Contract Forecast: Cecil Shorts

Contract Forecast: Cecil Shorts
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Contract Forecast: Cecil Shorts

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have had plenty of names come in and out of their wide receiving core over the past 4 years. But maybe the most stable, and productive is that of Cecil Shorts, who is playing out the final year of his contract this season. Hamstring issues have kept Shorts off the field frequently this year, and may be an imposing factor for the entirety of the season. But when reaching back into his 2012 and 2013 campaigns, we find consistent, improving production from the 26 year-old. We'll assess his current value in Jacksonville, comparing him to other receivers of his age and ability to predict his next contract going forward.

Comparable Wide Receivers
Now 26 years old, Shorts is at the ideal age for an extension or long-term free agent contract. We've selected a variable set of receivers to compare Shorts to in terms of production. 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
Mike Wallace 5 $48,500,000 $12,000,000 27
Pierre Garcon 5 $42,500,000 $8,500,000 26
Stevie Johnson 5 $36,250,000 $7,250,000 26
Emmanuel Sanders 3 $15,000,000 $5,000,000 26
Averages 4.5 $38,437,500 $8,187,500 26.25

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 Shorts (26) is younger than Wallace, we'll adjust Wallace's contract as if he signed at the age of 26. Once a linear regression is performed on these new numbers we're given the following terms to begin with:

Length Value Avg. Salary (slope)
4 $36,663,158 $9,165,789
Statistical Analyzations, Prime Percentage
Now let's analyze these players statistically in the year prior to signing their second contract by showing Games Played, Receptions per Game, Receiving Yards per Game, Yards of Catch per Game and Touchdowns per Year.
Mike Wallace (2011-12, PIT) 15.5 4.25 65.45 24.9 8
Stevie Johnson (2010-11, BUF) 16 4.93 64.9 23.09 8.5
Pierre Garcon (2010-11, IND) 15.5 4.28 55.8 14.93 6
Emmanuel Sanders (2012-13, PIT) 16 3.53 42.7 16.2 3.5
Averages 15.75 4.2475 57.2125 19.78 6.5
Cecil Shorts (2012-13, JAC) 13.5 4.48 65 24.18 5
% Difference -14.29% 5.47% 13.61% 22.24% -23.08%
Shorts matched the production in nearly every statistical category, excelling in Yards after the Catch and in turn, Yards per Game. We'll factor in both the Average and Median percentages to show a range projection below.
Guaranteed Money
Shorts has missed at least a few games in each of his first 4 NFL Seasons, hampered heavily by hamstring issues as we speak. This not only hurts his production value, but leverage in terms of guaranteed dollars as well. We'll remove any Prime increase from our guaranteed calculations in light of this.
Player Value True Guarantees % Guaranteed
Mike Wallace (2011-12, PIT) $60,000,000 $27,000,000 45.00%
Stevie Johnson (2010-11, BUF) $36,250,000 $11,000,000 30.34%
Pierre Garcon (2010-11, IND) $42,500,000 $13,100,000 30.82%
Emmanuel Sanders (2012-13, PIT) $15,000,000 $6,000,000 40.00%
Adjusted Regression: 30%

Length of the Contract
The average of our variable receiver contracts came out to 4.5 years. With durability issues, we'll round this down to a 4 year contract for Shorts.

Value of the Contract
Shorts' production over the past two seasons may have flown under some radars, as the Jaguars certainly haven't been relevant in the Win/Loss column. It's safe to assume that in a better offense his scoring figures would increase, equaling out the targets and receptions he's been awarded since 2011. A simple eye test of our statistical table above shows a remarkable similarity between Mike Wallace's production heading into his big pay day with the Dolphins, meaning Shorts will likely earn condisideration from many teams should he hit the free agent market this offseason. We'll factor in our minimal Prime Percentages to produce the following forecast:

Spotrac's Prediction: 4 years, $37,800,000

Average Salary: $9,450,000

Guaranteed Money: $11,340,000

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