Contract Forecast: Demaryius Thomas

Contract Forecast: Demaryius Thomas
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Contract Forecast: Demaryius Thomas

One of the more polarizing contracts set to expire after the 2014 season has to be Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. The Broncos have put together an offense of multi-faceted weapons, , and . We'll place Thomas up against comparable veteran wide receivers, comparing their statistical production leading up to their recent contract, to Thomas' 2011-12 statistics.

Tebow Vs. Manning
Many will be quick to note that Thomas' success is a direct translation to the signing of Manning, a factor we'll take into consideration below.
Year Quarterback Snaps Targets/Snap REC/Snap YDS/Snap TD/Snap
2011 Tim Tebow 542 .11 .06 1.01 .007
2012 Peyton Manning 1046 .131 .089 1.36 .009
2013 Peyton Manning 637 .119 .086 1.24 .014

When lining up these three years in terms of snaps, the averages across the board are fairly similar. On pace for nearly 1200 snaps in 2013, Thomas' production has increased consistently each year in the league. While the numbers are better with Peyton, they're not drastic enough to become a factor in our prediction formula.

Comparable Wide Receivers
Thomas will turn 26 on Christmas day, 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
Brandon Marshall 5 $44,779,000 $8,955,800 25
Andre Johnson 8 $59,750,000 $7,468,750 24
Vincent Jackson 5 $55,555,555 $11,111,111 27
Pierre Garcon 5 $42,500,000 $8,500,000 24
Larry Fitzgerald 5 $44,900,000 $8,890,000 24
Averages 5.25 $42,170,250 $7,992,383 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 Thomas is 25, we'll adjust the above contracts respectively to his age by adding/subtracting from the overall years to make each variable player 25 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 $41,431,630 $8,286,326
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, Receptions/Year, Receptions/Year, Receiving Yards, Receiving Yards/Game, Targets, and Receiving TD. 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
Brandon Marshall (09-10, DEN) 14.5 6.45 73.59 1067 6.5
Andre Johnson (05-06, HOU) 14.5 5.72 63.28 917.5 3.5
Vincent Jackson (08-09, SD) 10.5 3.52 64.48 677 6
Pierre Garcon (08-09, IND) 15 4.57 57.7 865.5 6
Larry Fitzgerald (04-05, ARI) 14 6.04 84.11 1177.5 8
Averages 13.7 5.26 68.632 940.9 6
Demaryius Thomas (12-13, DEN) 13.5 4.67 73.52 992.5 7
Difference -1% -11% 7% 5% 17%
Average Prime %: 17%
Our results here show that while his receptions may be down (along with his targets), his yards and touchdowns are not only comparable to our variable receivers - they exceed. The result is a Prime Percentage of 17%, a number we'll factor this prime percentage into our overall regression figures below.
Guaranteed Money
To generate a fair percentage of guaranteed money drawn from Thomas' new deal, we'll run a linear regression of their guaranteed percentages.
Player Value True Guarantees % Guaranteed
Brandon Marshall $44,779,000 $12,500,000 27.91%
Andre Johnson $59,750,000 $15,000,000 25.1%
Vincent Jackson $55,555,555 $26,000,000 46.8%
Pierre Garcon $42,500,000 $13,100,000 30.82%
Larry Fitzgerald $44,900,000 $17,100,000 38.08%
Average 33.72%
Results
Length of the Contract
The mathematical average of the five contracts used as variables is 5.25 years. Add in recent contracts of 6 years for Victor Cruz, Percy Harvin, and Antonio Brown and we'll round up for the benefit of the doubt to 6 years.

Value of the Contract
Thomas has been consistent, above average, and durable. A recipe for big money, and leverage for guaranteed cash. We'll factor in our 17% prime to the original base numbers to output our formal prediction.
Spotrac's Prediction: 6 years, $58,170,009
  •  Average Annual Salary: $9,695,001
  •  Guaranteed Money: $19,614,000

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