Contract Forecast: Jordy Nelson
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Contract Forecast: Jordy Nelson

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Many feel the 4 year $12.6 million contract Jordy Nelson signed with the Packers in 2011 is still one of the best value (or biggest ripoff) deals in the game currently. Well that value may soon be coming to end in Green Bay as the 6 year wide receiver is entering a contract year, and reports are swirling that the two sides have indeed begun talks to extend his tenure as Packer.

Nelson has long been an underrated weapon for Aaron Rodgers, flying under the radar below flashier, louder receivers in his class. But year after year his statistics not only hold up, they exceed expectations. Over the past three seasons, Nelson is rated the #11th best wide receiver according to Pro Football Focus, even with just 12 games active in 2012 due to injury.

We'll run Jordy through our projection formula, now utilizing statistics from the 2012 & 2013 seasons, to predict what the Packers might be looking to offer him in the coming weeks.

Comparable Wide Receivers
Now 29 (May 31st) years old, Nelson is a bit older in terms of other receivers looking to cash in (Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas), but should actually benefit from a recent slew of veteran receiver signings. We've collected a new list of variable wide receivers to stack Nelson up against. To determine a more likely starting point for our numbers, we'll perform a linear regression of each contract breakdown listed below.
Player Length Value Avg. Salary Age When Signed
Greg Jennings 5 $45,000,000 $9,000,000 29
Vincent Jackson 5 $55,555,555 $11,111,111 29
Dwyane Bowe 5 $56,000,000 $11,200,000 28
Brandon Marshall 3 $30,000,000 $22,300,000 30
Averages 4.5 $46,388,888 $10,327,778 29

Note: A linear regression is a formula that plots the provided points of data for Length and Value of the contracts, and then generates the best-fit line for those points, resulting in a "slope" value that translates to an average annual salary.

View the list of Top Average Paid Wide Receivers in the NFL

Because Nelson (29) is younger/older than some of our variables at the times of their signings, we'll adjust the above contracts up/down to his age by adding/subtractigin to the overall years to make each variable player 29 years old. Once a linear regression is performed on these new numbers we're given the following terms to begin with:

Length Value Avg. Salary (slope)
5 $51,340,108 $10,268,022

Statistical Analyzations, Prime Percentage
Now let's analyze these players statistically in the year prior to signing their second contract by comparing Games Played, Receptions/Year, Receiving Yards/Year, Receiving Yards/Game, and Receiving TDs between our variables and Bryant.
Player Games REC/YR REC YDs/YR REC YDs/G TDs/YR
Greg Jennings (2011-12, GB) 10.5 51.5 657.5 62.6 6.5
Vincent Jackson (2010-11, SD) 10.5 37 677 64.5 6
Dwayne Bowe (2011-12, KC) 13 70 980 67.6 4
Brandon Marshall (2012-13, CHI) 16 109 1401.5 87.6 11.5
Averages 12.5 66.875 929 70.575 7
Jordy Nelson (2012-13, GB) 14 67 1029.5 73.5 7.5
% Difference 12.00% 0.19% 10.82% 4.14% 7.14%
AVERAGE PRIME %: 6.86%
MEDIAN PRIME % 7.14%

Nelson not only belongs in this company, he slightly exceeds the average combined stats of our variable receivers. He'll be given positive checks across the board in terms of consistency, a premier go-to target, and the ability to find the end zone. We'll factor in both the Average and Median percentages to show a range projection below.

Guaranteed Money
We'll factor in our variable wide receiver's guaranteed dollars to forecast what Jordy Nelson could expect.
Player Value True Guarantees % Guaranteed
Greg Jennings $45,000,000 $17,800,000 39.6%
Vincent Jackson $55,555,555 $26,000,000 46.8%
Dwayne Bowe $56,000,000 $20,000,000 35.7%
Brandon Marshall $30,000,000 $22,300,000 74.3%
Adjusted Regression: 49.1%
Results

Length of the Contract
Our variable receiver contracts averaged out to 4.5 years. At age 29, it's fair to assume that both Nelson and the Cowboys won't want to take this contract past the near the age of 35 - so a 4 year extension (taking him to age 33) make sense.

Value of the Contract
Nelson has been productive, reliable, and a class-act to play at the level he has for the base money he's been paid over the past 3 seasons. His 2012 injury was a bit of a setback in terms of durability, but a strong 2013 has all but overcome that at this point. In light of this, we'll provide the full 7% increase to our base values when forecasting Nelson's contract going forward.

Spotrac's Extension Prediction: 4 years, $43,950,000

Average Salary:  $10,987,500

Guaranteed Money:  $21,579,450


Thoughts

The $43.95 million contract would be the 10th highest for any active wide receiver, and the 3rd largest of any Packer. A $10.9875 million annual average salary ranks 6th, just ahead of Marshall and Percy Harvin, and 3rd most of any current Packer.


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