Nover: Some NFL salaries make no sense
Some NFL salaries make no sense
Iíve never understood how a pro athlete could try to break a contract by holding out.
Until now that is. Did you happen to see figures on each NFLís team salary structure that appeared in Thursdayís USA Today?
There were some surprises, both good and bad. Checking out the New Orleans Saints, I was shocked to see Deuce McAllister, the teamís best player, drawing a smaller salary than 36 of his teammates.
How would you feel if you were McAllister, one of the top running backs in football and the key to the Saints offense?
Last year McAllister made less coin then backup running back Fred McAfee, the team's fourth wideout Jerome Pathon, backup journeyman quarterback Todd Bouman, punter Mitch Berger, five offensive linemen and third-string tight end Lamont Hall.
Whoís McAllisterís agent? Martha Stewart?
Almost as bad, Daunte Culpepper is less rich than 20 otherVikings.
Among those ranking ahead of Culpepper on the Minnesota roster this past season were wide receiver Marcus Robinson, who last played a full season before the NFL and AFL merged, Chris Hovan, who performed so far below expectations that he was on the inactive list during some games, reserve defensive tackle Steve Martin (who at $1.1 million might be doing as well financially as the real Steve Martin), punter Darren Bennett and cornerback Ken Irvin.
Culpepper and McAllister arenít exactly making chump change. Their annual earnings stand at $1 million and $520,000, respectively, but compared with lesser players at their positions like Marc Bulger ($9.4 million), Drew Bledsoe ($8.7 million), Byron Leftwich ($8.3 million), Jake Delhomme ($7.7 million), Duce Staley ($4.6 million), Charlie Garner ($4.4 million) and Chris Perry ($2.7 million), Culpepper and McAllister should be applying for food stamps.
Bledsoe at $8.7 million? The Statue of Liberty isnít worth that much and it can run faster.
But Drew is a bargain in comparison to what Redskins owner Danny Boy Snyder forked over for Mark Brunell. Maybe it wasnít a diabetic reaction that sent Joe Gibbs to the hospital last off-season when he was visiting Brunell. Maybe he found out the Redskins were going to cough up $9.3 million for the washed-up quarterback.
Thatís almost three times as much as Trent Green made and nearly twice the amount Tom Brady was paid.
This is what Snyder got for his $9.3 million from Brunell: less than 50 percent completions, seven touchdowns, six interceptions, an average of 132 yards passing and 13.7 points per game before Gibbs mercifully pulled the plug on Brunellís season after nine starts.
When you look at some of these salaries, you realize baseball and NBA owners donít have a monopoly on stupidity. Snyder wastes more money than Louis XVI. Heís just lucky beheadings arenít in fashion anymore.
Getting back to the Vikings, at tight end you have Jim Kleinsasser making $8.3 million, the second highest salary on the roster next to cornerback Antoine Winfieldís staggering $12.5 million. I can name at least eight tight ends better than Kleinsasser starting with Tony Gonzalez, who drew $2.4 million in salary last season and Alge Crumpler, who made $1.1 million.
Wide receiver Amani Toomer was paid $8.6 million by the Giants. For their generosity, the Giants received 51 catches and no touchdowns. The much more productive Chad Johnson, by comparison, earned $826,750 from the Bengals.
Shawn Springs, a borderline-type starting cornerback, was paid $10.9 million by the Redskins. Browns cornerback Daylon McCutcheon drew $9.1 million in salary.
One of the many reasons the Browns were so bad under Butch Davis was the ridiculous salaries they were paying to underachievers Courtney Brown ($6.7 million) and Gerard Warren ($5.8 million), both of whom have been hauled off to the trash-collecting Denver Broncos.
One of the worst players on the Saints, defensive lineman Jonathan Sullivan, hauled in $4.3 million while counting $2.9 million against New Orleansí salary cap. Wonder how Julius Peppers (making $750,000), Dwight Freeney ($592,400) and John Henderson ($546,500) feel about that.
Going by production last season, these were the players who returned the least value compared with base salary and cap value, according to research compiled by USA Today:
Running backs: Eddie George and Ron Dayne.
Wide Receivers: Toomer and Peerless Price.
Tight end: Jay Riemersma.
Center: Cory Withrow.
Guards: Larry Allen and Ron Stone.
Tackles: L.J. Shelton and Luke Petigout.
Kicker: Martin Gramatica.
Defensive ends: Brown and Marcellus Wiley.
Defensive tackles: Warren and Sullivan.
Linebackers: Anthony Simmons, Derrick Rodgers and Nate Wayne.
Safeties: Robert Griffith and Tebucky Jones.
Cornerback: Duane Starks and Charles Woodson.
Weíre starting to hear about players holding out from mini-camps looking to renegotiate their contracts. As of yet, though, I havenít heard of any player off a bad season willing to give his team some of its money back. That would be a first.
, love the bolded part.