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NFL Players Jealous of NBA’s Booming ‘Middle Class’ as Teams Spend Over $1.4 Billion on First Day of Free Agency

As NBA teams spent nearly $1.4 billion on mostly middle-of-the-road players on the first day of free agency on Friday, NFL players Tweeted out their jealousy and amazement.

Running back DeAngelo Williams, like many, Tweeted that he had to Google the names of NBA players signing mega-deals.

Memphis guard Mike Conley (five years, $153 million) who has not made an All Star appearance, received the richest contract in NBA history to date and will make more than the NFL’s highest paid player, Andrew Luck, who just signed a six-year deal worth $140 million. But what astonished NFL players and sports fans was the tens of millions NBA teams were throwing at role players and backups like Matthew Dellavedova and Mirza Teletovic. These players were being paid like some of the greatest superstars in other sports.

A look at the contracts below shows that the NBA’s so-called Middle Class is indeed thriving while the salaries of veteran and rookie superstars are capped. As CBS Sports pointed out, restrictions on “maximum” salaries and rookie contracts, the booming NBA Salary cap, and the requirement that NBA teams spend at least 90% of the salary cap, which means this year’s payroll floor is $85 million per team, has allowed role players to get deals that only superstars in other sports would receive.

“The union has made the decision that it’s better for LeBron James to give up $20 million or $30 million in salary so that Jodie Meeks can make $6.7 million,” NBA super agent David Falk told CBS last year. “They try to make rules to homogenize everybody because there are many more Matthew Dellavedovas than LeBrons, so the rules are skewed toward those guys. You’re grossly overpaying the people that aren’t as valuable because you’ve created this artificial limitation.”

Nearly all of the NBA’s contracts are also guaranteed, unlike the NFL’s.

Here are some reactions from NFL players on social media:

 

 

 

Here are some of the contracts that were inked on Friday.

— The Lakers signed Timofey Mozgov to a four-year contract for $64 million.

— The Knicks signed Joakim Noah for $72 million over four years.

— The Hawks re-signed Kent Bazemore for $70 million over four years.

—Charlotte re-signed Nicolas Batum to a five-year deal for $120 million.

— Orlando signed D.J. Augustin to a four-year deal for $29 million.

— The Portland Trail Blazers signed Evan Turner to a four-year contract for $75 million.

— The Magic signed Evan Fournier to a five-year deal worth $85 million.

— Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan signed a five-year deal for $85 million.

— Memphis’s Mike Conley signed a five-year deal for $153 million.

— Miami’s Hassan Whiteside inked a four-year deal for $98 million.

— Mirza Teletovic signed a three-year deal for $30 million with the Milwaukee Bucks.

—Al Jefferson signed a three-year deal for $30 million with the Pacers.

— Jeremy Lin singed a three-year deal for $36 million with the New Jersey Nets.

—Bradley Beal got a five-year deal worth $128 million from the Wizards.

—The Lakers signed Luol Deng to a four-year deal for $72 million.

— Milwaukee signed Matthew Dellavedova  to a four-year deal for $38 million.

— Chandler Parsons inked a four-year deal for $94 million with the Grizzlies.

— E’Twaun Moore signed a four-year deal with New Orleans for $34 million.

— Jon Leuer signed a four-year deal with the Pistons for $42 million.

— Detroit re-signed Andre Drummond to a five-year deal for $130 million. five years 130

— Solomon Hill signed a four-year deal with the Pelicans for $50 million

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