Damien Barling: Misdirected Anger

“Oh, 100 percent. If we want as the NFL, as a union, to get anything done, players have to be willing to strike. That’s the thing that guys need to 100 percent realize.”

“You’re going to have to miss games, you’re going to have to lose some money if you’re willing to make the point, because that’s how MLB and NBA got it done. They missed games, they struck, they flexed every bit of power they had, and it was awesome. It worked out for them.” – Richard Sherman

We’ve seen some pretty incredible contracts being signed in the NBA over the last two summers. Top tier money given to lower tier players.

Last year Andrew Luck signed a, then record, contract for $87 million dollars (mostly fake football money). A couple days later, seven NBA players exceeded that in the first 24 hours of NBA free agency.

This year, Blake Griffin signed a contract extension for $176 million to become the leagues highest paid player. Three days later, 2-time MVP and 2-time NBA Finals Champion Steph Curry signed the richest deal in NBA history and the first $200 million deal. That lasted a week. James Harden signed a 4 year extension for $170 million. That gets added to his 2 year, roughly $60 million deal he has now. Roughly $230 million is owed to James Harden over the next 6 years.

Harden’s unheard of dollar figure sent of a string of messages from NFL players and reports questioning his value over an NFL players value.

Here’s a couple of things to think about…

NFL contracts are non-guaranteed. Most of the reported figures are wrong or flat out fake. The only number you ever need to pay attention to is the guaranteed dollar figure.
The NBA revenue split is roughly 50/50 between players and owners. The NFL is just slightly under 50/50.
While the revenue split is similar, the NFL has to split it with 4x as many players as the NBA.
The NFL doesn’t have a “max contract.” There for they don’t run into the problems of luring moderate players away from teams with massive contracts (think Mosgav).
NBA players last longer. The average NFL career 3.2 years. The average NBA career is 4.8. Remember that includes washouts, G-league players, and undrafted signees.

If I’m an NFL player and I’m pissed off about non-guaranteed contracts and total value, here are the numbers I’m pointing to…

Rams relocation fee (back to the city they came from) – $645 million
Chargers relocation fee (about 2 hours up I-5) $645 million
Raiders relocation fee – $378 million
Each owner will pocket roughly $55 million each year for the next 10 years.

Think about that and see if you can figure out where the real problem lies.

More from Damien Barling
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