- Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley said NFL players are “mad” about the huge contracts NBA players sign.
- Gurley said he would like $US80 million on his next deal, which he said would pale in comparison to the $US100-million-plus contracts some NBA players get.
- Unfortunately for Gurley, running back is not asx valued valued as other positions in the NFL, as the current highest-paid running back is making $US41 million over five seasons.
As NFL players prepare for training camp and the start of the 2018 season, they have taken notice of how players in other leagues are getting paid.
In an interview with The Los Angeles Times’ Gary Klein, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley said NFL players are “mad” about NBA contracts.
Gurley had previously told TMZ that for NFL players to get guaranteed contracts, players would have to hold out in a lockout. He laughed about the comment to Klein but confirmed he would like more money.
“Us NFL players, we’re just mad about NBA contracts right now, that’s all,” Gurley said. “I just want like $US80 million. Those guys are getting like $US150 [million]. It’s crazy. It’s insane.”
Though NBA free agency was quieter this offseason, in part because few teams had the cap space to offer big contracts because of previous misspending, there were still some whoppers. LeBron James got $US154 million from the Los Angeles Lakers, Paul George got $US137 million from the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Chris Paul got $US160 million from the Houston Rockets. Even restricted free agents like Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon signed $US78 million and $US84 million contracts, respectively.
Gurley, a top NFL running back, won’t come anywhere close to those numbers. The highest-paid running back right now is the Atlanta Falcons’ DeVonta Freeman, who signed a five-year, $US41.2 million contract in 2017.
Le’Veon Bell is currently holding out from the Pittsburgh Steelers for a contract that would pay him like a top running back and top receiver. The highest-paid receiver is Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who signed a five-year, $US82 million extension.
Defensive linemen and quarterbacks rival the salaries of the top NBA players, but even they fall a little short. Matthew Stafford signed a whopping five-year, $US135 million contract, with an annual average of $US27 million and as much as $US92 million guaranteed. That’s still far less than what James signed for with the Lakers this summer.
Gurley is not the first NFL player to have this gripe. In 2016, Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman told Business Insider that NFL GMs were ripping off NFL players and that players in other sports only do 20% of the work that NFL players do.
“Look, we risk our lives and put our lives on the line to play this sport, because it’s physical. It’s the most physical sport that’s played,” Norman said. “You look at all these other sports and other teams, they’re getting their players max deals, and they’re doing half of what we do. I don’t even wanna say half of what we do. They’re probably doing 20% of what we do.”
“Our life expectancy for the NFL is less than other sports. So, it’s like, come on, man, we’re getting the short end of the stick everywhere you turn.”
Gurley has one more year left on his rookie deal before he’s up for a new contract. Even if he repeats his 1,300-yard, 13-touchdown season in 2018, he’s unlikely to get an $US80 million deal next year.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.