August 6, 2009

Are they worth it?

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball, Football

Two bug names in the sports world reportedly signed massive contracts yesterday and when numbers like $97.5 million and $82 million are thrown around, the question should be asked: Are they worth it?

Eli Manning, going into a contract year, signed a six year extension worth $97.5 million with the Giants. This deal will make him the third highest paid player in the entire NFL. Is he worth it? You can argue that after leading the Giants to the Super Bowl two seasons ago over the undefeated Patriots and making the Pro Bowl, he was worthy of a big extension, but this much?

Eli’s deal will mean he’ll make an average of $15.3 million until 2015. The only players making more than that are Julius Peppers at $16.6 M this season and Carson Palmer who will make an average of $16.1 M over seven seasons. You wouldn’t have guessed that these three guys would be the richest in the league, would you? Eli will be getting a raise $6 million per season and will actually be making more than his brother, Peyton, who is due to make an average of $14.1 and a far superior QB.

So, is Eli really worth his new deal? I think not.

Then there’s the case of Brandon Roy. The young, budding superstar reportedly signed a five-year, $82-million max contract extension with the Portland Trail Blazers. While it makes all the sense in the world to lock up a player like Roy, is he worth it?

Roy scored 22.6 points per game last season combined with 5.1 assists per game en route to his second consecutive all-star appearance. He led the Blazers into the playoffs but met a timely demise against the over-matching Rockets. He’s one of the best big shot guys in the league and is only getting better. Why not give Roy max money?

The simple answer is that the economy is in the tank – still – and the NBA’s salary cap is going down, reportedly, by as much as $6 million next season, if there is a next season.  While the salary that Roy would be making will fluctuate with the cap, is it really safe to be locked into a max deal with proverbial thunderstorms on the horizon?

Really, I think that even with the future of the salary cap in doubt, it makes sense to give Brandon Roy the money he deserves. Now, let’s just hope he has an opportunity to earn it on the court next season.

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