ESPM Presents: The Best (& Worst!) NFL Punter Contracts

Using the same method as my other posts about various good and bad NFL contracts, these are the best, best-paid, worst, worst-paid, and–most importantly–most over and underpaid punters based on their average annual salary and their play in the 2013 season.

A player’s contract quality is determined by the number of standard deviations their performance grade is above/below the average at their position, minus the number of standard deviations their average annual salary is above/below the average at their position. Player performance grades come from Pro Football Focus; salary details come from Spotrac.com.

Teams presumably pay players based not only on their on-field ability, but on their skill at attracting fans and sponsorships, their locker room mentality, and other intangibles. But then again, presumably not many fans watch an NFL game to see a punter.

These are the results. In particular, note where Johnny Hekker, an undrafted free agent signed by the Rams in 2012, pops up throughout the various measures.

The Best 5 Punters of the 2013 NFL Season (PFF Grade in Parentheses)

  • 1. Shane Lechler, HOU (40.9)
  • 2. Johnny Hekker, STL (36.1)
  • 3. Brad Nortman, CAR (23.5)
  • 4. Britton Colquitt, DEN (16.2)
  • 5. Chris Jones, DAL (15.2)

The Worst 5 Punters of the 2013 NFL Season

  • 21. Ryan Quigley, NYJ (1.6)
  • 22. Spencer Lanning, CLE (-1.8)
  • 23. Marquette King, OAK (-8.3)
  • 24. Jeff Locke, MIN (-10.6)
  • 25. Adam Podlesh, CHI (-10.8)

The 5 Highest Average Punter Salaries of the 2013 NFL Season (millions of $)

  • 1. Britton Colquitt, DEN ($3.892 million)
  • 2. Dustin Colquitt, KC ($3.75m)
  • 3. Mike Scifres, SD ($3.625m)
  • 4. Andy Lee, SF ($3.4m)
  • 5. Brandon Fields, MIA ($2.895m)

The 5 Lowest Average Salaries of the 2013 NFL Season

  • 21. Ryan Quigley, NYJ & Ryan Allen, NE ($0.495m)
  • 22. Johnny Hekker, STL ($0.483m)
  • 23. Marquette King, OAK ($0.48m)
  • 24. Chris Jones, DAL ($0.465m)
  • 25. Spencer Lanning, CLE ($0.45m)

The 5 Best Kicker Contracts of the 2013 NFL Season (CQ in parentheses)

  • 1. Johnny Hekker, STL (3.24)
  • 2. Shane Lechler, HOU (2.48)
  • 3. Brad Nortman, CAR (2.12)
  • 4. Chris Jones, DAL (1.48)
  • 5. Ryan Allen, NE (0.85)

The 5 Worst Kicker Contracts of the 2013 NFL Season

  • 21. Andy Lee, SF (-1.07)
  • 22. Mike Scifres, SD (-1.26)
  • 23. Britton Colquitt, DEN (-1.39)
  • 24. Dustin Colquitt, KC (-1.79)
  • 25. Adam Podlesh, CHI (-2.06)
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