All the recent talk about salaries, player value, and the like got me wondering which players on the roster played beyond their contracts. As I looked into the numbers, I also saw players who were earning more than they should. After that, the idea came to me do a little post on this information, and the 5 & 5 was born.
This time we're looking at: 5 players whose play exceeded their salaries in 2009 and 5 who are barely more useful than this guy.
I'm not a salary cap guy. I won't even pretend to understand all of its intricacies. What I can understand is how well a player performs and if there is value when compared to their salary. I'm not demanding players to be cut or given new deals, but just comparing their play to their salary. One thing I did notice is that the Texans aren't locked into many bad deals. In that sense, [General Manager] Rick Smith does a great job.
For the sake of this list, injuried players will not count or else Chester Pitts and his $6,197,280 cap number would be placed on it. Before anyone complains, Teh Schaub, Super Mario, and The Juggernaut are not on the good 5 list because they do live up to their star salaries. The salary numbers come from this site here and is their listed cap number. Why that site? It is legit stuff.
Without further ado, I present the 5 and 5 (below the jump).
5. Cornerback Jacques Reeves ($3,307,280)
It's not that the six-year veteran was a horrible player, but he's the nickel cornerback sitting behind a guy who makes a fraction of the cost - remember it's about value here. Reeves's numbers (one interception, seven passes defensed) also weren't that much better than the guy right behind him on the depth chart either. Those two cheap corners are really why Reeves is here more than his own play. Reeves will need to step up his game or he'll get lost in the corner-shuffle. On the other hand, it's a sign of Rick doing a good job that the bottom player here is not necessarily bad.
4. Wide Receiver/Kick Returner Andre' Davis ($3,000,000)
Why are the Texans paying Apostrophe $3 million? He makes the second-best salary for a wide receiver on this team. His receiving numbers have gone done in his three years as a Texan to a wonderful six receptions for 59 yards. Special teamer? Well, he's only a kick returner these days. He returned 33 kicks and had no touchdowns. 39 touches does not equal that salary which is higher than Owen Daniels. Even if Kevin Walter is not re-signed, Davis has never had a season where he caught more than 40 passes or for more than 582 yards so I don't put a lot of faith in the soon-to-be 31 year old. I don't hate Apostrophe, but this salary puzzles me.
3. Kicker Kris Brown ($2,487,280)
Mr. Shankapotamus. 65.6% of his field goals went through the uprights. Two games lost and/or untied because of Brown. His year was worst among opening day starters, but his salary rates seventh among kickers. He had some value in kickoffs, but 11 missed field goals (and a missed extra point) should have Rick demanding a refund for 2009.
2. Running Back Chris Brown ($1,669,780)
What can I say? The Double Agent had no value. 79 carries. 16 catches. Two goal line fumbles. One awesome HB pass. A bunch of livers that are much closer to cirrhosis. Just not worth it at all. However, his relatively low salary gives way to...
1. Cornerback Dunta Robinson ($9,957,000)
Pick your jaws up off the floor, BRB. I know this is quite the shock, but you have to believe me on this one. Dunta is not a top-five CB. In fact, if you listen to ProFootballFocus.com, Dunta's not even a top 100 CB. Coverage wise, he was middle of the pack with pitiful stats (zero interceptions, nine passes defensed). He can't keep up with anyone that has decent speed. Somehow, Dunta thinks he deserves top money. No wonder we're so happy to see him leave. The only good he can do now is help us get a decent compensatory pick (third through seventh round IF the Texans lose more free agents than they sign and based on contract numbers of the lost FAs).
5. Tight End Joel Dreessen ($922,280)
I'm not calling for him to get a raise, but Dreessen was able to step in and step up once Owen Daniels went down. While he did initially struggle in his new role, JD eventually grew into it by the Miami (four catches for 65 yards) and New England (six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown) games. For a guy making six-figures, he could be a starter in this league.
4. Outside Linebacker Brian Cushing ($1,516,000)
Yes, The Waterboy got the coveted first round contract (and signing bonus), but his cap number on the season is low compared to the immediate impact he provided. We knew we got a steal last season, right guys? I mean even kids saw it, you know we did as well, right?
3. Middle Linebacker DeMeco Ryans ($1,753,530)
He should've gotten a new deal last season, but this off-season he's ready to cash in. The Captain has come in and been nothing but consistently good since his rookie season. Every year, we've come to expect 100+ tackles and great leadership from the former second round pick. Rick, stop reading BRB and pay the man like the top 5 middle linebacker he is.
2. Cornerback Glover Quin ($432,562)
Quin developed into a starter and fastly become a man-crush of many BRBers here - mainly because of his exceptional tackling (68 tackles). While a lot of us believe he's bound to be a free safety one day, Quin was still a full-time starting cornerback - who had two more passes defensed than a man who made 22 times more money. That's value. If he can keep improving then he'll earn himself a nice contract in the future.
1. Strong Safety Bernard Pollard ($472,059)
No one did more while getting paid nothing. Pollard transformed this Houston defense. He gave us attitude. He played tough, gritty football. His weightspeed was off the charts. Bernard Pollard was nothing short of great at the young age of 24. Can he improve in coverage? Yes (although he contributed four interceptions and seven passes defensed). However, he was third on the team in tackles (102) despite only playing 13 games, came on as a blitzer down the stretch (1.5 sacks in the final three games), and will knock the piss out of you if you say he didn't earn a much improved deal.
There you go BRB, the 5 & 5. What say you? Agree? Disagree? Sound off below the brilliant picture.