By Chris Ross @DraftScout_NFL on June 15, 2014
Although some players in the NFL have contracts that can total up to or more than $100 million, many players are vastly underpaid for their services. Oftentimes, it’s because of the players with huge contracts that make it difficult for teams to pay players what they are actually worth. With that said, here are the 15 most underpaid NFL players heading into 2014.
Despite coming off a 10 sack season for the Denver Broncos, Shaun Phillips was signed this offseason by the Tennessee Titans in what was a bargain deal. Signed to a two-year, $5 million contract, Phillips is definitely being underpaid.
In his second NFL season, Michael Floyd established himself as one of the best young receivers in the league, and since he’s still on his rookie contract, he’s not making nearly as much as he should be.
Daryl Smith is coming off a monster season for the Baltimore Ravens, yet, he’s only making $3.4 million a year. Smith is a productive, veteran leader, and he just isn’t being paid like it.
Coming off a breakout second season, Dontari Poe looks poised to join the group of elite nose tackles in the NFL. The only problem is that his pay doesn’t reflect that. It’s only a matter of time before Poe demands big money.
Off-field troubles aside, there’s no denying that when Aldon Smith is on the field, he is one of the best pass-rushers in the league. At around $3.5 million a year, Smith is a bargain for his level of play.
Perhaps the most underrated player on this list due to the position he plays, John Sullivan has earned a reputation as one of the best centers in the NFL. An annual pay of $4.2 million just doesn’t seem fair for one of the top centers in the league.
Since he entered the NFL, Jordy Nelson has developed into one of the better receivers in the league, however, he’s still not being paid like the weapon he is. Nelson is slated to make around $3 million in 2014, but that’s way less than what he’s really worth.
Coming off a superb rookie season, Sheldon Richardson established himself as an elite player in 2013, but since he’s in his rookie contract, he is being vastly underpaid. With an average yearly salary of just $2.5 million, Richardson isn’t being paid nearly enough.
Since being drafted in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft, Tyron Smith has become an elite offensive tackle, however, he’s still not being paid like one at $12.4 million; Smith should be making much more.
Another player coming off a breakout season, Julius Thomas is scheduled to make just $645,000 million in 2014. For a tight end of Thomas’ character, that’s a gross underpayment.
For an elite middle linebacker, Kuechly’s annual salary of about $3 million is less that what he’s worth. Kuechly is an elite player, and he deserves to be paid as such.
A truly elite wide receiver who isn’t being paid as such, Dez Bryant’s 2014 salary of $1.78 million is ridiculously low. The Cowboys should pay Bryant, and soon.
Patrick Peterson is perhaps the most versatile player in the NFL, and it’s a shame he isn’t being paid like it. Peterson will only make $2.8 million in 2014, and that’s not nearly what he’s actually worth.
Although Jamaal Charles is possibly the best playmaker in the NFL today, his contract doesn’t quite reflect that. Charles is scheduled to make just $2.6 million in 2014, which is way less than his play would dictate.
As far as pure pass-rushers are concerned, Robert Quinn is perhaps the best in the league. Quinn will make just $1.6 million, and he is easily the most underpaid player in the league today.
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