Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

24 Feb 2011

Stanford Routt: Three Years, $31.5 Million

The Raiders re-signed cornerback Stanford Routt today to a three-year, $31.5 million extension, featuring $20 million over the first two seasons. So you can pretty much kiss Nnamdi Asomugha goodbye.

Now, on the surface, this looks like the usual Oakland silliness. That's an absurd amount of money for a guy that nobody considers one of the top cornerbacks in the league. It's similar to the extension Denver just gave Champ Bailey.

However, it is worth noting that Routt actually had phenomenal game charting stats in 2010. I keep meaning to write something about his numbers, because his name jumps off a list of this year's top corners as "Which one does not belong?" Routt allowed 5.5 yards per pass with a 67 percent Success Rate. Both figures are near the top of the league. It was so strange that we went back and looked to make sure charters weren't making a ton of mistakes in Oakland games. They weren't. It did seem like Routt had a smaller-than-usual rate of incompletes marked as "defensed." But it isn't ridiculous. We need to take it at mostly face value. Maybe Routt didn't have a great year, but he clearly had a pretty good one.

That doesn't mean that this contract isn't over the top. But at least Routt may be a better player than we give him credit for.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 24 Feb 2011

28 comments, Last at 08 Dec 2011, 3:28pm by nat1969


by Danish Denver-Fan :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 2:52pm

Well of course they did.

by Jimmy :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 2:55pm

Without a new CBA (and a salary cap) we have no way of telling if this is good value or very bad value.

by Drunkmonkey :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 3:46pm

I beg to differ. The salary cap didn't really stop every team for paying for their biggest stars. It only limits how many you can have. Even without a CBA or salary cap, I don't think you can value Routt at what the Raiders gave him, especially since it is very comparable to Bailey's deal. Routt isn't that good, nor has he ever been as good as Bailey is/was. The value isn't set by the CBA, it's just telling you how much you can spend. Even without a cap, I'm willing to bet no other teams would dare pay this much money.

I originally wanted to just say 'this is the Raiders, what does value have to do with it at all?' but I guess I'm even getting worn out of saying it.

by johonny (not verified) :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 3:52pm

hard to disagree for a functional team. Davis either thinks he knows who is going to win, or maybe plans no matter who wins he's going to play by his own economic rules. With the Raiders, who knows.

by sundown (not verified) :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 5:03pm

Mayor Al Davis would like to welcome you to Dysfunction Junction. Enjoy your stay.

by Sjt (not verified) :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 3:20pm


by Theo :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 11:45pm

He runs fast.

by commissionerleaf :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 3:33pm

Routt has always been a decent physical specimen, but Oakland is insane to let Nnamdi walk away, no matter how much money he wanted. Even if Routt is as good as his charting numbers suggest (which he probably isn't, since he was the nickel corner, IIRC), that leaves who exactly playing the other side in Oakland without Nnamdi?

by BenM (not verified) :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 3:36pm

Is there any noticeable effect in situations where a CB is across from a shutdown CB? I can't decide if his stats would be inflated because he's always covering #2 receivers, or if they'd be deflated since QBs wanted to pick on him.

I suppose there's probably little effect.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 02/25/2011 - 3:27pm

I would expect him to allow more total yards, but fewer yards per pass, and perhaps also a lower completion percentage, as safety help would be rolled to his side more.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 4:19pm

And the one-year vacation away from utter lunacy in Oakland appears to be completely over.

by BL (not verified) :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 4:37pm

Do you think sports agents around the globe have a special office in Alameda County, hoping they can snatch a Raiders player? How much money over the usual did Seymour's, Routt's, Asomugha's, DHB's, Russell's and Sapp's agents made thanks to Al Davis this past years?

Here's a tactic for the USC kids trying to become sports agents: grab the super fast players at the combine that had interviews with the Raiders front office. You'll have a higher starting capital than your contemporaries.

by Eric (not verified) :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 4:47pm

Is it possible that Nnamdi was left on an island on the best receiver while Routt was helped with a safety or lb on lesser receivers?

by commissionerleaf :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 6:31pm

Generally speaking, the Raiders, unlike the Jets, keep Nnamdi on one side of the field (or did UP TO 2010). Given Nnamdi's 2010 target numbers, I assume they must have done the same in 2010, although I haven't seen anyone discuss it specifically. But they couldn't have been moving Nnamdi around too much to track #1's and still had him see one pass a game.

Apparently Routt was starting across from Nnamdi all year, with Chris Johnson the nickel corner (the opposite of the previous arrangement). If this is the case, and Routt put up the charting numbers above, it is far from unreasonable to think the Raiders should pay him to stay. They should pay Nnamdi too, but this contract may not be as crazy as it seems.

Edit: Michael Mitchell also appears to have been in on a lot of plays, and has higher tackle numbers than Johnson, so maybe he was part of the nickel package on occasion. He's a second year guy I don't know anything about. Notably, the Raiders defense was led in tackles by its safeties, 1-2. That is a sign the front seven aren't doing their jobs (although it may or may not say anything about cornerback play).

by Delaware (not verified) :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 6:21pm

This sounds to me like Al Davis giving a player who he loves (Routt was a speedster in college and Davis got flack for picking him in the draft) mucho money for 2 reasons.

A. Routt had a decent/good year across from Asomugha and maybe it's a sign that the coaching staff wants him to step up when/if Asomugha leaves.

B. Davis is rewarding Routt for (possibly) playing above his head while also making the NFL and media notice that Routt was a Davis project that seems to have worked out.

We will see if the signing pays off although Larry Brown comes to mind.

by andrew :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 6:29pm

Al Davis may be a parody of his former self, but he knows cornerbacks.

by dmstorm22 :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 6:42pm

I think he still rues the day he let Woodson walk. I guess that doesn't gel with Nnamdi, but he probably figures he can't get Nnamdi anyway. I certainly did after the Seymour deal.

by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 7:55pm

S. Routt eccellent player. Greta ,move here by genius Al Davis. N. Asomugha can elave now and team will be A-okay. H. Jackson has team headed in right direction which is pinting skyward. Broncos= crap. Chiegs= going downward. Charegrs= N. Turner head coach. Need say more about that team? The AFC Wets oging to be won by Oakland Raiders in 2011. 12-4 for sure. Unless abbbreciated season. Maybe 7-1 reocord or soemthing luke that.

oh, laugh out loud about Denver Brincos already naming K. Orton dtaring QB. Is team drunk?

by Marko :: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 8:40pm

Not sure about team, but Orton probably is.

by Dean :: Fri, 02/25/2011 - 12:17pm

If QB is drunk enough, it will bring new meaning to AFC Wets.

by ChicagoRaider :: Fri, 02/25/2011 - 4:17pm

Raiderjoe, I hate to disagree with you, but $10 million guaranteed a year for a player who has proved himself to be starting quality for one year is crazy. Let's look at 2009 according to USA Today at CB.

1 Kelvin Hayden $ 17,480,000
2 Chris Gamble $ 14,005,460
3 Nnamdi Asomugha $ 12,001,560
4 Dunta Robinson $ 9,957,000
5 Champ Bailey $ 9,001,525
6 Asante Samuel $ 9,000,000
6 Corey Webster $ 9,000,000
8 Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie $ 8,085,000
9 Domonique Foxworth $ 8,006,240
10 Andre' Goodman $ 7,806,240
11 DeAngelo Hall $ 6,507,280
11 Charles Woodson $ 6,507,280
13 Terrence McGee $ 6,375,000
14 Darrelle Revis $ 6,260,000
15 Leodis McKelvin $ 6,243,330
16 Antoine Winfield$ 6,200,000
17 Chris Johnson $ 6,006,760

The reason that Johnson was signed for $6M is that Routt wasn't an apparent starter. I was expecting in the neighborhood of $6-7 million a year, perhaps at the top end of #2 cornerbacks in the league, with Asomugha at twice of Routt. As it was, people thought that the first-and-third designation last year was more than he could possibly could be worth (but were wrong). I mean, if three years can be $30M, make at least $18M in incentives.

by Whatev :: Fri, 02/25/2011 - 10:06pm

I think that my big objection to this deal isn't even whether or not Routt is worth the money, it's that I'm almost certain he would've accepted less. I just couldn't see him turning down a $7 million a year deal, so why offer him 10?

by ChicagoRaider :: Sun, 02/27/2011 - 1:49pm

Well, if I knew of a source of data for average values of contracts that I could just cut and paste, I would. Yes, I know that individual ones are distorted. But there are distortions in any given year at any given position, so I think everyone here takes a chart like that with a grain of salt, given that it is the USA Today data.

But the shape of that curve, in any given year, once you get past a few distortions tells you something. And that is, if you make more than about 6 million a year, something is going on. If you make something more than 6 million a year average value, then something should be really going on with the value of play. And with Stanford Routt, the evidence for that money is not there.

This is what I feel is a "lose-only" contract. I see no way Routt can meaningfully exceed that contract. If he plays a step up from where he was last year, maybe he is worth it. But you always have to consider regression from one exceptional year. In that case, you have overpaid, and the rest of your roster is the worse for it. Heads the Raiders tie, tails the Raiders lose. Oh, and it isn't like the odds are even on that coin. It heavily favors tails.

by Chuck 5150 (not verified) :: Fri, 02/25/2011 - 10:06pm

ChicagoRaider that chart is based on what those players were paid in that year, not their average salaries over the practical part of the contract. Kelvin Hayden's figure appears extremely high due to structure, it's about an 8.6m/year deal. The list is meaningless.

A deal that averages $10.5m/year-plus is elite (top ten) corner money. It's Champ Bailey money, and very close to what Revis gets while we're at it. Good year or not Routt is just not at that level, and as usual the Raiders GROSSLY overpaid.

Nobody else would have given the guy more than 6m, maybe 7m per year.

by Broncoyeah (not verified) :: Fri, 02/25/2011 - 10:22pm

They guy has one decent season in 6 years, while playing across the top CB in the NFL. That's worth being one of the best paid corners in the game?

And meanwhile, they let Asmougha walk? What the hell.

by Whatev :: Sun, 02/27/2011 - 2:52am

I think it's premature to assume that Asomugha will walk. Al Davis is hardly stingy, and it's not like the Raiders haven't given other cornerbacks ridiculous contracts during Asomugha's tenure.

by ChicagoRaider :: Sun, 02/27/2011 - 2:04pm

Nnamdi is a smart guy. He chooses to see what happens this off season before making a decision. Then Davis goes nuts with renewal contracts. We will see what happens with the draft. So these are some preliminary odds on the 2012 Super Bowl. (http://www.bankrollsports.com/blog/2012-superbowl-odds/, far down page) Is Dallas the only team that will just throw chunks o' cash?

New England Patriots 5 to 1
Green Bay Packers 6 to 1
Pittsburgh Steelers 8 to 1
San Diego Chargers 12 to 1
Baltimore Ravens 12 to 1
New York Jets 12 to 1
New York Giants 15 to 1
New Orleans Saints 15 to 1
Philadelphia Eagles 15 to 1
Atlanta Falcons 15 to 1
Chicago Bears 18 to 1
Dallas Cowboys 18 to 1
Indianapolis Colts 18 to 1

by nat1969 (not verified) :: Thu, 12/08/2011 - 3:28pm

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