How much does a yard cost in the NFL?

NFL teams spend a lot of money on their key players, specially running backs whose objective is to conquer the most amount of rushing yards as possible. But how to measure the return on investment in running backs? Are teams getting the return expected? How much does a rushing yard cost in the NFL?

I plotted rushing yards for each running back during the regular NFL season of 2014 and their respective average yearly salary (the total contracted amount divided by contract duration). The result shows an expected positive correlation: the more money spent on running back salaries the more rushing yards a team is expected to gain. Running backs perceived as “good” tend to get more money, right? However this is not true for every team when we look at the big picture. Continue reading

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Who is the next Rugby League player to follow Jarryd Hayne to the NFL according to the data?

Former Australian Rugby League player Jarryd Hayne has become the story of the NFL pre season playing for the San Francisco 49ers. After 2 games, Hayne is second in the league in rushing yards (117) and leads the 49ers in average yards per punt return (21.6).

Are there other Rugby League players capable of causing the same impact in the NFL? If so, who are they? Who should NFL recruiters keep an eye on? Continue reading