Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings plays hard and gets hit hard, but is he worth $12 million per year? Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Money, Money, Money – NFL players, don’t whine to us


How I dread this time of year in the NFL.  The speculation, the rumors and the never-ending chat of which player is going to which team and for how much.

Worse yet is the grumblings of some players about how underpaid they are.

Let’s do a little reality check here guys!  Unemployment is at 7.9 percent and according to the Social Security Administration’s website the average wage index (for 2011 most recent posted figures) was $42,979.61.  In comparison, the NFL Players Association notes that the average NFL player makes $1.1 million annually.  In the real world, it would take twenty-five and a half families to equal the average salary of a NFL player

So do us all a favor and quit whining about how you deserve to be paid more.  The arguments about the abuse your body takes and the physical ailments suffered long after your career have ended don’t hold much water to those of us who work 40 hours a week to make ends meet.  You chose your career path and you understood the risk versus the reward factors in playing a violent game, so stop blubbering!

Greg Jennings expects to break the bank this offseason.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

So now you may be wondering where I am going with this.  Well the answer is simple, I am tired of hearing about how player “X” needs to be paid more money.

Let’s first start with the Green Bay Packers.  First player up is Greg Jennings, or as I have now taken to calling him – Greedy Jennings.  Yes, greedy. How else can you describe a man who had an annual salary of $6,721,250 and his overall contract was for four years at a total of $26,885,000.  That means it would take the average wage index for 625.5 families to equal what he made for his last contract.  Yet Greg seems to think he is underpaid and wants a salary of at least $12 million a year according to some news sources.

Give me a break!

So if I take myself in comparison, I will make approximately $34,840.00 this year. Thus I would have to work a total of 772 years to equal what he made with his last contract.  Yet he does not even work a full year and he is complaining that he needs to be paid more.  Give me a break and PLEASE, Mr. Jennings, get a clue about reality!

Jermichael Finley, “Mr. Butterfingers,” says he won’t take a pay cut … boo-boo … Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Next up is Jermichael Finley.  The last wonderful words Mr. Genius uttered was that he would not take a pay cut to play for the Packers.  So Mr. Butterfingers has a current contract that will pay him $14,000,000 over two years.  It would take 325.7 families with an average wage index to equal what he will make in two years.  Yet he also needs to be paid more, in his humble opinion.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not trashing the team or the players.  The environment that they play in dictates the salaries and the teams are willing to pay these amounts in order to win.  My point of contention is simple.  These guys have no reason to complain cause they are paid an exorbitant amount of money to play a game, yet so many of them complain that they are underpaid.

It makes me ill.

Yet it is not going to get any better.  If we take Aaron Rodgers for example.  It is easy to say that he will garnish a contract that will exceed the $120.6 million contract Joe Flacco just signed.  So let’s say for the sake of argument that Aaron gets paid a total of $125 million with his next contract.

Using the same numbers from the other contract comparisons it would take approximately 2,908 families to equal what his overall contract would pay out.  Granted,  Aaron has not publicly complained about his contract but still it is difficult to swallow these numbers.

So why do I spend the time pointing this all out?  Well to me it is simple.  The pay scale and structure is outrageous and it needs to be fixed.  Economically this is a cycle that is out of control.  Salaries are increasing, meaning that in order to maintain the status quo teams have to increase revenue and the easiest way to do that is to raise ticket prices.  This, in turn, prices out the average fan from being able to go to a game.

The cost of attending an NFL game continues to rise.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

According to Team Marketing Report, who compiled a Fan Cost Index that was published in September 2012, a family of four would spend approximately $443.93 to attend a game.  This amount would pay for parking, four average-priced tickets, two game programs,  two small beers, four small soft drinks, four hot dogs, and two adult-size team caps.  This does not include the costs of driving to and from the game, so factor in at least another $100.

Why is it that players are paid up front?  Why not treat them like any employee for any other company.  Give them a base salary and then at the end of the year, grade their performance.  If they exceeded expectations give them an increase. If they failed to perform to a standard level of expectations, no raise.  I would bet that more guys would be playing with a greater desire to exceed if they knew that their performance dictated what they were going to get paid instead of getting paid in advance.

I know it will never happen, but it would be great to see the Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finleys of the NFL world get shut down and be treated like the regular employees of a regular company where they are paid for what they are doing not what they will possibly do.

Then again I can only assume how difficult it is to feed a family of four on $7 million a year.

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