed CB Aqib Talib for an estimated 6-year, $57M deal, an average of about $9.5 million a year. Let's compare that to a few players who have signed so far in free agency: Brent Grimes, Vontae Davis, and Alterraun Verner. We'll also look at Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie's production value from 2013 as well.

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

Name Cap Snaps $ per Snap
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (2013) $2,900,000 799 $3,630
Aqib Talib (2014) $9,500,000 856 $11,098
Brent Grimes (2014) $8,000,000 1132 $7,067
Vontae Davis (2014) $9,750,000 951 $10,252
Alterraun Verner (2014) $6,625,000 1023 $6,476

If these corners play a similar number of snaps in 2014 as they did in 2013, the best value will be Verner and Grimes while Talib and Davis will be the most expensive.

Broncos Sign DE DeMarcus Ware

Let's look at two potential Bronco addition at defensive end/outside linebacker. Now that the Broncos have signed Ware, we'll still have to wait and see what Allen makes, if he doesn't retire. We'll look at two former Broncos, Robert Ayers and Shaun Phillips, as well new Broncos DeMarcus Ware and free agent Jared Allen. Since we only have Ware's estimated 2014 contract we'll use 2013 contract for Allen. Since Justin Tuck has now signed with the Raiders I've included him in the table.

- 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
Robert Ayers (2013) $2,241,250 514 $4,360 7 $320,179 48 $46,693
Shaun Phillips (2013) $1,400,000 784 $1,786 11 $127,273 52 $26,923
DeMarcus Ware (2014) $10,000,000 648 $15,432 6 $1,666,666 50 $200,000
Jared Allen (2013) $17,063,956 1083 $15,756 13 $1,312,612 65 $262,522
Justin Tuck (2014) $5,500,000 896 $6,138 12 $458,333 68 $80,882

We'll keep updating this as the Broncos add new free agents to the team!

What are your thoughts, Broncos Country? Are we getting the bang for our buck? Will these free agents step it up even further in 2014?