Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

13 Oct 2005

Shockey Earns a Giant Raise

I don't get the rationale for this. The Giants and Jeremy Shockey have agreed to a new five-year contract that gives him a $3 million bonus now and a $7.5 million bonus in March. Here's what Ernie Accorsi says:

"Jeremy Shockey is one of those rare players who don't come along very often in your career. He should play his entire career for the New York Giants. At all-star games, the combine and bowl games he is the player that other clubs ask most about. And the answer is always no."

Yeah, Shockey is an excellent athlete, but his production hasn't matched his promise. And yet this contract, it appears, is better than the one Antonio Gates just signed with the Chargers. Seems to me like a bad move by the Giants.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 13 Oct 2005

25 comments, Last at 14 Oct 2005, 11:28am by MDS


by Ray (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 12:29pm

More money for Shockey than for Gates? I'll bet the Chargers are pissed at Accorsi right about now...

by wrmjr (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 12:43pm

Actually, I bet Gates and his agent are more pissed than SD is...it looks like the Chargers got a bargain.

by KSR (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 12:47pm

Only in New York would a player like Shockey continue to be in the public eye and recieve so many acoclades for so little on-field production. Nothing like being a "budding superstar" for the third year in a row. And remember, Accorsi is the same guy who shipped the Giants 2004 and 2005 draft to San Diego for Eli. Another player who "doesn't come along often in your career". Keep that in mind as we consider his personnel evaluation skills.

by Jerry Garcia (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 12:56pm

Maybe Kellen Winslow Jr should get a big raise too, why not? He might be good some day too !

by James, London (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 12:59pm

a: San Diego & Miami got bargins with Gates & McMichael
b: NYG seriously overpaid Shockey.

PFT has the details of the contracts. (McMichael's is easy to find, just scroll down a little)


Essentially McMichael gets $8.9M in bonuses over the life of the contract. Anyone think Shockey is worth significantly more than McMichael?

by RowdyRoddyPiper (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 1:19pm

Don't you fools get it, he sells more Jerseys than any other tight end in the league!!!! He MUST therefore be better, DVOA be damned. If you don't believe me check the link on my name...or come to my local on Sundays where every fat Giants fan is decked out in Shockey.

by seven year lion (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 1:40pm

I'm confused by all the Shockey hate. Since coming into the League he has ranked 8th, 4th, and 6th in DPAR. He's 5th thus far this year. Admittedly his DVOA has been less impressive at 23, 6, 18, and 5th so far this year. But in his 4th year in the league he's had a decent rookie year, a very good second year, a mediocre third year, and a very good start to his 4th year. This doesn't strike me as someone who merely "might be good someday".

He's not worth the richest contract at the postition, but that doesn't mean he's a terrible player. It is possible to be overrated but still good.

by Nate (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 1:44pm

Even if he were as good as a guy like Gates, Shockey still wouldn't be worth Gates money, because he seems to be injured all the time.

by zip (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 1:48pm

"Don’t you fools get it, he sells more Jerseys than any other tight end in the league!!!! "

I think this is more important than most people realize. See also: Mike Vick.

by seven year lion (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 1:49pm

Additionally, I realize that Shockey missed a good chunk of his second year which obviously cuts into that year's value.

That being said, I don't think he's a worse bet healthwise than your typical tight end going forward. He played all of last year without any significant problems and seems alright so far this year.

by foos (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 2:10pm

It's a similar contract to Todd Heap's, who incidentally has not been on the field for every play either.

by VarlosZ (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 2:25pm

Agreed that Shockey doesn't deserve to be the highest paid Tight End in football, but the contract's not as bad as it seems at first. They get cap relief this year and next (rougly $500K per). Assuming the March 2006 roster bonus is prorated, his 2007 cap number will be reasonable, as well (If I'm adding right, about $2.5M). His cap number jumps up to around $4.4M in 2008, at which point the deal will probably be renegotiated, although the Giants may swallow hard and pay him the expected salary that year. No way is this contract unchanged and still on the books in 2009.

The Giants' deal with Tiki was much worse than this. They added two (expensive) years to the two years left on his contract and got no cap relief. Basically, they did nothing but give more guaranteed money to 30 year old back, which will bite them in the ass in two years when they're going to want to release him (and when his contract would have expired naturally). The Giants are a classy, loyal organization, and I love that about them. But sometimes it doesn't make a lot of sense when their operating under a salary cap.

by RowdyRoddyPiper (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 2:32pm

"I’m confused by all the Shockey hate."

Allow me to relieve your confusion. I don't have Shockey hate, I have "the U" hate. As in I absolutely hate Andre Johnson. Though I do have a soft spot for Reggie Wayne.

"Since coming into the League he has ranked 8th, 4th, and 6th in DPAR"

That 8th last year looks pretty snazzy until you consider this:

1) Gonzales, 41.9 DPAR
2) Gates, 35.7 DPAR
3) Witten, 25.0 DPAR
7) Wiggins, 15.4 DPAR
8) Shockey, 13.9 DPAR
9) Graham, 13.7 DPAR
Can't count that high) Boo, -11.3 DPAR

You actually see a bigger drop off from Gonzales to Shockey than you do from Shocky to Boo Williams. This empahsizes that this is a position where 2 or 3 of the top guys are so dominant compared to the rest of the field that you could have interchanged Wiggins, Shockey and Graham and not really noticed last year.

I just think that to pay top dollar for a middle of the pack guy is unwise. You can win like that in Baseball but not in the NFL.

As far as Accorsi's player assessments go, maybe he hasn't realized that for "one of those rare players who don’t come along very often in your career." Two TEs who are better than Shockey (Gates and Witten) have come into the league after Shockey was drafted.

by Jerry Garcia (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 3:01pm

Well, maybe the article should say "Shockey Gets a Giant Raise", I really can't see how he has "earned" it .. !! Has he ever played a 16 game season??

by Bright Blue Shorts (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 3:59pm

Isn't the whole point of the Moneyball theorem to sell overrated players for more than they're worth?

Couldn't Accorsi have done just that if "he is the player that other clubs ask most about."

Sure the trading market isn't great for players, but Moss went for a 1st round #7 selection. TEs are the in-vogue commodity at the moment.

Given his comment, I reckon if Accorsi had let it be known they were ready to trade Shockey, he could have played a few teams off each other and got some decent choices.

BBS :)

by Roger (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 4:06pm

I think there is an element here that the Giants think SHockey is actually getting better. I think they like what they saw with him getting in great shape, toning down his nonsensical on-field behavior, and maybe providing some leadership. Sure, he is no Gates or Gonzo, but if he is slightly under them, continues to improve and brings some intangibles to the table while selling 1000s of jerseys, it may not be a horrible deal.

by jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 4:15pm

I agree that Shockey is overrated. But, he is still a very good player. IMO, only Gates and Gonzalez are clearly better. DVOA is a great tool for evaluating teams but falls way short for individual players because it cannot control for very important factors like quality of teammates (in this case QB being the most important). I think this may be one case where I value what I see over the use of stats. Of course, I am a Steelers fan and thus might not be qualified to evaluate TEs. On the Steelers, TE stands for "tackle eligible."

by Scott H (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 4:23pm

Some of you guys lobbing snarky criticisms like Shockey only gets fifteen catches a year or something. Get the hell out of here. As a Giants fan, imo, His production has been solid, both from a numbers level and from what I've seen in games. Although I trust the DVOA and DPAR system, I think he's getting kind of a raw deal here. He was the only Giants receiver who could sniff the endzone last year, or get a first down for that matter. And what is this about him always being injured?! He missed about half the 2003, but that's it, so I'd like to smoke some of the crack you guys have. Has he lived up to all the hype? No, but if you're saying he's some unproductive bum who doesn't have the ability of Jason Witten(!), than you haven't watched many Giants games.

by zip (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 4:25pm

Speaking of Tony "best TE evar" Gonzalez, my fantasy team would appreciate him showing up sometime this year.

by Jerry Garcia (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 4:30pm

OK, so Scott H makes a good point, and then I'll assume that Shockey has indeed played a full 16 game schedule, right? Seems to me he has missed more games than he has played. -I stand corrected.

by Scott H (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 4:49pm

Well, he actually HASN'T played a full sixteen game season, but in 02' and 04' he only missed one game each, so it would a little harsh to lobby the full season criticism. But, no biggie anyway.

by Patrick Bateman (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 5:47pm

Let's not forget about the NYG QB situation last year. That had a terrible effect on -every- pass catcher on the Giants not named Tiki. Additionally, he was asked (as Shockey was only too happy to remind us..constantly...) to do much more blocking and thus the offense featured less pass-catching for him than back in the Fassel/Collins days. Which in my mind makes last year a bit of a mulligan, numbers-wise.
So that doesn't change the fact that the Giants are still gambling on #80's potential (ignoring of course that -every- NFL contract is essentially a bet on prodction....and look at how well it's worked out for Curtis Martin and Donald Driver and even Tony G so far this year); but even given that, he's definitly got a lot of potential. The Giants are also looking at an increase in some of that back-door revenue teams get these days from building new stadiums, which may have factored into their decision.
Finally, look at who they have under contract for the next few years: Eli....Shockey...Plax...Tiki..I hear building rapport and keeping cohesion among a unit helps keep a team succesful. These are the big weapons in the league's highest-scoring offense (at the moment, anyway! :)) Shockey draws double-coverage, which takes presure off Burress, and vice-versa. Yes, it's a lot of money, but it's not crazy-Peyton-Manning-money.
(And there are plenty of skinny Giants fans wearing the Shockey jersey too.)

by RowdyRoddyPiper (not verified) :: Thu, 10/13/2005 - 7:12pm

"No, but if you’re saying he’s some unproductive bum who doesn’t have the ability of Jason Witten(!), than you haven’t watched many Giants games. "

The Witten comment was more to point out how miserable Accorsi has been regarding talent assessment. This can be called learning to love relative value: The Giants spent a 1st and 4th rd pick to get Shockey, the Cowboys spent a 3rd round pick to get Witten. The Falcs spent a 2nd round on Crumpler, the Fins a 4th rounder on McMichael. Gonzo was drafted in the first round and arguably it worked out for the Chiefs. Need I mention Antonio Gates and the draft?

The fact that Shockey got into the end zone and the NYG WRs didn't speaks more for them than it does for Shockey. The fact that the Giants pay him more than he's worth is the organizations problem, not his.

by Scott H (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 10:23am

Rowdy, You'll actually get no argument from me on the questionable decisions of Ernie Accorsi. "questionable" is actually being generous. You remember when he signed Kerry Collins in the 98 offseason for a five year, 16 million dollar contract when there was NO competition for his services? He hasn't proved that he can build a team through the draft, either. The best players that he's brought to the Giants (Barrow, Pierce, Plax, Glenn Parker and Dusty Ziegler in 00 offseason) have been through free agency. The Giants made the playoffs in 00 and 02 mostly through the performances of George Young picked players (Barber, Toomer, Armstead, Strahan). But anyway, I misconstrued your comment as saying Whitten was the better player overall, not based on value relative to where they were picked in the draft.

by MDS (not verified) :: Fri, 10/14/2005 - 11:28am

What was so bad about the Kerry Collins signing? I think the production they got out of him for his five years was worth $16 million. It might be true that there weren't other teams competing for his services, but maybe he would have just waited until a QB got hurt and all of a sudden a team would have been willing to fork over the cash for him. The Giants were better off with Collins than they would have been without him.