clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Lions players are freaking out about NBA contracts

New, comments

Considering the state of NFL contracts, many players look at NBA free agency with eyes filled with envy.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

NBA free agency opened on Friday, and millions of dollars came blasting through the floodgates. DeMar DeRozan got $139 million, Timofey Mozgov is $64 million richer, Andre Drummond - $130 million, Mike Conley - a cool $153 million. And that is just the tip of the NBA’s mountain of cash.

With NFL players currently on break from the offseason, some Detroit Lions couldn’t help but comment on the ridiculous amounts of cash being thrown around by the league. Their response on Twitter was...overwhelming:

But the players’ envy comes from a place of truth. It’s nearly impossible to deny that footballers put their body more at risk than most, if not all, other sports in America. They have much less job security than a typical NBA player. Their professional careers last, on average, 1.3 years less than a basketball player. And despite all of that, they get paid less. Way less. According to a study by Business Insider, the top 100 NBA players average a salary of $13.3 million. The top 100 NFL players? $11.6 million.

That’s not even taking into consideration that the majority of players the NFL employs are well beyond that top 100 status, while the top 100 NBA players encapsulates the majority of starters around the league.

When looking at overall salaries, the discrepancy is way more pronounced. According to a 2012 Forbes study, the average NBA salary is $5.15 million compared to just $1.9 million in the NFL, the lowest of the four major American sports.

This isn’t meant as a plea for the NFL to give their employees better treatment, the debate would be far more nuanced than this (take, for example, that the NFL employs 1696 players a season, and that is only counting the players on the active roster). This is just meant to point out that it’s hard out there for an NFL player, at least comparatively speaking.