As the National Football League got its 98th season underway, the “MTSU On the Record” radio program examined players’ salaries.
Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Michael Roach, an associate professor of economics, first aired Sept. 5 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org. You can listen to their conversation above.
Roach’s research indicates that offensive linemen and starting quarterbacks in the NFL are underpaid relative to their impact on team performance, in spite of the fact that they are highly compensated.
“When you lose $1 million worth of your offensive talent, your team performance drops more than when you lose $1 million of your defensive talent,” said Roach.
“The drop-off between starter and backup on offense tends to be more precipitous, or at least at those positions, than it would be on defense.”
Using a variable Roach calls the “capout rate,” he defines the market value of talent that does not participate in a team’s games over the course of a year. It takes into consideration the league’s salary cap, which is the limit a team may spend on players’ salaries.
Roach says teams can use the capout rate to adjust salary resources to maximize labor effectiveness. His statistics are based on individual player salary data from the 2000-09 seasons.
His report, titled “Testing Labor Market Efficiency across Position Groups in the NFL,” was published April 18 in the Journal of Sports Economics.
To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.
For more information, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.
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