More on the Bulger contract situation.
First, let's look at a key stat from last season. Over at Football Outsiders, quarterbacks are evaluated and ranked using their DPAR stat, which mean Defense-adjusted Points Above Replacement. The official definition, "This number represents the total number of points scored due to plays where this QB passed or carried the ball, compared to a replacement-level QB in the same game situations." Baseball stat afficiandos will recognize something similar to VORP (value over replacement player) at FO's cousin site, Baseball Prospectus.
Not surprisingly, Manning is tops in the league here with a DPAR of 175.0. Number two on the DPAR rankings is none other than our own Marc Bulger, with a 108.8 DPAR. Below him is Drew Brees at 106.0 DPAR.
Now let's look at FO's marquee stat, DVOA, which is defined as ". This number represents value, per play, over an average QB in the same game situations." Note the per play aspect of this stat, that will make some QBs who played part time this season (still reaching the FO minimum of 100 passes) appear on this list. Manning again tops the list (duh) with a 58.0%. Number two and three are Damon Huard at 36% and Tim Rattay at 29%. Bulger ranks seventh, with a 27.4% DVOA. Carson Palmer ranks just ahead of Bulger with a 27.6% DVOA and McNabb checks in at eighth with a 25.7% DVOA.
As you can see, those numbers speak volumes about Bulger's play this season, which kind of makes you wonder what the Rams could have done with a defense at least touching the middle tier of the league rankings.
In the comments of the last post, when we posited what a reasonable deal for the Rams QB would be, SJ made a good comparison in the deal the Seahawks have in place for Matt Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck has a six year, $49 million deal with $16 million in guaranteed money. He signed that deal in February of 2005. It's a pretty good, reasonable comparison. However, I'd also like to throw Brees into the mix given a 2006 season similar to Bulger's and also for the sake of market analysis, since Brees signed his deal in March of 2006. Brees' free agent contract with the Saints was for 6 years, $60 million. The deal included an $8 million signing bonus and will pay him thusly: 2007: $2.8 million (+ $12 million roster bonus), 2008: $4.8 million, 2009-2011: $9.8 million (contract info is from Rotoworld).
Brees is younger than Bulger, by about two years. With the market being what it is and with a seemingly bullish economic future for the league through the near future, it's not unreasonable to expect Bulger to ask for a similar deal. I'll admit to being somewhat fuzzy on the wacky world of NFL player contracts, but, like SJ pointed out in the comments, we wouldn't expect Bulger to finish out a 6 year deal in STL, at least not without reworking the contract before it reaches the halfway point.
You can always ask Gordo today too.