Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Monica Das


This paper seeks to find evidence of the contract year phenomenon in the National Football League. The contract year phenomenon is the idea that players outperform their usual level of performance in the season prior to their free agency eligibility. Furthermore, the concept is predicated on fluctuations in effort exerted by players. The best method for measuring these fluctuations in effort is through performance statistics. In this study, I chose to measure player productivity in terms of an advanced performance statistic. For the empirical analysis, I studied 59 players from different offensive positions who signed contracts under the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement. The results suggest that being in a contract year has a positive effect on player productivity, while being in the season after signing a new contract has a negative effect on player productivity. However, my analysis yielded no statistically significant results.

Included in

Economics Commons