Will NFL contracts ever be as large as those being given to this year’s NBA free agents?
Sammy Watkins dreams that NFL contracts will one day be as large as those doled out to this year’s class of NBA free agents. As reported by Mike Rodak of ESPN, Sammy Watkins recently expressed his NFL contract frustrations on twitter. Sammy’s tweet read as follows:
“We gotta get paid more I’m pretty sure 2014 class will change the market.”
Sammy is a prime example of the high injury risk associated with NFL players, having only played one full season since joining the NFL as a rookie in 2014. I hate to say it, but when players are hampered by injuries so early in their careers, it’s very unlikely that trend is broken as they get older. Most injury prone players remain just that, very injury prone, unless it’s a freak one time injury.
As the article also points out with another Watkins re-tweet, the NFL has much higher revenue than the NBA, $12 billion compared to $5 billion. While this is factually indisputable, the NFL also has massive rosters compared to the NBA (53 players compared to 12) and most importantly the nature of the sport is completely different.
NFL players face substantially higher risk of injury relative to their NBA counterparts. This is the nature of the sport, and unfortunately franchises can’t afford to invest that much money in a player with that much risk. Imagine giving a wide receiver $100 million in guaranteed money, only to see him take an illegal hit running a slant route across the middle of the field. His career may or may not be over and that could potentially crush an organization’s growth.
As long as the NFL remains the dangerous sport it’s always been, player compensation will likely remain muted relative to the NBA and MLB.