Why are players like Dak Prescott worth so much now?

Why are players like Dak Prescott worth so much now?

by July 25, 2019 0 comments

The pitchforks and torches are already geared up to a lot of the Dallas Cowboy fan base and the national sports media. The enumeration debate is great even before the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, Dak Prescott, will sign his presumably soon-to-be-coming record-breaking contract. There will be plenty of panic and concern over the future when Prescott signs.

Who is to blame for the coming panic?

Aaron Rodgers exponential spike to the market

Average Per Year (APY)

Andrew Luck signed for $24.6 million (APY – NFL record) which was 15.80 percent of the Total Salary Cap at signing – 2016 Total Cap $155.27 million

Derek Carr signed for $25 million (APY – NFL record) which was 14.97 percent of the Total Salary Cap at signing – 2017 Total Cap $167 million

Matthew Stafford signed for $27 million (APY – NFL record) which was 16.17 percent of the Total Salary Cap at signing – 2017 Total Cap $167 million

Jimmy Garoppolo signed for $27.5 million (APY – NFL record) which was 15.52 percent of the Total Salary Cap at signing – 2018 Total Cap $177.2 million

Drew Brees signed for $25 million (APY) which was 14.11 percent of the Total Salary Cap at signing – 2018 Total Cap $177.2 million

Kirk Cousins signed for $28 million (APY – NFL record) which was 15.80 percent of the Total Salary Cap at signing – 2018 Total Cap $177.2 million

Matt Ryan signed for $30 million (APY – NFL record) which was 16.93 percent of the Total Salary Cap at signing – 2018 Total Cap $177.2 million

Aaron Rodgers signed for $33.5 million (APY – NFL record) which was 18.91 percent of the Total Salary Cap at signing – 2018 Total Cap $177.2 million

Russell Wilson signed for $35 million (APY – NFL record) which was 18.60 percent of the Total Salary Cap at signing – 2019 Total Cap $188.2 million

Ben Roethlisberger signed for $34.million (APY) which was 18.07 percent of the Total Salary Cap at signing – 2019 Total Cap $188.2 million

Carson Wentz signed for $32 million (APY) which was 17 percent of the Total Salary Cap at signing – 2019 Total Cap $188.2 million

From Andrew Luck to Matt Ryan, the percentage of total cap average for franchise quarterbacks is 15.61

From Aaron Rodgers to Carson Wentz, the percentage of total cap average for franchise quarterbacks is 18.15 (inflated market after Rodgers)

NFL Fan Blitz Horizontal Line

It is very clear by looking at the average contract for franchise quarterbacks who inflated the quarterback market. According to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Prescott’s agent Todd France proposed $34 million dollars average per year for the next Prescott contract. From the chart, a trend is very clear.

The trend in record-breaking contracts is mostly about who is next versus who is best.  Before Aaron Rodgers, previous quarterbacks honored the tradition of breaking the yearly average record with mostly very small incremental increases on the average per year.

  • Derek Carr was only $400K above the previous yearly average record by Andrew Luck
  • Matthew Stafford was only $2 million above the previous yearly average record by Derek Carr
  • Jimmy Garoppolo was only $500K above the previous yearly average record by Matthew Stafford
  • Kirk Cousins was only $500K above the previous yearly average record by Jimmy Garoppolo
  • Matt Ryan was only $200K above the previous yearly average record by Kirk Cousins
  • Aaron Rodgers was a whopping $3.5 million above the previous yearly average by Matt Ryan. Matt Ryan was the reigning MVP which makes the Rodgers contract even more of a head-scratcher.

Everyone won with the small incremental APY increase formula before Rodgers. The agent received a resume boost from negotiating a record-breaking deal, the player got the confidence boost of being valued by the team, and the team enumerated their quarterbacks but within a predictable budget of around 16 percent. Everyone won and the quarterback market was stable and predictable for years. After Rodgers, the stable percentage of cap average of around 16 percent was inflated to close to 19 percent.

To help understand the impact percentages, take the current Total Cap ($188.2 million) and increase by a percentage.

One percent of the Total Cap = $1.88 million
Two percent of the Total Cap = $3.78 million
Three percent of the Total Cap = $5.64 million

Rodgers is super amazing at playing quarterback, but is his $5.64 million dollars per year better than the average record-breaking franchise contract quarterback? It is a fair assumption by the date in which Rodgers signed his latest contract that Green Bay likely did not want to sign that massive increase of a deal. (The Rodgers deal was done in late August 2018.)

Rodgers knows his business value to Green Bay and held the team hostage to exponential terms. In 2013, Rodgers averaged $22 million per year, which was only 17.9 percent of the total Salary Cap at that time. The 2013 Aaron Rodgers was younger, healthier, and closer to his Super Bowl win than the 2018 version.

Russell Wilson was only $1.5 million above the previous yearly average record set by Aaron Rodgers. The contract dominoes have fallen just right for Prescott’s agent Todd France. Russell Wilson continued the excessive contract trend but followed the gentlemen’s agreement with an incremental smaller increase over the previous Rodgers yearly average. Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz’s contract worth $32 million yearly was the cherry on top to give Prescott’s agent all the leverage to ask for $34 million.

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