Monday, July 27, 2009

Suggs' Contract Analysis & the Future of the Pass-Rushing Defensive End Market

Club: BLT
Contract Length: 6 years

Total Guarantee: $40,000,000
Guarantee Per Year: $6,666,666
Comparable Total Guarantees at Position: MIN DE Jared Allen, $31,750,069; IND DE Dwight Freeney, $30,000,000; HST DE Mario Williams, $26,500,000; SL DE Chris Long, $24,990,000

Total Value: $62,500,000
Average Per Year (APY): $10,416,666
Comparable APYs at Position: MIN DE Jared Allen, $12,210,012; IND DE Dwight Freeney, $12,000,000; NO DE Will Smith, $10,133,333; SL DE Chris Long, $9,600,000

3-Year Total: $43,400,001
Comparable 3-Year Totals at Position: MIN DE Jared Allen, $38,380,169; IND DE Dwight Freeney, $37,720,000; SL DE Chris Long, $35,000,000; HST DE Mario Williams, $29,450,000

Defensive end Terrell Suggs’ contract is a market setting contract for the pass-rushing defensive end market. Statistically, Suggs is most certainly deserving of a contract that speaks to his stature as one of the best defensive ends in football. I know that on the roster he’s considered a linebacker because of the Ravens’ 3-4 scheme, but coming out of college he was a defensive end and practically speaking in the Ravens’ system, he’s a defensive end. That said, when you compare him statistically to the other top pass rushers, Suggs measures up. Since entering the league in 2003 as a 20-year old, Suggs ranks tied for eighth in sacks with 53. Of that same group of pass-rushers, Suggs’ 368 total tackles since 2003, ranks him fourth, and his 40.5 tackles for a loss over that time period ranks him first. Not to mention last season, he intercepted two passes and took them both back for touchdowns. Simply put, Suggs is a disruptive force on a disruptive defense, and at 26 years of age, there’s a strong chance that, if he remains healthy, Suggs could play the entirety of this contract and at age 32, be in line for another pay day, although probably not at the same dollar amount as his current deal.

So who’s the next player to set the market for pass rushing defensive ends? Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers is most certainly deserving. Since 2003, Peppers ranks second in sacks with 58.5, only trailing Miami defensive end Jason Taylor, who in spite of his one disappointing season in Washington, has 62.5 sacks since 2003. Dallas defensive end DeMarcus Ware has a strong case, as he has 53.5 sacks in the first four years of his career; ranking him first of pass-rushers since 2005. Moreover, his 299 total tackles since coming into the league rank him first amongst pass-rushers, and his 30 tackles for a loss in that time rank him fourth, one and half tackles behind leaders Suggs and Eagles defensive end Trent Cole.

If Washington defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth gets $41 million guaranteed over seven years ($5,857,143 guaranteed per year) and Suggs gets $40 million guaranteed over six years ($6,666,666 guaranteed per year), then look for Ware or Peppers to get at least $42 million to $49 million guaranteed. Regarding Ware, it is Jerry Jones we’re talking about, so Ware could push that $49 million and possibly $50 million guarantee mark.

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