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Advanced statistics site Pro Football Focus ranked the five worst edge defender contracts on Friday, which lists the five most overpaid players at that position. San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks came in as the second worst in the league.
One of the factors in Pro Football Focus' list was length of contract. Brooks only has two years remaining on his contract and averaged nearly $4.9 million during the first four years – which is not bad. Over the next two seasons, that number balloons to over $8.3 million per year.
"Brooks was playing well when he first signed his six-year, $37 million contract, but he hasn't made the sort of impact required since 2012," says John Breitenbach of Pro Football Focus. "Not since 2013 has he graded positively as a pass-rusher. Brooks managed only 35 combined pressures in 399 snaps a year ago, finishing with a 47.6 pass-rush grade."
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While he did have a 47.6 pass-rush grade according to Pro Football Focus, he also had a higher 79.5 run-defense grade. An overall 53.4 grade left Brooks as the 88th overall edge defender according to the site. By comparison, teammate Aaron Lynch ranked 29th while Eli Harold ranked 74th.
We reached out to Pro Football Focus analyst and 49ers media correspondent Jeff Deeney to get his thoughts on the ranking. "I can't argue with it. He's 32, hasn't been that good the last two years, $8.3M cap hit, and has been a distraction at times," he responded.
Lastly, the site factored in the season in which the team can cut the player and have more cap savings than dead money. For Brooks, that has been the case since last season. In 2016, they would see nearly $3.2 million in dead money if they were to cut him. However, in 2017, that number drops significantly to $848,750.
Brooks' contract ranks as the fourth highest among the team in cap hit, behind only QB Colin Kaepernick, ILB NaVorro Bowman, and OT Joe Staley. He also ranks fourth in base salary behind the same three players. His cap hit is a staggering ninth among all outside linebackers in the NFL.
In 2015, Brooks was in on 763 snaps with 427 coming against the pass. He compiled 42 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and a pass defended last season.
Ahmad Brooks' contract at a glance
Signed through: 2017
Average remaining base salary per year: $5.93 million
Average remaining cap hit per year: $8.33 million
2016 base salary: $4.9 million
2017 base salary: $6.95 million
2016 cap hit: $8 million
2017 cap hit: $8.65 million
* Cap numbers from Spotrac.com