To find the NFL’s most overpaid players, we relied on Approximate Value (AV), a statistic that Pro-Football-Reference.com has been developing since 2008. The statistic is an attempt to quantify each player’s on-field contributions to his team’s success, and it ultimately provides a means of comparing players across positions. The full methodology for how AV is calculated can be found here.
We adjusted each player’s approximate value, an aggregate figure, over the last three seasons to a per-game number, so that players weren’t penalized for games they didn’t play in. We then grossed that per-game value up to a full 16-game season. For context, the average 16-game AV of players making $2 million or more per season was 7.5 over the last three years. We then compared that performance figure to each player’s current average salary, via Spotrac.com, to find which NFL players have most underperformed their contracts.