NFL Second Contract Stars
Team: Sports Analytics – NFL Research
Program: Computer Science
One of an NFL general manager’s most difficult tasks is determining how much to pay a player coming off a rookie contract—their “second contract”. Rookie wages are set, so their second contract should be closely tied to their production during their rookie contract. There is great value is being able to accurately estimate an NFL player’s second contract: proper cap management can lead to better roster construction and better team success.
NFL general managers often use a player’s on-field production to dictate their value, and this production can be divided into two categories: traditional statistics (such as yards, TDs) and advanced, second-level statistics (such as rushing yards above expectation and yards of separation).
The goal of this project is to build a prediction model for NFL second contracts using traditional and advanced production. By determining what a player should have made, we can evaluate which second contracts were good deals (“booms”) and which second contracts were bad deals (“busts”).