What Players Were the Best Value for the Chiefs in 2008?

Fantasy_thigpen_bradley1_481_medium

via ESPN.com

NFL Salary Cap: $116,729,000

Kansas City Chiefs 2008 total payroll: $83,623,776

Median Chiefs salary: $695,000

Okay everyone, here's the logic behind this. Inspired by Behind the Steel Curtain, we're ranking the top five "value" players. In other words, what players did we get the most production out of for the least amount of money?

If you click that BTSC link you'll see that Blitzburgh ranked ten Pittsburgh players. I'm only ranking five Kansas City Chiefs because most of these guys didn't do enough to separate themselves from each other.

In order to limit the debate, I'm only including those players that make less than the median salary ($695,000) or less than two times the median salary ($1.4 million). Not surprisingly, that comes to 36 players so we're not leaving too many players out.

And just for fun, here are the median salaries and total salary of the Chiefs over the last few years.

Year Median Salary Total Payroll
2008 $695,000 $83,623,776
2007 $822,460 $108,482,459
2006 $710,000 $81,748,009
2005 $780,030 $83,390,185
2004 $788,700 $84,617,626
2003 $705,000 $77,394,073
2002 $552,520 $71,456,693
2001 $576,720 $59,800,143
2000 $505,650 $ 56,337,20

I list my top five best values after the jump. Let us know what your top five are in the comments.

*All salaries taken from USA Today's salary database

Payroll Tier 1 (Median Salary - $695,000 or less)

Player Base Salary Sign Bonus Other Bonus Total Salary Cap Value Position
   Dacus, Weston $ 295,000 $ 0 $ 0 $ 295,000 $ 242,941 LB
   Savage, Dantrell $ 295,000 $ 0 $ 0 $ 295,000 $ 295,000 RB
   Puente, Brian $ 295,000 $ 3,000 $ 0 $ 298,000 $ 295,000 OL
   Leggett, Maurice $ 295,000 $ 4,000 $ 0 $ 299,000 $ 297,000 CB
   Cox, Mike $ 295,000 $ 10,000 $ 0 $ 305,000 $ 300,000 RB
   Merritt, Mike $ 295,000 $ 32,000 $ 0 $ 327,000 $ 240,372 TE
   Johnston, Brian $ 295,000 $ 47,277 $ 0 $ 342,277 $ 310,759 DE
   Robinson, Kevin $ 295,000 $ 73,400 $ 0 $ 368,400 $ 285,937 WR
   Martin, Ingle $ 370,000 $ 0 $ 0 $ 370,000 $ 348,235 QB
   Jackson, T.J. $ 370,000 $ 0 $ 5,640 $ 375,640 $ 375,640 DT
   Smith, Kolby $ 370,000 $ 132,875 $ 5,640 $ 375,640 $ 419,931 RB
   Thigpen, Tyler $ 370,000 $ 57,000 $ 5,640 $ 375,640 $ 375,640 QB
   Tyler, Tank $ 370,000 $ 525,000 $ 5,640 $ 375,640 $ 550,640 DT
   Taylor, Herbert $ 370,000 $ 68,750 $ 5,760 $ 375,760 $ 398,676 OL
   Richardson, Barry $ 295,000 $ 83,450 $ 0 $ 378,450 $ 322,816 OL
   Walden, Erik $ 295,000 $ 119,000 $ 0 $ 414,000 $ 295,000 DE
   Carr, Brandon $ 295,000 $ 145,629 $ 0 $ 440,629 $ 343,543 CB
   Foschi, John Paul $ 445,000 $ 0 $ 3,720 $ 448,720 $ 448,720 RB
   Webb, Jeff $ 445,000 $ 67,500 $ 5,160 $ 450,160 $ 472,660 WR
   Croyle, Brodie $ 445,000 $ 0 $ 5,280 $ 450,280 $ 621,946 QB
   Page, Jarrad $ 445,000 $ 35,875 $ 5,280 $ 450,280 $ 462,239 S
   Niswanger, Rudy $ 445,000 $ 0 $ 5,640 $ 450,640 $ 450,640 OL
   Thomas, Patrick $ 445,000 $ 0 $ 5,640 $ 450,640 $ 450,640 LB
   Novak, Nick $ 445,000 $ 0 $ 6,120 $ 451,120 $ 451,120 P/K
   Bradley, Mark $ 520,000 $ 0 $ 0 $ 520,000 $ 397,647 WR
   Smith, Wade $ 605,000 $ 0 $ 3,720 $ 608,720 $ 608,720 OL
   McGraw, Jon $ 645,000 $ 0 $ 50,000 $ 695,000 $ 695,000 S

 

Payroll Tier 2 (2x Median Salary - $1.4 million or less)

Player Base Salary Sign Bonus Other Bonus Total Salary Cap Value Position
   Darche, J.P. $ 730,000 $ 200,000 $ 25,000 $ 755,000 $ 805,000 LB
   Franklin, Will $ 295,000 $ 493,000 $ 0 $ 788,000 $ 418,250 WR
   Pollard, Bernard $ 445,000 $1,060,000 $ 345,280 $ 790,280 $ 715,280 S
   McBride, Turk $ 370,000 $1,140,000 $425,640 $ 795,640 $ 660,640 DE
   Morgan, DaJuan $ 295,000 $ 545,000 $ 0 $ 840,000 $ 476,666 S
   Cottam, Brad $ 295,000 $ 584,000 $ 0 $ 879,000 $ 489,666 TE
   Charles, Jamaal $ 295,000 $ 600,000 $ 0 $ 895,000 $ 495,000 RB
   Johnson, Derrick  $ 745,000 $ 0 $ 504,800 $1,249,800 $2,214,800 LB

 

5. WR Mark Bradley ($520,000)


Receiving Kickoff Returns Punt Returns
G Rec Yds Y/G AVG Lng TD KR YDS AVG Lng TD PR Yds Avg Lng TD
9 30 380 42.2 12.7 56 3 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

For just over half a million dollars, the Chiefs got eight starts, 30 catches, 380 yards receiving and three touchdowns from the former Chicago wide out. Chargers WR Vincent Jackson only made $4,000 more than Bradley this year and about tripled his out output in every category showing there is still a lot of value to be had at this salary.

Even though Bradley was inconsistent and injured, he ended up being a pretty good value for his low salary. He was the third leading receiver behind Tony Gonzalez and Dwayne Bowe. For that and his potential next season if he can stay healthy, I like Bradley's value.

Soundbite: A half million dollars is worth a half of a season from a decent WR, especially with the Chiefs.

4. RB Jamaal Charles ($895,000)


Rushing Receiving
G Rush Yds Y/G Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Y/G Avg Lng TD
2008 - Jamaal Charles 16 67 357 22.3 5.3 30 0 27 272 17.0 10.1 75 1

The Texas running back contributed 67 carries for over 350 yards rushing. He was essential during Larry Johnson's suspension when he started two games, making his low salary even more valuable.

Charles could probably be a spot or two back on this list but I'm going to keep him here because starting/#2 running backs are getting more and more expensive in the NFL and he appears to be a good #2.

Soundbite: As teams and schemes move to multiple RBs (and with LJ's future in doubt), Charles bang for his buck is much higher than other RB combo backs.

3. S Jarrad Page ($450,280)


Sacks Interceptions Tackles
G Sacks YdsL Int Yds IntTD Solo Ast Total
2008 - Jarrad Page 16 0 0 4 2 0 62 22 84

You could have put Jarrad Page on this list somewhere in each of his first three seasons. He's a 16 game starter who came into the NFL as a 7th round pick who is getting paid less than a half million dollars. Add Bernard Pollard in there and you've got your starting secondary paid out at almost $1.3 million last year.

The Raiders paid out over $12 million last year to safeties Michael Huff and Gibril Wilson.The Vikings paid out almost $13 million to their pair of safeties Darren Sharper and Madieu Williams.

Page is no Wilson or Williams but he's an improving starter getting paid at literally 1/20th of those stars salaries. That is a heck of a value.

Soundbite: 7th round starter. Enough said.

2. CB Brandon Carr ($440,629)


Sacks Interceptions Tackles
G Sacks YdsL Int Yds IntTD Solo Ast Total
2008 - Brandon Carr 16 0 0 2 67 0 70 3 73

Let's see. Brandon Carr will start for the Chiefs next season. He's making $440,000 a year. How much are other starting corners making?

Asante Samuel: $14,145,000. Terrence Newman: $12,611,240. Aqib Talib: $4,945,000. Brandon Flowers: $3,029,000.

I'd say Carr is by far the best value to come out of the 2008 draft.

Soundbite: 5th round starter at corner. Whew, glad we hit on this one.

1. QB Tyler Thigpen ($375,640)


Passing Rushing Sacks
G Rating Comp Att Pct Yds Y/G Y/A TD INT Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD Sack YdsL
2008 - Tyler Thigpen 14 76.0 230 420 54.8 2608 186.3 6.2 18 12 62 386 27.6 6.2 3 26 162

Really? Did you think it was going to be anyone else?

I don't need to go over how much QBs get paid right now in the NFL. Especially top draft pick QBs. Let's not even throw in Thigpen's rushing yards, which rank him second on the team.

Soundbite: All I'm going to say is that Larry Johnson showed up to the 2006 Pro Bowl in car whose base price cost $11,000 more than Thigpen's 2008 salary.

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