Thursday, June 18, 2009

NFL players are most underpaid athletes in the world

Forbes Magazine has announced its list of the world’s highest-paid athletes and, of course, Tiger Woods tops it.

No surprise there.

Woods is one of three professional golfers on the Top 20 list. There are also five NBA players, three Formula One race car drivers, two NASCAR drivers, two New York Yankees, two professional boxers, two professional soccer players and one tennis player.

However, there is not one NFL player on the list.

What’s up with that? The NFL is probably the richest sport there is. Stadiums are usually filled to capacity. There are games on television sometimes five days out of the week. There is analysis of the games on TV 24/7/365. These NFL players get more worldwide exposure than any athletes on the planet from merchandize sales to fantasy football and yet not a one of them is among the world’s highest paid in their profession. And the closest to make the list isn’t even a quarterback. It’s the former client of Mill Valley sports agent Steve Baker: Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who signed a $45 million contract in February.

So, though NFL owners are making money hand over clenched fist, the league’s salary cap prevents its employees from making more money than they should.

If you were to ask me, NFL players are the most underpaid athletes in the world. If you could stand on an NFL sideline like me and hear the violent sound of players getting tackled, you might agree. These players don’t get paid enough to subject their bodies to those type of brutal collisions. I mean, Manny Pacquiao, who is the best boxer in the world pound for pound, couldn’t take the pounding that most NFL players do yet he’s tied with LeBron James and Phil Mickelson at No. 6 on the latest rich list.

In fact, King James and maybe Shaquille O’Neal might be the only two on the current Forbes’ Top 20 best-paid list who would be able to play in the NFL. But they play in a league that guarantees you’ll earn every single penny for every year in which you sign a contract to play. The NFL guarantees a big signing bonus and not much else beyond an annual salary.

So as much you may know and adore Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and all the other star-studded QBs in the NFL, they are rich men, poor men compared to Kimi Raikkonen.

Kimi Raikkonen!? Never heard of him? He’s a Finnish F1 driver who is tied with Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan for No. 2 on the list behind Tiger. Kimi’s probably never even picked up a football in his life.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home