Salary Cap Value – A Hypothetical Test

First off I want to be clear this is just a hypothetical exercise to see what the numbers say.  OK now that is out of the way let’s get started.  I’ve been reading some work on Salary Cap Value by Chase Stuart at Football Perspective regarding salary cap value; which utilizes Approximate Value (AV) created by Pro Football Reference.  The AV could be viewed as another form of grading, and that is a tough topic to tackle.  The best way, in my opinion, to evaluate a player is to turn on the tape and use your eyes and knowledge.  Assigning a numerical value shouldn’t be used to make a final determination on a player’s value.  Additionally the formula from FP was generated in 2013; and likely has been adjusted for 2016 player market values.

This exercise uses the formula’s created by PFR & FP to create a “salary cap value” for each player.   I thought it would be interesting to compare that value versus the player’s salary cap charge for the year and see how it aligns with our eyes.  Links are provided in this article (and at the end) that will provide you the details in these formulas along with the methodology behind them.  I am not going to list the entire roster, but rather the top & bottom ranked (salary cap value) players from the 2016 season.

Top 15

Player Name PFR AV FP Salary Cap Value 2016 Salary Cap Amount Difference
Bernardrick McKinney 14 $14,437,280 $1,214,801 $13,222,479
Whitney Mercilus 13 $13,160,280 $5,800,000 $7,360,280
JaDaveon Clowney 13 $13,160,280 $6,074,454 $7,085,826
Greg Mancz 6 $4,221,280 $527,000 $3,694,280
DeAndre Hopkins 7 $5,498,280 $2,426,677 $3,071,603
Quintin Demps 6 $4,221,280 $1,470,000 $2,751,280
Xavier Su’A-Filo 6 $4,221,280 $1,514,073 $2,707,207
Will Fuller 6 $4,221,280 $1,848,057 $2,373,223
Andre Hal 5 $2,944,280 $617,281 $2,326,999
Chris Clark 6 $4,221,280 $2,750,000 $1,471,280
A.J. Bouye 5 $2,944,280 $1,671,000 $1,273,280
D.J. Reader 4 $1,667,280 $503,845 $1,163,435
Christian Covington 4 $1,667,280 $547,621 $1,119,659
C.J. Fiedorowicz 4 $1,667,280 $860,826 $806,454

It should come as no surprise that the majority of the players on this list are on rookie contracts.  Probably the biggest question mark on this list would be Chris Clark, who had a difficult second half of the season at right tackle.  The list could further prove the value of drafting well and the value draft picks can provide.  And as many have said the past 18 months, Whitney Mercilus’ contract is super team friendly.

Bottom 9

Player Name PFR AV FP Salary Cap Value 2016 Salary Cap Amount Difference
Brock Osweiler 5 $2,944,280 $12,000,000 -$9,055,720
Duane Brown 5 $2,944,280 $9,500,000 -$6,555,720
Kareem Jackson 5 $2,944,280 $8,468,750 -$5,524,470
Johnathan Joseph 4 $1,667,280 $7,000,000 -$5,332,720
Brian Cushing 6 $4,221,280 $9,047,500 -$4,826,220
Tony Bergstrom 1 -$2,163,720 $2,500,000 $-4,663,720
Akeem Dent 2 -$886,720 $2,625,000 -$3,511,720
Jeff Allen 5 $2,944,280 $6,187,500 -$3,243,220
Eddie Pleasant 1 $-2,163,720 $1,036,000 -$3,199,720

The top of the list should be no surprise.  However I would disagree with the Duane Brown being on this list.  Brown is not an all pro left tackle anymore, but he still would be considered a Top 10 tackle on the market.  Johnathan Joseph was also a surprise considered his salary for the 2016 season was lowered as part of his new contract extension from 2015.  Note also every player on this list is on a second or third contract which highlights how difficult it is to sign players in free agency and get a solid return on your investment.


Again this was just an exercise and not meant to dictate roster moves for the future for the Texans.

Full Roster with Salary Cap Value and other comparison grades:  Salary Cap Value Texans

Chase Stuart Article




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