In their latest series tilted Performance Based Value, the guys at Pro Football Focus analyzed the NFL’s best value players. It’s no surprise Geno Atkins, who was in just the third year of his rookie contract(drafted in the 4th-round), was by-far the Bengals’ best value player:
If you’ve read a bit of Pro Football Focus over the past year then you’ll know that to us (and really anyone who has watched a substantial amount of football) Atkins was the best defensive tackle in the game. Bona fide brilliance, he picked up 28 defensive stops in the run game (only Jurrell Casey had more among DTs) and 78 combined sacks, hits, and hurries (58 was the next most among his peers). A season for the ages and for such little money.
2012 Cap Hit: $660k
2012 Performance Based Value: $10m
Value Differential: +$9.3m
Given the fact that the Bengals were able to find the games’ best defensive tackle in the fourth-round of the 2010 NFL Draft, it may be safe to say now Atkins has been the best value player in the NFL over the past three seasons.