Sammy Watkins took to Twitter this week to let the world know that the 2014 draft class will break barriers. This comes as the NBA and NHL free agency seasons are in full swing.
Talking about the money that athletes make or do not make is always a difficult conversation. Especially for those of us that aren’t wealthy athletes and may not have career earnings of a million dollars for 10-20 years..
It is important to understand that sports are big business. Like all businesses, the workers(athletes) do look around at what each other occur are making. They want to make more money when they feel they deserve more than their peers.
What appears to be missing among athletes compared to business workers, they aren’t always paid based on performance, and they aren’t entirely compared to their peer’s performances. The money usually trends upwards in sports. If Derek Carr makes $25 million per season, the next eligible Quarterback, Matt Stafford or Kirk Cousins, is expected to make more.
In my profession, I haven’t been paid on ‘potential’ yet. In sports, that’s the number 1 trait an athlete has to bargain with. It’s not what they ‘have done’ its “Pay me, because of what I will do in the future.”
So that brings us to Sammy Watkins, who tweeted and retweeted the following:
Extremely difficult to argue with the facts as presented. I don’t deny that players should get paid extremely well. What I do have an issue with is that they aren’t in commission based jobs. The NFL is doing well; a lot of people are making a lot of money. During the last CBA, the NFLPA negotiated to get a percentage of the league revenue to distribute to their players.
The league is very good at running a business. When the next CBA comes up for negotiation, the players should try to negotiate for a larger chunk of the revenue. Until then, until the agreed upon contract comes due, please get over it.
NBA contracts are ridiculous. A role player like Tim Hardaway Jr got $40million this week. I would be angry too if I played a major sport in the same state as that guy. Crossing sports is extremely narrow-minded and simple way to view ‘fairness.’Baseball has no salary cap, so players make whatever owners are willing to spend, and it is varied. Basketball has a salary cap, but also a luxury tax that allows teams to go over the cap should the owners be willing to pay.
More from BuffaLowDown
- Buffalo Bills were ready to trade back if they couldn’t get Dalton Kincaid
- Grading Buffalo Bills drafting Dalton Kincaid in 2023 NFL Draft
- How the Buffalo Bills can win Day 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft
- Buffalo Bills having conversations about trading for DeAndre Hopkins
- Buffalo Bills Draft Rumors: Bills linked to this shocking first round target
The NFL has a strict salary cap and rules in place that requires teams to spend at least 89% of the total salary cap each year. The NFL also features the largest rosters in sports; it takes 53 players to be ready for each team every Sunday. This is opposed to the 16 man roster in the NBA or 25 for MLB. The point is, by griping about different sports salaries is far from comparing apples to apples, regardless of the statistics you choose to pay attention to. The way NFL teams are trying to persuade free agents now is to increase the guaranteed money, and that should help.
Then there is his last point; the 2014 draft class will change the market. They probably will, because prices go up regardless of what you have done. For humor’s sake, lets take a look at the 2014 1st round selections.
Of those in the 1st round, only Khalil Mack should ‘change the market.’ He is the youngest and possibly best player at his position in the NFL, and his statistics back that up. Chalk him up to coming close to passing Von Miller in a record deal. After him, who’s changing the market?
Maybe Odell Beckham Jr., will make more than Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, and AJ Green. He is the next good WR in line, so he will make the Giants bid against themselves until he gets a high salary. Or, perhaps fellow WR Mike Evans will also top those WRs, and you will get two new highest paid WRs. Congrats!
Aaron Donald may get close to Ndamukong Suh and Marcel Dareus regarding, but that remains to be seen.
After that, this draft class is looking pretty bear to change any market. Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, and Teddy Bridgewater probably won’t set the market at QB. Greg Robinson who was just traded to Detroit most likely won’t become the next large Left Tackle investment.
What Watkins probably meant is that amongst the WR group alone they will increase the WR positional spending, but that trend was already going up, so the 2014 class is just next in line. Allen Robinson, Watkins, Kelvin Benjamin, and Brandin Cooks will make good money. If they all make more than Dez Bryant than the bar will be destroyed.
The problem is, they still won’t be all that happy this time of year. They won’t make as much as Tim Hardaway Jr, Jrue Holiday (5yrs $126mil), Otto Porter Jr (4yr $106mil), or James Johnson (4yr, $60mil). That will always eat away at NFL players, and as long as they have their five weeks of downtime during NBA free agency, it will always motivate them to get more money.
This doesn’t make Sammy Watkins a bad guy, or different than a lot of athletes. What it means is, that Watkins won’t review his performance to assess his value. He will analyze his draft selection and other peers as his bar for his worth.
What fans want in athletes is to hear the community/winning culture of the team plays a role in contract decisions. Maybe it does if all other factors are equal, but for Watkins and many others, it’s payday.
To me as a Buffalo Bills fan, it means that Sammy Watkins last season in a Bills uniform is upcoming. I want him to succeed, and I want him to get paid big, but the new regime has a positional spending cap. If Watkins prefers money when it comes down to the wire, he will get his inflated contract somewhere else.
Do you agree with Sammy Watkins comments? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!