Contract Forecast: Brandon Marshall

Contract Forecast: Brandon Marshall
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Contract Forecast: Brandon Marshall

With the 7 year extension of quarterback Jay Cutler now in the books, one of the upcoming bullets on the Chicago Bears to-do list may be the extension of their veteran wideout Brandon Marshall, whose 5 year $45 million contract expires after the 2014 season. While many franchises may be at a crossroads with wide receivers nearly 30 years old, it's almost a given that the Bears aren't at all interested in letting Marshall test the market. His relationship and chemistry with Cutler has been well documented both off the field and in terms of production on the field. Add in now the need for a veteran presence to lead a young, exciting, offensive arsenal in Chicago, and it seems like a match made in heaven to lock Marshall up for the foreseeable future.

We'll run Brandon Marshall through our contract forecast formula, placing him up against eight of the best wide receivers in the game to compare his production against each using the major receiving statistics.

Comparable Wide Receivers
Marshall will turn 30 in March, the standard age for sophomore contracts to be signed. 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 30
Andre Johnson 8 $59,750,000 $9,685,714 29
Vincent Jackson 5 $55,555,555 $11,111,111 29
Dwayne Bowe 5 $56,000,000 $11,200,000 29
Larry Fitzgerald 8 $126,000,000 $15,750,000 24
Calvin Johnson 7 $113,450,000 $16,207,143 27
Steve Smith 4 $37,750,000 $9,437,500 32
Anquan Boldin 4 $25,000,000 $6,250,000 30
Averages 5.625 $65,819,444 $11,080,184 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 Marshall will be 30 in March, we'll adjust the above contracts respectively to his age by adding/subtracting from the overall years to make each variable player 30 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 $55,754,512 $11,150,902
Statistical Analysis, Prime Percentage
Now let's analyze these players statistically in the two years prior to signing their respective contracts by comparing Games Played, Receptions/Game, Receiving Yards/Game, Receiving Yards/Year, and Receiving TD/Year . The results will provide is with an indication of his "prime" value prior to signing a potential extension.
Player Games Rec/G Rec YDS/G Rec YDS/YR Rec TD/YR
Vincent Jackson (2009/11, SD) 15.5 4.12 73.45 1136.7 9
Andre Johnson (08-09, HOU) 16 6.75 98.25 1572 8.5
Greg Jennings (2011-12, GB) 10.5 4.9 62.62 657.5 6.5
Dwayne Bowe (2011-12, KC) 14.5 4.83 67.59 980 4
Larry Fitzgerald (2009-10, ARI) 16 5.84 69.66 1114.5 9.5
Calvin Johnson (2010-11, DET) 15.5 5.58 90.35 1400.5 14
Steve Smith (2010-11, CAR) 15 4.17 64.93 974 4.5
Anquan Boldin (2008-09, ARI) 13.5 6.41 76.37 1031 7.5
Averages 14.56 5.33 75.40 1,108.28 7.94
Brandon Marshall (2012-13, CHI) 16 6.81 87.6 1401.5 11.5
Difference 9.87% 27.89% 16.18% 26.46% 44.88%
Median Prime %: 26.46%
Our results here show even when including 8 great, if not elite, wide receivers in the league, Brandon Marshall is statistically ahead of the curve. His 6.81 receptions per game lead all of our variables, as do his 11.5 touchdowns per year. The result is a Prime Percentage of 26.46%, a number we'll factor into our overall regression figures below.
Guaranteed Money
To generate a fair percentage of guaranteed money drawn from Marshall's' new deal, we'll run a linear regression of their guaranteed percentages.
Player Value True Guarantees % Guaranteed
Greg Jennings $45,000,000 $17,800,000 39.56%
Andre Johnson $67,800,000 $15,000,000 22.12%
Vincent Jackson $55,555,555 $26,000,000 46.8%
Dwayne Bowe $56,000,000 $20,000,000 35.71%
Larry Fitzgerald $126,000,000 $27,000,000 21.43%
Calvin Johnson $113,450,000 $48,750,000 42.97%
Steve Smith $37,750,000 $16,800,000 44.50%
Anquan Boldin $25,000,000 $8,000,000 32.00%
Average 35.64%
Adjusted w/ Prime Percentage 44.42%
Results
Length of the Contract
The mathematical average of the five contracts used as variables is 5.75 years. But when scoping down to players who signed contracts at 30 years or older, the going length is no more than 5 years. We'll use this as our value (though it's perfectly possible the Bears add years on as part of the "hometown discount", i.e. Cutler).

Value of the Contract
Marshall has been durable, and downright spectacular in terms of statistical production throughout his career - and especially in his veteran seasons with the Bears. A recipe for big money, and leverage for guaranteed cash. We'll factor in our 26.46% prime to the original base numbers to output our formal prediction.
Spotrac's Prediction: 5 years, $70,500,000
  •  Average Annual Salary: $14,100,000
  •  Guaranteed Money: $31,000,000

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