Russell Wilson & the NFL's Most Underpaid Players

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, February 13, 2014 6:38 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 6:38 PM UTC

The NFL has many over and under paid players. It’s how they get away with a salary cap. Some guys have contracts that are far from a value, but other teams have the luxury of having a guy on a bargain contract. For most players this is their rookie deal, and for this piece, I’m giving my top four under paid players in the NFL. A theme for these guys is they are normally on very good teams, because it allows the organization to pay for big talent along with them.

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Dez Bryant

Bryant may be the biggest bargain in the entire league. His base salary of $1.79 million is a steal compared to his production. Bryant is entering the final year of his rookie deal as one of the top two or three best receivers in the entire NFL, and with that comes a big expected payday. However it was reported a little over a week ago that the Cowboys and Bryant’s agent are not currently in contract talks for an extension. If Bryant walks, it would be a huge blow to Jerry Jones and the Cowboys, but they have an entire season to work out a deal. However the franchise tag might be an alternative if Bryant and the Boys don’t come to terms this season.

Russell Wilson

Even before he won a Super Bowl, Russell Wilson was probably borderline on this list, however after this season, he is firmly on the list, and could even be considered more of a value than Bryant. Wilson’s base salary is a joke compared to his value to the franchise. Entering the third year of his four-year rookie deal, the former 3rd round pick will earn a base salary of $660K. Although I don’t have any specifics on his contract incentives because of a Super Bowl win, his cap number is so low for the Seahawks they can afford to have a stellar defense. Wilson may be the best bargain in the league.

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Devin McCourty

McCourty is a guy that could be on his way off of this list, but from last season, he was by far a bargain for the Pats. McCourty had a base salary of less than a million dollars last season. However because he played more than 80% of defensive snaps this season, he gets a nice $3 million incentive bonus added onto his salary this season. Either way, last season he was one of the most undervalued defensive players. He had an interception and two forced fumbles, and that kind of production for under a million bucks is a bargain.

Demaryius Thomas

Do you notice a theme with these players? Three of the last four players mentioned were in the conference championships, and Thomas made it all the way to the Super Bowl. Although he had a huge game, no one else for Denver did, but Thomas has made himself a valuable commodity to Peyton Manning. Manning loves big receivers, and that may be enough to say goodbye to Eric Decker this offseason. Thomas is entering the final season of his rookie deal this year, and you know the Broncos will want to extend him. He will be making a little over $3 million this season, and he will almost surely outperform his salary once again.

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