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A Quick Breakdown of Our Underfunded Offense


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#1 hawkprey

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:35 PM

What's up?

 

I wanted to address the idea from another topic that our offense is finally "stacked" - outside of the quarterback that is. I wanted to address the "no excuses for Joe" excuse by taking a look at how our team is built. Even though our offensive players are just fine, better than ever even, I think too many people here are ignoring the wealth of talent that the rest of the league still offers. 

-------------------

 

So let's be fair to Joe try to figure out how much talent we have around our centerpiece. If I could rank our players individually and by position, I'd put Torrey 30th best, Pitta 12th best, Monroe 9th best... and so on, then look at every other team and take forever.

 

Instead, let's make this easy and a little less subjective and assume all players are being paid what they're worth (minus a certain Super Bowl MVP). We know that contracts do fluctuate in their cap hit from year to year, but let's assume that as a whole they all even out for 2014.

 

I should mention that players on rookie contracts are are almost always being paid well below their value. A $2 million rookie is usually a better performer than a $2 million veteran. That's where draft stock comes in. Draft stock is the rights to underpay an unproven player. So before we look at team salary, let's add the value of our rookie contracts by their draft stock.

 

Here's what our offensive players on their rookie contracts are worth draft-wise:

 

Torrey: 320

Osemele: 300

Pierce: 170

Reid: 165

Gino: 108

Jusczcyk: 42

All others: probably under 40 combined.

 

Total: 1105 (or about pick 14 in the draft). Call rookie contracts "everyone since 2011", and the average accumulation over that time for the average team (16th slot, 1/2 of all players drafted are on offense) is 3500:

 

3500 -> Subract the value of QBs, subtract "busts" no longer playing (Doss, Reed for us)

        ->add that the value of picks decreases geometrically and not arithmetically

=by my estimation, at least 3000 if not 3300.

 

The conclusion: over the last 4 years, we have drafted about 1/3rd the talent that the AVERAGE team spent on offense. Last year's draft was so defense-heavy that 52 non-QB offensive players were drafted before we selected one. 

 

You could say that many of the league's rookie contract players are actually not worth what they cost to draft, and you'd be right. But when you look at the above group, have these guys really been such steals? Half of these players have added nothing to the offense and due to injuries, Osemele and Pierce have only given us half a good year each.

 

Now let's look at the total amount we spend on offensive players outside of the QB position (including rookie contracts, since that's the data I have available). You can see for yourself here: http://overthecap.co...n.php?Year=2014

 

The Ravens are spending... the 5th fewest amount on offense outside the QB position. (You'll have to do the math based on their info). $5 million under the average.

 

Now, you could say that our offensive cast as a whole is playing above its salary cap value. Based on last year, and with with Ray Rice making 8.8 million, I don't see that being possible. But to each his own dumb opinion.

 

We could say that RBs don't really have a big impact on the passing game, and discount Rice's and all other RB salaries. With Rice out of the picture, our WR/TE/OLs are probably playing over their salary value, but the Ravens are spending the 2nd fewest on these remaining positions - barely edging out the Raiders - to help Flacco. 

 

 

After analysis, in order to reach league average, we'd still have 5 million dollars to spend. But not just on a $5 million veteran. Based on our draft stock debt discussed earlier, we could use it on paying the 3rd or 4th overall draft selection. By my estimation, we would need to draft a Jake Matthews or a Sammy Watkins before the draft even starts just to break even. Then, we'd have to continue drafting on offense to keep pace with the rest of the league.

 

--------------------

To conclude, even after a productive offseason, we still hold one of the most barren (or "discount") offensive casts in the league. It feels like we are flooded with talent, but that's just relative to team history. Hopefully this has been a more logical approach than the "name players we have" approach, and the good news is... defense

 

Please discuss your feelings on the offense's collective value/skill/ability this coming year given a realistic look at what we have. Or just note that I am right and move along. Thank you!


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#2 SecretAgentMan

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:51 PM

Actually you are correct. Which is why I think we are two drafts away from being contenders again.  I do think we are a playoff team seeing as even with diminished offensive talent(compared to everyone else) we were still a running game away from it. Now that we seem to have that in development again, along with actual receiving targets, we should be a playoff team again. That being said, we still don't know what we got in some of our guys. Marlon Brown, Osemele, Wagner, Pierce could all be very good in the near future and suddenly we aren't so barren anymore. 

 

I do think it is imperative that we load up with talent in this draft though. 


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#3 flynismo

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 11:16 PM

You are correct
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#4 lgcs27288

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 11:24 PM

Very nice work here, it makes a lot of sense, but this is just too subjective for my taste. Too many "count this as this" and "dont count this as this" situations. There are just too many variables that can change this formula around.

 

Again though, very nice work. Amazing research. I'd just rather see the guys on the field, in the schemes, do what they do.

 

Edit: I do think we need to add more to the offense and I hope we draft offensive weapons high in the draft. As we stand right now, we are one of the most balanced teams in the NFL.


Edited by lgcs27288, 05 April 2014 - 11:29 PM.

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#5 beanfigger

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 11:34 PM

One thing we do have now, though, is a very fine (hopefully) offensive coaching staff. I believe that can help bridge the gap a little. I'd be interested to see how the other teams with $100M QBs rank in terms of non-QB offensive spending.
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#6 GrimCoconut

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 12:00 AM

I think a big part of the reason why our offense is underfunded is due to Ozzie's template for building the franchise. He re-signs our own guys, tries to avoid spending big on other teams' free agents, which in turn causes him to not spend as much money on the offense. Let's face the facts here: we haven't developed the best offensive players in the past couple years. Rice, Yanda, Joe are the ones that stick out the most, though Pitta (just re-signed) has changed things. There's many Michael Ohers, Oniel Cousins, Ed Dicksons, and others I don't feel like listing. The point is made. We just haven't developed offensive talent like we have defensive talent. I think that's about to change.


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#7 Willbacker

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 08:07 AM

The over the cap site is pretty nice. It just sucks that it takes 3 days it seems to update.

 

Its kind of interesting about the low pay for the offense but thats mainly cuz of the younger players but you would've thought with Yanda's contract plus the resignings of Pitta and Monroe that would jack it up some and with Torrey's contract due.....


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#8 codizzle

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 08:22 AM

I feel the balance will be shifting somewhat in upcoming years
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#9 Tank 92

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 08:50 AM

I feel the balance will be shifting somewhat in upcoming years

 

 

Agreed.  I think it starts with this year's draft.


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#10 52520Andrew

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 11:58 AM

Very interesting read. I do agree that the Ravens have favored the defense over the years. I think that is going to change however as you don't spend 120 mil on your qb without giving him talent. I think that is what we will do as well and we have already started by trading for and re-signing Monroe. We went out and got a legitimate OC in Kubiak. We brought in new coaches for the RBs and WRs. We then brought back a dynamic playmaker who is worth a couple wins a year in Jacoby and gave him another proven vet in Steve Smith and have another TE in Owen Daniels. I think we will continue this trend into the draft and I see the offense doing better this year. Should be interesting to follow


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#11 beanfigger

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 12:29 PM

Big money comes when you draft a stud who surges into the top ten in his position. Rice got a contract that rivaled the other top backs, but what other non-QB offensive players that we've drafted deserve that? Torrey and Dennis are the closest, but they can't get Calvin or Gronk-type contracts because they aren't on that level, yet, at least. The only other way to push big money to that side of the ball would be to make huge FA signings (i.e. Mack), and that isn't our style.

We've had much more success finding and drafting top talent on defense (Suggs, Webb, etc.), so it makes sense that the money end up being pushed to that side of the ball.
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#12 GrimCoconut

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 12:36 PM

Big money comes when you draft a stud who surges into the top ten in his position. Rice got a contract that rivaled the other top backs, but what other non-QB offensive players that we've drafted deserve that? Torrey and Dennis are the closest, but they can't get Calvin or Gronk-type contracts because they aren't on that level, yet, at least. The only other way to push big money to that side of the ball would be to make huge FA signings (i.e. Mack), and that isn't our style.

We've had much more success finding and drafting top talent on defense (Suggs, Webb, etc.), so it makes sense that the money end up being pushed to that side of the ball.

Yep. This is how I also see it. Hence, my previous comment. I agree 100% with you here. Once we pay Torrey, it should be a bit more balanced, though Jimmy Smith will tip it back towards the defense once he gets paid.


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#13 Ravenslifer

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 09:24 PM

What's up?

 

I wanted to address the idea from another topic that our offense is finally "stacked" - outside of the quarterback that is. I wanted to address the "no excuses for Joe" excuse by taking a look at how our team is built. Even though our offensive players are just fine, better than ever even, I think too many people here are ignoring the wealth of talent that the rest of the league still offers. 

-------------------

 

 

 

Makes sense, especially considering the relative lack of high draft picks spent on the offensive side compared to the defensive side.  The last time our first round pick, or first pick at all, was an offensive player, was Oher in 2009.  And Torrey is the only WR/TE (I'm not counting Figurs, he was bascially a return man only, even in college) we've drafted in the first 3 rounds since Clayton in 2005.  When you aren't spending high picks, you aren't paying high contracts, and you're less likely to hit on guys who are worth a big second contract (or even a second contract at all).


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#14 Puntit

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 05:50 AM

I would hope after Michael Lewis's MoneyBall about baseball, and the failure of year after year of "dream teams", people would start to realize that high priced guys don't equal championships. The right guy for the right price philosophy is what works, end if you grossly underpay and have a playoff caliber team most years, you are doing it right...
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#15 HoldingCall

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 08:30 AM

I knowing you were just making a point about the offense and is not criticizing team draft habits and you brought forth good info for fans to understand. But lets remember that last season Denver had, according to some, one of the highest ranking offense in NFL history. It failed them against the top defense so I think Ozzie was right to build this way. However, I believe a solid offensive line comes as the priority this season.


Edited by HoldingCall, 07 April 2014 - 08:43 AM.

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#16 redrum52

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 08:48 AM

You can say what you want, but if most qbs had a choice, I don't think they would always want the pressure on themselves. A good defense and run game are just about as good to a qb as viable options at wr. The o line is still a work in progress, but depending on how Steve Smith plays and the health of the team, this should be the best offense Joe has had to work with. If the line holds up, there better be improvement. Same goes for the defense. The cost doesn't matter, but if you get into it, a Decent amount is being spent on offense. Joe, Pitta, Yanda, Rice and Monroe. Torrey will be next. If Boldin wasn't traded he would be on the list as well.

The price doesn't matter, it's about finding the talent. Look at the Seahawks defense.

Edited by redrum52, 07 April 2014 - 08:59 AM.

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#17 BOLDnPurPnBlacK

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 09:17 AM

What's up?
 
I wanted to address the idea from another topic that our offense is finally "stacked" - outside of the quarterback that is. I wanted to address the "no excuses for Joe" excuse by taking a look at how our team is built. Even though our offensive players are just fine, better than ever even, I think too many people here are ignoring the wealth of talent that the rest of the league still offers. 
-------------------
 
So let's be fair to Joe try to figure out how much talent we have around our centerpiece. If I could rank our players individually and by position, I'd put Torrey 30th best, Pitta 12th best, Monroe 9th best... and so on, then look at every other team and take forever.
 
Instead, let's make this easy and a little less subjective and assume all players are being paid what they're worth (minus a certain Super Bowl MVP). We know that contracts do fluctuate in their cap hit from year to year, but let's assume that as a whole they all even out for 2014.
 
I should mention that players on rookie contracts are are almost always being paid well below their value. A $2 million rookie is usually a better performer than a $2 million veteran. That's where draft stock comes in. Draft stock is the rights to underpay an unproven player. So before we look at team salary, let's add the value of our rookie contracts by their draft stock.
 
Here's what our offensive players on their rookie contracts are worth draft-wise:
 
Torrey: 320
Osemele: 300
Pierce: 170
Reid: 165
Gino: 108
Jusczcyk: 42
All others: probably under 40 combined.
 
Total: 1105 (or about pick 14 in the draft). Call rookie contracts "everyone since 2011", and the average accumulation over that time for the average team (16th slot, 1/2 of all players drafted are on offense) is 3500:
 
3500 -> Subract the value of QBs, subtract "busts" no longer playing (Doss, Reed for us)
        ->add that the value of picks decreases geometrically and not arithmetically
=by my estimation, at least 3000 if not 3300.
 
The conclusion: over the last 4 years, we have drafted about 1/3rd the talent that the AVERAGE team spent on offense. Last year's draft was so defense-heavy that 52 non-QB offensive players were drafted before we selected one. 
 
You could say that many of the league's rookie contract players are actually not worth what they cost to draft, and you'd be right. But when you look at the above group, have these guys really been such steals? Half of these players have added nothing to the offense and due to injuries, Osemele and Pierce have only given us half a good year each.
 
Now let's look at the total amount we spend on offensive players outside of the QB position (including rookie contracts, since that's the data I have available). You can see for yourself here: http://overthecap.co...n.php?Year=2014
 
The Ravens are spending... the 5th fewest amount on offense outside the QB position. (You'll have to do the math based on their info). $5 million under the average.
 
Now, you could say that our offensive cast as a whole is playing above its salary cap value. Based on last year, and with with Ray Rice making 8.8 million, I don't see that being possible. But to each his own dumb opinion.
 
We could say that RBs don't really have a big impact on the passing game, and discount Rice's and all other RB salaries. With Rice out of the picture, our WR/TE/OLs are probably playing over their salary value, but the Ravens are spending the 2nd fewest on these remaining positions - barely edging out the Raiders - to help Flacco. 
 
 
After analysis, in order to reach league average, we'd still have 5 million dollars to spend. But not just on a $5 million veteran. Based on our draft stock debt discussed earlier, we could use it on paying the 3rd or 4th overall draft selection. By my estimation, we would need to draft a Jake Matthews or a Sammy Watkins before the draft even starts just to break even. Then, we'd have to continue drafting on offense to keep pace with the rest of the league.
 
--------------------
To conclude, even after a productive offseason, we still hold one of the most barren (or "discount") offensive casts in the league. It feels like we are flooded with talent, but that's just relative to team history. Hopefully this has been a more logical approach than the "name players we have" approach, and the good news is... defense
 
Please discuss your feelings on the offense's collective value/skill/ability this coming year given a realistic look at what we have. Or just note that I am right and move along. Thank you!


While you are correct, the application of this doesn't matter unless there is a correlation between offensive spend and offensive quality. Which there may be - I'm not trying to undermine your analysis - just saying that if the correlation isn't there then the analysis, while on point, doesn't have much value.

To even go a step further, even if that correlation exists between offensive spend and offensive performance if you want to call it that, there would then have to be a correlation between offensive performance and winning super bowls for any of it to really matter.

(Which there isn't)

Edited by BOLDnPurPnBlacK, 07 April 2014 - 09:19 AM.

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#18 PurpleCorsair

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 09:54 AM

While you are correct, the application of this doesn't matter unless there is a correlation between offensive spend and offensive quality. Which there may be - I'm not trying to undermine your analysis - just saying that if the correlation isn't there then the analysis, while on point, doesn't have much value.

To even go a step further, even if that correlation exists between offensive spend and offensive performance if you want to call it that, there would then have to be a correlation between offensive performance and winning super bowls for any of it to really matter.

(Which there isn't)

 

Indeed.

 

The null hypothesis is one of no relationship. Show that there is a statistically significant relationship between offensive pay and performance by player, and then do it by team.

 

What is the median spending for offenses in the NFL? Is there a mode? Is the data normally distributed, or is it skewed?


Edited by PurpleCorsair, 07 April 2014 - 09:55 AM.

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#19 Ravenseconbeast

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 01:04 PM

Bit of a skewed observation when you have Owens paid 1mill, Marlon as basically little to nothing, and Torrey still under rookie contract and Steve Smith with the lowest cap starting w/ Ravens organization.


Edited by Ravenseconbeast, 07 April 2014 - 01:05 PM.

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#20 hawkprey

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 05:06 PM

Indeed.

 

The null hypothesis is one of no relationship. Show that there is a statistically significant relationship between offensive pay and performance by player, and then do it by team.

 

What is the median spending for offenses in the NFL? Is there a mode? Is the data normally distributed, or is it skewed?

There IS a high correlation between salary and performance. That's why better players get paid more.

 

The median spending for offenses is about $51 million. If I remember right, the high is about 71 and the low around 40. The median is about the average for 2014.

 

Bit of a skewed observation when you have Owens paid 1mill, Marlon as basically little to nothing, and Torrey still under rookie contract and Steve Smith with the lowest cap starting w/ Ravens organization.

 

Marlon is an undrafted rookie, and despite being good for a UDFA, is still not worth much. Owens is a question mark for this year, and there are plenty of productive players on vet minimum across the league. I adjusted for all rookie contracts when I looked at draft value. Alshon Jeffery and AJ Green are still on their rookie contracts too, you know... It's not that skewed - it's an estimation just to show that we haven't indulged in our offense the way most teams do.


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