The NFL financial landscape is being evaluated through awards for the seventh consecutive year at CBSSports.com with the regular season in the books. These awards differ from traditional NFL honors because they are from an economic perspective that emphasize veterans’ acquisitions of 2019.
Players acquired through exchanges or free agency can have a tremendous impact on the fortunes of an NFL team. The rookies were not taken into account because their salaries are a function of the recruitment position and the salary scale of the rookies. The same applies to players in restricted free agent tenders, since the amounts are set out in the NFL collective bargaining agreement.
Most valuable acquisition
The Titans were nowhere fast with a 2-4 record before inserting Tannehill into the initial lineup. Tannehill was acquired from the Dolphins, along with a sixth round selection of 2019, for a seventh round selection of 2019 and a fourth round selection of 2020 during the offseason in case Marcus Mariota suffered another injury or staggered. To help facilitate trade, Tannehill took a large pay cut in a renegotiation of contracts that saw its compensation in 2019 fall from $ 18.75 million to $ 7 million, of which the Dolphins paid $ 5 million. The new agreement allowed Tannehill to earn up to $ 12 million due to incentives, while eliminating his 2020 contract year to take the pay cut. Tannehill earned an additional $ 3,175 million in incentives.
The Titans reached the playoffs as an AFC wild card by going 7-3 with Tannehill as starting quarterback. Tannehill led the NFL with a passer rating of 117.5 and 9.6 yards per pass attempt. He finished third in the league with a completion percentage of 70.3. The 117.5 pin rating is the fourth best season mark in NFL history.
In the 10 games Tannehill was under the center, Tennessee averaged 30.4 points, which was the fourth best in the NFL during that time. The Titans were in 28th place with 16.3 points when Mariota was starting. Offensive yards also increased dramatically from 290.5 per game, which was 27th in the NFL, to the third best in the league with 406.2 yards in the games Tannehill started.
Tannehill was named AFC Offensive Player of the month for December. In five December games, Tannehill hit 90 of 132 passes (68.2 percent completion) for 1,322 yards with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions. His pin rate was 124.6.
Runners-up: Shaquil Barrett (Edge) -Buccaneers; Marcus Peters (CB) -Ravens; the Smith Brothers (Edge) -Packers
Less valuable acquisition
The Raiders gave the 2019 Steelers third and fifth round selections last March for possibly the best NFL open receiver. As part of the exchange, Brown won an improved contract. He received an increase of $ 11.2 million over the remaining three years of the four-year contract extension and $ 68 million he signed with the Steelers in 2017. He was scheduled to earn $ 50,125 million over the three years with the potential of $ 4 million. additional through incentives in the new deal. The adjusted contract had $ 30,125 million fully guaranteed. The money guaranteed was Brown’s base salary of $ 14.625 million for 2019, the base salary of $ 14.5 million for 2020, the training bonus of $ 500,000 for 2019 and the training bonus of $ 500,000 for 2020. The $ 1 million In training bonuses they were treated as a signing bonus for salary limit purposes and were prorated during the three years because they were fully guaranteed in the signing of the adjusted agreement.
Brown sold out his welcome in Oakland with his pranks off the field before playing a down for the Raiders. He was released a day before the regular season began due to multiple breaches of his contract, which allowed the Raiders to void $ 29.625 million of guarantees. The NFL contract guarantees nullity for a long list of reasons (suspensions under a league policy or by the team for harmful conduct, failure or refusal to play, practice or inform the team, etc.). The conditions vary according to the team’s convention, the agent’s attention to the language and its influence in the negotiations. In some cases, fines can result in the cancellation of guarantees.
Brown filed multiple complaints against the Raiders to collect wage guarantees, the one-week salary of $ 860,294 and approximately $ 215,000 in fines that was assessed while in Oakland. The complaint is expected to be heard during the next low season. Brown’s best opportunity for a favorable decision is with a week’s salary because his release occurred after the business was closed on Tuesday of that week.
The Raiders currently have a 2020 salary cap charge of $ 666,667 for the training bonus extension. Assuming the expected result of complaints where the arbitrator rules in favor of Brown for the payment of one week, the Raiders should leave with a credit of $ 139,706 at the 2020 salary cap. There must be a credit of $ 333,333 for the maximum charge of 2019 related to training bonuses. Brown did not earn the first $ 500,000 due to lack of participation in the training program. A credit of $ 666,667 must also be granted for the maximum existing 2020 charge.
Brown’s implosion led to a chain reaction of events in the open receptor. The Raiders were forced to rely on Tyrell Williams, who was slowed by a foot injury, and the 2019 fifth round pick, Hunter Renfrow, more strongly. The duo combined for 91 catches, 1,256 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. That kind of production would have been a “bad year” by Brown’s standards. The Raiders gave up more recruitment capital during the season to try to improve the broad receiving body. Trevor Davis was acquired from the Packers for a sixth round selection of 2020. A fifth round selection of 2021 was given to the Bills by Zay Jones.
It is impossible to know how the Raiders’ preliminary plans would have changed without changing Brown. Wide receivers A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf was still available when cornerback Trayvon Mullen was selected in the second round with the 40th overall pick. The third round selection sent to Pittsburgh was the 66th overall pick. The Redskins took wide receiver Terry McLaurin 10 places later.
Runners-up: Nick Foles (QB) -Jaguars; Devin Funchess (WR) -Colts; C.J. Mosley (LB) -Jets
Offensive signature of the year
Ingram left the Saints after eight years to join the Ravens in a three-year deal and $ 15 million with $ 6.5 million fully guaranteed. It became an excellent complement to quarterback Lamar Jackson, the alleged NFL MVP 2019, in the historic Baltimore land attack, which set a record for the season with 3,296 yards.
Ingram and Derrick Henry are the only two players who run for at least 1,000 yards (1,018) and have at least 10 touchdowns on the ground, while also averaging five yards or more per carry this season. He had five other scores in receptions to qualify fourth in the NFL with 15 touchdowns. Ingram was named to the Pro Bowl on the original ballot for the second time in his career this season.
Runner-up: John Brown (WR) -Bills
Defensive Signature of the Year
The second year, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst renewed Green Bay’s defense by being much more aggressive in free agency than Ted Thompson, his predecessor. External supporters Za’Darius and Preston Smith, known as the “Smith Brothers” although unrelated, signed four-year agreements worth $ 66 million and $ 52 million, respectively, to provide a quick pass. The Smith Brothers combined to get 25.5 catches, a record of the Packers’ season for a duo. Za’Darius had 13.5 catches to qualify sixth in the NFL, while Preston was not far behind with 12, which was eighth. They are the only pair of teammates to reach the mark of 12 catches this season.
Runner-up: Tyrann Mathieu (S) – Chiefs
The biggest robbery
The Buccaneers obtained the NFL sack leader for a one-year contract worth $ 5 million, including incentives. To be fair, nobody could have anticipated that Barrett had 19.5 catches. The free agent not recruited in 2014 produced a total of 14 catches in his previous four seasons with the Broncos.
Runner-up: Ryan Tannehill (QB) -Titans
Best use of one year contract
Barrett’s bet on himself with a one-year, $ 4 million contract (worth up to $ 5 million in incentives) will pay large dividends. He earned the NFC Defensive Player of the Month honors in September with nine catches in the first four games. The nine quarterback knocks also tied an NFL record for the most catches in four games. Although Barrett couldn’t keep up with the start of the season, he led the NFL with 19.5 catches.
The Buccaneers have made it clear that Barrett will not go anywhere. In the absence of a long-term agreement, Barrett will receive a franchise or transition designation. The 2020 linebackers transition and franchise labels are expected to be approximately $ 15,975 million and $ 13.75 million, respectively, with a salary cap in the neighborhood of $ 200 million. Barrett’s break-up season should put him in a position to get at least one long-term deal comparable to the five-year, $ 90 million ($ 18 million per year) contract with $ 56 million in guarantees Trey Flowers got from the Lions in Free agency last March.
Runners-up: Matthew Judon (Edge) -Ravens; Justin Simmons (S) -Broncos; Ryan Tannehill (QB) -Titans
The worst use of a contract year
Mariota, who has been playing with a $ 20,922 million fifth-year option, was suspended six games ineffectively for the season. He was completing 59.1 percent of the passes, averaging 196.5 yards per game and had been fired a league most of the 25 times when he lost his initial job. The Titans would probably have made a long-term commitment to Mariota worth up to $ 30 million per year if it had been up to the potential this season that made it the second overall pick of 2015.
Mariota’s days with Tennessee are clearly numbered. He will seek to become a starting quarterback or an opportunity to complete his work in free agency. These opportunities may be few and far between because the supply of veteran quarterbacks will probably exceed the demand this offseason. Mariota may have to settle for the best backup situation that could eventually give him the opportunity to play in case the initial quarterback has difficulties.
Runners-up: Nelson Agholor (WR) -Aguilas; Devin Funchess (WR) -Colts
Best contract year extension (for a team)
Parker renegotiated his fifth-year option for $ 9,387 million in a two-year contract and $ 10 million worth up to $ 13 million through incentives last March. The Dolphins would probably have released it instead of having the fully guaranteed option.
Parker’s long-awaited breakup season finally happened this season. He caught 72 passes for 1,202 yards with nine touchdowns. Parker tied for fourth place in the NFL in touchdown receptions and was fifth in receiving yards. His 16.7 yards per catch was ninth best in the league.
Parker, who turns 27 on January 20, signed a three-year, $ 30.5 million contract extension that contains $ 22,367,647 of guarantees with a couple of weeks remaining in the regular season. The extension has a value of up to $ 34.5 million due to attainable realistic incentives. After signing the extension, Parker took the Patriots team’s All-Pro cornerback, Stephon Gilmore, who was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year by The Professional Football Writers of America, at the end of the regular season. The future 27-year-old player caught eight passes for 137 yards with Gilmore mainly covering him.
The moment of extension is curious for Parker. There should have been no urgency on his part because he had a 2020 contract year. By signing during the season, Parker cannot benefit from any wide receiver agreement made in free agency or possible contract year extensions for Chris Godwin (Buccaneers ), Kenny Golladay (Lions), Cooper Kupp (Rams) or JuJu Smith-Schuster (Steelers). If this season is not an anomaly, you probably regret having signed an extension until the 2023 season for a good number two open receiver instead of fulfilling your contract.
Runner-up: Marcus Peters (CB) -Ravens
Worst contract year extension (for a team)
The Colts renegotiated Brissett’s contract in a preventive strike after quarterback Andrew Luck retired surprisingly during the preseason. Brissett was scheduled to fulfill his rookie contract with a base salary of $ 2 million remaining when he signed during the 2020 season for a total of $ 30 million during the two years. That makes the Brissett deal a one-year extension for $ 28 million, which is a fair approximation of the 2020 non-exclusive quarterback franchise label.
Brissett did nothing this season to convince Colts general manager Chris Ballard that he is the quarterback’s long-term response. In fact, Ballard recently said the jury is still in Brissett, which ranked 26th in the NFL in touchdown passes (18) and completion percentage (60.9), and 27 in aerial yards (2,942) this season. I was without an open receiver T.Y. Hilton, the main weapon in the air game, and tight end Eric Ebron for several games due to an injury.
The Colts would have had an additional salary margin of $ 28 million to play in the offseason to help find a veteran quarterback in free agency or through the exchange if Brissett had fulfilled his rookie contract. However, the space in the lid is not a problem. No NFL team should have more than the nearly $ 92 million in capitalization the Colts are expected to have.
$ 8 million in maximum space would be saved by freeing Brissett instead of keeping it in books with a limit number of $ 21.5 million. That is unlikely to happen, since the plan is to bring someone to pressure Brissett. It remains to be seen if it is through the draft or free agency.
Runner-up: Jared Goff (QB) -Rams