It it happens every year certain players who think that their value is more than what teams feel, there’s a short window for players to make big money in the NFL that can set them up for the rest of their lives, if they don’t foolishly squander their money.
That’s why if players looking to make a lot of money in the NFL their rookie contracts can set them up for life as those first 4-5 introductory years in the league is their golden ticket to financial success in the NFL with their 2nd contract hitting pay dirt setting them up for life!
Bill Parcells coined this phrase “If they don’t bite when they’re puppies, they usually won’t bite.” really explains the importance of proving themselves early in their careers.
Some teams have made the mistake on betting on unproven potential and have spent Millions on the hope that a player will prove their worth, The Dolphins did just that with Ryan Tannehill who never lived up to what they shelled out to him during his time in Miami.
It’s easy to get caught up in blaming everybody but the real culprit for the failures of some players.
Some players especially the players of the most overrated position in the NFL (the QB position) make a killing during their careers, that’s why many of these quarterbacks bounce from team to team collecting millions upon millions of dollars until they can no longer play anymore and if they are wise they have used that money in a way that should make sure they should not have any financial issues in their lifetime.
There are not to many positions where you can walk in and demand 5 million Dollars as a salary to be 2nd fiddle. The NFL landscape has changed over the years as we see the running back position extremely devalued right now, but there are certain positions who’s value is extremely high and will remain that way for the foreseeable future.
The number one position is the quarterback as even an average quarterback can make hundreds of millions of dollars in NFL if you doubt that check out Ryan Tannehill’s career earnings as Miami’s QB ($89,668,843) and factor in what he is getting from the Titans in 2019 2 million dollars and got an extension when Ryan Tannehill signed a 4 year, $118,000,000 contract with the Tennessee Titans, including a $20,000,000 signing bonus, $91,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $29,500,000. In 2020, Tannehill will earn a base salary of $17,500,000 and a signing bonus of $20,000,000, while carrying a cap hit of $22,500,000 and a dead cap value of $62,000,000.
Do the math and you have Ryan Tannehill’s earning so far is just under 210 million dollars! Is he really worth that much money?
You can even look at Miami’s current starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and see that he’s made millions of dollars in the NFL as a perennial backup. Ryan Fitzpatrick has career earnings of $58.04M over fourteen seasons. He earned $3.3M in 2018, which ranked 37th among QBs and 448th overall in the NFL. He also will make 8 million dollars in 2020.
After the quarterback position there’s no other position that seems to have greater value than those who protect the quarterback especially on it outside edges of the offensive line the offensive tackle and generally because most quarterbacks are right-handed it’s their blind side or the left side of the line that creates great value for a person who can protect the quarterback.
Former Dolphin’s left tackle Laremy Tunsil was paid a huge amount of money a three-year, $66 million dollar contract extension with the Texans and also cost Houston multiple first and second-round picks, but they deemed it worth it to protect their young franchise quarterback.
Another position that creates great value and is highly compensated is the cornerback position we need look no further than our own Miami Dolphins to see the money that they have wrapped up in there two premium cornerbacks, Xavien Howard signed a 5 year, $75,250,000 contract with the Miami Dolphins, including a $7,000,000 signing bonus, $39,260,641 guaranteed, and Byron Jones signed a 5 year, $82,500,000 contract with the Miami Dolphins, including a $10,500,000 signing bonus, $54,375,000 guaranteed.
Miami also went so far as to draft another cornerback in the first round that threw many of us for loop!
Another premium position is the Defensive End (The Edge rusher) as well as Defensive Tackles if teams have a premium player at either of those positions the dollar amount they are paid is at the top end of the NFL pay scale.
Free agency is a time when most players are looking to cash-in, especially after their rookie contracts end. This past season quite a few of the rookies drafted in 2017 did not receive from their teams the option to pick up their 5th year contract so those players did not live up to the expectations of the teams that drafted them.
Some have even been released before the rookie contract we’re up and those who did not receive the 5th year option are basically playing a one-year show me contract most likely for some other team in the future.
Free Agency is also when some players try to leverage themselves to try and get long-term contracts, so they shop their services with the hope of getting a big contract. Some players seem to have overplayed their hands and find themselves in an awkward situation as many of the teams have spent most of their money early on in free agency and have very few resources to pay the salaries that some of these players looking for a big payday.
Who are these players that seem to be overplaying their hand?
- Dallas QB Dak Prescott is at a stand off with the team as he wants a long-term deal and the Cowboys don’t seem to think he is worth what he is asking for (Think Tannehill) and I tend to agree as I do not think Dak is a franchise QB more than Dallas is a very loaded team that quite a few QB’s can step in and lead them to the playoffs.
- DE Jadeveon Clowney had put a price for his services for around $20 million per year but no team seemed to be willing to pay him that much, he twice has turned down the Dolphins who made him a very fair offer and refused to give Seattle a team friendly deal to stay there and now that the money has essentially dried up despite lowering his ridiculous demands by half, he finds himself on the outside looking to get a deal most likely more down to earth around 10-12 million per season.
These are this years glaring example of players who might have overplayed their hands in seeking a big payday at the stage of their careers where the window is closing as father time also factors in on the decisions teams make as well as trying to manage a budget that will allow the teams to still have enough money to still field a team talented enough to compete in the NFL.
So the question is who’s right and who’s wrong? Greed has no boundaries on both sides of the issue. The answer is not simple but it is an answer that’s coming across quite clearly to both Dak Prescott and Jadeveon Clowney as they are forced to reevaluate what their wort should be.
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