## 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:
http://www.altiusdirectory.com/Sports/nfl-salaries.php

 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
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/average-nfl-salary-by-position.html

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
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81e4d644/article/potential-franchisetag-numbers-highlighted-by-increase-for-dts

"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:

 53-MAN ROSTER 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 INJURED RESERVE/PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO PERFORM 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.
12.Kickers.
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.

UPDATE:

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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