As 2017 has arrived, what has also arrived are new critiques about the salaries for players amongst the sports world. In this piece, I’ll be explaining the most overpaid, as well as the most underpaid athletes in the nation. The four sports I’ll be covering are the NHL, NBA, NFL, and the MLB. Let’s get started:
NHL: Average Player Makes $2.4 Million
Most Overpaid: Dustin Brown (RW, Los Angeles Kings, 8 yr, $47 mill)
Brown has been in the league since the age of 19 and has had some amazing moments for the Kings. His numbers backed up his play season after season, which led to an 8-year, $47 million deal.
In each of his last three seasons, Brown has scored less than 12 goals, and his +/- on the ice is an average of -11.67.
His play used to back up what he is worth, but nowadays, the Kings are starting to eat the cap hit that they owe the 32-year old veteran.
Most Underpaid: Tyler Seguin (C, Dallas Stars, 6 yr, $34.5 mill)
Drafted by the Boston Bruins in 2010, Seguin instantly made himself into a powerhouse name, scoring 11 goals in 74 games in his rookie season.
Since then, Seguin has moved on to play for the Dallas Stars, and has been playing the leading role for them. In fact, in the 2016-17 season, Seguin is currently 7 points ahead of Jamie Benn when it comes to being the leader in points for the Stars (41).
With only a $5.75 million cap hit (per year) on the Stars until the end of 2019, Seguin is without a doubt one of the most underpaid players in the NHL.
NBA: Average Player Makes $4.9 Million
Most Overpaid: Timofey Mozgov (C, Los Angeles Lakers, 4 yr, $64 mill)
Mozgov was a part of the 2015-16 championship run with the Cleveland Cavaliers and then left the franchise to join the Lakers via free agency.
The Lakers gave Mozgov an offer he couldn’t refuse, simply because they were desperate for a big man at the time.
Mozgov has averaged 10+ points per game once in his career (2014-15) and is being paid more than Pau Gasol, Draymond Green, and Zach Randolph. He is currently the 49th highest paid player in 2017 in the NBA, yet has little to nothing to show for it.
Most Underpaid: Stephen Curry (PG, Golden State Warriors, 4 yr, $44 mill)
Curry is on the last year of his contract with the Warriors, and for now, he is absolutely the most underpaid player in the NBA.
With record after record being accomplished, Curry is one of the biggest factors in the Warriors recent success. Rumors have been looming that Curry may get up to $165 million coming his way during contract talks, but that’s another storyline.
For this year, there is no one in the NBA that is being paid around $12.1 (Curry’s cap hit for 2016-17) that can inflict the damage that Curry does.
NFL: Average Player Makes $2.1 Million
Most Overpaid: Jay Cutler (QB, Chicago Bears, 7 yr, $126 mill)
For years, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been the laughing stock of the NFL. Only once in his career has Cutler posted 4,000 passing yards, and that was back in 2008.
The Bears have never had the opportunity to cut or trade Cutler, simply because his cap hit ($17 mill in 2016-17) is too large for other franchises to handle.
Cutler is under contract until the end of the 2020 season, and he will likely finish his career in Chicago by that time. Many names qualify as overpaid in the NFL, but Cutler is by far the biggest outlier.
Most Underpaid: Luke Kuechly (LB, Carolina Panthers, 5 yr, $61.8 mill)
Since stepping on the field in 2012, Luke Kuechly has proved himself to be one of the best linebackers in the league. His current cap hit is $6 million but is set to double by the end of next season.
In his first three seasons with the Panthers, Kuechly surpassed 90 tackles each time, including being able to start every single game during that span.
When healthy, Kuechly is a dangerous football player, and could very well be on his way to becoming the best at his position over time.
MLB: Average Player Makes $4.4 Million
Most Overpaid: Melvin Upton (OF, Toronto Blue Jays, 5 yr, $72.5 mill)
Upton was originally brought up by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2004 and has made his way through different clubhouses over time. In the 2015-16 season, Upton was traded from the San Diego Padres to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Batting .238 last season is fine, but is he worth a base salary of $16.45 million this upcoming season? Absolutely not.
From the span of 2013-15, Upton had under 15 HRs, 40 RBIs, and 25 SBs each of the three seasons. His stats have certainly declined, and Upton is absolutely past his prime.
The 32-year old has a few seasons left in the MLB, but it’s absurd that Upton ever received this type of money in the first place.
Most Underpaid: George Springer (OF, Houston Astros, 1 yr, $522,400)
Drafted in 2011 by the Houston Astros, Springer has become one of the best young talents the MLB has to offer. According to Spotrac, Springer’s estimated valued contract should be worth a total value of $86.4 million for the next five seasons ($17.2 annually).
With 65 HRs in three seasons, as well as 174 total RBI, Springer has proven himself to be a gem that the Astros should lock up sooner than later.