Top 10 (+1) underpaid players in the NFC East

You'll get paid nothing and like it, punk.

Yesterday, we looked at the Top 20 overpaid players in the NFC East.  Today we do the Top 10 (+1) underpaid players in the division.  Actually, I should rephrase that from “underpaid” to “best values salary-wise from today forward,” but that would just sound awkward in the title.  For example, Hakeem Nicks received a $6.5 million signing bonus in his rookie contract.  That would not make him “underpaid.”  However, the $575K, $750K, and $925K he’s set to make over the next three years make him an excellent value.   “Underpaid” is just easier.  Also, this list does not include players that are free agents, restricted or unrestricted.  OK, so are we all happy with those disclaimers?  Good?  Good.  Well let’s just get to it then…

(cont after the jump)…

Rank Player Team 2011 2012 2013 Comment
T-10 Nate Allen Eagles 405,000 490,000 575,000 Impressive start to his career, coming off serious injury
T-10 Kenny Phillips Giants 722,000 880,000 Impressive start to his career, hasn’t gotten back all the way from serious injury.
9 Todd Herremans Eagles 1,900,000 2,200,000 2,600,000 One of the best OG’s in the game. Right there with Chris Snee, but makes about half of what Snee makes.
8 Justin Tuck Giants 3,450,000 3,200,000 4,000,000 He’s not starving, but in comparison to the other excellent DE’s in the NFL, he’s making peanuts.
7 Trent Cole Eagles 2,900,000 2,900,000 3,400,000 See comments for Tuck.
6 Jason Witten Cowboys 3,391,000 3,641,000 Again, another guy that isn’t exactly waiting on the bread line. Some think he’s the best TE in the game. I don’t, but he’s easily top 3 and a likely hall of famer already at the age of 29.
5 Terrell Thomas Giants 555,000 4 FF and 5 picks last year. Makes plays. He’ll be paid well soon.
4 Hakeem Nicks Giants 575,000 750,000 925,000 Developing nicely into a bona fide first-option receiver. (I hate the term “#1 receiver,” just FYI).
3 LeSean McCoy Eagles 480,000 565,000 Unquestionably the best RB in the NFC East, but he’ll be the 8th highest paid RB in the division in 2011, 11th if you include FB’s.
2 Brian Orakpo Redskins 480,000 765,000 1,610,000 He’s the only great, proven young player the Redskins have.
1 DeSean Jackson Eagles 565,000 As Barstool Sports Philly puts it, “DeSean gets paid in chest bumps and Nike’s.” Not for long.

Apologies to Dez Bryant, who’s making some nice coin for a 24th overall pick, salary-wise.  Dallas area jewelers rejoice!


  1. […] monumental loss in Terrell Thomas, as the CB tore his ACL.  Thomas is player I’ve always thought very highly of, as he simply makes plays (5 INTs and 4 FFs in […]

  2. vnc download says:

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  3. brisulph says:

    Rosenhaus being attached to Jackson would make me damn nervous, if I were an Eagle fan. That guy is poison.

    1. Agree, to a degree. While the likelihood of a Rosenhaus player causing trouble escalates ten-fold in comparison to other agents, ultimately the player is the one that decides if he’s going to become a distraction or not. Reporters have been trying to bait DeSean into bitching about his contract for 2 years now, but he hasn’t bit yet. He knows he’s severely underpaid, but has been a true professional about his contract. I think the Eagles will pay him when they can. If not, then it could become a problem.

      1. Dan in Philly says:

        the FO has been quite ok about paying big bucks to players who are special. Jackson is a very special player and I will be shocked if he doesn’t become a top 10 paid WR.

  4. Dan in Philly says:

    Jimmy you ignorant slut (I shall continue to say this until you respond):
    seriously interesting stuff, things that one would expect to see paid professionals do. Well done.

    I am facinated about the non-payroll aspects of the professional star athlete. I’ve never seen anything much written about it, but I know they not only get $$$ with endorsement deals, but appearances pay well, too. If he were so inclined, DJax could probably get $10,000 for showing up at a rich man’s son’s 15th birthday party for 30 minutes, or $20,000 for speaking at some dinner, etc. etc. Throw in autographs, signed jerseys, etc, and I wonder what his real annual income is.

    1. I’m torn. I want to reply, but I don’t want you to stop calling me an ignorant slut. What’s a guy to do?

      1. Dan in Philly says:

        Consider your wish granted, every time I disagree with you.

        The larger point stands. On the one hand, these guys have such a short shelf life to make a living. On the other, they all make more than their salary, and true stars like Jackson will be able to milk his celebrity for decades if he continues like he has in Philly. Underpaid by the Eagles, he may be, but his total reported income only his CPA will know.

        1. Dan in Philly says:

          To learn the answer to my question, I turned to google and found this:

          I do not know if these $$$s are accurate, but from what I learned on TMZ (it takes $20K to book a member of Jersey Shore for one night), they seem in the ballpark. $20-$30K for Boomer Esiason. $50K+ for Shaq. $10K for Sheryl Swoopes, for crying out loud!

          If he’s so inclined, I imagine Jackson can get between $10 and $20K per appearance, twice a week. Even if he cuts back during the season, he’d earn as much in appearance money as he does in salary, and that does not include the autographs, jersey sales, etc, etc. One day I’d love to talk to a former agent and get the scoop for just how much coin these guys pull down, both when they are playing and after they retire.

          1. $30K for Boomer Esiason? That’s ridiculous.

            1. Dan in Philly says:

              Exactly! If Boomer gets that kind of money, how much would DJax get? Or Vick? I imagine he’s good for $50K per night, easy. E.A.S.Y.

              1. Xexilia says:

                Whoa, thngis just got a whole lot easier.

          2. Magdelina says:

            And I was just wodneirng about that too!

  5. Norman says:

    Justin Tuck IS starving.

    Ever eat Subway? I get freaking hungry an hour later.

  6. smutsboy says:

    One of the best OG’s in the game.

    Wait, what?

  7. Sam says:

    Obviously, this comparison is further flawed by the fact that we see neither escalators nor roster bonuses nor other forms of payment other than basic paragraph 5 salaries. But as you say, the biggest thing missing are the signing/option bonuses, which makes this analysis really hard to interpret.

    A really helpful field would be adding when the contract was signed, and whether it is a rookie deal. For example, knowing that Justin Tuck signed his extension in 2008 and Jason Witten, Trent Cole and Todd Herremans signed theirs in 2006 adds some context here.

    Tuck signed his after a 10 sack season and three years in the league; Witten in the middle of his 3rd straight pro bowl season; whereas Cole and Herremans signed theirs during their second year in the league, before they had even started for a full season yet. This, it is reasonable to guess that Cole and Herremans sold low relative to how they performed later even when you include signing bonuses et al, while Witten and Tuck got much closer to fair market value when all that is included.

    1. HAS to Sam from IB, haha, right? Agree with everything you say here, and it’s definitely flawed – That’s why I protected myself with a long-winded opening disclaimer.

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