15 Financial Facts for Monday Night Football

October 20th, 2014

USATSI_8126441_160074578_lowresPhil Sears-USA TODAY SportsAs the Texans head into Pittsburgh for Week 7 of the 2014 Monday Night Football season, we’ll take a moment to pull apart a few of the more notable financial points across the starting lineups, overall salary caps, cash payrolls, contract statuses, value rankings, and free agent scopes. The following are fifteen fun financial facts, Monday Night Football edition.
 

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Peyton Manning’s 509 Touchdowns

October 20th, 2014

USATSI_7464181_160074578_lowresBroncos QB Peyton Manning made history Sunday night, surpassing Brett Favre’s all-time career touchdown mark of 509, with little difficulty we might add. In lei of this we’ve taken a unique approach to assessing this feat. The table below not only displays the 45 players (WRs, RBs, TEs, DTs) who caught at least one touchdown pass from Manning, but also their total estimated career earnings as well. The result?

Peyton Manning himself has accrued $229,732,000 over nearly 17 NFL seasons. These 45 players listed below total a combined $601,623,657 in career earnings. Proving what we already know – it pays to be the one throwing the ball.

Related: Peyton Manning’s Contracts, Salaries, & Earnings

Player
TDs
Career Earnings
Marvin Harrison112$68,870,000
Reggie Wayne67$52,365,000
Dallas Clark44$42,630,000
Marcus Pollard34$19,133,647
Demaryius Thomas29$14,105,500
Eric Decker24$13,270,150
Julius Thomas21$2,424,000
Brandon Stokley20$25,585,432
Austin Collie15$3,399,966
Edgerrin James11$68,909,750
Wes Welker11$40,372,059
Pierre Garcon10$29,312,285
Joseph Addai9$16,970,000
Jacob Tamme9$8,996,572
Anthony Gonzalez7$7,950,000
Terrence Wilkins7$3,916,000
Torrance Small7$10,623,000
Ken Dilger7$13,228,096
Jerome Pathon6$10,446,000
Joel Dreessen6$9,660,000
Bryan Fletcher5$1,544,850
Blair White5$782,000
Dominic Rhodes4$9,918,000
Marshall Faulk4$48,935,000
Troy Walters4$3,654,500
Qadry Ismail3$7,546,936
James Mungro3$2,192,000
Andre Caldwell3$5,501,000
Knowshon Moreno3$20,084,000
E.G. Green2$1,158,000
Ricky Williams2$525,000
Ben Utecht2$7,585,000
Jim Finn1$4,099,000
Mitch Unrein1$2,641,965
Gijon Robinson1$1,155,000
Aaron Moorehead1$2,261,600
Luke Lawton1$1,040,300
Lance Ball1$1,540,200
Dan Klecko1$3,020,000
Trevor Insley1$759,000
Mike Roberg1$509,000
Tom Santi1$1,236,780
Lamont Warren1$1,177,000
Kenton Keith1$289,000
Emmanuel Sanders1$10,301,069
509$601,623,657

 

Visit Spotrac’s NFL section to find contract breakdowns for all of the player’s listed on this page.

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Financial Comparison: Denver Broncos & San Francisco 49ers

October 19th, 2014

This week’s edition of Sunday Night Football brings us a matchup between two powerful teams – but very differently built teams as well. We’ve put together a “financial cheat sheet” outlining the various facts and figures for the starting lineups, top cash/cap earners, injured reserve lists, and expiring contracts as well. We’re always looking to get better, so if you have any ideas for improving this or any other tool we publish, please feel free to comment.

(click to open PDF)
Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 7.54.48 PM
 

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ESPN Quarterback Rankings, Financially

October 16th, 2014

USATSI_8138623_160074578_lowresFormer NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski recently published his latest QB Big Board, giving us a chance to assess the rankings in terms of dollars and sense. We’ve listed the rankings as ESPN set them, but also included the player’s average annual salary, where that salary ranks among other active quarterbacks, and the Spotrac’s True Value Rating through six weeks.
 

Notable Notes

  • Only 4 of the Top 10 rated QBs are paid in the Top 10.
  • Russel Wilson is clearly the best value according to ESPN, though his TVS ranks 7th.
  • Andrew Luck is the best value in the NFL according to our TVS.
  • The highest paid QB outside of ESPN’s Top 20 is Kyle Orton (BUF) at $5.5 million.
  • How is Eli Manning in anyone’s Top 10 over the past 2 seasons?

 
Related: Average Salaries of all Active NFL Quarterbacks
 

ESPN Rank
Player
Team
Avg. Salary
$ Rank
2014 TVS
1Peyton ManningDEN$19,200,0005-4.9
2Aaron RodgersGB$22,000,0001-2.81
3Philip RiversSD$15,300,00013-3.52
4Tom BradyNE$14,120,00015-4.8
5Andrew LuckIND$5,527,000196.55
6Russell WilsonSEA$749,176594.77
7Drew BreesNO$20,000,0004-5.77
8Ben RoethlisbergerPIT$14,664,41714-4.93
9Eli ManningNYG$16,250,00011-9.07
10Matt RyanATL$20,750,0002-2.35
11Tony RomoDAL$18,000,0008-3.93
12Joe FlaccoBAL$20,100,0003-2.82
13Colin KaepernickSF$19,000,00064.97
14Cam NewtonCAR$5,506,375205.37
15Andy DaltonCIN$16,000,000120.72
16Alex SmithKC$17,000,000101.73
17Matthew StaffordDET$17,666,6679-4.76
18Nick FolesPHI$692,130620.73
19Jay CutlerCHI$18,100,0007-8.88
20Carson PalmerARI$8,000,00017-1.86
21Brian HoyerCLE$982,500516.51
22Ryan TannehillMIA$3,167,211326.09
23Mike GlennonTB$776,016583.55
24Kirk CousinsWAS$643,172682.08
25Blake BortlesJAC$5,163,70324-0.73
26Kyle OrtonBUF$5,500,000210.17
27Ryan FitzpatrickHOU$3,625,000295.69
28Derek CarrOAK$1,342,950461.81
29Austin DavisSTL$570,000752.87
30Jake LockerTEN$3,146,50133-1.19
31Teddy BridgewaterMIN$1,712,376422.15
32Geno SmithNYJ$1,254,901480.14

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Injured NFL Players with Expiring Contracts

October 15th, 2014

USATSI_8128059_160074578_lowresInjuries in the NFL are avoidable, and no player is immune – no matter their talent or paygrade. One of the tougher pills to swallow though is when a player hits the injured reserve with an expiring contract. As of today, 36 players have been placed on the Reserve/Injured list, and are also set to become unrestricted free agents after the 2014 season. Here’s a look at the full list.
 

Notable Points

  • 9 players on this list are age 30 or older.
  • The list contains 7 linebackers, 6 defensive linemen, and 5 running backs.
  • Both of the Chargers on this list were starting centers.
  • The Seahawks have 3 players on this list, most of any team

 
Related: View the complete list of players on the 2014 Injured Reserve
 

Player
Team
Pos.
Age
2014 Cap
Michael RoosTENLT32$6,625,000
Nick HardwickSDC33$6,150,000
Sean WeatherspoonATLOLB26$4,132,500
B.J. RajiGBDE28$4,000,000
John AbrahamARIOLB36$3,925,000
Nick RoachOAKILB29$3,771,250
Charles TillmanCHICB33$3,050,000
Walter ThurmondNYGCB27$3,000,000
Knowshon MorenoMIARB27$3,000,000
Adrian ClaybornTBDE26$2,612,325
Corey HilliardDETRT29$1,900,000
Mike JenkinsTBCB29$1,875,000
Heath FarwellSEAILB32$1,666,667
Fili MoalaINDDE29$1,600,000
Colin McCarthyTENILB26$1,544,850
Anthony McCoySEATE26$1,350,000
Montell OwensDETFB30$1,130,000
Stevan RidleyNERB25$939,750
Jerrel JerniganNYGWR25$813,813
Kendall HunterSFRB26$754,805
Doug LegurskySDC28$687,059
Mike JohnsonATLRT27$675,000
Chris NeildWASDT26$656,475
Joe McKnightKCRB26$645,000
Alex SmithCINTE32$635,000
D'Anthony SmithSEADT26$570,000
Will RackleyBALG25$570,000
Deji KarimINDRB27$570,000
Aaron RossBALCB32$570,000
Stevenson SylvesterBUFILB26$570,000
Kevin MatthewsCARC27$570,000
Garry WilliamsCARG28$551,882
Ricky SappHOUOLB27$502,941
Jermaine CunninghamNYJDE26$398,000
Zach MillerCHITE30$373,000
Fendi OnobunJACTE27$333,000

The NFL’s Best Values from Week 6

October 14th, 2014

Week 6 Best-Value Teams

USATSI_8033302_160074578_lowres
# Team TVS
1 Dallas Cowboys 15.08
2 Baltimore Ravens 14.80
3 Chicago Bears 10.71
4 Detroit Lions 8.45
5 Carolina Panthers 6.68

The Dallas Cowboys aren’t just winning big games, they’re doing so with maximum production from weapons on rookie or veteran minimum contracts. The long-term future of RB DeMarco Murray and WR Dez Bryant will be extremely hot topics this coming offseason.

The Ravens have been flying under the radar before Joe Flacco’s historic first half in Week 6. They’re doing a ton with the 27th highest cap payroll in the league.

The Chicago Bears have the 5th lowest defensive cap, so as the defense prospers – so does their overall value.

 

Week 6 Worst-Value Teams

USATSI_8138377_160074578_lowres
# Team TVS
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -13.96
31 Seattle Seahawks -10.65
30 New York Giants -8.68
29 Atlanta Falcons -8.31
28 Minnesota Vikings -7.41

When the 4th highest defensive salary cap gets steam-rolled, so goes the team’s value. This plus mediocre play from the offensive line leaves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the worst value in football.

The Seahawks played hard against the trending upward Cowboys, but with high cap figures to many starting players, any slip in production destroys their value.

The Giants took a huge step backwards in Week 6 and may find themselves on this list for weeks to come.

 

Week 6 Advanced-Stat Best-Value Team

Pos. Player Team 2014 Cap TVS
QB Brian Hoyer CLE $1,250,000 +1.93
RB Ahmad Bradshaw IND $570,000 +3.07
RB Le’Veon Bell PIT $936,500 +2.27
WR T.Y. Hilton IND $706,850 +3.50
WR Mohamed Sanu CIN $730,813 +2.27
TE Julius Thomas DEN $741,000 +1.73
TE Zach Ertz PHI $1,222,545 +1.68
LT Taylor Lewan TEN $2,088,183 +2.11
G Fernando Velasco CAR $635,000 +2.46
C David Molk PHI $495,000 +2.26
G Zack Martin BAL $1,630,509 +2.28
RT Menelik Watson OAK $1,089,739 +2.46
DE J.J. Watt HOU $4,575,567 +3.26
DT Nick Fairley DET $3,146,500 +2.39
DT Ian Williams SF $1,283,333 +2.38
DE Ezekiel Ansah DET $4,226,023 +2.69
OLB Whitney Mercilus HOU $2,082,024 +2.46
ILB Rolando McClain DAL $700,000 +3.60
ILB Tahir Whitehead DET $623,000 +1.87
OLB Ryan Kerrigan WAS $2,774,639 +2.17
CB Jason Verrett SD $1,434,364 +2.83
S George Iloka CIN $610,075 +2.29
S Rodney McLeod STL $571,333 +2.23
CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson TEN $683,441 +2.06
K Chandler Catanzaro ARI $420,000 +2.51
P Bryan Anger JAC $770,523 +2.51

 

How Do We Calculate True Value?

In order to calculate the True Value Statistic, we first collect the weekly Pro Football Focus rating for each starting player in the NFL. From there we work positionally, finding the Average PFF rating for all players in a particular position for that week. We also collect the Standard Deviation for this data set. Subsequently, we find the Average, and Standard Deviation of the 2014 Cap Figure for all players in a particular position. To normalize this data and prep for calculation, we then find the Z-Score of our Statistical Rating, and the Z-Score of our Financial Rating. These two Z-Scores are then added to produce a player’s current TVS.

For example:
Ryan Tannehill’s Week 1 PFF rating was 3.2
The average PFF rating of all Week 1 QBs is -0.29
The standard deviation of all Week 1 QBs is 2.78
To find the z-score, we calculate (3.2 – (-.29)) / 2.78 = 1.25

Ryan Tannehill’s 2014 cap figure is $3,455,046
The average 2014 cap figure of all Week 1 QBs is $9,174,096
The standard deviation of all Week 1 QBs is $7,097,100
To find the z-score, we calculate (9,174,096 – 3,455,046)/7,097,100 = .805

Tannehill’s Week 1 TVS = 2.05

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The Highest-Paid Starting NFL Lineup

October 10th, 2014

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We’re taking a moment to have a little fun on this Friday afternoon by collecting the highest average paid players from each NFL position in 2014. We’re taking cap figures and salary cap restrictions out of the picture for a moment to construct a dream team, and highly expensive, starting lineup. For the average low low price of just $298,674,029 per year, this can be your team’s starting lineup.
 
Related: The Highest Average Paid NFL Players

Player Pos. Team Avg. Salary
Aaron Rodgers QB GB $22,000,000
Adrian Peterson RB MIN $14,380,000
Jamaal Charles RB KC $9,050,000
Calvin Johnson WR DET $16,207,143
Larry Fitzgerald WR ARI $16,142,857
Jimmy Graham TE NO $10,000,000
Rob Gronkowski TE NE $9,000,000
Tyron Smith LT DAL $12,200,000
Logan Mankins G TB $8,500,000
Maurkice Pouncey C PIT $8,827,325
Jahri Evans G NO $8,100,000
Gosder Cherilus RT IND $7,000,000
J.J. Watt DE HOU $16,667,571
Mario Williams DE BUF $16,000,000
Ndamukong Suh DT DET $12,900,400
Haloti Ngata DT BAL $12,131,000
Clay Matthews OLB GB $13,200,000
Trent Cole OLB PHI $12,131,250
Patrick Willis ILB SF $10,000,000
Lawrence Timmons ILB PIT $9,559,150
Patrick Peterson CB ARI $14,010,000
Richard Sherman CB SEA $14,000,000
Earl Thomas S SEA $10,000,000
Jairus Byrd S NO $9,000,000
Sebastian Janikowski K OAK $3,775,000
Britton Colquitt P DEN $3,892,333
  $298,674,029

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Grading the 2014 NFL Free Agent Class

October 9th, 2014

USATSI_8088070_160074578_lowresThe 2014 NFL offseason was less about “major free agent splashes” and more about long-term extensions for franchise players with their current teams. But the free agent market still produced a fair amount of intrigue, and plenty of dollars being thrown around. We’ll take a look at the players who signed the ten biggest free agent contracts this past offseason, and grade their current value using our True Value Statistic.
 
Related: Full List of 2014 NFL Free Agent Signings

Aqib Talib | CB | DEN | GRADE: D-

Contract: 6 years, $57 million

2014 Cash: $11,906,250

True Value Rating: -5.56

Analysis: Talib has a lot of dollars to live up to, and mathematically he’s nowhere close yet. Setback games in Week 3 and Week 5 have dropped him to the 7th worst value among starting cornerbacks, and the 4th worst overall value on the Broncos.

Jairus Byrd | S | NO | GRADE: D

Contract: 6 years, $54 million

2014 Cash: $12,400,000

True Value Rating: -3.58

Analysis: A slow start to 2014 was bottomed out with a ticket to the IR (torn lateral meniscus ligament). He stands as the 7th worst value on the Saints this year, just ahead of fellow safety Kenny Vaccaro (-4.92).

Branden Albert | LT | MIA | Grade: A

Contract: 5 years, $47 million

2014 Cash: $11,025,000

True Value Rating: +6.41

Analysis: The addition of Albert to the left side of the Dolphins’ line has been an instant upgrade. He’s currently the 5th highest average paid left tackle in the NFL – and the 5th best value at the position as well.

Michael Johnson | DE | TB | Grade: F

Contract: 5 years, $43.75 million

2014 Cash: $9,000,000

True Value Rating: -8.63

Analysis: Safe to say Johnson hasn’t yet found his groove in Tampa, as he’s producing well below his financial means thus far. He’s the 4th worst value among NFL defensive ends as well as the Buccaneers. He’s due another $9M in 2015.

Eugene Monroe | LT | BAL | Grade: C+

Contract: 5 years, $43.75 million

2014 Cash: $9,000,000

True Value Rating: -0.55

Analysis: The Ravens were getting fair value from their left tackle, helping to turn around a rough start, and open up a make-shift running game. But a knee injury that required surgery will keep him out a month, thwarting any chance to improve upon his rating.

Eric Decker | WR | NYJ | Grade: C+

Contract: 5 years, $36.25 million

2014 Cash: $10,000,000

True Value Rating: -0.78

Analysis: He’s battled a hamstring injury, but also finds himself in a stale offense in New York, resulting in lower stats across the board. Among starting 2014 WRs, he’s the 63rd best value.

Vontae Davis | CB | IND | Grade: C+

Contract: 4 years, $36 million

2014 Cash: $10,000,000

True Value Rating: -0.65

Analysis: Davis has done plenty to prove he belongs in the $9M per year conversation – but not a dollar more. The Colts are getting a straight push on Vontae in terms of production vs. pay through Week 5.

Jared Veldheer | LT | ARI | Grade: B

Contract:5 years, $35 million

2014 Cash: $7,500,000

True Value Rating: 2.32

Analysis: The Cardinals needed a true left tackle to secure their line, and Veldheer has proved to be the answer thus far. He’s a Top 10 value among all NFL left tackles, as well as on the Cardinals starting lineup. His cap figure jumps from $2.25M to $7.75M in 2015, so “value” may subsequently decrease.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie | CB | NYG | Grade: B

Contract:5 years, $35 million

2014 Cash: $10,750,000

True Value Rating: 3.25

Analysis: As a whole, cornerbacks are valuing out extremely well in 2014. The combination of Cromartie & Amukamara in New York combines for +7.25 rating, the best positional value on the team. A $4.5M jump in cap next year means they’ll need even more from him in 2015.

Lamarr Houston | DE | CHI | Grade: C-

Contract:5 years, $35 million

2014 Cash: $9,000,000

True Value Rating: -0.68

Analysis: The Bears are also getting “right on par” value from Houston, though the sexy numbers aren’t there to prove it yet. Chicago will need improvement from he and Jared Allen to stay relevant in 2014.

 

How Do We Calculate True Value?

In order to calculate the True Value Statistic, we first collect the weekly Pro Football Focus rating for each starting player in the NFL. From there we work positionally, finding the Average PFF rating for all players in a particular position for that week. We also collect the Standard Deviation for this data set. Subsequently, we find the Average, and Standard Deviation of the 2014 Cap Figure for all players in a particular position. To normalize this data and prep for calculation, we then find the Z-Score of our Statistical Rating, and the Z-Score of our Financial Rating. These two Z-Scores are then added to produce a player’s current TVS.

For example:
Ryan Tannehill’s Week 1 PFF rating was 3.2
The average PFF rating of all Week 1 QBs is -0.29
The standard deviation of all Week 1 QBs is 2.78
To find the z-score, we calculate (3.2 – (-.29)) / 2.78 = 1.25

Ryan Tannehill’s 2014 cap figure is $3,455,046
The average 2014 cap figure of all Week 1 QBs is $9,174,096
The standard deviation of all Week 1 QBs is $7,097,100
To find the z-score, we calculate (9,174,096 – 3,455,046)/7,097,100 = .805

Tannehill’s Week 1 TVS = 2.05

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Best NFL Values from Week 5

October 9th, 2014

USATSI_8072326_160074578_lowresWeek 5 of the NFL season brought a little bit of normalcy back to the scoreboard, with emphatic wins from the Patriots, Packers, and Broncos, and less impressive victories from the Saints and 49ers as well. A few "maybe" teams took another step forward as the Bills upset the Lions, and the Giants knocked off the Falcons, adding intrigue to the AFC and NFC East divisional races respectively.

Plenty of young and/or low-compensated players factored heavily into this week’s performances, including a one-man show from Russell Wilson on Monday Night Football, and the return of the bruising Eddie Lacy in Green Bay. The breakout player of the week easily goes to Chargers’ fourth-string running back Branden Oliver (from my alma mater Buffalo), who put together a "Sproles-esque" performance against the spiraling downward New York Jets.

We’ve run our true value statistic calculations for all week 5 players, providing us with the best values from the week. Altogether, this team accounts for just $34.3M in 2014 cap dollars – a veritable steal.
 

Week 5 Best-Value Team

Pos. Player Team 2014 Cap TVS
QB Russell Wilson SEA $817,302 +2.96
RB Branden Oliver SD $420,000 +2.12
RB Eddie Lacy GB $771,003 +2.05
WR Sammy Watkins BUF $3,624,655 +2.39
WR Brian Quick STL $1,469,072 +2.25
TE Rhett Ellison MIN $645,146 +2.01
TE Dwayne Allen IND $835,826 +1.99
LT Terron Armstead NO $679,359 +2.16
G Ron Leary DAL $495,000 +1.96
C Corey Linsley GB $466,250 +2.78
G Joel Bitonio CLE $993,036 +2.31
RT Joe Barksdale STL $645,000 +2.34
DE Wallace Gilberry CIN $1,800,000 +2.20
DT Johnathan Hankins NYG $3,995,000 +3.26
DT Kawann Short CAR $1,052,349 +2.19
DE Jerry Hughes BUF $3,995,000 +2.10
OLB Justin Houston KC $1,598,812 +2.56
ILB Luke Kuechly CAR $3,430,528 +2.74
ILB Bobby Wagner SEA $1,174,854 +2.51
OLB Parys Haralson NO $635,000 +2.11
CB E.J. Gaines STL $446,918 +2.67
S Mike Adams IND $635,000 +2.15
S Kendrick Lewis HOU $635,000 +2.01
CB Chris Harris DEN $2,187,000 +2.52
K Brandon McManus DEN $420,000 +2.86
P Colton Schmidt BUF $420,000 +2.35

 

How Do We Calculate True Value?

In order to calculate the True Value Statistic, we first collect the weekly Pro Football Focus rating for each starting player in the NFL. From there we work positionally, finding the Average PFF rating for all players in a particular position for that week. We also collect the Standard Deviation for this data set. Subsequently, we find the Average, and Standard Deviation of the 2014 Cap Figure for all players in a particular position. To normalize this data and prep for calculation, we then find the Z-Score of our Statistical Rating, and the Z-Score of our Financial Rating. These two Z-Scores are then added to produce a player’s current TVS.

For example:
Ryan Tannehill’s Week 1 PFF rating was 3.2
The average PFF rating of all Week 1 QBs is -0.29
The standard deviation of all Week 1 QBs is 2.78
To find the z-score, we calculate (3.2 – (-.29)) / 2.78 = 1.25

Ryan Tannehill’s 2014 cap figure is $3,455,046
The average 2014 cap figure of all Week 1 QBs is $9,174,096
The standard deviation of all Week 1 QBs is $7,097,100
To find the z-score, we calculate (9,174,096 – 3,455,046)/7,097,100 = .805

Tannehill’s Week 1 TVS = 2.05

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Projecting Russell Wilson’s Next Contract

October 7th, 2014

USATSI_8088617_160074578_lowresAt just 25 years of age, Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson is already on top of the world. The former third round selection in the 2012 draft is the face of his franchise, the toast of his town, and a Super Bowl champion, all in a matter of 2 years. Now five weeks into the 2014 season, Wilson is showing no signs of slowing down, as he and the Seahawks sit tied for 1st in the NFC West at 3-1. The only apparent piece left in his young career’s puzzle, is the big contract.

We’ve put Wilson through our forecast formula, pressing him up against four variable quarterbacks of similar skill and age to compare his statistical production both in the passing and rushing game over the past two seasons. In terms of Wilson, we’ll use his statistics from the 2012 & 2013 season, while also projecting out his current 2014 figures for a full 16 games. The result will be a large, but doable forecast for Russell Wilson’s next contract in Seattle.
 

Click here to view the complete forecast
 
 

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