2013: Do NFL QBs really deserve their contracts? (part nine)

So after analyzing all the elite QBs as well, there are still guys that haven’t been named. Some of them are just bad starting QBs that are getting lower salaries such as Kevin Kolb and Brandon Weeden. Then there are other guys who are young in their careers and are growing, but still have low salaries such as Andy Dalton, Ryan Tannehill, and Jake Locker. And then there are starting QBs who have great deals such as Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, and Andrew Luck. But then there’s a completely different category: backup quarterbacks who are making more than the starting QB. This is likely the example of a team getting an amazing deal for their starter such as Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, whose combined salary for 2013 is just over $2 million. And in case you were wondering, both of these guys won a playoff game in their first season as a starter. In fact, Kaepernick made it to the Super Bowl last season. Pretty good for two guys that are that young.

Then there are the actual backups that are getting more than the starting QBs. Why would a team even do this? Can’t they use the excuse that if the starter is getting such little money, then why should the backup get any more? This can’t always occur because often times a guy will become the new starter after the team doesn’t necessarily expect him to. This happened for both the Seahawks and the 49ers. The Seahawks are paying Tavaris Jackson the most money among QBs for their team, but it’s only $840,000. That’s the lowest that any team is paying their highest paid QB. This is amazing considering the Seahawks made the playoffs last year too. The 49ers highest paid QB is Colt McCoy, who will receive $1.5 million this year. As long as Wilson and Kaepernick stay healthy though, then neither Jackson nor McCoy will ever play. Matt Cassell (Vikings) and Chad Henne (Jaguars) are also in this category. Christian Ponder is going to be the starter for the Vikings, so it’s strange that they’d pay Cassell $3.7 million. That just seems like a waste of money. Same with the Jaguars, who will start Blaine Gabbert at QB, while they waste $4.5 million in cap space on Henne. That just doesn’t make any sense.

After analyzing every team’s highest paid QB, it’s clear that very few of them deserve their contract. While so many of them are overpaid, there are even a couple of guys who are underpaid (although that list is only a few people). In a league that values the quarterback at so much, it does kind of make sense that teams are paying their offensive leaders so much. But the amounts that they’re receiving is becoming out of control and will only continue to increase over the years. Among the 32 QBs analyzed, their average salary is over $10.4 million, and the average cap hit is over $8.8 million. With the amount of bad QBs that are still starting for NFL teams, this number is way too high. If the average salary was more around $5 million, then it would be much more understandable. But since the salary cap just continues to increase every year to the point where it’s ridiculous, it doesn’t look like it’ll ever go down.

This only means that the QB in the NFL is going to receive even more money in the future. With it all about competition and who can get the biggest contract, there will be no shortage of mind-blowing deals. It’s a never-ending cycle of people trying to top the last guy, where players look like they care more about the money than actually playing football. Something needs to change because it’s getting out of hand. No NFL QB deserves $40 million, but if this keeps up, that could be a typical salary ten years from now.

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2 Responses to 2013: Do NFL QBs really deserve their contracts? (part nine)

  1. NFL Guy says:

    Interesting analysis. How about the NFL QB’s out there that are currently underpaid? (examples: Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson). How about NFL coaches? Are any of those overpaid? How about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s $29 million payday in 2012? Is he worth that much in one year? Keep up the good work!

    • austinv56 says:

      Those are great questions; in fact, the idea of analyzing coaches’ yearly salaries could make another very interesting piece. As for Roger Goodell, there is no way that he deserves more money than any other player in the league with the way that he’s been doing his job.