An NFL roster is a zero-sum game, thanks to the salary cap. Paying one player more means you have to pay another player less. To offset larger premium contracts, each team is trying to get as much value as it can out of its veteran contracts.
Below I've analyzed the rosters of all 32 NFL teams based on present value, future value and percent of the salary cap tied up to try to select the most valuable contract on each roster. And these aren't necessarily the cheapest contracts on each team -- one player on the list signed one of the largest contracts in sports -- but rather a calculation of how much value the team is getting for the amount it is paying.
There was one rule: I did not use drafted players on rookie contracts because then the entire list would be rookie contracts. A good player on a rookie contract is immensely valuable, as you have likely learned from the discourse about teams with good, young quarterbacks being able to field better teams around them. However, I did consider players on undrafted free agent contracts because any team has a shot at them.
All contract information used was cobbled together from OverTheCap data. Future cap percentages are based on OverTheCap estimates, including a $256 million cap in 2024. Stats listed are through Week 12 unless otherwise noted.
Remaining contract (cap hit, percentage of cap):
2023: $1 million (0.5%)
Simpson was a fourth-round pick of the Raiders and was their 2021 starter at left guard. However, he was benched two games into the 2022 season and eventually cut near the end of the season. The Ravens picked him up on the practice squad and this season he won a camp battle at left guard over Ben Cleveland and Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu.
Simpson has started all 12 games for the Ravens, and it's not easy to find a starting guard out there for a million bucks. He has been pretty good, too. While he has a below-average run block win rate (66.1%), he is tied for 14th among all guards with a pass block win rate of 93.7%. Simpson will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.