Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Stephen Schmidt




NFL, contracts, players, statistics


This study is investigating whether or not the percentage of non‐guaranteed money or length in NFL contracts reflects how risky players are as judged by past statistics. While sports economists have completed numerous studies on the motivational power of incentives, a study trying to identify the riskiness of players to lead to the strategic use of non‐guaranteed money and length of contract is a new idea. Contract details were gathered for running backs and wide receivers on NFL rosters for the 2012 season from Players who were still on rookie contracts and who were primarily special teams players were excluded. Career statistics were also compiled, including yards per attempt, touches per game, touchdowns per game, games missed, and age. These variables will be used to capture the inconsistency, susceptibility to injury, and other types of uncertainty that will identify how risky they are. Regressions were run testing both percent of money not guaranteed and contract length as dependent variables. Independent variables that were tested include the coefficient of variation of key statistics based on position, career average of the mentioned key statistics, games missed per year, age, and a dummy variable for signing with a new team.