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PFF’s Best Contracts – Top 5 NFL offensive line contracts for 2018

To qualify for this study, a player must be at least one year into their second contract in the league, under contract for at least the 2018 and 2019 seasons and logged at least 1,000 snaps over the past three seasons.
Combining all of the data with PFF grades from Premium Stats 2.0, the question still remained: which NFL players at each position produced top-level WAR values, based on the amount of guaranteed money per season and the amount of money they’ll be due after the 2018 calendar year.
Are teams paying the premium for top-notch players at each position?
All contract data comes from overthecap.com.
Here are the top five offensive line contracts headed into the 2018 NFL season: Staley was the highest-graded offensive tackle in the NFL last year, and when you consider that he earns $8.75 million per year, with none of that guaranteed, the value there for the 49ers is impressive.
Reliable as the Falcons right tackle, he has produced PFF grades of 70.0 or higher in each of the past four seasons, and grades of 70.0 or higher both in pass-blocking and run-blocking in two of those years.
Penn ranked tied for 24th among offensive tackles with a 97.0 pass-blocking efficiency in 2017, allowing four sacks, two hits and 19 hurries on 486 pass-blocking snaps.
Penn has been a model of consistency since arriving in the NFL, producing PFF grades of 73.0 or higher in all 11 seasons since 2007.
Yanda has produced PFF grades of 80.0 or higher in every season, and that includes a rookie year in 2007 that he spent out of position at right tackle.
In his last 1,400 pass-blocking snaps, Yanda has allowed just one sack.

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Oct 23, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers tackle Joe Staley (74) before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Every year, NFL teams sign marquee free agents at every position while they draft younger players to fill other holes in their roster. Contract language sometimes delays even the most “NFL-ready” rookies while other disputes in contracts take centerstage during the league’s offseason periods (see Roquan Smith, Le’Veon Bell, respectively).

With all that in mind, we at PFF have devised a method of looking at the league’s best contracts as we enter the 2018 NFL season. We wanted to know which teams have the league’s best players under the lowest amount of guaranteed, annual money and which of those athletes had been standouts at their respective positions. To do so, we utilized our data scientists Eric Eager & George Chahrouri’s recently revealed Wins Above Replacement metrics for every NFL player who has signed a contract after their rookie deal.

To qualify for this study, a player must be at least one year into their second contract in the league, under contract for at least the 2018 and 2019 seasons and logged at least 1,000 snaps over the past three seasons.

Combining all of the data with PFF grades from Premium Stats 2.0, the question still remained: which NFL players at each position produced top-level WAR values, based on the amount of guaranteed money per season and the amount of money they’ll be due after the 2018 calendar year. The formula developed was essentially that, and the results were very appealing. Are teams paying the premium for top-notch players at each position? Are there individuals who are currently outplaying their contract value?

All of that information granted us the ability to isolate a player’s three-year average WAR value over their guaranteed salary (both this season and…

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