One of the more perplexing scenarios as we dive into the 2013 NFL offseason surrounds the embattled, yet uber-talented Vikings WR Percy Harvin. Recent reports have Harvin and his camp demanding either a trade, or an extension. And not just any old extension - but one on the level of recent Larry Fitzgerald (8 yr / $113M) or Calvin Johnson (8 yr / $150.5M).
While many, including us, chuckled at the thought of this - our NFL team put the numbers to the test. Note that in terms of Percy Harvin's statistics we felt it required to include the combination of his Receiving & Rushing statistics, as he's become equally as valuable in both regards.
The first task at hand is to compile a list of variable WR with similar skill sets, value, and who signed their deal at an age near Percy's current age (24/25). We've included Calvin Johnson simply because Harvin has requested him to be involved in these disucssions.
|Player||Length||Value||Avg. Salary||Age When Signed|
|Brandon Marshall||5||$47.3 million||$9.46 million||26|
|Desean Jackson||5||$47 million||$9.4 million||25|
|Andre Johnson||6||$70 million||$11.7 million||26|
|Calvin Johnson||8||$150.5 million||$18.8 million||26|
Definition: 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.
|Brandon Marshall (CHI)||Career||2007-2008||Prime %|
|Desean Jackson (PHI)||Career||2010-2011||Prime %|
|Andre Johnson (HOU)||Career||2009-2010||Prime %|
|Calvin Johnson (DET)||Career||2010-2011||Prime %|
|Percy Harvin (MIN)||Career||2010-2011||Prime %|
|Rush Att + Rec/Season||96.75||111.5||115%|
|Rush + Rec Yards/Season||996.25||1042.5||104%|
|Rush + Rec Yards/Game||73.7||67.8||110%|
|Rush + Rec TD/Season||6||6||100%|
Harvin is unique in that it's impossible to judge his true value without including both Rushing and Receiving data as we've done here (on a small scale). In doing so, we find that his numbers do in fact make him AS valuable on a play to play basis than our variable receivers. The glaring difference appears to be his inability to stay healthy (Games), and below average Touchdown numbers over his career.
A quick eye-check of these tables shows that statistically Percy belong somewhere in between Desean Jackson and Andre Johnson/Brandon Marshall going forward. Calvin Johnson all but demolishes him in the major impact stats, as he does with most WRs put to this test.
We'll take Calvin's contract out of the equation from here to conjur a more realistic prediction.
Length of the Contract
At age 25 contract length shouldn't be a concern. But extreme health setbacks raise an immediate red flag. That being said, it's hard to imagine Harvin accepting anything less than the bottom line with this deal, and the numbers clearly say he's due a 6 year contract.
Value of the Contract
Upon removing Calvin Johnson from the above regression, and factoring in the extra 5% based on his performance recently in comparison to his full career plate, we're handed a MUCH more likely and reasonable average annual salary: $11,454,738. In 2013, this would make him the #3 top average paid WR in the NFL.