This morning, news broke regarding the Cincinnati Bengals’ very average quarterback Andy Dalton. The Red Rifle, entering the final year of his rookie deal, was scheduled to bring in roughly $1.7 million. Now, Dalton is sleeping soundly with a six-year, $125 million contract.
But, what if Dalton’s yearly salary was earned based on his statistical output? What if Dalton’s money was given to him per touchdown, yard, completion or interception? What if this were the case for every quarterback in the NFL?
The two infographics below answer those questions for the 2013 season. For every team’s starting quarterback last season, we’ve calculated how much they would have made per touchdown (passing and rushing), yard (passing and rushing), completion or interception. By using each quarterback’s 2013 cap hit — the money they made in 2013 — courtesy of Over The Cap, we were able to figure out that Peyton Manning would have made $312,500 per touchdown if his money was doled out to him based on touchdowns alone. We’ve figured out that Russell Wilson would have made $174.82 per yard if his money was given out to him based on the yards he gained. We’ve figured out that Drew Brees would have made $39,013.45 per completion and that Ben Roethlisberger would have earned $971,071.43 per interception.
All the numbers below are mutually exclusive, meaning that the amount of money Manning would have made per touchdown pass doesn’t affect the amount you see listed under yards or completions. The numbers below also don’t have much significance — we’re not trying to be the next Nate Silver — but they’re interesting and fun to look at.
Did Peyton Manning actually make $312,500 per touchdown in 2013? Of course not. Peyton Manning made $17,500,000 because he was scheduled to make $17,500,000 before the season. It wasn’t divvied up to him per touchdown or yard, and he didn’t collect it after every completion or interception. But, what if he did?
Let’s take a look (click on images for full size).