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Extension Projection: Russell Okung

Extension Projection: Russell Okung
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Contract Forecast: Russell Okung

One of the more unique stories surfacing this offseason has been OT Russell Okung's path to his next contract. Okung has made it clear that he plans to represent himself while seeking his next payday - a trend that some thing may start to catch on sooner than later across the league.

The Seahawks has a whole have certainly had their plate full of contract discussions this offseason, from the grinding process currently going on with QB Russell Wilson, to a nearly $10M expected extension for ILB Bobby Wagner. Okung doesn't gather to meet the financial complications that these two might, but he's been an important part of a great team over the past few seasons.

All said, we'll compare Okung's statistical production over the past few seasons to a group of other left tackles 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 Left Tackles
To generate a prediction the Spotrac team determined that the following tackles were viable targets to use in comparing with Okung. The key was to locate players with similar numbers, who signed their second contract around the age of 27. 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
Tyron Smith  (DAL) 8 $97,600,000 $12,200,000 $22,118,013 24
Joe Thomas (CLE) 7 $80,500,000 $11,500,000 $28,500,000 26
D'Brickashaw Ferguson (NYJ) 6 $60,000,000 $10,000,000 $34,800,000 26
Ryan Clady (DEN) 5 $52,500,000 $10,500,000 $15,000,000 26
Averages 6.5 $72,650,000 $11,050,000 $25,140,000 25.5

We'll adjust their contracts up to reflect each as if it were signed at the age of 27 to provide a better scope for our base prediction.

Related:  View the list of Top Average Defensive Ends in the NFL

Length Value Avg. Salary (slope)
6 $66,882,353 $11,147,059

Statistical Comparisons
Now we'll assess Okung statistically against our variable left takles, taking a look at Games Played, PFF Ratings per Year, Sacks Allowed per Game, QB Hurries allowed per Game, and Penalties per Game.
Tyron Smith (13-14, DAL) 15.5 10.8 .129 2.064 .58
Joe Thomas  (09-10, CLE) 16 34.8 .25 .59 .28
D'Brickashaw Ferguson (09-10, NYJ) 16 25.7 .25 .78 .375
Ryan Clady (11-12, DEN) 16 3.5 .21 1.46 .59
AVERAGES 15.88 18.7 .21 1.22 .46
Russell Okung (13-14, SEA) 11 -1.75 .18 1.54 .77
% Change -30.71% -109.36% 15.07% -25.74% -68.65%
MEDIAN PRIME PErcentage: -30.71%
Okung is head and shoulders BELOW our variable averages here, taking a huge percentage hit on nearly every category. The lack of sacks allowed probably has plenty to do with the elusiveness of QB Russell Wilson as much as it does his ability to prevent it. We'll apply his prime percentages into our original base contract value to determine his current value.

Guaranteed Money

Okung has missed time in every season since joining the league in 2010, including seeing action in just 22 games over the past two seasons - a red flag.

Player Value True Guarantees % Guaranteed
Tyron Smith  $97,600,000 $22,118,013 22.66%
Joe Thomas  $80,500,000 $28,500,000 35.4%
D'Brickashaw Ferguson $60,000,000 $34,800,000 58%
Ryan Clady $52,500,000 $15,000,000 28.5%
Adjusted Regression 32%


Length of the Contract
While some of the recent extensions for tackles have pushed out to 7 or 8 years, at 27 years old it's not likely that Okung follows suit. We'll keep him at a standard 5 year deal for purposes of this projection.

Thoughts on Valuing the Contract
The base value of our forecast provided a contract averaging just north of $11M per year, 3rd most among active left tackles. However Okung's inability to stack up (even close) to our variable's statistical production forced a huge decrease in numbers as we continued on. Okung's best case scenario may be to play out the 2015 season, hoping to increase his production AND prove he can stay on the field for 16 games. Should the Seahawks decide to move on, he'll find bloated offers in the open free agent market - like left tackles always do.

Utilizing our Average Prime Percentage (-43.88%), we're forecasting Okung as the 17th highest average paid LT:
5 years, $31,300,000 | $6,260,000 per year | $10,016,000 guaranteed
Utilizing our Median Prime Percentage (-6.24%), we're forecasting Okung as the 11th highest average paid LT:
5 years, $38,700,000 | $7,740,000 per year | $12,400,000 guaranteed

We'll split the difference to offer the best-value forecast for Russell Okung's new money extension:

Spotrac's Prediction: 5 years, $34,950,000
Average annual salary $6,990,000 estimated $11,200,000 guaranteed

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