Professional Athletes' Salaries / by kevin murray

In the four major sports in the USA, the sport with the lowest average salary for players resides in the NFL which still registers a staggering wage of $1.9 million dollars per season, and that's the lowest of the major sports!   At first, this amount of pay appears to be ludicrous but it's far from ludicrous; in fact, the players are almost certainly being underpaid!


In the NFL there are a total of 32 teams in which initially we might appreciate the transparency of the owners divulging the salaries of their players to the general public, until we begin to realize that there are ulterior motives in play.  For instance, there are many companies that make it their standard policy that employees should not discuss their salary and benefits outside of the corporation, with the implicit thought also being that they don't want you to discuss your salary and benefits within the company either.  In fact, if anyone in the accounting department should deliberately divulge or not properly protect salary information about employees, this act itself would be cause for immediate dismissal.


The Green Bay Packers are the only NFL team that is publically owned, whereas the balance of NFL teams is privately owned.  In America, there are around 500 billionaires, but within the ownership of the NFL there are around 19 billionaire owners, perhaps a couple more or a couple less, depending on how you account for their assets and liabilities.  To put things even further in perspective, the Pittsburgh Steelers' owner Dan Rooney is generally considered to be the poorest owner of this lot and his estimated worth according to is estimated at $500 million!  Clearly, the NFL ownership is not made up of the likes of you and me.  These men and women are the elite and some of the most powerful individuals in our country and consequently they are masters of the art of negotiation and winning.


Clearly, one should not get confused as to not understanding and comprehending the supreme difference between the top .001% and perhaps the top 1-2% in net worth and net income.  In the NFL the average career is considered to be around 3.3 years, and the majority of players (around 70%) in the NFL according to bestticketsblog are in the age group of 22-27 years, but:  "most NFL players don't make it to the age range (28 to 35) when they can start making serious money ($4 million a year and up on average)," as reported by In short, although it is the players that make the game, as well as it being the players that we are watching on TV or in-person at the stadium, with the players risking their bodies and their minds in this violent sport, it is the owners that are the real money and the players are simply the tools of the trade.


To put things further in perspective, the NFL has a hard cap of how much money can be devoted to player's salaries each year and while this agreement also comes with a respective salary floor, one must ask the big question, to who does this floor/cap actually benefit the most?  You sure the heck know it isn't the players because what sane person would want to cap the amount of money that they can earn in a sporting business of high risk, high turnover, and high personal cost.  Sure, the player's compensation may look large, but that is only because the harvest is all so much larger.