As far as American Football news and analysis goes, Forbes magazine usually rates somewhere between a British tabloid and Juggz magazine as to where I typically get my information from. Well, that won't be changing for me anytime soon, as Tom Van Riper squeezed out a little gem yesterday claiming Mark Sanchez is the most overpaid player in the league.
Riper's argument is that as far as bang for your buck goes, Sanchez delivers the least results for his relatively high pay, by league standards.
...the former first round pick who’s completed 63 percent of his passes and thrown for four touchdowns in leading the New York Jets to victories in their first two games.
Sanchez, though, has also thrown three interceptions. He enters Week 3 with a middle-of-the-road passer rating of 87.7. That’s an improvement over the low 70s Sanchez averaged in his first two seasons after signing a rookie contract worth up to $60 million over five years. This season happen to be the balloon year of Sanchez’s five-year deal: he’s owed $14.75 million. Like any QB drafted high, Sanchez is being paid for the potential the club figures he has to develop into a star. But while he’s progressing, there’s no way to avoid viewing his salary as anything but excessive until that big year actually comes.
Fair enough, but you're essentially saying that he's the most overpaid player for this year before he's even had a down point. Three interceptions? Those interceptions are matched or exceeded by Philip Rivers (4), Matt Ryan (3), Matt Cassel (4), Cam Newton (4), and Ben Roethlisberger (3). Luke McCown had more too but he didn't make squat and was only starter for 1.5 weeks anyway.
How about that 63 percent completion rating? It's superior to all of the names I just listed PLUS Eli Manning, Tony Romo, Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick, Joe Flacco, Kyle Orton, Henne, Bradford, Cutler, it just keeps going on and on like that. Sanchez's passer rating puts him dead center of the entire leagues starters. Sanchez is tied for sixth in the league in terms of TD passes, dwarfing most of his alleged superiors.
So basically, you stated how much Sanchez improved before arbitrarily declaring him the most overpaid player, all while simultaneously ignoring the complete lack of production out of other passers with similar salaries. If you're judging for this year only as you claim to be, how about REALLY doing as you say and applying your standards toward Sanchez evenly across the board?
Van Riper usually addresses the business or financial aspects of football (i.e. going to football websites and copying/pasting top salaries). Frankly, he should stick to just putting out lists of salaries, because analysis is not his forte.
With all of that said, I would very much like for Sanchez to live up to his large salary this year. But at the very least, I'm going to give him a chance. Being above average with our current offensive line and coordinator is pretty impressive to me, but maybe I'm just a homer.
A few extras: The runners up? Alex Smith and Matt Cassel. OH and if anyone is curious how he judged:
Base 2011 salaries were used, according to data kept by spotrac.com – not annual averages or one-time bonus payments.