As computing power continues to improve, one company plans to take data analytics to the next level. They are using an artificial intelligence (AI) system to provide recommendations on player salaries for all National Football League (NFL) teams.
Cincinnati-based Pro Football Focus (PFF) is owned by broadcaster and former Cincinnati Bengals player Cris Collinsworth. The company is in business with all 32 NFL teams and 62 college programs. PFF sells player data in every game, provided in a searchable setup. The data package comes with videos.
In an interview with Fox Business Network, PFF’s Collinsworth said:
“We break down every player on every play in every game. So we have this treasure trove of data that we work with.”
For now, teams are using the data provided by PFF to analyze plays, make strategic changes, and recruit new players. Within a year, however, the company will leverage the immense repository of data and use it in conjunction with machine learning algorithms to more accurately predict a player’s market value.
So far, the data analytics firm has discovered that some teams are not making every dollar count.
Early results have been shocking, even to the chief executive of the company. PFF’s analysis shows that some NFL teams are paying more than they should. Collinsworth said:
“Who knew that running backs aren’t as valuable as quarterbacks in the National Football league?”
Even if quarterbacks have more value than running backs on the field, PFF found that no team has won the Superbowl with a quarterback receiving more than 13 percent of the salary cap. Based on this insight, one can easily assume that at least 10 quarterbacks are significantly overpaid.
Overall, PFF can restore some balance in the NFL by using AI technology to disrupt player salaries. Based on data-driven analysis, teams can opt to pay according to the actual market value of the players instead of their star power. Sure, some stars may see their salary dwindle, but if they value winning more than earning millions, they’d understand that the money will likely be used to acquire more above-average players in other positions.
Last modified: June 23, 2020 2:41 PM UTC