Odell Beckham: NFL stars deserve what NBA stars get

Michael David Smith
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Giants receiver Odell Beckham says his ambition to be the highest-paid player in the NFL isn’t only about himself. It’s also about overturning the salary structure of the NFL.

Beckham said he’d like to see the top NFL stars make comparable salaries to the top stars in the NBA, where Stephen Curry recently signed a deal that guarantees him $40 million a year.

“You want to change the game,” Beckham said. “You watch people in the NBA, and it’s crazy what they get. There are people in the NFL who deserve that. I just to be at the forefront, help push the league, the game that way, because I feel like the players deserve it.”

The problem for Beckham, however, is that NFL players are slicing the pie in smaller pieces. The New York Giants’ total payroll is greater than the Golden State Warriors’ total payroll, but the Giants are splitting their pay among 53 players, while the Warriors are splitting their pay among 15 players.

That simple fact makes it unlikely that the highest-paid NFL players will ever approach the salaries of the highest-paid NBA players. The flip side is, there are a lot more high-paying jobs available to you if you’re a professional football player than there are if you’re a professional basketball player. That’s a good thing for the middle-of-the-roster guys in the NFL: If you’re the 1,000th best football player in America, you’re making a million-dollar salary in the NFL. If you’re the 1,000th best basketball player in America, you’re not good enough to make it in the NBA.

But Beckham, who’s a lot better than No. 1,000, is more interested in what the superstars make. And on that count, he falls far short of his colleagues in the NBA.

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