Understanding Positional Value

Since my last article was related to Value, i.e., the goal of the Draft Process is to ultimately get value by way of considering both the BPA and needs of a team, then this article will also focus on value.

When you think about managing a team or organization, you must consider that you live in a finite world, i.e., you only have so much money to go around. When you look at a company in any business, the guys that are the most valuable, (excluding nepotism), are the guys that make the most money.

Now when you build a successful NFL organization, one of the "Big Picture" strategies must be "since I only have so much money to spend, (Both Salary Cap wise, and Operating Capital wise), then I should think clearly before hand just how I am going to allocate the bigger pieces of the pie, both as to the players and the positions.

Now, to begin we must realize that even if the kicker is your best player, he should not be paid the most money because that is not where you want to focus when building Superbowl level talent.

Lets start by assigning letter grades to all players, A thru D, you dont want any "F" players, and you certainly want to get rid of any "D" players as soon as you can. With that in mind as a starting point, let us look at a few scenarios by applying the old tried and true, 80-20 rule. Do you want to spend 80 percent of your salary cap on "B" or "C" players, and the other 20 percent on your "A" players, or the other way around?

Next, you have to realize that before you make those kind of decisions, you must first decide which positions are the most valuable and in what order. Then once that is established you can decide which players at those positions should be paid with the 80 percent money or the 20 percent money.

For example, do I want to have my backups be all "C" quality players,so I can invest the 80% in "A" and "B" players, or do I want to spend 80 percent on all "A" players and have no "B" players, but rather all the remaining players be "C" players. So,once you decide all that, you can then decide just how many "A" players you can afford, and then apply the 20 percent to what is left. The Packers want to have a lot of their money allocated to backups, ie, they want a lot of "B" players and only a few "A" players and no "C" players, (At least that is how it looks to me), and that limits the amount of "star" or "A" players they can afford.

Keep in mind that not all teams spend all of their cap money and that plays into it as well.

So, with all that said, first here is the latest among of money that is being spent by each team as of the beginning of this year: (Boy you have to just love Jerry Jones the Owner!)

Team Salaries:


NFL Team Salaries 2011 Total NFL Payroll 2011 in Millions
Tampa Bay 59.7
Carolina 73.0
Kansas City 74.7
Jacksonville 78.1
Philadelphia 80.8
Seattle 81.1
Arizona 83.0
Oakland 85.8
San Diego 85.8
Cincinnati 90.7
Buffalo 96.4
Cleveland 99.2
San Francisco 100.9
Baltimore 101.3
Atlanta 102.1
New England 102.3
St. Louis 102.4
Miami 103.1
Chicago 104.9
New Orleans 105.2
Tennessee 107.4
Minnesota 108.4
Detroit 113.8
Washington 115.2
Indianapolis 115.5
Pittsburgh 116.0
Houston 118.4
Denver 125.0
New York Giants 126.3
New York Jets 128.5
Green Bay 129.8
Dallas 136.6


And here are a few more of those kind of stats:

Average Salary By Position.
1. QB 1.97 mil  
2. DE 1.58  
3. OL 1.26  
4. DT 1.22  
5. CB 1.19  
6. LB 1.17  
7. WR 1.05  
8. RB .957  
9. S  .947  
10.K  .868  
11.TE .863

Franchise Tag Salaries (Top 5 salaries at each position)

1. QB  16   Mil
2. CB  14   Mil
3. DE  12.9 Mil
4. DT  12.5 Mil
5. WR  11.3 Mil
6. OL  10.1 Mil
7. LB  10   Mil
8. RB  9.5  Mil
9. S   8.8  Mil
10.TE  7.3  Mil
11.K   3.1  Mil

"The significant jump for defensive tackles is largely fueled by the $21 million bonus that Albert Haynesworth received from the Washington Redskins last spring."

"Some teams opted to place large bonuses and higher salaries in 2010, assuming an uncapped year, which turned out to be the case. That led to jumps in some position groups, while others project to stay stable or even slightly decrease."

And one more chart:


Terence Newman $10,000,000     CB
Tony Romo $6,410,499     QB
DeMarcus Ware $5,986,693     LB
Jason Witten                    $5,032,000     TE
Jay Ratliff                     $4,916,042     DL
Bradie James                    $4,000,000     LB
Jon  Kitna                      $3,200,000     QB
Doug Free                       $2,760,000     OL
Keith  Brooking                 $2,700,000     LB
Abram Elam                      $2,500,000     S
Gerald Sensabaugh               $2,500,000     S
Tyron Smith                     $2,272,018     OL
Miles Austin                    $2,256,000     WR
Mat McBriar                     $2,185,621     P
Anthony Spencer                 $1,931,000     LB
Dez Bryant                      $1,752,500     WR
Felix Jones                     $1,738,250     RB
Kyle Kosier                     $1,600,000     OL
Mike Jenkins                   $1,540,500     CB
Marcus Spears                   $1,450,000     DL
Jason Hatcher                   $1,300,000     DL
Orlando Scandrick               $1,246,250     CB
Alan Ball                       $1,200,000     S
Kenyon Coleman                  $1,155,000     DL
Derrick Dockery                 $1,100,000     OL
Martellus Bennett               $951,668     TE
L.P. Ladouceur                  $845,000     LS
Sean Lee                        $750,000     LB
Tashard Choice                  $709,750     RB
Stephen McGee                   $658,000     QB
Victor Butler                   $649,635     LB
David Buehler                   $562,125     K
DeMarco Murray                  $540,625     RB
Kevin Ogletree                  $529,000     WR
Tony Fiammetta                  $494,117     FB
Frank Walker                    $494,118     CB
David Arkin                     $488,400     OL
John Phillips                  $469,562     TE
Laurent Robinson                $463,235     WR
Sean Lissemore                  $462,150     DL
Josh Price-Brent                $461,887     DL
Barry Church                   $454,000     S
Phil Costa                      $454,000     OL
Danny McCray                    $451,666     S
Clifton Geathers                $450,000     DL
Jesse Holley                    $450,000     WR
Jeremy Parnell                  $450,000     OL
Dwayne Harris                   $402,515     WR
Bill Nagy                       $386,475     OL
Kevin Kowalski                  $376,666     OL
Dan Bailey                      $375,833     K
Alex Albright                   $375,500     LB
Phillip Tanner                  $375,500     RB
Kai Forbath                     $276,847     K
Raymond Radway                  $258,000     WR
Bruce Carter                    $882,654     LB
PRACTICE SQUAD                 
Mario Butler                    $96,900
Rob Callaway                    $96,900
Shaun Chapas                    $96,900     FB
Andre Holmes                    $96,900
Orie Lemon                      $96,900
Akwasi Owusu-Ansah              $96,900     S
Teddy Williams                  $96,900     WR
Martin Rucker                   $91,200     TE
DEAD MONEY (includes dead money from previous contracts of current players who were cut and re-signed)                 
Roy Williams                    $4,375,000
Leonard  Davis                  $3,416,666
Marion  Barber                  $2,000,000
Andre Gurode                    $1,666,666
Marc Colombo                    $1,350,000
Igor Olshansky                  $1,300,000
Montrae Holland                 $500,000
Brandon Williams                $116,000
Akwasi Owusu-Ansah              $112,630
Jason Pociask (inj. settlement) $64,235
Laurent Robinson                $61,765
Bryan McCann                    $52,941
Josh Thomas                     $48,200
Martin Rucker                   $35,294
Tony Fiammetta                  $30,882
Billy Blackard (inj. settlement) $30,353
Titus Ryan                      $30,352
Sam Young                       $27,625
Shaun Chapas                    $14,213
Andrew Sendejo                  $6,825
Travis Bright                   $6,000
Isaiah Greenhouse               $5,700
Ross Weaver                     $5,000
Chris Gronkowski                $3,333
Jose Acuna                      $2,166
Lyle Leong                      $2,000
Mario Butler                    $1,666
Chris Randle                    $1,666
Orie Lemon                      $1,000
Pepa Letuli                     $1,000
Zack Eskridge                   $833
Corey Adams                     $666
(Total dead money               ) $15,270,678
Total cap spent                 $104,721,479
Adjusted salary cap             $123,375,000
Cap room                        $18,653,521


Notice the number of players making less than a million dollars. I wonder how those numbers fit with the 80-20 rule?

Aren't teams kind of saying that the value they place on positions are obvious because of the salaries they are paying? Well yes, and no, and I will leave that one for you guys to point out the obvious, as to why those numbers are skewed.

Next with regard to which positions are the most valuable and in what order, I give you my feelings. (Not saying mine are right and all others are wrong, because they are my opinion, and often you guys are better than I am at figuring out these kind of things:

My Positional Values:

1. Offensive Line - LT, RT, C, G.
2. Defensive Line - NT, DE.
3. QB.
4. DB
5. Rush Linebackers.
6. Safteys - FS, SS.
7. WR
8. RB
9. TE
10. FB
11.Inside Linebackers.
13.Long Snapper.

Keep in mind that some teams just "go with the flow" and take what comes along, that is they just pay the going rate to the guys they want to keep, without regard to the overall strategy as to the outline above, but it is my belief that the good teams consider this long range strategy before they get too far along in their organizational goals and plans.


To make sure I am clear, the Offensive line as a group is the most important in my opinion. I am not talking about a single player.

There you have it, I spilled my beans, as they say.....

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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