The first thing I need to do in this post is define what I mean by a value quarterback. By value I am referring to return on investment, that is the team received a higher performance on the field than what they had paid for. These may not necessarily be the names you are thinking of, but the teams that have them got more than their money’s worth out of them.
Additionally, I need to go over the criteria I used to rank the QB’s. First, I took the top QB from each team in 2017, used their cap hit for 2017 from Spotrac, used their passing yards, wins, and TD: INT ratio from nfl.com, and their total QBR from ESPN. I adjusted wins, TD:INT ratio and QBR to be on a similar scale as passing yards. That is I found the average variance of all QB’s between them and multiplied to scale. From this I divided the total cap hit by the average of passing yards, adjusted wins, adjusted TD:INT ratio, and adjusted QBR. This gave me a quarterback’s ‘value’. Just an FYI, using this scale, the lower the ‘value’ is the better, as it is the amount of money the team spent for each adjusted stat.
Let’s get started, shall we?
5. Trevor Siemian; Value: 313.95
This one was a bit of a surprise. Trevor Siemian did not have a good year, but he was helped out by a very low cap hit (as is the case for most of the top 5). In looking at the stats, Trevor Siemian had the lowest QBR, and a TD:INT ratio of 0.85:1; neither jump out. He did, however, have 2,285 passing yards, which tremendously helped his case. Believe it or not, the Broncos actually got more than they paid for.
4. Jimmy Garoppolo; Value: 231.67
I think quite a few people expected Jimmy Garoppolo on here. As the bright spot for the 49ers in 2017, he led them to 5 wins to close out the year, and he put up pretty good stats. Although he had low passing yardage due to lack of games, his QBR was 80.5. Couple that in with a backup’s cap hit and he was a great pickup for San Francisco. The future is looking pretty bright for them.
3. Josh McCown; Value: 217.25
Another somewhat surprise on here. The old veteran put up decent stats last year for the Jets with almost 3,000 passing yards and a TD:INT ratio of 2:1. Leading the Jets, who arguably had the least talented roster in 2017 makes up him a player who easily exceeded his payscale.
2. Jacoby Brissett; Value: 212.40
The second former Patriots backup on that list is somewhat of a surprise as well. He did start most of the year for the lowly Colts, and he put up semi-respectable numbers for them. The thing really propelling him is the fact that he had the absolute lowest cap hit of any quarterback on this list; in fact, he was the only one below $600,000. Unfortunately for Brissett, he most likely won’t have the chance to play much next year with Andrew Luck returning.
1. Dak Prescott; Value: 170.05
Dak easily crushed the competition in this one. Ranking in the top half of the league in most categories except for salary made him an easy number one choice. Couple that with the fact that he is still on his rookie contract and has a cap hit of just over $635K, and he was far and away the best value quarterback. I think the most interesting part of this is looking into the crystal ball and trying to determine how much money he will demand in the future.
I think the biggest takeaway I got from this is that a team can survive with a value QB. However, it is difficult for a team to succeed most times with simply a value at quarterback. Dallas was the only team represented that had a winning record (the highest value playoff QB was Case Keenum at 6; Value: 313.95). Many quarterbacks that we would consider ‘elite’ were at the bottom half of this list. The one thing I wish I could revamp would be added revenue. Tom Brady adds a ton of revenue to the Patriots, for example, taking more away from his salary. That is difficult to quantify, but something to consider for the future. I would love to see what everyone thought of this in the comments, so comment some quarterbacks you thought should be on here, other things you want to see, anything!