by Andrew Brandt
December 10, 02010
Albert and JaMarcus: quite a pair
Whenever the next round of NFL free agency begins, following resolution of the labor uncertainty that now exists, it will be interesting to see how active a market there will be. With his latest petulance drawing a suspension, NFL owners now have Exhibit A in the argument against making a big splash in unrestricted free agency: Albert Haynesworth.
Just as Haynesworth is a symbol of overpaying marquee names in free agency, JaMarcus Russell is the poster child for all that is wrong with rookie compensation in the NFL. These two players have become punching bags for fans and media as symbols of the under motivated, overpaid and entitled athlete.
With that in mind, I thought I would look at their total compensation from their big contracts. Russell lasted three years with the Raiders after being selected as the top pick in the 2007 Draft; Haynesworth is now finishing his second and certainly final year with the Redskins. Let’s look at their compensation comparisons (in millions).
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Future Gtee Total
JaMarcus Russell 3 20 13 3* 39
Albert Haynesworth 11 24.6** -- 5.4 41
*Amount of remaining guarantee on contract; the Raiders have also filed a grievance for bonus recovery
**$847,000 of this year’s $3.6 million salary is now under review for a “Conduct Detrimental” suspension, pending appeal.
Total compensation over 3 years for Russell: $39 million
Total compensation over 2 years for Haynesworth: $41 million
These totals amount to $80 million for these two players who now symbolize everything wrong with football, sports and to some, the world in general.
One thing is clear about these two contracts: never in football has so much been paid for so little production.
Moss and Woodhead: quite a contrast
I know I've been hard on Randy Moss in some of my posts and tweets, but his production has continued to decline since what was considered a blockbuster trade from the Patriots to the Vikings earlier this season. In five games with the Titans -- all losses -- he has five catches for 62 yards. He has made $1.88 million for those five games.
In contrast, Danny Woodhead of the Patriots had four catches for 104 yards in Monday night's game against the Jets. Woodhead, who recently signed an extension with a $425,000 bonus, makes $395,000 this season. Moss makes $376,000 per game.
The fact that Woodhead was such a big part of the game plan on Monday was pure Bill Belichick. Knowing Woodhead was cut by the Jets earlier this season, Belichick made him a big part of the game plan against the team that got rid of him. That is how Belichick operates, saying little and inserting needles.
Coles weekend adventure
The 10-year career of Laveranues Coles is now 10 years and a weekend. For the fourth time in his career and second time this season (he was cut in training camp), Coles signed a contract with the Jets, who had an open roster spot after Jim Leonhard was placed on injured reserve.
Coles has won two Golden Tickets in unrestricted free agency in his career, once with the Jets and last year with the Bengals, where he signed a four-year, $28 million contract, which turned into a one-year, $9.75 million contract when he was released in March.
For his efforts with the Jets for three days, he earns one game check for the $855,000 minimum salary for ten-year veterans, an amount of $50,300. Nice work if you can get it.
Baseball guarantees dwarf football
‘Tis the season for giving by Major League Baseball ownership and the stark numbers of contracts for Carl Crawford with the Red Sox ($142 million) and Jayson Werth with the Nationals ($126 million) dwarf even the most lucrative football contracts.
I know the argument: baseball players play 162 games, longer season, etc. Still, the NFL should be thankful for its system, especially the presumed continued existence of the Cap and an ability to cut players with limited future obligations.
Baseball contracts are fully guaranteed; making these seven-year deals truly seven-year deals, whereas football deals rarely have guarantees past the third season. The amount of Crawford’s guaranteed income exceeds that of quarterbacks Tom Brady (48.5M), Peyton Manning (34.5M), Drew Brees (20M), Aaron Rodgers (20M) and Matt Schaub (17M) combined.
Living in Philadelphia, I never got the sense Werth was long for the Phillies. I hope that in his public comments about the signing, he doesn’t insult fans by saying “It’s not about the money.” Wouldn’t it be great if he just said: “Hey, it was all about the money, and the Nationals were desperate and blew us away with the offer!”
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