Contract Forecast: Ndamukong Suh
Untitled Document

Contract Forecast: Ndamukong Suh

The Detroit Lions have been playing with fire over the past few seasons, using contract restructures to nearly all of their top contracts to push cap dollars out of the current year, and into years to come. But every bandaid loses it's adhesiveness at some point, and the current financial situation for Ndamukong Suh is living proof. Suh enters the 2014 season with the highest cap figure in all of football at $22,412,500 - nearly 17% of the Lions adjusted 2014 salary cap. It's also $6.4 million more than any other defensive tackle's cap figure for the upcoming season.

Keep In Mind
Our calculations here are done to determine "new money" involved in extensions. Suh's current contract also contains $19,475,000 in dead cap dollars as of now, combining two years in unallocated option bonus pro-ration and two years in unallocated restructure bonus dollars. This $19.475M carries through into the new contract, just as the $20.82M did for Matthew Stafford last year.

We'll compare Suh's current production against other defensive tackles in the league, to produce a viable value forecast for his forthcoming contract.
Comparable Defensive Tackles

We've located four defensive tackles of similar age and production who signed contracts in recent years. 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
Geno Atkins 5 $53,327,000 $10,665,400 26
Haloti Ngata 4 $48,524,000 $12,131,000 27
Vince Wilfork 5 $40,000,000 $8,000,000 28
Kyle Williams 4 $29,150,000 $7,287,500 28
Averages 4.5 $42,750,250 $9,520,975 26.6

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 Defensive Tackles in the NFL

Because Suh (27) is young than Wilfork/Williams and older than Atkins at the time of their signings, we'll adjust the above contracts up/down to his age by adding/subtracting to their overall years to make each variable player 27 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 $44,201,866 $8,840,373

Statistical Analyzations, Prime Percentage

Now let's analyze these players statistically in the year prior to signing their second contract by showing Games Played, Sacks, Tackles, Solo Stops, and QB Hurries.

Player Games SAcks Tackles Solo Stops QB Hurries
Geno Atkins (2011-12, CIN) 16 12 32.5 38.5 37.5
Haloti Ngata (2009-10 BAL) 15 2 27.5 25 10.5
Vince Wilfork (2008-09, NE) 14.5 1 39.5 32 10.5
Kyle Williams (2009-10, BUF) 15 4.5 46 38 20
Averages 15.125 4.875 36.375 33.375 19.625
Ndamukong Suh (2012-13, DET) 16 7 29 27 41.5
% Difference 5.79% 43.59% -20.27% -19.10% 111.46%
MEDIAN PRIME % 5.79%
AVERAGE PRIME % 24.29%

Suh matches up extremely well against our variable linemen, showing only a slight decrease in production in terms of the running game (tackles & solo stops). The Lions have utilized Suh much more as a pass rusher than a run stopper, and he hasn't disappointed in this regard. His job is to get to the QB, and as is evident with his highly inflated QB Hurries number - he doesn't disappoint. We'll factor in both the Median and Average Prime Percetanges to our base contract figures below.


Guaranteed Money

Suh continues to be durable despite the grueling position he plays at day in and out. Genereally speaking, he's more likely to miss a game due to suspension than he is an injury based on his past experiences. His violent after-the-whistle antics have been an issues multiple times over his 4 seasons in Detroit, but we aren't going to let those play a factor to the amount of dollars guaranteed Suh should mathematically be accounted for.

Player Value True Guarantees % Guaranteed
Geno Atkins $53,327,000 $15,000,000 28.1%
Haloti Ngata $48,524,000 $27,100,000 55.8%
Vince Wilfork $40,000,000 $18,000,000 45%
Kyle Williams $29,150,000 $8,750,000 30%
Adjusted Regression 44.6%

Results

Length of the Contract
Our base figures average out to a 4.5 year contract for this forecast. In light of Suh's age (27) and the recent contract signed by Geno Atkins with the Bengals (5 years), we'll round up to a 5 year extension for Suh.

Value of the Contract
It's fairly evident that in terms of the pass rush, Suh is well ahead of the previously signed class in terms of production. The X-Factor of course lies in Houston, where J.J. Watt is putting up all-world numbers across the board. In a recent forecast, Watt averaged out to a $23.7M per year contract. But as a 1st round pick in 2011, the Texans were able to utilize the 5th-Year option on him, keeping his salary/cap at bay for another year. Generally speaking it would be smart for Suh to wait for Watt's next contract to come forward before addressing his own, as the market is sure to explode at that point. But the Lions simply can't wait. Suh's $22.4M cap figure for 2014 is already making life difficult in Detroit, not to mention it's theoretically the final year of his contract. Suh has production, durability, and time on his side entering the negotiation room, and all signs point to a big payday in the near future.


Don't Forget
Our calculations here are done to determine "new money" involved in extensions. Suh's current contract also contains $19,475,000 in dead cap dollars as of now, combining two years in unallocated option bonus pro-ration and two years in unallocated restructure bonus dollars. This $19.475M carries through into the new contract, just as the $20.82M did for Matthew Stafford last year.


Low Value (Hometown Discount, Very Unlikely)
Utilizing our Median Prime Percentage (5.79%), we're provided with a contract at $9.3M per year, 5th most of any DT in the NFL.
5 years, $46,761,154 | $9,352,231 per year | $22,074,861 guaranteed
High Value
Utilizing our Average Prime Percentage (19.92%), we're provided with an even greater annual average at more than $11.2M, 2nd only to Ngata.
5 years, $58,119,439 | $11,623,195 per year | $33,456,819 guaranteed

 

We'll split the two values to provide our calculated forecast for Ndamukong Suh's next contract in Detroit:

Spotrac's Prediction: 5 years, $52,440,000
  •  Average annual salary: $10,488,000
  •  Guaranteed: $28,000,000 (53.4%)

Recent Premium Reports

  • Contract Forecast: Cecil Shorts
    Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts has shown a steady increase in production since 2012. Now playing out the final year of his rookie contract, we assess his current value heading toward free agency. » View this Report
  • Contract Forecast: Andrew Luck
    He's improved every year, and is leading the league in all major quarterback categories to start the 2014 campaign. Now the time is approaching for the Colts to lock in Andrew Luck for the long term future. We assess his current value to forecast the contract. » View this Report
  • Contract Forecast: Russell Wilson
    In just 2 seasons, Russell Wilson has become the leader of his team, the toast of his town, and a Super Bowl champion. All he needs now is a nice big contract to cap off the early winnings. We project his current value and forecast an extension for the Seahawks' QB. » View this Report
  • Contract Forecast: DeMarco Murray
    DeMarco Murray has been a one-man show for the 3-1 Dallas Cowboys to start the 2014 season, earning NFC Offensive Player of the Month to start the final year of his rookie contract. We'll project his value, and forecast a new deal for the 26 year old. » View this Report

» Visit the Research Center

» Visit the Research Center

» Visit the Research Center

» Visit the Research Center

» Visit the Research Center