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NFL players wow’d by NBA free agency contract numbers

The differences between NFL contracts and those of other sports are well known. But it doesn’t stop players from their surprise at some of the dollar figures random players get in other sports compared to the NFL.

The NBA began free agency eaaaaaarly this morning, and already some insane contract numbers are flying around. NBA fans might have more familiarity with this, but some of our SB Nation NBA folks have been blown away by some of the numbers. Here’s just a few

There’s a whole lot of money flowing around, and from what I understand, it’s only going to get crazier next season when the television deal bumps the cap up over $100 million. It makes sense then that the bigger names will sign two-year deals with an opt out after next season. All kinds of money to be had.

It is not surprising in the age of social media that NFL players have been noticing these big numbers. Torrey Smith was among those tweeting about the contracts.

The big difference between NFL contracts and most other contracts in American professional sports is the guaranteed money. NFL players almost never get fully guaranteed contracts. Phil Dawson has his one-year deal fully guaranteed, but multi-year deals for veterans are never fully guaranteed. Instead, it comes down to the signing bonus, and what part of the base salaries are guaranteed.

Just to look at how drastic the differences are, look at two of the Cleveland Cavaliers free agents. Matthew Dellavedova and Timofey Mozgov came off the bench for the Cavs this season. They were both contributors in important ways, but they were not starters. Dellavedova is a restricted free agent and got an offer sheet of four years, $38 million. Mozgov is unrestricted and signed with the Lakers, netting a four-year deal worth $64 million. Delly could be getting $9.5 million a year, while Mozgov is getting $16 million a year. Evan Turner signed a four-year, $70 million deal. $17.5 million per year for Evan Turner. Other than the crazy amounts of money out there to be spent, can someone explain that one to me?

There is no real debate to be had at this point with regard to these contracts vs. NFL contracts. NFL players don’t get the same guaranteed money as other sports, and their union has generally had a tough time building up the players’ side of the equation. If they want to boost the guarantees or their general slice of the pie, it might just take them walking out at the end of the current deal. The NFL and NFLPA are locked into the current deal through the 2020 season. The NFL has already brought back their lockout lawyer in preparation for the next round of negotiations. It’s going to be interesting to see how the negotiations go next time around, and if the players are willing to push back a little harder this time around. They’re not getting fully guaranteed deals straight up, but a strike could get them significantly closer. We don’t exactly have labor peace right now, but football continues. It will be interesting to see what 2021 brings.