The Collective Bargaining Agreement might have been terminated last month. the 2010 season will be an uncapped year and who knows what could happen if the CBA is not settled, including the possibility of the owners locking the players out in 2011.
However, salary cap or not, players in the National Football League are well paid and truly have nothing to complain about, as evidenced by the salaries they receive, regardless of the huge discrepancies between the high and low earners on each team.
The Baltimore Ravens fall in the middle of the pack, comparing teams' total payrolls for the 2009 season. Leading the league were the New York Giants, with a team payroll of $138,354,866. Bringing up the rear were the Kansas City Chiefs, whose total payroll was only $81,829,650. Somewhere in between (14th) we find our Baltimore Ravens with a team payroll of $109,503,397.
The total payroll is a combination of the 2009 base salary, signing bonus and other bonuses/incentives earned. Leading the way for the 2009 Ravens was none other than Terrell Suggs and his $15,100,000 worth of income, broken down by $1 million base salary, $10.1 million signing bonus and $4 million of other bonuses/incentives. Suggs was just ahead of Ray Lewis ($10,006,240), Joe Flacco ($8,601,750) and Domonique Foxworth ($8,006,240).
Low man on the totem pole was virtual unknown offensive lineman Lou Saucedo ($310,00) just below K.J. Gerard ($311,000), Greg Ryan (OL? $312,000) and Dannell Ellerbe ($312,000), although Ellerbe receive a huge performance-based payment of around $245,000 additional salary. A lot of the names at the top of the list had relatively smaller base pays (other than Flacco) and made up the difference with huge bonuses.
The team leader in pure base pay was Trevor Pryce with $4 million, closely followed Ed Reed and Todd Heap, both at $3.6 million. Surprisingly at the lower end of the wage scale were starters Jared Gaither ($460,000- no wonder he wants to get paid!), Ben Grubbs ($570,000- see Gaither comment), LeRon McClain ($460,000), Haloti Ngata ($823,750- ditto) and Ray Rice ($385,000),
Want to see some surprisingly high 2009 total salaries? Some of the higher paid, lower performing guys include Chris Carr ($3 million), Mark Clayton ($2 million), Brandon McKinney ($1.5 million), Tony Moll ($1.1 million), Samari Rolle ($2.8 million), L.J. Smith ($1.5 million), Quinn Sypniewski ($1.1 million), Fabian Washington ($1.7 million) and Demetrius Williams ($1 million).
However the one name you all have been waiting for is .....drum roll, please....., with a combined base salary ($1.6 million) and other bonus ($6,760) totaling $1,606,760, much less a cap hit of $2,231.760, it's none other than Baltimore Beatdown fan favorite .......Mr. Frank Walker!
With that last tidbit of financial information, it's a perfect time to end this story and await your comments on who was and who was definitely not worth their weight in gold in 2009, as well as who might end up being over and/or underpaid in 2010.
Click here to go to the USAToday story with all the details about the Baltimore Ravens and the rest of the league's salaries.