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Contract Forecast: Eric Decker

Contract Forecast: Eric Decker
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Contract Forecast: Eric Decker

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UPDATED: The following projection is the second version of our original Eric Decker Contract Forecast, published in May of 2013. Now set to hit free agency, we'll take a look at how Decker's 2013 campaign with the Bronocos affected his valuation as he seeks a new NFL contract. Decker quietly posted a career year with the Broncos in 2013, totalling 87 catches (his number), 1,288 yards, and 11 touchdowns.

In light of this, we'll once again put Decker through our forecasting tool to predict what a value new contract could look like either in Denver - or on the open market.

Comparable Wide Receivers
Now 26 years old, Decker is a bit older in comparison to many star receivers who sign extensions with their respective teams. We've collected a new list of variable wide receivers to stack Decker up against. 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
DeSean Jackson 5 $48,500,000 $9,700,000 25
Percy Harvin 6 $64,245,000 $10,707,500 24
Pierre Garcon 5 $42,500,000 $8,500,000 25
Victor Cruz 5 $43,000,000 $8,600,000 26
Averages 5.25 $49,561,250 $9,376,875 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 Decker (26) is older than a few of our variables at the times of their signings, we'll adjust the above contracts up to his age by subtracting from the overall years to make each variable player 26 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 $46,405,479 $9,281,096
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, Receiving Yards, Receiving Yards/Game, and Receiving TD.
Player Games Receptions Rec Yards REC Yards/Game REC TD
DeSean Jackson (2010-11, PHI) 14 52 1008 69.6 5
Percy Harvin (2011-12, MIN) 12 74 822 65.8 4
Pierre Garcon (2010-11, IND) 15 68 866 57.7 6
Victor Cruz (2011-12, NYG) 16 84 1314 82.1 10
Averages 14.25 69.5 1002.5 68.8 6.25
Eric Decker (2012-13, DEN) 16 86 1176 73.5 12
% Difference 12.28% 23.74% 17.31% 6.83% 92.00%
MEDIAN PRIME %: 17.31%
Our results here show that Decker's 2013 campaign raised his value dramatically. Our variables players were selected because they were clear-cut goto targets for their respective teams, a role that Decker is most likely looking to find in 2014 with a new team. We'll factor in both the Average and Median percentages to show a range projection below.
Guaranteed Money
Decker now has 3+ years of "starting" experience in the league, and has proven to be both healthy and reliable throughout. We'll factor in our variable wide receiver's guaranteed dollars to forecast what Decker could expect.
Player Value True Guarantees % Guaranteed
DeSean Jackson $48,500,000 $15,000,000 30.9%
Percy Harvin $64,245,000 $14,500,000 22.6%
Pierre Garcon $42,500,000 $13,100,000 30.8%
Victor Cruz $43,000,000 $15,629,000 36.3%
Adjusted Regression: 33.7%

Length of the Contract
Our variable receiver contracts averaged out to 5.25 years, a figure we'll round down for projection purposes (especially with Decker already 26 years of age).

Value of the Contract
Decker is not only talented, flexible, and likeable - but he's also reliable. He carries all the necessary tools with him into a seemingly week WR market (in terms of receivers with his style of play). Our initial base terms brought forth an average annual salary just under $9.3M, a figure that would make him the 9th highest average paid wide receiver in football. But his prime percentages drawn from excellent statistical production over the 2012-13 seasons increased that number dramatically. We'll take a unique approach here, and process two separate values, providing a low and high bar for Decker, possibly in terms of a hometown discount to remain with the Broncos.

Low Value (Hometown Discount)
Utilizing our Median Prime Percentage (17.31%), we're forecasting Decker as the 5th highest average paid WR:
5 years, $54,438,268 | $10,887,654 per year | $16,491,718 guaranteed
High Value
Utilizing our Average Prime Percentage (30.43%), we're forecasting Decker as the 3rd highest average paid WR:
5 years, $60,526,667 | $12,105,333 per year | $20,386,882 guaranteed

We'll split the difference to offer the best-value forecast for Decker's next contract.
Spotrac's Prediction: 5 years, $57,482,467

Average Salary: $11,496,493

Guaranteed Money: $18,439,300

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