Play to pay

John Morris Staff writer

Column by John Morris


New stars emerge every year and each one has a price.

Many athletes are overpaid and some are underpaid for the performance displayed.

Some guys are consistently eye popping and make amazing plays like its easy.

Then we also see the guys that always fall short or come with such a high expectation they never satisfy what we want to see. The spectator gets their hopes up for something bigger than what the players can bring to the table.

They don’t have any control over the organizational system they enter, but most people expect that if they come out of college or high school with an exceptional amount of talent that they should be able to shine anywhere they play.

Then there are sideline stories of the underdogs emerging and become great stars which is prevalent in sports today.

Players like Arian Foster, Bruce Bowen and Tom Brady are the prime examples of those sideline stories.

Most of these athletes have a great amount of money that they make every year. Some make more than they are worth and some don’t make enough compared to the performance they give in games.

Most top tier athletes will make somewhere around 20 to 40 million.

For example, Steph Curry – who for most people is the best shooter in basketball and Russell Westbrook another basketball great, have yet to be the highest paid players on their teams’ roster. These two guys are well known superstars in the NBA, and usually MVP candidates.

Players like this probably deserve top dollar and their resumes can speak for themselves.

Then you get guys like Matt Cassel and Matt Flynn.

These two were quality back up quarterbacks. Cassel played for the Patriots and Flynn played for the Packers. They both had an opportunity to show their abilities as the starters of each team while the starters were hurt. They produced quality performances with opportunity.

During free agency, both were offered big contracts, but most would agree the quarterbacks failed to live up to expectations. Cassel bounced from team to team, ending up with the Cowboys and Flynn had opportunities with Seattle and Oakland and failed to earn the starting job each time, getting beat out by Russell Wilson and Derek Carr.

Then there are guys like Julian Edelman. As a wide receiver for the New England Patriots, he ranked in the top 10 in catches each of the last two seasons, but he is playing under a four-year $19 million contract. Some notable names with bigger contracts are Riley Cooper, Dwayne Bowe, Eddie Royal and Golden Tate.

Athletes that compete in individual sports can earn large amounts of money as well and some earn the money without providing the excitement one would expect. As reported by many of Mayweather’s detractors say he has cherry picked his fights and some say he is boring because he doesn’t stand toe-to-toe with anyone.

According to, Floyd Mayweather is the highest paid athlete in sports with a cumulative earning of $420 million entering 2015. This is a huge amount of money for one man, but he is the most recent boxer to retire undefeated and to win multiple championships in different weight classes.

Mayweather’s also set a new record with his earnings in a single year that amounted to $300 million. The previous record holder, Tiger Woods, earned $125 million in one year. In the world of sports, money rules the land and talent sometimes goes unpaid while a flash in the pan can earn big bucks.

Simply put, general managers have a tough job evaluating talent and creating contracts and having a good agent is essential for athletes.