In the NFL, we’re seeing a major shift to haves and have nots, highly paid players and then the rest of the team. Of course all NFL players can be viewed as highly paid to the average Joe but we’re speaking in relatibe terms here. There comes a time when tough decisions have to be made and it often boils down to money. In fact, most of the time it boils down to money.
Nowhere has this become more obvious than in the case of the New Orleans Saints. In the last few weeks this NFL team has been gutted as much as any. The team that won a Super Bowl in 2009 won’t even resemble the team that takes the field in 2014. Will Smith? Gone. Too much pay for too little production. Darren Sproles? The guy who set an NFL record for all purpose yards a few seasons ago? After 800 last season he’s on the way out. Pierre Thomas? Sorry, a couple of younger running backs have pushed him out.
A big reason for this is the contract negotiations with Tight End Jimmy Graham. By the time the smoke is cleared Graham will be the highest paid Tight End in the NFL. haves and have nots. It’s insanity. I give you the Drew Brees contract and the Jimmy Graham contract as major reasons the New Orleans Saints aren’t likely to see another Super Bowl next season. They’ll field an excellent quarterback and an excellent Tight End and probably not much else. A team that needs help on defense at cornerback and linebacker won’t have the financial stuff to get it done. A team that’s looking for an overhaul on the offensive line won’t be able to pay a free agent to come in and boost them. And it’s that way all over the NFL.
Concentrating 30-40% of your salary cap in two guys? Nope, it doesn’t make sense to me. But prove me wrong NFL. Show me a Super Bowl winner with that salary setup and I’ll eat my words.