The 2022 NFL off-season has been one of the greatest known to date, with a large majority caused by contract drama. There is no doubt that money was always a factor for NFL players, but has it ever been this bad? Report after report has shown that when one of the best players in his position gets paid, other players feel the need to compete for a spot as the highest player in the league as well.
Tyreek Hill, after leaving one of the best teams in the league, was traded away to the Miami Dolphins, allowing him to be the top-paid receiver in the NFL. Hill makes a whopping $30 million a year! After receiving this news, players like Davante Adams and Stefon Diggs also felt the need to get paid big bucks. Davante Adams left the Green Bay Packers and his beloved quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, after requesting a trade due to Rodgers receiving a contract that pays him $50 million a year. Adams wanted the money, and that’s precisely what he got. He was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders, making $28.25 million a year, while joining former college teammate Derek Carr.Embed from Getty Images
And if those numbers aren’t crazy enough, Deshaun Watson, after not playing in the NFL for an entire season because of 27 sexual assault allegations, was traded to the Cleveland Browns, where he is set to make $250 million in his contract. This sets the bar high for NFL contracts because many players and fans don’t think he deserves the money. Following this contract drama, Kyler Murray added more fuel to the fire and demanded a contract extension. He removed all of his Cardinals-related Instagram posts, which caused a stir in the media. Kyler Murray ended up receiving a three-year, $105 million contract. It even said in his contract that he had to watch 4 hours of film a day to comply with his contract’s rules.
In the NFL, the quarterback is the highest-paid position, with all top 10 highest-paid players being a QB. Expectations are high for superstar quarterbacks, but the question is, how much money is enough? Vikings QB Kirk Cousins, considered an average quarterback by most metrics, makes $35 million a year, while Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is still on his 5th-year option, waiting for a major contract. The MVP-winning QB has addressed contract rumors and has made it public that he wants the money. Jackson allegedly turned down a 6-year, $250 million contract, because only $133 million was guaranteed. Ravens fans, try not to worry though; Lamar Jackson is locked in this season, and has his sights on winning a Super Bowl. Raven’s GM Eric DeCosta said the Ravens will try again next year and hopefully get their star QB a top deal.Embed from Getty Images
The growth in the NFL over the years has been one to remember. The explosion in money being thrown at offensive playmakers in the league has outpaced other sports. Even backup QBs in the NFL have made well over $15 million in total income. As a football fan, it is exciting to watch the game unfold, but the off-season wheeling and dealing is a game itself. The saying “don’t hate the game, hate the player” is in full effect in the NFL this year.