DENVER (KDVR) — Eyes have turned to Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson the last two weeks as the team accumulates losses. As one of the league’s highest-paid players, critics are looking for a return on investment.
For this analysis, the Data Desk calculated what each player has earned up to this point in the season based on average annual salary. This was divided by the player’s current season’s performance in yardage and completions. As the season progresses, these estimates will fluctuate but remain broadly level as players collect more pay and more yards, attempts and completions.
For brevity, each estimate only includes a single performance statistic.
“By any numbers at this point in the season, he’s underachieving based on what they’re paying him,” Bruce Haertl, KDVR sports anchor, said. “He’s a bottom-fourth-level QB in the NFL. With Russell Wilson, you have to bet on his future based upon his past, even if his present hasn’t been very good. He’s a guy that has unquestioned potential.”
Russell Wilson has an average annual salary of $48.5 million. At that pay, he will have earned $17.1 million through the course of six games.
This comes to $11,875 for every passing yard the Broncos’ new quarterback has made this season. Wilson has earned $86,484 for every passing attempt – about 10 grand more than the median Denver metro household income – $147,620 for every pass completion, $178,374 for every rushing yard and $815,423 for every rushing attempt.
This is roughly equal to what some other quarterbacks make. This season, Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has earned $11,176 per passing yard, $77,685 per passing attempt, $126,497 per pass completion, $207,161 per rushing yard and $1.3 million per rushing attempt. Carr’s total salary averages out to $40.5 million per season.
Former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, on the other hand, made less through the 2015 season. At $17 million annual salary average, he made $7,559 per passing yard, $51,360 per passing attempt and $85,859 per pass completion.
The other half of the Broncos’ offensive is not as handsomely paid per yard.
Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, still in his rookie contract of $3.2 million per year, has this season earned $4,623 per received yard, $37,238 per receiving target and $78,865 per reception.
Fellow wide receiver Courtland Sutton makes more.
Based on an average salary of $15.2 million, Sutton this season has earned $12,447 per receiving yard, $109,484 per receiving target and $173,055 per reception.