Examining 2008’s Highest Paid NFL Players


We’ve reached the lull period of the NFL off-season. The draft is over, the Eagles‘ first minicamp has wrapped, and now we’re forced to trudge through rookie camps and OTA’s for the next two months. Two months! Yuck. Scouring for interesting blurbs and analysis will be a chore, but I shall persevere.

Today’s time-killing topic deals with the richest of the rich. Those gentlemen who don an NFL uniform who were the gold-standard during the 2008 season. I’m not talking about awards and all that nonsense. I’m talking about coin, baby! Serious coin.

I give you last season’s highest-paid professional football players. Stay tuned for biting commentary below.

First, a positional breakdown: Defensive lineman (6); Offensive lineman (5); Wide receiver (5); Quaterbacks (4); Running back (3); Cornerback (2).

No linebackers, safeties, tight ends or those who kick. I’m not surprised. Even if a team uses a 3-4 defense, linebackers normally don’t get the huge contracts (save James Harrison).

I wonder when the last time the top earner was also the Super Bowl winning quarterback? Big Ben renegotiated his deal in the spring of ’08, then led his team to the title. Geesh. Does he live a charmed life or what?

There are a number of questionable players on the list, but three guys stand out in particular and they all hail from the same team. Da Raiders!!!!

JaMarcus is a perfect example why a rookie salary cap needs to be put in place. He earned over $16 million is bonuses in only his second season. Ridiculous. Tommy Kelly and Javon Walker? Kelly is an average player; Walker is a has-been. Maybe Oakland should start paying dudes who can actually play. Just a thought.

Players like Allen, Samuel, Turner and Berrian made the most from a change of scenery. Bernard caught 48 passes but raked-in over $13 million, which equates to roughly $271,000 per reception. Who says the economy is in the dumper?

Justin Smith and Calvin Pace received gaudy contracts due to their pass-rushing prowess. Both mustered only seven sacks. Neither has eclipsed double-digit sacks in a season.

Brett Favre? No comment.

Of the guys on this list, I’d say only Big Ben, Jared, Fitzy and Turner really deserved what they grossed. But hey, it’s the NFL. Plenty of guys are stealing money (most of the Redskins roster). Such is life.

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