Seventeen baseball players are unimpressed with Flacco's big contract
The Kansas City Star
The Chiefs will have some big news today when they (presumably) use the franchise tag on either receiver Dwayne Bowe or left tackle Branden Albert. The tag will make either player richer (about $11.4 million for Bowe and a shade under $10 million for Albert).
The guess is they’ll use it on Bowe, because have you seen the Chiefs other receivers?
But either way, this is the time of year where NFL salaries are in the news, none bigger than the one signed by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.
I’d like to ignore the incredible timing and Rahim Moore mistake that are helping Flacco take a contract bigger than Drew Brees (!), and focus on a different aspect of this you probably haven’t heard much about. Part of that is it means nothing, but it’s interesting to me anyway, so here goes:
Flacco’s contract, in reality, is more like a three-year, $62 million contract since his cap number is set to approach $30 million in the fourth year and there’s just no way this deal doesn’t get restructured at that point.
So, Flacco will make an average of $20.7 million the next three years.
Now, that’s good money for most of us but it continues to amaze me how players in the most popular and powerful and rich league in the country make less than baseball players.
There are 17 baseball players who would take a paycut with Flacco’s contract.
They include superstars like Felix Hernandez, CC Sabathia and Joey Votto (though his big money kicks in next year), but also contracts teams would love to walk away from (the way NFL teams can) like Johan Santana and especially Alex Rodriguez. Adrian Gonzalez ($22 million average) and Carl Crawford ($20.3 million, so just under Flacco’s figure) were traded to the Dodgers in a salary dump.
Hell, Vernon Wells — a 34-year-old outfielder who’s had two rotten seasons in a row and four out of his last six — will make $21 million in each of the next two seasons.
Salaries are a function of a million factors outside of players’ control. Baseball plays 162 games, football 16. Baseball rosters are 25 deep, football 53. The players get what they can get, and good for them. The owners certainly get enough. Nobody should feel sorry for any of them.
But when we talk about whether Flacco deserves this much money, it’s also interesting to remember he’s making about 18 percent less than Ryan Howard, who hit .219 last year.
All that, and we haven’t even mentioned LeBron James. He’s making $17.5 million this year.