One of the most underrated defensive figures in the NFL until the middle of 2012, and one of the key components of the Cincinnati Bengals climb back into winning fashion has been defensive tackle Geno Atkins.
In 2012 Atkins was far and away the highest rated defensive lineman according to Pro Football Focus (80.0 rating, Gerald McCoy 2nd at 31.2). He's shown considerable improvement in each of his 3 NFL seasons and should be considered a key core piece in Cincinnati going foward. A recent article from Erik Frenz at Bleacher Report classifies Atkins as a target for a long-term extension, so we'll follow suit by placing him in our forecast formula.
Entering his 4th and final year of a $3.2 million rookie contract, it's likely that the Bengals have already made preliminary plans to negotiate an extension. We'll plug Atkins into our forecast tool to generate a prediction for the years, value, and guaranteed money deserved.
|Player||Length||Value||Avg. Salary||Age When Signed|
|Jay Ratliff||7||$48.625 million||$6,946,429||29|
|Haloti Ngata||5||$48.524 million||$9,704,800||27|
|Kyle Williams||6||$33.555 million||$5,592,500||27|
|Barry Cofield||6||$36 million||$6,000,000||26|
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 Linemen in the NFL
Because Atkins (25) is younger than all of our variable linemen were at the times of their signings, we'll adjust the above contracts down to his age by 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)|
|Jay Ratliff (2009-10, DAL)||16||4.75||26||21||5|
|Haloti Ngata (2009-10, BAL)||15||3.5||36.5||25||2|
|Kyle Williams (2009-10, BUF)||15||4.75||24||26||2.5|
|Barry Cofield (2009-10, NYG)||16||2.5||31.5||22||3|
|Geno Atkins (2011-12, CIN)||16||10||34||38.5||1.5|
|OVERALL PRIME %||58.47%|
|Player||Value||True Guarantees||% Guaranteed|
Length of the Contract
Because all of our variable players - and the current trend shows that linemen aren't getting these long-term deals until they're older, we'll give Atkins the benefit of the doubt for being this good at 25 - and we'll use 6 years for our forecast.
Value of the Contract
The reality of this forecast is that the top contracts (and statistics) for defensive lineman belong to players still in their pre-rookie-wage entry level deals (Suh, G. McCoy). Based on our formula that looks to statistics leading up to signing, these players couldn't be used in comparison. Our variable players are showing that the going rate for the NEXT contract at this position is nothing to to write home about in terms of total value. However, the 45% in guaranteed money is considerably higher than most of the positional forecasts we've performed.
Atkins is a diamond in the rough for the Bengals, and has stayed under the radar until Mid-2012 when his on-field performance really got some national presence. He's entering a contract year in 2013, and will require more than the going rate. We'll factor his 58.47% prime percentage into our base values to determine our forecast:
• Guaranteed: $28,611,547 (45.6%)