Forbes's 2012 List of Most Overpaid NFL Players is Baseless and Without Merit

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David Harris New York Jets LB Not Overpaid


This week, Forbes Magazine came out with their annual list of the ten most overpaid NFL players of 2012.

Sadly, for a reputable publication, the list is presented without merit or any semblance of effort to do any research.

For the second year in a row, a New York Jets player tops the list, after they named Mark Sanchez the most overpaid player of 2011.

This year, the overpaid list is even lazier and more baseless, as the author conveniently decided to pick and choose who he wanted to be eligible and ineligible for the “honor” of being called overpaid.

Jets linebacker David Harris (above) is listed as the most overpaid NFL player of 2012. Pretty interesting for a guy who is considered by his peers as one of the most underrated players in the game.

Rather than look at his body of work, or the average annual value of his contract, Forbes pulled his 2012 cap number of $12 million and declared Harris to be, somehow, the most overpaid player in football.

The average annual value, or AAV, of Harris’s contract is $9 million, which is pretty fair value for the leading tackler on one of the elite defenses in the NFL over the past few seasons.

Second on the overpaid list is Miami Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby, who similarly to Harris is an outstanding inside linebacker who evidently also gets paid more than Forbes believes an inside linebacker is worth.

Dansby, whose cap number is $10.7 million this year, has an AAV of $8.6 million, for what it’s worth.

Even more mind-boggling is the third-most overpaid player on the Forbes list, Houston Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph.

Joseph, whose 2012 cap number of $9.75 million is also the AAV of his five-year contract, made the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro team in 2011, and was arguably the best cornerback in football not named Darrelle Revis.

If Joseph is overpaid, I don’t know who isn’t.

Two other Jets rounded out the top ten, with wide receiver Santonio Holmes ($9.25 million cap number, $9 million AAV) fifth and cornerback Antonio Cromartie ($8.25 million cap number, $8 million AAV) seventh.

While the list is absolutely ridiculous, I can’t help but laugh at the exclusion of literally every single one of the players who have the ten highest cap numbers in the NFL this season.

Sam Bradford, he of the $15.595 million 2012 cap number, is not on the list because “we stayed away from young high draft pick [sic] … figuring they deserve a bit more time to live up to their rookie deals.”

Funny, because they had no problem listing Mark Sanchez as the number 1 overpaid player last year, as he was going into the third year of his career, just as Bradford is now.

I’m not sure exactly what the goal of this list was, but if Forbes was shooting for discrediting themselves as a reputable source of valid NFL analysis, they certainly nailed it.


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