Spain v Holland

“Casillas is a living legend,” “He has led Spain to several titles,” “He is a symbol of Real Madrid…” Phrases like these are a recurring narrative among Spanish sports journals and a devastatingly large portion of soccer enthusiasts around the globe. Let me just start by saying that nobody can deny that Iker Casillas was once a great goalkeeper. However, this does not mean that he continues to be one today. All of Casillas’ ‘miraculous’ performances —continuously recalled by his supporters in an attempt to reinforce his legend— happened during or before 2010. His interventions in the 2002 Champions League Final vs. Bayer Leverkusen were indeed crucial. The penalty saves he had in the 2008 Eurocup vs. Italy were also prominent. His two magnificent saves vs. Netherlands’ Arjen Robben in the 2010 World Cup Final undoubtedly gave Spain the title. Once again, there is no doubting Casillas’ notable record for club and country over the first decade of the current century. However, the story is remarkably different ever since. After the 2010 World Cup, his performance has been mediocre, with many more costly mistakes than praiseworthy interventions. Read more of this post

Analyzing the Darrelle Revis Signing

Staying true to his increasingly-accurate reputation of being a mercenary of sorts in the NFL, cornerback Darrelle Revis decided to leave the New England Patriots—where he won a Super Bowl in his first season with the team—to return to the team that drafted him, and where he made a name for himself: the New York Jets. Revis agreed to a 5-year, $70 million deal with Gang Green on Tuesday night, with $39 million guaranteed. His decision adds to a slew of moves orchestrated by New England’s AFC East rivals that are casting doubt in the minds of many that the Pats can roll through the AFC East next season like they always do. Read more of this post

Introducing Expected Contract Value Part 5: Frequently Asked Questions


How large is your sample size?

The initial sample size used to run the regression analysis was approximately 1,500 “contract seasons.” Each contract season is a single input record. So if a given player’s contract covered five seasons from 2005-2009, this resulted in five different contract seasons for the purpose of creating input records (even if the player was released after three seasons). Read more of this post

Introducing Expected Contract Value Part 4: Salary Cap Budgeting

Trent Cole

In addition to enabling the valuation of a contract from the perspective of the amount of money that the player can expect to earn, Expected Contract Value also enables teams to budget for the contract from the perspective of the amount of salary cap space that the player can be expected to account for. This objective can be accomplished by applying the expected outcome to the scheduled cap number in the relevant contract season, rather than to the amount of money that could potentially be earned by the player.

There are two conceptual ways to approach this exercise. The simpler way, what we will refer to as “Either/Or Cap Budgeting,” involves looking at the expected outcome, rounding up or down, and then selecting either the player’s cap number or his dead money number, whichever is applicable. For example, let’s take a look at Trent Cole’s contract from the perspective of Either/Or Cap Budgeting. Read more of this post

Introducing Expected Contract Value Part 3: Contract Comparison

ryan kalil

In order to expand upon Part 1 and Part 2, and demonstrate how Expected Contract Value can be helpful in comparing contracts, let’s take a look at an article from overthecap.com in June 2014 in which Jason compared the recent large contracts of centers Maurkice Pouncey, Alex Mack, and Ryan Kalil. This article is the archetype of the insightful subjective analysis we identified in Part 1 that could be enhanced by Expected Contract Value.

Jason first correctly points out that the face values of contracts can be misleading, and that they should not be determinative in the comparison at hand. He then goes on to refer to “dead money protections” for the various deals. This is a concept addressed by Expected Contract Value through the inputs Save:Cap and Save:Avg. Jason goes on to refer to Kalil’s three-year payout as “virtually guaranteed.” While that may be true, Expected Contract Value allows us to assign a numerical value to the descriptive term “virtually.” Read more of this post

Introducing Expected Contract Value Part 2: Inputs And Outputs

 Richard Sherman

As we described yesterday, Expected Contract Value is an objective metric that enables valuation and comparison of contracts, as well as team salary cap budgeting, by using regression analysis to identify the influence on team-decision making of the relationships among various contract characteristics. Today, we will describe both the inputs and outputs of the metric.

Save:Cap: This input is a ratio of (i) the amount of cap savings that the team would realize upon releasing a player to (ii) the player’s cap number if the team does not release him. A team may be more enticed to save $1 million in cap room by releasing a player who will count $3 million against the cap than it would be by releasing a player who will count $10 million against the cap. Furthermore, a team may be dissuaded from releasing an overpaid and underperforming player if doing so would result in a larger cap hit than refraining from doing so. This input can be thought of in the following way: How beneficial (or detrimental) would it be from a salary cap perspective to release this player? Read more of this post

Introducing Expected Contract Value Part 1: Justification, Theory, & “Contract Analytics”

Andrew Luck

NFL contracts are extremely difficult to accurately value, compare, and budget. This difficulty arises primarily from two factors: (1) the generally non-guaranteed nature of the contracts and (2) the variety of types of components which comprise the contracts (signing bonus, roster bonus, base salary, etc.)

Because NFL contracts are generally not guaranteed, the face value of a contract is largely irrelevant, as it is not determinative of either (i) the amount of money that the player will earn under the contract or (ii) the amount of cap room that the team will allocate to the player over the life of the contract. Because NFL contracts may contain a variety of types of components, each having different salary cap implications, NFL contracts lack uniformity of style, as NFL teams are able to structure contracts in many different ways. Read more of this post

Super Bowl Live Analytics from numberFire

If you are looking for live, in-game analytics for Super Bowl XLIX, numberFire has you covered. Our friends over at numberFire have developed an app that will deliver live analytics from the big game, including win probability, expected drive outcome, and much more. This app, available for both desktop and mobile devices, will allow you to track some of the most important football analytics as the game progresses. Come game time, be sure to check it out using the following link:  live.numberfire.com

A Game for the Ages: Super Bowl XLIX Preview

super bowl 1

On Sunday, the New England Patriots will look to unseat the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks in Glendale, Arizona, the site of Super Bowl XLIX. The Patriots, 12-4 in the regular season and the #1 seed in the AFC, are coming off an easy win against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship while the Seahawks, also 12-4 in the regular season, are coming off an incredible comeback victory against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship.

The Seahawks are the more flashy team, with a young star quarterback who have taken the league by storm. Trying to repeat as champions, the Seahawks are also trying to become the next dynasty in the NFL. The Patriots, on the other hand, are looking to get Tom Brady and Bill Belichick their elusive 4th Super Bowl ring that will cement their legacy as the greatest quarterback-coach combination to ever exist in the NFL. Read more of this post

The Effect of Attendance on Team Spending

Attendance 5

MLB teams often proclaim that attendance affects team payroll. In recent years, fans have heard everything, from Rays’ owner Stuart Sternberg saying lower attendance will decrease payroll, to Pirates team President Frank Coonelly indicating that the team’s increased attendance in 2011 would add additional financial “flexibility.” But is this relationship actually true? In this article, I analyze the extent to which attendance affects payroll. Read more of this post


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 514 other followers