Are Jean Francois, Stevens overpaid?

August, 15, 2013
8/15/13
9:33
AM ET
As part of Forbes’ annual packages on NFL values, the publication produced a list of the NFL’s most overpaid players.

Here, Forbes explains the methodology, which relies on Approximate Value, a number Pro Football Reference has been developing since 2008.

Jean Francois
On the list are two members of the AFC South: Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois is third; Tennessee Titans tight end Craig Stevens is sixth.

It’s hard to say how valuable Jean Francois is and whether he will be worth an average salary of $5.5 million considering he’s a newcomer to the Colts.

Indianapolis projects him into a bigger role than he had in San Francisco, and paid him accordingly. Browns outside linebacker Paul Kruger, who’s fifth, is in a similar situation, having moved from Baltimore to Cleveland.

Stevens
As for Stevens: He’s a hard-working guy who can be a very solid blocker. But the money paid to tight ends in the NFL is increasingly to big-time pass catchers, not blockers. In 2011, he was severely limited by a rib injury that affected him most of the season. In 2012 a hamstring issue limited him a couple games.

"PURE blocker, but very good at it," said Matt Williamson, ESPN.com's resident scout, of Stevens. "Lumbering route runner, but decent hands. Can't get open but a hammer in the run game and good in protection. Throw back."

Is he worth a $3.6 million annual salary?

Well, the Titans signed Delanie Walker from San Francisco and he figures to be a featured cog in the passing game. His annual average salary is $4.375 million, and he should certainly prove to be worth more than $775,000 more than Stevens.

ESPN’s numbers say Stevens’ 2013 cap number of $3.5 million is 201.50 percent above the average for a tight end in the league. For comparison, Atlanta’s Hall of Famer to-be Tony Gonzalez has a 2013 cap number of $5.25 million. That’s 352.25 percent against the average.

Yes, Stevens is overpaid. But I suspect, metrics at use here aside, there are more than five guys in the league who are more overpaid.

I’d nominate Marcedes Lewis for one -- he’s got a $5.75 million cap number this year, a number that’s 395.33 percent above the average tight end.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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