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Sammy Watkins: 2014 draft class will change the NFL salary market

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The NBA opened free agency this weekend and the hours that followed have seen many basketball players cash in with huge contracts that would look out of place in the NFL.

Those contracts don’t escape notice from NFL players and the annual spending spree in basketball usually elicits responses from the football rank and file about the disparity between the two leagues. Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins is among those chiming in this year.

Watkins retweeted a tweet saying NFL players “have the right to be pissed” because they don’t see the same salaries while playing in a league that generates higher revenues. The Bills wideout added his own tweet on Sunday morning.

With players like Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack, Mike Evans, Taylor Lewan, Odell Beckham, Aaron Donald and Zack Martin coming up on extensions and Derek Carr already getting a big one, Watkins is right that the 2014 class is going to be studded with lucrative new deals in the near future. Watkins may get one before some of the others in the draft class after the Bills opted not to exercise their option on his 2018 contract, but, no matter how talented the draft class, it is hard to see a league with 53-plus players on each team catching up to the heights of NBA salaries.

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67 Responses to “Sammy Watkins: 2014 draft class will change the NFL salary market”
  1. ispeakthetruthraiders says: Jul 2, 2017 11:47 AM

    This guys talks a lot for someone who can’t stay healthy.. Who says he’s earned a huge contract?

  2. radioactivechimp says: Jul 2, 2017 11:49 AM

    NBA rosters have 15, NFL rosters have 53

  3. iamthehorniestmanintheworld says: Jul 2, 2017 11:57 AM

    They have a hard time speaking English for the most part, Basic economics even if taught was never learned. Try oot for the NBA if you don’t like what you’re making, you don’t have the skill set otherwise the NBA would have come looking for you.

  4. jboody79 says: Jul 2, 2017 11:58 AM

    More money, I’m fine with that. The problem every other sport has with high salaries is they’re all guaranteed no matter what. The NFL nailed it with being able to cut a player with little to no ramifications. Do you know how many NBA teams have given bad contracts out that they wish they could get out of. It happens all the time!

  5. mikespillane337 says: Jul 2, 2017 11:59 AM

    He should keep his feet on the field if he thinks he will get alot of money on his next contract.

  6. teal379 says: Jul 2, 2017 12:00 PM

    Should have stayed in school. Revenue does not = profit. The COSTS of an NFL team have to vastly outpace an NBA team. 53 on the roster, practice squad, larger stadiums (and staff), uniforms and equipment, even medical expenses – all are larger and more involved than NBA and 12 man rosters, smaller gyms, less intensive medical and equipment requirements etc.

  7. dvnelson72 says: Jul 2, 2017 12:04 PM

    But, if you strictly compare the big numbers you see for an NBA contract to NFL contracts, it is apples and oranges. There are far fewer players (420 vs 1698) splitting the NBA pie – 4 times more NFL players.

    Let’s do some math. The NFL has income in the $13B range. The NBA in the $5.2 range.

    The NFL there are 32 teams with 53 roster spots and the average salary is $2.1M. That is $3.56B in salary, or 27.4% of the income.

    The NBA has 30 teams with an average of 14 roster spots filled and an average salary of $6.2M. That is $2.6B, or 50% of the income for the league.

    So, clearly, the NBA players are getting a higher percentage of the league income.

    But you can’t just compare the contract values and say “my league makes more money so our contracts should be bigger.”

  8. smokeleccia says: Jul 2, 2017 12:05 PM

    For one, NFL players only have 16 games compared to 82 of NBA players. Sammy Watkins however only played in 8 games last year. The dude needs to focus on actually playing in games instead of just getting paid to watch them.

  9. bettis3636 says: Jul 2, 2017 12:12 PM

    Its hard for me to believe that Sammie is as close as he is with Martavis Bryant and the NFL not swarm him with piss tests… i mean even after a bonehead comment like this… the NFL needs to test this man ASAP!!!! Play MULTIPLE seasons without missing a game before talking like this..

    And yes i think Bell is a idiot as well for wanting to break the bank for his services and look at that… he has or “had” a drug issue also!!

  10. mymanmccoy says: Jul 2, 2017 12:15 PM

    The only thing right about his tweet is “ME.”

  11. pftisthebestsiteeverlol says: Jul 2, 2017 12:16 PM

    Why can’t these guys understand that 53>15?

  12. redsoxu571 says: Jul 2, 2017 12:20 PM

    Someone should teach guys like this some basic math. Let’s say the average salary in the NBA is $10M (I’m just choosing an arbitrary number). That’s for roster sizes of 13 players. Due to the 53-man roster sizes in the NFL, that would reduce to an average of $2.45M per player for the same total dollar “pie”. Or, to put it another way, the NFL would need to have revenues over 4 times greater than the NBA to be able to give out the same average salary.

    Couple that with the fact that the NBA is the sport that is most easily dominated by the ultra-elite talents (thereby rendering superstars more valuable relative to “star” and “good” players than in the NFL) AND is a sport in which it is safer to give out long term, guaranteed, contracts, and this is just how it has to be.

    If these players don’t like it, they need to accept that they play the wrong sport. But they can’t just demand that they be paid like NBA players, because the numbers just wouldn’t work.

  13. yesser12 says: Jul 2, 2017 12:21 PM

    Too bad you won’t actually see the change in your account, with your often injured behind.

  14. jackedupboonie says: Jul 2, 2017 12:21 PM

    Hey, you picked the wrong sport Sammy. But I can imagine it’s very annoying seeing the marginal players in the NBA cash in guaranteed silly money 4 year deals @ 55-75 mil when future HOFers in football make that for a whole career if lucky.

  15. yesser12 says: Jul 2, 2017 12:23 PM

    He won’t get anywhere near the money that Evans, Beckham, or Landry will get. He was the 1st wr taken but is maybe the 4th or 5th best one.

  16. maxkingpin says: Jul 2, 2017 12:24 PM

    Let’s see. NBA with 12 players/team, NFL over 60.

  17. uncommon1 says: Jul 2, 2017 12:25 PM

    If every NFL team reaches the Salary Cap, they pay a total of $5.34 billion in Player Salary this year. If every NBA team meets the Salary Cap they will pay a total of $2.9 billion. The NFL as a whole, make A LOT more than the NBA. Roster size is the reason

  18. harrisonhits2 says: Jul 2, 2017 12:32 PM

    That statement shows a basic lack of understanding of economics.

    NBA plays far more games with far smaller rosters. They play in smaller venues that are less expensive to staff and operate, but due to the number of games have equal or higher overall attendance for a season.

  19. guy0nthec0uch says: Jul 2, 2017 12:43 PM

    All that free college education and didn’t take a math class apparently. Hey Sammy, is 15 higher than 53? You make plenty to play a kids game. Try a non entertainment job sometime and see if you can get more money.

  20. 6thsense10 says: Jul 2, 2017 12:46 PM

    teal379 says:
    Jul 2, 2017 12:00 PM
    Should have stayed in school. Revenue does not = profit. The COSTS of an NFL team have to vastly outpace an NBA team. 53 on the roster, practice squad, larger stadiums (and staff), uniforms and equipment, even medical expenses – all are larger and more involved than NBA and 12 man rosters, smaller gyms, less intensive medical and equipment requirements etc
    ———-
    Maybe you should have stayed in school. The CAN states that before any revenue is split with NFL players owners get over 1 billion dollars per year for operating expenses. It’s sickening that fans still stick up for owners that not only make it a habit of SCREWING over players but SCREWING over tax payers and fans. We just got through watching the Chargers, Raiders, and Rams move because their fan base wouldn’t pony up multiple millions for new stadiums yet you want us to believe that owners are spending all this money out their pockets. On top of that owners get incensed if a city it wants to fleece for a new stadium asks to see asses their books.

    I don’t know how we got to the point of worshipping these rich owners like their some kind of God’s who can’t do wrong and somehow players are the greedy ones. When it comes to greed players are still swimming in the kiddie pool while the shark owners’ habitat is the ocean and people like you don’t even know it.

  21. abninf says: Jul 2, 2017 12:52 PM

    radioactivechimp says:

    NBA rosters have 15, NFL rosters have 53
    ===================================

    Facts never get in the way of a socialist’s mentality.

  22. sopadegato says: Jul 2, 2017 1:09 PM

    The NFL is also a more competitive product, due to the hard salary cap. Huge, fully-guaranteed contracts in MLB/NBA are negatives for the sport, not positives.

    Ask Raiders fans how they liked being hamstrung by that JaMarcus Russell contract years after he quit. Or any number of teams that got into awful deals before the new CBA.

  23. 6thsense10 says: Jul 2, 2017 1:13 PM

    abninf says:
    Jul 2, 2017 12:52 PM
    radioactivechimp says:

    NBA rosters have 15, NFL rosters have 53
    ===================================

    Facts never get in the way of a socialist’s mentality.
    ————
    Ummm you do know the NFL’s limitations on how much a team can pay it’s roster and the way it forces higher revenue team to share their revenue with lower revenue teams is the very definition of socialism don’t you? In a free market society there aren’t artificial restrictions on salary such as salary caps, franchise tags, etc and the market sets the price. It’s sort of rich that you think it’s the player being a socialist while you seem to agree with the NFL’s socialist structure.

  24. finnymcphin says: Jul 2, 2017 1:14 PM

    iamthehorniestmanintheworld says:
    Jul 2, 2017 11:57 AM
    They have a hard time speaking English for the most part, Basic economics even if taught was never learned. Try oot for the NBA if you don’t like what you’re making, you don’t have the skill set otherwise the NBA would have come looking for you.
    —————————————–

    LMAO! The person mocking someone else’s ability to speak English and calling them out for what was ‘never learned’ apparently, if taught, never learned how to type it using basic grammar and punctuation.

  25. intrafinesse says: Jul 2, 2017 1:16 PM

    I’d trying to decide what type of pro athlete I’m going to be:
    NBA players make money but if I become a top tennis player or golfer I can make a lot in endorsements. And golfers have long careers.

    Oh wait, I’m dreaming. Yeah, I’d trade in my job to be a backup player in any sport for several years, making the minimum (which is WAY more than I currently make)

  26. tigershark0052 says: Jul 2, 2017 1:24 PM

    Watkins has been a bust with a big mouth. The Bills should be “pissed” that they gave him as much as they did.

  27. blackbug99 says: Jul 2, 2017 1:25 PM

    I’m a Bills fan and they messed up drafting him. A great talent when they can put him on the field. If he injures out this year…goodbye.

  28. tigershark0052 says: Jul 2, 2017 1:25 PM

    Watkins is it in the same class as those other players of the 2014 draft.

  29. buckeyefan1026 says: Jul 2, 2017 1:30 PM

    For someone who touches the ball just over 4 times per game (that he is healthy for), I don’t think he should have too much to complain about.

    Just to be clear, his rookie contract is 4 years/$20 million with a $12.8m signing bonus. I’d say that’s pretty decent for someone that has to play a game for only 16 times per year and has ~4 catches per game. He is probably expecting 4 yr/$75m on his next contract, but he should get used to the idea of 4 yrs/$32m.

  30. sportnik2 says: Jul 2, 2017 1:31 PM

    It’s hard to take exception with Watkins when the NFL is run by an incompetent boob making $45M a year.

  31. timmyp716 says: Jul 2, 2017 1:47 PM

    HAHA Sammy Watkins is a 2nd rate WR….at best

  32. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Jul 2, 2017 1:54 PM

    not sure which is funnier… sammy’s complete detachment from sports economics or the self-congratulatory amateur economics experts some with their political affiliations attached to a completely apolitical topic to be found in this comments section…..

  33. tazman1996 says: Jul 2, 2017 2:09 PM

    Crying about needing to be paid far more………

    When he hasn’t really earned any of what he’s been paid already…….

  34. huskersrock1 says: Jul 2, 2017 2:10 PM

    Well Sammie you should have played basketball.

  35. weepingjebus says: Jul 2, 2017 2:12 PM

    There are fewer NBA stars so their individual shares are larger. The NBA is also owned by the mob and their rigged “playoffs” generate a million higher profit margin.

  36. harrisonhits2 says: Jul 2, 2017 2:13 PM

    “he should get used to the idea of 4 yrs/$32m.”

    Between his injuries and what he’s actually done on the field I would say more like 3 years 12 million of he’s lucky

  37. dregonspengler says: Jul 2, 2017 2:36 PM

    thefirstsmilergrogan says:
    not sure which is funnier… sammy’s complete detachment from sports economics or the self-congratulatory amateur economics experts some with their political affiliations attached to a completely apolitical topic to be found in this comments section…..

    Talk about “self-congratulatory.” What I find funniest of all is the pseudo-intellectual drivel offered by people who seem to think they’re smarter than everyone else.
    I might have bought it, considering you have a passable vocabulary and do know how to spell. Unfortunately, those things don’t help much when they’re buried in brutal run-on sentences, with no useful punctuation whatsoever.
    You’d be better off dropping the smug attitude and putting down the Economics 101 book in favor of a good junior high English text.

  38. gjv001 says: Jul 2, 2017 2:46 PM

    If Watkins can stay healthy, he has the talent to be a top 5 receiver. Not only will he get paid, but so will Taylor.

  39. kd75 says: Jul 2, 2017 2:54 PM

    Someone should give Sammy Watkins $1.19 million every July 1 for the next 30 years to just go away…

  40. victorycruz says: Jul 2, 2017 3:40 PM

    Maybe he should’ve played basketball then. Or maybe he should’ve played baseball where there is no cap. Thing is you can’t stay healthy for 16 games, how would you make 162 baseball games, or 82 basketball games, lmao. 😂😂

  41. mikespillane337 says: Jul 2, 2017 3:53 PM

    Commas for sale ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, start the bidding.

  42. kcflake says: Jul 2, 2017 4:05 PM

    Gotta Love slappies like Goff and Watkins talking about big money deals when they have Sucked so far in the NFL.

  43. pallidrone says: Jul 2, 2017 4:23 PM

    Steph Curry – $40 M a year – 82 games – $487,804.00 per game

    Zach Grienke – $34 M a year – 162 games – $212,448.56 per game

    Kirk friggin Cousins – $24m for 2017 – 16 games – $1,500,000.00 per game.

    I think football players are doing ok.

  44. edwicy says: Jul 2, 2017 4:25 PM

    NFL’s 150th highest paid player about 8 m
    NBA’s 150th highest paid player about 5 m

    NFL’s 500th highest paid player about 2.7 m
    NBA’s 500th highest paid player about 300k

    Stay in football if you want to make more money

  45. buffalo75vette says: Jul 2, 2017 5:02 PM

    Lets see.. NBA salary cap for 2017-18 season….108 million for 15 players. NFL salary cap for the 2017-18 season… 167 million for 53 players.. Average per player.. 7.2 million for NBA… 3.15 million average per player for NFL. Put your franchise QB on the top.. Not a lot left for the rest , especially if he is making 25 million a year.

  46. ringheadcrusher says: Jul 2, 2017 5:02 PM

    I’m glad I read a few more posts before I also posted the “per game” problem that Mr. Watkins’ illustrious Clemson education in tutored basketweaving apparently left him unable to comprehend. Well done, pallidrone.

    And oh, btw… We could go further than the “per game” view and count up “per minutes played…” NFL players would REALLY come out looking like spit-shined solid gold in that comparison… See, the guys who play offense in the NBA also play defense in the NBA….

    It’s cases like this that really…. I mean, they make you seriously wonder about how they keep these brilliant star players academically eligible to play in the NCAA.

  47. widerightyouloseagain says: Jul 2, 2017 6:03 PM

    Two first rounds picks for this moronic bust. He’s right where he deserves to be, in Buffalo.

    Wide right, you lose again.

  48. pantherhomer says: Jul 2, 2017 6:40 PM

    To the post who called Rog an incompetent boob, I would argue otherwise. The NFL has grown tremendously with him at the helm and he is the lighting rod for the owners to boot, to which I’m sure they are willing to pay a premium for if deftly executed. He may be a tool (in a politcian’s sense) but hardly incompetent.

  49. whenwilliteverend says: Jul 2, 2017 6:47 PM

    Comparing NFL salaries to NBA salaries is ridiculous. Each NFL team has ~53 players on salary. Each NBA team has ~12. Of course they are going to make more money because there are fewer mouths to feed. Both leagues have salary caps. The NFLs is $167M and the NBA is $94.14M.

    Maybe Watkins should do a little more reading while he’s injured instead of doing whatever it is he does because he seems to be pretty uninformed. Also, I’m sure he thinks he’s going to break the bank too. I think he’ll be uninformed about that too.

  50. johnnnyschatzan says: Jul 2, 2017 7:32 PM

    Funny thing is he’s probably right and buffalo will regret not picking up his option.

  51. tfootball1234 says: Jul 2, 2017 7:38 PM

    To me it sounds like he wants out of western ny.

  52. bighoser says: Jul 2, 2017 9:51 PM

    Hey Bills,
    Thanks for passing on both Carr and Mack and taking this oft-injured, whiny ingrate instead!
    Sincerely,
    Raider Fans

  53. nocitpeced says: Jul 2, 2017 10:37 PM

    pallidrone says:
    Zach Grienke – $34 M a year – 162 games – $212,448.56 per game
    ———————————————————————
    Greinke is a starting pitcher, he only plays every 5 games, it is more like $34M / 32/33 games = $1,062,500 (32) $1,030,303.03 (33) per game.

  54. flipola says: Jul 2, 2017 11:03 PM

    Of course they will. Until the 2015 rookie contracts are up.

  55. flipola says: Jul 2, 2017 11:05 PM

    Watkins is not on the level of the other players you mentioned

  56. edavidberg says: Jul 2, 2017 11:14 PM

    This guy’s priorities are all messed up.

  57. mysterytonite says: Jul 3, 2017 12:13 AM

    I can’t believe the nba even makes money. I know they lose a f-ton of cash lugging around that useless WNBA product. The new fad of building a super team so only 2 teams can win is a joke. The playoffs last three damn months and when a trade is made it isn’t to improve a team but dump salary due to moronic guaranteed contracts. Sorry lebron is not worth what he makes and that goes double for curry. The NBA is the absolute worst of all the four major sports because it’s so anticlimactic and the stars are such babies. I’d take march madness any day over the pro game. And yes, guys like Goff and Watkins should just worry about establishing but their own careers instead of assuming what they may think is coming to them. Especially Watkins, dude it’s not good when you don’t have your 5th head option rejected. Ice up son.

  58. bigoldred says: Jul 3, 2017 6:03 AM

    6thsense10 says:
    Jul 2, 2017 1:13 PM
    abninf says:
    Jul 2, 2017 12:52 PM
    radioactivechimp says:

    NBA rosters have 15, NFL rosters have 53
    ===================================

    Facts never get in the way of a socialist’s mentality.
    ————
    Ummm you do know the NFL’s limitations on how much a team can pay it’s roster and the way it forces higher revenue team to share their revenue with lower revenue teams is the very definition of socialism don’t you? In a free market society there aren’t artificial restrictions on salary such as salary caps, franchise tags, etc and the market sets the price. It’s sort of rich that you think it’s the player being a socialist while you seem to agree with the NFL’s socialist structure.
    =====================
    It’s not Socialism if the parties involved (the NFL and all 32 owners) agree to it. It’s the way they have to do it.

  59. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Jul 3, 2017 6:33 AM

    to the grammarian: this is an internet comment board… i don’t capitalize letters either….

  60. yousoldout714 says: Jul 3, 2017 7:25 AM

    the NFL owners don’t let the inmates run the asylum….and wouldn’t let a fellow owner lose his business cause he said some ‘bad’ things….

  61. NFLexpert says: Jul 3, 2017 7:39 AM

    Not to mention Manziel, so we won’t…

  62. eaglesfanintx says: Jul 3, 2017 8:42 AM

    I’m an Accountant, but Doctors make way more than I do. It’s totally unfair, we should be paid what Doctors make!

  63. cover200 says: Jul 3, 2017 9:01 AM

    I actually think Sammy had a point. Networks and owners are killing it

  64. jbl429 says: Jul 3, 2017 9:36 AM

    This is so stupid. All the new rounds of contracts change the market. That’s how it works. The 2015 NFL draft will do the same thing. Winston, Mariotta, Amari Cooper, Leonard Williams, Vic Beasley, Marcus Peters, Landon Collins — these guys are going to get big contracts too.

  65. billswillnevermove says: Jul 3, 2017 9:41 AM

    widerightyouloseagain says:
    Jul 2, 2017 6:03 PM

    Two first rounds picks for this moronic bust. He’s right where he deserves to be, in Buffalo.

    Wide right, you lose again.
    __________________________________
    Wide right, you are a loser for life. Just a 5 ID troll from Toronto with no team, no life and no hope.

  66. buffalobraves says: Jul 8, 2017 9:34 AM

    Sammy’s already setting contract records at >$100k per reception…

  67. laffers says: Jul 8, 2017 3:39 PM

    The NFL players will never see the type of money NBA and MLB see as their union is the weakest in professional sports.
    They could see guaranteed contracts with huge numbers but the NFLPA doesn’t have a membership that could withstand a strike to last an entire season. If the players didn’t spend every penny they make each season perhaps they’d have a few dollars to get them through an extended strike.
    Imagine the owners having to withstand an entire season with no income.
    It takes balls to sit out an entire season and the membership if the NFLPA has NONE!

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