When it comes to the four major professional sports, players in the NFL have the faster shelf life and among the worst compensation plan.

 

Now, this is in regards to professional sports paying their professional athletes. Obviously, if you were to compare their pay to the average person, they make the kind of money that we all dream of making. However, compared to their professional athlete peers in other sports, they are certainly the most underpaid.

 

To balance this theory, we must first look at some of the reasons as to why an NFL player would not make the same money as an NBA player on paper. For one, as I mentioned before, the shelf life of an NFL player is shorter than that of an NBA player. The average career length for the a football player is about 3.3 years. So from the time that that given player signs his first NFL contract, he will most likely play only three to four years after that. For an NBA player, their average career length is 4.8 years, meaning that after they sign their first NBA contract, they will likely play four to five years after that.

 

In the eyes of any business, the safer bet would be to pay the basketball player more because they will most likely give you more years of production, in theory.

 

We also have to acknowledge the risk of injury that is ever so present in football that keeps teams away from signing players other than quarterbacks to long term deals. Business and ethics- wise, you can understand this logic.

 

Why give someone a lot of money if it’s not guaranteed that they will be able to technically earn it all back over time?

 

This question leads me to my next point and a shift in the conversation.

 

(NY Daily News)

I think it’s an injustice that NFL stars like Aaron Rodgers, J.J. Watt, and Odell Beckham, Jr aren’t even among the top 20 highest paid players, but definitely among the top 10, or some would argue even top 5, players in their own sport. Respectively, Rodgers is the league’s 24th highest paid player with a base salary of $12.5 Million, Watt is ranked 34th at $10.5 Million and Beckham is in the 300 range cashing out at around $1.8 Million per year. Granted, next year Beckham will leap frog to about $8.8 Million but that would still keep him well below what he should be making.

 

Here’s the thing: I think we all would agree that we should be fairly compensated for the production that we provide to any given job or entity. Whether you’re an accountant, a doctor, a teacher or a professional athlete, if your work is at a certain level, you should be paid according to that level.

 

When you look at NBA stars like Steph Curry, James Harden, and others signing over $200 Million deals for the same number of years as any NFL star, you begin to wonder why the discrepancy is so big.

 

Yes, the NBA’s global reach has expanded to exponential heights, the new TV deal has been extremely lucrative and there is less risk of injury, but for Curry to be making $40 Million per season and Rodgers to be making $12.5 Million is crazy. Each player is among the best talents in their league. Each is as vitally important to their given team as the other. Each has a unique commercial appeal that can be capitalized on as well. Yet, one makes about $27-28 Million more per year than the other.

 

What really brings this home for me is how role players in the NBA like Tim Hardaway, Jr, George Hill, and Danillo Gallinari are all making more than Rodgers, Watt, Beckham and a host of other NFL stars whose production way out ceeds theirs.

 

As popular as football is and as much as it dominance the US sports market, it’s hard to believe that the NBA cap can jump $99 Million to really overpay these types of players while the NFL salary cap remains so that top notch players get paid role player money.

 

For everything that these NFL stars have done, they should be up there with the NBA stars of the world because elite production should result in elite money.

 

Do you think NFL stars should make as much as NBA stars? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.