Chargers Market Watch: FS Nasir Adderley

In today's edition of market watch, we tackle the project value of Nasir Adderley, and man this one isn't easy.

Nasir Adderley, Free Safety. 6'0'', 206 lbs

When Nasir originally fell to the Chargers in the 2nd round of the 2019 draft, fans collectively rejoiced over the talented ball-hawk rounding out a defensive backfield that already featured Derwin James. Fans were a year removed watching Jahleel Addae's attempts at playing free safety, and were desperate to see what a complimentary coverage safety could do to further maximize Derwin's potential.

Sadly, injuries slowed Nasir's development. An offseason hamstring injury forced him to miss precious training camp reps, resulting in a near-redshirted rookie season. After his first healthy offseason in 2020, he seemingly went through his rookie growing pains before flashing true starter potential in Year 3.

Nasir seemed destined for a breakout year after making strides in his first year under Staley's scheme, before something happened in 2022 that seemed to split them. Nasir received blame for some explosive plays given up by the defense, with some fans questioning whether this blame was justified or if the club was trying to protect JC Jackson and Derwin James, who had recently signed big dollar deals.

What I find incredibly interesting is Nasir statiscally had his strongest year in 2022 by most measurements. Of his three years as a starter, he posted his lowest missed tackles rate (12.5%), lowest completion percentage allowed (65%), lowest TD's allowed (1), highest INTs (2), and lowest NFL Passer Rating allowed when targeted (69.0).

Whatever the issues between Staley and Nasir were, it became clear he was on his way out with the Chargers. The big question is - where will his value land on the open market?

Adderley's Market Comparables

Below is my breakdown of what I believe to be the most relevant market comparables. Remember, these aren't perfect comps to Nasir himself, but I believe they do a good job establishing the range by bracketing him between a ceiling comp and a floor comp with a player with a slightly less impressive resume.

High Bracket-Comp: Marcus Williams, BAL, 14mil/APY

Marcus was the Belle of the ball when it came to free agent safeties last year. He has routinely been reliable in coverage, posting seasons of under 130 yards allowed in his contract year and best supporting year. He's had "off" years as a tackler, posting a 16.1% missed tackle rate in 2019, but he has routinely been a top safety since his first year in the league largely from this stickiness in coverage. At $14,000,000 APY, his impressive resume simply prevents any discussion of Nasir attempting to grab a contract at or above this figure, even when factoring in the 8% rise in cap allowance since Marcus signed his deal.

Low Bracket AND Most Relevant Comp: Justin Reid, KC, 10.5mil/APY

Justin Reid was an immediate-impact player in Houston, taking over 900 snaps in his first two years and posting PFF scores of 75.2 and 76.7 respectively. He flexed strong positional versatility, taking significant snaps in the box, slot, or at free safety, and was a fairly reliable tackler, posting missed tackle percentages of 6.6% and 11% in those early years. However, his completion percentages allowed have consistently hovered just under 70%, and his missed tackle rates increased year over year in his final two years in Houston, first to 13.5% and then to 21%. Justin was on a steady statistical decline in all metrics when Kansas City decided to sign him in 2022. He's a great example of a team taking a chance on a young safety with great potential and versatility with potential, but wavering consistency.

Supporting Mid Bracket Comp: Jalen Thompson, ARZ, 12mil/APY

Jalen Thompson is admittedly a name I knew very little about before writing this article. He was drafted by Arizona in the 5th round of the supplemental draft in 2019, and started 9 games in his rookie season. He gave up a very high 84.6% of the passes thrown his way and allowed a NFL Passer Rating of 93.6 when targeted. After missing most of his sophomore campaign to injury, he returned in 2021 to more coverage struggles (completion percentage of 75.5%, 2 TDs and a 89.3 NFL Passer Rating allowed). Where Thompson thrives is in his tackle game; his rookie campaign posted a 10.9% missed tackle rate and improved to 8.8% in Year 3.

Other 2022 Signings

  • Tyrann Mathieu, 30, $9,433,333 APY
  • Marcus Maye, 28, $7,500,000 APY
  • Jordan Whitehead, 25, $7,250,000 APY
  • Xavier Woods, 26, $5,000,000 APY

Appraising Nasir's Value

It's very interesting that Nasir played stronger in 2022 by almost every statical measure, despite having a lower PFF score than he did in 2021 and falling from grace with Staley. With these things taken into consideration though, it's really hard to believe he would actually be valued less than Jalen Thompson, given Thompson's struggles in coverage. I lean more weight into Reid's contract however, because he was a player coming off a weak(er) performance and he did hit the open market, unlike Thompson.

As such, I believe there is market data that supports a 3 Year, $34,500,000 deal, with $17,000,000 fully guaranteed and a $9,000,000 signing bonus. This would set his market cap in Year One for $6,000,000.

Although I poured research into this, I do believe this is the most volatile contract negotiation. If Nasir misses on the early safety signings, I wouldn't be shocked if he has a Kyzir White-like fall. At this point, I just don't see it in the comparables.

What do you think Bolts From the Blue? Where could you see Nasir Adderley signing, and for how much?

This FanPost was written by a member of the Bolts From The Blue community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bolts From The Blue editors or SB Nation.