Scott Fowler

Grade is in from NFL analytics site for Panthers, Dave Gettleman on Matt Kalil signing

Independent analytics website Pro Football Focus believes the Carolina Panthers overpaid by a huge amount to acquire former Minnesota Viking Matt Kalil (75).
Independent analytics website Pro Football Focus believes the Carolina Panthers overpaid by a huge amount to acquire former Minnesota Viking Matt Kalil (75). AP

Was the Matt Kalil deal an epic fail for the Carolina Panthers?

As I wrote in my column about the massive five-year, $55.5-million deal (with $25 million guaranteed) the Panthers agreed to terms with Kalil on Thursday, it is really too early to say. But that hasn’t stopped Pro Football Focus, the independent NFL analytics website whose extensive, “every-play-every-season” player grading system is often featured on NFL telecasts on NBC and in newspaper stories (including The Observer).

PFF graded the Panthers’ deal with Kalil as an outright “F.”

Here was some of PFF’s logic on Kalil in its story grading every free-agent deal so far: “His best season was as a rookie in 2012, and since then, he has been varying shades of poor. His play suggests he should be making little more than the veteran minimum, not walking into another starting job as one of the best-paid tackles in the league.”

PFF analyzed players’ recent history to determine what they should be “worth” on the open market and came up in Kalil’s case with figures of a two-year contract for $6 million, with $2 million of that guaranteed. Going by that -- and of course this is all educated guesswork -- the Panthers and general manager Dave Gettleman overpaid Kalil by more than 1,000 percent in terms of guaranteed money.

PFF writer Sam Monson wrote that according to the website’s grading system Kalil had allowed over his four-year NFL career with Minnesota “an average of almost six sacks per season, 40 total QB pressures and seven penalties over four years—and one of those seasons was just two games long.”

Of course, NFL teams often can’t stand PFF, and the PFF analysts certainly are not high-level NFL pro personnel scouts. Still, it’s interesting to see another perspective.

The Carolina Panthers are not going away and will get the things that went wrong in the 2016 season corrected, Dave Gettleman said.

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