Sports Lists

Athletes Who Don't Think They Make Enough Money

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2014

Athletes Who Don't Think They Make Enough Money

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Everyone wants to be paid what they think they're worth, but pro athletes seem to really make their opinions heard.

    While rookie holdouts are all but nonexistent thanks to a pay scale based on where guys are drafted, when an athlete outperforms their contract, that's when they start voicing their displeasure.

    And since so many appear to think they're worth more than they're getting paid, here are a few who have recently talked about deserving more coin.

Victor Cruz

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Unlike the other athletes on this list, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz isn't on here because he's holding out hope for a new contract, but because he regretted the big deal he already signed.

    That's right, after getting $43 million from the G-Men last summer, Cruz was on record as complaining about the deal, saying it was "tough" because he didn't get more.

    Um, apparently he forgot how much money that really is.

LeBron James

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    Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

    Making $18 million a year from his Miami Heat deal and an additional $42 million from endorsement money, it's obvious that LeBron James isn't too cash-strapped.

    Still, that doesn't mean he isn't underpaid for all the things that he does—and he's unafraid to point that out.

    Reminding everyone that he has yet to ever sign a max deal in his career, James might not feel the need to demand more money, but he definitely could.

Caroline Wozniacki

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    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    While former No. 1 player in the world—and recently split fiancee of Rory McIlroy—Caroline Wozniacki may have voiced her displeasure with the amount tennis players make a few years ago, I'm sure she hasn't lightened her stand on things much.

    Thanks to earning just $150 for her first ever pro match, Wozniacki understands that players—specifically women—don't make as much as other world-class athletes.

    Still, she might not have room to talk now that her net worth is close to $20 million.

Vernon Davis

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    A two-time Pro Bowler and one of the most freakish tight ends in all of football, there's a very good reason that the San Francisco 49ers' Vernon Davis has been absent from the offseason program—even if no one's really saying it.

    Yeah, it's because he wants a new contract—like, now.

    Unhappy with some of the mega money other playmakers have received while also seeing his team add big names to the roster which will, most likely, limit his touches, Davis wants to get his before it's too late.

Pablo Sandoval

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    Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

    Although San Francisco Giants All-Star third baseman Pablo Sandoval has slimmed down and tried to stay healthier over the past few seasons, even when on the field, I'm not sure he's worth as much as he thinks he is based off his stats.

    Sure, he's a key cog in the middle of the lineup for the Giants and helps deliver offense, but for him to believe he should get upwards of $100 million is a bit much.

    Still, that's what Kung-Fu Panda is hoping to get from his team as the two sides continue to work out a new deal.

Jimmy Graham

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    The NFL may have declared the New Orleans Saints' Jimmy Graham as just a tight end—even though he lines up in the slot a lot—but the two-time Pro Bowler is still hoping he gets paid like a wide receiver whenever he inks a new deal.

    Of all the guys on this list, Graham has the most legitimate shot at getting a huge deal signed sooner rather than later, as the team doesn't want to mess up what he and quarterback Drew Brees have had going on the past few seasons—so expect the guy who wants more cash to get more cash.

Jose Aldo

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Carrying a 24-1 career record and holding the UFC featherweight championship belt, MMA fighter Jose Aldo probably deserves a bit more money than whatever it is he's making.

    Well, at least he thinks so.

    Believing other fighters who have either accomplished less or are less of a brand name than he is, Aldo recently mentioned how he feels underpaid by his employer—even though he's the world's best in his weight class.

Dez Bryant

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    A former first-round pick, Dallas Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant has seen his numbers increase the first four seasons of his career, breaking out and making the Pro Bowl in 2013.

    So, naturally, Bryant wants to get paid like a No. 1 receiver—and no one can really doubt him for it.

    As the primary target on the outside for quarterback Tony Romo, the Cowboys would be wise to lock up the 25-year-old star to make sure he stays happy for a long time in Big D—because the kid is a complete stud.

NCAA Athletes

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    Gary Dineen/Getty Images

    This one might be a bit of a cop-out, but considering Northwestern football players formed a union to encourage college athletes getting paid, it's a very real situation.

    As anyone who has been in college knows, finding time to make money while studying, going to class and trying to keep some sanity by having a social life is tough—so imagine all that plus practicing for hours a day playing a sport!

    I wrote a very long, detailed, 30-page research paper while at the University of Kentucky about why college athletes should be paid, and after men's college hoops national champion Shabazz Napier says he occasionally goes to bed hungry, it might be time for the NCAA to really consider doing it.

Patrick Peterson

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Watching fellow NFC West cornerback Richard Sherman sign a massive deal and then seeing the Cleveland Browns' Pro Bowler Joe Haden get his, Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals is itching to get in on the dollar-sign action.

    Peterson—the No. 5 pick in 2011 and a three-time Pro Bowl selection—brings tremendous ability not only while trying to shut down the opponents' top receiver, but also as a dangerous return man, taking back four punt returns in his three seasons thus far.

    For that reason, he thinks that he's worth all the bags of cash the aforementioned guys are making—plus more—and deserving of the label of top-earning corner in the league.

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