NFL needs to create new QB salary tier for Geno Smith, Daniel Jones, others
Or raise the salary cap and charge the owners: Seaside Joe 1424
Generally speaking, I believe that NFL players are underpaid. As hard as it is to grasp that athletes can make more in a day, a week, a month, or a year than you’ll make in a year, a decade, 100 years, of if you live forever, many of them deserve more. Not less.
This is the crux of the ongoing debate between owners and the NFLPA that sometimes results in lockouts and strikes. “People watch us, not you.” vs. “People wouldn’t watch you, if it weren’t for us.”
Consider the Dallas Cowboys, the center of much debate this week because Dak Prescott appears to be a mediocre quarterback who is no less guaranteed to make $49 million in 2023. Many Seahawks fans are currently grappling between the idea that Geno Smith could be better than Dak, but does that mean that he should be paid as much or more than Dak? How can you be a Geno believer and not believe that Geno should leave-r with at least a four-year, $160 million contract?
So, Dak is “overpaid” right? Not in the grand scheme of being the present headliner of an $8 billion company.
Jerry Jones is worth an estimated $14.8 billion and unlike Dak, he never had to have his right ankle turned into a right angle. The Cowboys turned a profit of $466 million in 2021, more than three times what Jones paid for the whole team in 1989, and that’s after $297 million in player expenses. So while you can argue that every player is replaceable, because as we’ve found that is the truth for everyone, just remember that ownership keeps getting raises every year regardless of their job performance. Dallas hasn’t even been to a conference championship game since 1995 but the franchise’s value went up 23% in 2022 alone.
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I don’t know if it’s because they’re smart or lucky, but that’s the beauty of being in the owner’s circle: Fans get mad about player salaries and debate what they’re “worth” without ever pointing the finger at ownership and asking what they’re “worth”. Jerry Jones can get 23% richer year-over-year regardless of how he performs, but when the starting quarterback of the team got a raise from a four-year, $2.7 million contract to a $31 million franchise tag in 2020, many Cowboys fans were livid.
Keeping in mind that when Dak Prescott was a Pro Bowl Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2016, he made $545,848. With an average revenue of $84 per fan, according to Forbes, that means that Dak’s salary was paid by roughly 6,500 Cowboys fans. That’s not even one podunk town in Texas, it’s like half of a podunk town. It’s a ‘dunk town.
“Dak was paid by a ‘dunk?” “A ‘dunk!” “Are you sure, Jerry? A ‘dunk for a Dak?” “Dak got ‘dunked! One ‘dunk equals two Daks, two Daks for a ‘dunk!” And that, ladies and gentleman, is how you write Seinfeld.
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