Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-3-2019


This report reviews factors that can impact an offensive lineman’s salary in the National Football League. For years, factors measured by performance statistics have been gathered in various sports as a method to estimate a player’s production. Understanding performance statistics that impact a baseball player’s salary was popularized by the movie Moneyball, but limited work in this regard has been done to measure effectiveness or efficiency of offensive linemen in American football. The lack of publicly available data and many interdependencies in football make it difficult to objectively understand how salaries can best be determined. This study uses a quantitative approach and a single-equation model with a unique data set to explore the determinants of wages of offensive linemen in an open market. The data set consists of explanatory variables measured by the previous season’s individual statistics, team statistics, and statistics based on nonoffensive line positions along with characteristics of offensive linemen, such as the player’s age. The study found that several variables impact the salary of an offensive lineman in free agency, such as the number of games started. It is hoped that this study will provide a building block for additional research on wage determination in American football.

Document Type




Degree Name

Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Alfredo Martinez

Second Committee Member

Dr. Lunhua Mao

Third Committee Member

Dr. Evan Frederick

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. David van der Goes