OK, so I've come to realize that nobody is less popular here than Chris Kelsay.
Contract Situation: In 3rd year of a 4 yr. 23 million dollar contract he inked following the 2006 season (a season in which he totalled a career high 5.5 sacks.)
2003 (Rookie Year)
Tackles: 19 (12 solo)
Tackles: 37 (22 solo)
Tackles: 44 (25 solo)
Tackles: 61 (41 solo)
Tackles: 43 (34 solo)
Tackles: 47 (33 solo)
OK, so Kelsay is not a pass rusher. It appears that 2006, was really a career year, and that you can't bank him for more than 2-4 sacks with any amount of confidence. (However, you can pencil him in for 16 games with a lot of confidence)
So, is Kelsay a solid run stuffer? All anecdotal evidence aside, let's see what the numbers are telling us.
I encourage you all to check out Yahoo's situational stats page, which I will reference. Chris Kelsay Sitational Stats
Last year, 37 of Kelsay's 47 tackles came on running plays. By comparison, Richard Seymour had 40 tackles on running plays, Jared Allen had 33 tackles on running plays, Mario Williams had 36...you see where I'm going here. As far as tackles on running plays, there aren't that many more productive than Chris Kelsay. Even elite names don't rack up more tackles on running downs than Kelsay. (NOTE: Justin Tuck was clearly the best I found in this category, he had 47 tackles on running plays--Stud!)
Moreover, it's clear that not only is Kelsay an top tier run-play tackle producer, but he also is miles above some pure pass rushers in this regard
Dwight Freeney: 16 run stops (10.5 sacks)
John Abraham: 17 run stops (16.5 sacks)
OK you get my point. He brings something to the table that these guys don't. Of course they bring something to the table that Kelsay does not.
So far we've just been comparing Kelsay to studs, I wanted to show you that, at least in one aspect of the game, Kelsay is at least on par with their production. But, how does Kelsay compare to guys who are realistic options to replace him? How does he compare against guys who, maybe offer 5-6 sacks a season, names like LaBoy or Hali?
Travis LaBoy: 26 run stops (13 on the first 5 carries of the game...1st quareter stud...rest of the game...meh)
Tamba Hali: 43 run stops (20 in the first 5 carries of the game...again, first quarter stud)
I believe Kelsay stacks up well against those guys. They may give you a couple (and I mean literally 2) more sacks, but Kelsay is every bit as good, and in LaBoy's case much better, against the run.
In case you are wondering, Kelsay's stats split like this:
Carries 1-5: 10
Carries 6-10: 13
Carries 11-15: 4
Carries 16-20: 10
Carries 21-25: 1
Also, unlike Hali, and LaBoy who each are BY FAR 1st quarter players against the run racking up over 50 percent of their tackles on the first 5 carries of the game, Kelsay plays well into the third and fourth quarter, giving steady, consistent production against the run.
So, in short, I think the data shows that Kelsay is a consistent, un-exciting producer against the run. Someone who clearly does not excell at getting to the quarterback. But someone who has a knack for staying healthy, and will give you solid 1st and 2nd down run support for 4 quarters of the game. Now, if Maybin can be his 3rd down replacement to get some pass rush, we will have a complete end in 2 players.
UPDATE: In case you are wondering, per Krupt in the comments, the specifics on Kelsay's contract are as follows
we would save 1.6 million by cutting him, would still owe 4 million though.