Oakland Raiders: Re-sign Lamarr Houston? Only if the price is right.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

 

One of the most talked about free agents the Oakland Raiders have this year, is Defensive End Lamaar Houston. He becomes an unrestricted free agent on March 11. The fifth year pro is wanted back by the coaching staff, General Manager and the fans. But it should only be at the right price, not at any price.

Contract Breakdown

By all accounts Lamarr Houston is an all-star person. But he is not an all-star Defensive End and should not be paid like one. Although multiple media reports say his agent thinks he should be and has rebuffed the Raiders offers and wants to see his clients market value in free agency. I think an argument can be made that Houston is better suited as a 4-3 Defensive Tackle, but for sake of this article, we are addressing his value as a 4-3 (or 3-4 depending on coordinator Jason Tarver’s scheme) Defensive End. I think his value has been set by the most recent contract signed by Terrell Suggs. Suggs just inked a deal for $8M a year.

Now, is Houston better than Suggs? Even with Suggs on the backend of his career and Houston on the front end of his, I say Suggs is better and you would take Suggs over Houston if you were picking teams. As an edge rusher, Houston as a 4-3 DE and Suggs as a 3-4 OLB (only two passes were attempted against Suggs in 2013, so it’s safe to say he’s a glorified DE, not a OLB), their money is made rushing the passer. Sure, Houston had his career high of 6 sacks this year, while Suggs chimed in with 10.  Houston had 69 tackles, Suggs had 80 tackles. Per ProFootballFocus.com (subscription required) Houston graded out at 11.4 (9.9 without the coverage grade) and Suggs graded out at 12.9 (13.0 without the coverage grade). AdvancedNFLStats.com has come up with a Positive Win Probability Added stat and has Houston near the bottom of DE’s at 0.73 and Suggs near the middle of LB’s at 1.14.

For simplicity, lets just do the math on $8M against a 13.0 PFF grade. That equates to $615k+ per 1.0 of PFF grade. Apply that to Houston’s 9.9 grade and you get about $6.1M. That would be my offer as a base salary per year for Houston. I’d throw in a $1M bonus for double-digit sacks each year and an extra $1M bonus if he leads the league in Sacks and another $1M bonus if he is elected to the Pro Bowl and another $1M bonus if he makes the All-Pro team in any year. Houston will be 27 years old when the 2014 NFL Season kicks off. In total, I would offer him a 5 year, $30.5M contract, with $10M of that as a signing bonus. That would be my bid in the showcase showdown.

Topics: Lamarr Houston, Oakland Raiders

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  • Antwain Chef Bones Curtis Sr.

    Agree

  • David Jones

    Disagree. Even if your overpay Houston, what is your fall back plan? Sign another one year contract with a guy trying to prove himself. Draft someone? The Raiders need to show that they care about those that want to be Raiders for life. So, overpay him a bit and start to rebuild. If you let him get away arguing over a million here or there, then where will you be?

  • Raider Grant

    If Houston’s asking price is absurd then we look elsewhere, but we have to start resigning talent worthy of a sufficient contract. Incentive based contracts are great! Keeps players honest & pushing to strive for that huge payday. Guaranteed money helps if player gets injured as well. Don’t see how we can’t AFFORD to resign quality talent. If McGinger let’s talent walk cause he is to frugal, he’ll be the next to go. 2014 no more excuses! Go Raiders

  • Bob

    Overpaying guys is how the Raiders got into this mess.

  • Demarkus Tramail Swan

    RAIDERS WILL HAVE TO PAY THIS GUY TO KEEP HIM IN THIS CESSPOOL.

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