Rich NBA player deals bring envy from NFL talent

AFP
Sammy Watkins, pictured in 2016, took to Twitter to ask why the NFL, the world's richest sports league, pays its players less than the NBA (AFP Photo/Brett Carlsen)

Sammy Watkins, pictured in 2016, took to Twitter to ask why the NFL, the world's richest sports league, pays its players less than the NBA

Sammy Watkins, pictured in 2016, took to Twitter to ask why the NFL, the world's richest sports league, pays its players less than the NBA (AFP Photo/Brett Carlsen)

New York (AFP) - Buffalo Bills receiver Sammy Watkins is looking with envy at new NBA free agency deals and wondering why NFL players cannot have better paydays from the world's richest sports league.

Watkins, the fourth overall choice in the 2014 NFL Draft, took to Twitter on Sunday to push the notion of NFL players getting paid like NBA counterparts.

"We gotta get paid more I'm pretty sure 2014 class will change the market," Watkins tweeted.

Watkins also retweeted a posting from NFL player promoter Jake Steinberg that said: "NFL players have the right to be (ticked off). They get the smallest piece of the pie. NFL has $12B in annual revenue; NBA has $5B."

Nearly $1 billion (875 million euros) was spent on NBA free agents on Saturday in the first 24 hours of dealmaking, according to USA Today. While teams can negotiate deals, nothing can be signed until Thursday under NBA rules.

Among the reported NBA deals is Stephen Curry agreeing to stay with the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors for the richest contract in NBA history, a five-year contract for $201 million.

Over five 82-game seasons, that's nearly $500,000 a contest. Over the regulation 48 minutes for each game, that's more than $10,000 for every 60 seconds.

Watkins will make $19.9 million under his four-year rookie contract, all guaranteed, but the Bills declined to pick up a fifth-year option that would have paid Watkins $13.258 million, making him a free agent next year.

Watkins caught 65 passes for 982 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games as a rookie, then had 60 receptions for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns in his second season.

But nagged by injuries, he caught only 28 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns last season and has been eclipsed by other players who entered the league when he did, notably Odell Beckham Jr of the New York Giants.

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