Andy Lee... Pay the man?

No, I'm not suggesting that there is a man somewhere who is owed money by Andy Lee. I'm suggesting that Andy Lee is someone who may be significantly underpaid based on his contributions over the past couple of seasons.

There was a bit of a scare yesterday as Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee posted an article about Lee's absence from last week's organized team activities. In said article, Barrows questions whether or not Lee was absent due to being unhappy with his contract. Barrows cleared this up later on though with the following:

***UPDATE, 5:45 p.m.**** I just received an email from Andy Lee's father in law, who notes that Lee and his wife are expecting their first child. That's why Lee missed last week's session. He expects to return to Santa Clara on June 7, according to his father in law. 

So it's good to hear that Lee isn't in that "holdout" stage, but he does go on to note that Lee has made it known to the team that he is unhappy with his current salary, as per information from a team source around the time that the Pro Bowl rosters were announced--keep in mind Andy Lee made that roster for the second time this past season. In 2009, Lee finished second in gross average and fifth in net average among all NFL punters. His contract, however, is very middle of the pack.  He's signed through 2012, and on the next three years his contracts are 1 million in 2010, 1 million in 2011, and 1.1 million in 2012, which--based on his skillset, seems like an awfully small number.

It doesn't seem like a holdout is imminent or anything, but Lee is definitely underpaid, the average of the top ten highest paid at the position hovers around 2.5 million. A punter holding out is an odd scenario, I wonder what the reactions here would be? Can any of use 'hate on' Andy Lee as fans tend to do when a player holds out? I'm not so sure, especially with a punter of his stature. It certainly seems like the team wouldn't have trouble giving him a little bit more money, even with Davis and Goldson coming up to FA, giving Lee some more money seems like it wouldn't require a whole lot of cap space.

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