Summer is in full swing. It’s the season for barbecues and swimming pools and crazy NBA contracts. I’m guessing you were thinking of that last item when you tweeted this:
We gotta get paid more I'm pretty sure 2014 class will change the market
— King Me (@sammywatkins) July 2, 2017
I get it. NBA players that you’ve never even heard of are pulling down huge new contracts while players who are adequate but unspectacular are getting insanely huge new contracts despite being massive injury risks.1 It’s probably enough to make you wonder if you should’ve played basketball instead of dedicating your life to a game that even its best players are saying will destroy your brain.
For what it’s worth, I admire that rather than take this one on the chin, you puffed out your chest and said that your draft class – the 2014 class – is so talented that it’ll completely alter the NFL’s salary structure. With players like Khalil Mack, Odell Beckham and Aaron Donald all drafted that year, you’re certainly right to think that some huge contracts are going to get handed out to your fellow 2014 draftees.
The thing is, Sammy, even if there weren’t a whole host of factors that will keep NFL salaries from ever reaching NBA levels, you may not be the best spokesperson for this particular issue. Sure, you’re young, talented and due to your draft position it’s almost inevitable that you’ll get some kind of new contract at the end of this year. The only problem with that is you’ll truly be looking for a new contract at the end of the season, whereas all the other top players from your draft class will be working on extensions. Because your team, the lowly Buffalo Bills, declined your fifth year option. Rather than paying you what would be market value for a top player, they decided to take their chances and give up control of your contract. NFL teams never give up control of a valuable asset, Sammy.
On the bright side, the “talented young player in a contract year” is pretty much every fantasy player’s, well, fantasy. So while the Bills might not want you around, an awful lot of fantasy teams will. And that’s nice. Not $30 million per year nice, but it’s something.
Your friend in fantasy,