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Predicting Key Factors in NFL Contract Extensions

Presented by:
Jeffrey Pinarchick (Elon University)

While modern NFL players are often paid more than most college students make in their lives, over 16% of NFL rookies end up filing for bankruptcy by the age of 36. Rookie NFL players receive an initial contract that typically covers their first four to five years of playing professionally in the NFL. To continue playing after this, fourth-year players are eligible to negotiate a contract extension or to enter into free agency. This research analyzes the data on player statistics and contract extensions of NFL quarterbacks and to build a model to predict whether a quarterback is offered a contract extension and the size of the contract extension. The data was obtained from Over The Cap and includes a variety of player statistics such as Passing Yards, Touchdowns, and Passer Rating. Our models indicate that the average passing touchdowns, rushing touchdowns, and rushing attempts during pre-contract seasons are some significant player statistics to predict whether a quarterback will receive a contract extension, and average passing touchdowns is the most significant player statistic to predict the size of the contract extension.