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Contract Forecast: Bobby Wagner

Contract Forecast: Bobby Wagner
Untitled Document

Contract Forecast: Bobby Wagner

The cost of winning is starting to pile up for the Seattle Seahawks, who have been playing with house money for the past few seasons, garnering maximum production out of rookies with scaled wages. Since 2013 the Hawks have granted long-term extensions to safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, CB Richard Sherman, WR Doug Baldwin, LB K.J. Wright, and DE Cliff Avril. Next on the list appears to be QB Russell Wilson, and ILB Bobby Wagner.

We'll compare the soon-to-be 25 year old Wagner's statistical production over the past few seasons to a group of other ILBs who signed extensions at a similar age with their respective teams to produce a value forecast for what his forthcoming contract might look like.

Comparable Linebackers
To generate a prediction the Spotrac team determined that the following linebackers were viable targets to use in comparing with Wagner. The key was to locate players with similar numbers, who signed their second contract around the age of 25, the age Wagner will turn in June. To determine a more likely starting point for our numbers, we'll perform a linear regression of each contract listed below.
Player Length Value Avg. Salary Guaranteed Age When Signed
Donald Butler  7 $51,800,000 $7,400,000 $11,150,000 25
Sean Lee 6 $42,000,000 $7,000,000 $16,130,000 26
Lawrence Timmons 5 $47,795,750 $9,559,150 $11,000,000 24
Navorro Bowman 5 $45,250,000 $9,050,000 $11,000,000 24
Averages 5.75 $46,711,438 $8,252,288 $12,320,000 24.75
We'll adjust their contracts up to reflect each as if it were signed at the age of 25 to provide a better scope for our base prediction.

Related:  View the list of Top Average Inside Linebackers in the NFL
Length Value Avg. Salary (slope)
6 $47,023,543 $7,837,257

Statistical Comparisons
Now we'll assess Wagner statistically against our variable linebackers, taking a look at Games Played, Sacks per Season, Tackles per Season, and Stops per Season.
Player G/YR Sacks/G TKL/G Stops/G
Donald Butler (2012-13, SD) 12.5 .14 5.4 2.48
Sean Lee  (2012-13, DAL) 8.5 0 6.11 3.94
Lawrence Timmons  (2009-10, PIT) 15 .2 6.2 3.8
Navorro Bowman  (2010-11, SF) 16 .13 7.1 4.3
AVERAGES 13 .11 6.22 3.64
Bobby Wagner  (2013-14, SEA) 12.5 .28 6.88 3.92
% Change -3.85% 138.3% 10.53% 7.43%
Average PRIME PErcentage: 38.10%
Wagner nearly averages out statistically when comparing these major categories across our variable set. We'll apply his prime percentages into our original base contract value to determine his current value.

Length of the Contract
Inside linebackers have been garnering longer contracts than most positions over the past few seasons, and the reasoning isn't really clear. At nearly 25 years old, and with back to back excellent seasons in Seattle, there's no reason to believe Wagner shouldn't be offered a 5+ year contract. Seattle rarely signs players to contracts of more than 4 years, so even a 5 year extension would be a stretch for Wagner. We'll assume 4 new years for this forecast.

Value of the Contract
Our base contract outputted a value just north of $47M over 6 years, or $7.83M per season. When factoring in his slight prime percentages based on statistical production this figure increases to a figure he's likely much more pleased with.

Spotrac's Prediction: 4 years, $38,728,590
Average annual salary $9,682,148, estimated $16,410,000 guaranteed

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