Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Dr. Donald Waldman


While there is extensive literature on shirking in sports, this is the first study to comprehensively examine shirking in the National Football League (NFL). Using a linear regression, player performance is regressed on numerous contract variables, including a contract dummy variable, total contract amount, contract length, and percent of salary that is guaranteed, along with several control variables. Although the results are not statistically significant, the direction of the relevant coefficients indicates that shirking may be occurring in the NFL. The complex nature of NFL contracts makes it difficult to discern the mechanism through which shirking may be occurring.