NBA free agency began on July 1, and boy has it been crazy so far. The big story of the first 24 hours is how much money is being doled out. Fans have been shouting on Twitter as to how overpaid some of these players may be.
The Memphis Grizzlies and Mike Conley agreed to a five-year, $153 million deal. That’s the biggest deal in NBA history. Yes, Mike Conley got a bigger deal than Lebron James ever got.
Conley isn’t the only player in the middle tier to get paid elite money. Timofey Mozgov received a four-year, $64 million deal from the Lakers.
If this is the kind of money that middle tier players are getting, what is Kevin Durant going to get? Is this spending spree in the NBA going to have any impact on the NFL? Probably not directly, but the checkbook dumping in NFL free agency has been similar to the NBA.
Janoris Jenkins received a five-year, $62 million deal with the Giants. That puts him in the top ten for highest paid cornerback. Trumaine Johnson got a one-year deal with the Rams, but it is worth $13 million, which puts him even higher than Jenkins, and, ahead of Joe Haden.
I don’t think anyone truly believes that Trumaine Johnson is better than Joe Haden, and neither Jenkins or Johnson is a top ten corner.
So if average players are getting paid like elite players, what’s going to happen to the value of elite players?
We have already seen it start. Sticking to cornerback, Josh Norman definitely qualifies as elite. When the Panthers let him go, the Redskins struck quick and gave him a five-year $75 million deal.
Andrew Luck recently received a mega deal from the Colts. The deal with worth just under $123 million over the next 5 years. Luck is yet another elite player who is now getting paid an astronomical amount.
A player of Luck’s caliber will never hit the open the market with the current franchise tag system in the NFL. So over the next few years, the value of a contract, for the elite as well as middle tier players, will continue to grow. The NFL will have to raise the salary cap dramatically if this spending trend continues, or it may get to the point where teams can’t field a 53 man roster. While crazy spending in one sport is not going to directly influence another, it is crazy to watch how much these players are getting paid. Maybe they can spare a little cash to a certain Baltimore Beatdown writer?