Every NFL squad has that one player that we look at and say, "I wish I made as much money as he does." Now that the NFL is evolving into a pass-happy league, it puzzles me why running backs are getting such big pay days, especially at a position very vulnerable to injury. Here's a list of the most underpaid players from every NFL team this season.
Fred Jackson is making less than two million dollars this season, and is arguably the best running back in the NFL. However, Fred Jackson has been placed on season-ending injured reserve. A season that looked like it held so much promise for the Buffalo Bills after a 5-2 start has been a disappointing one for the Buffalo Bills, and now with Fred Jackson done for the year, things are not looking bright in Buffalo.
One of the most feared players in the NFL is making less then half a million dollars this year. He deserves better but paying Cameron Wake is probably the last thing on the minds of the Miami Dolphins front office this year. It is unlikely for the Penn State vet to get a pay day anytime soon.
Aaron Maybin is quietly having an excellent season for Gang Green. The former 11th overall pick from the Buffalo Bills was cut this off season, giving Maybin the label of "Bust". The Jets took a chance and it turned out to be in their favor.
The only reason Ray Rice isn't paid as one of the top play makers in the NFL is because of his experience. He has yet to get a contract extension but is hoping for one in the near future. I expect a big check for Ray Rice, and an excellent career as well.
The Cincinnati Bengals seem to be a team that lacks talent each year, and it is to every ones surprise how Andy Dalton has kept this team in the playoff hunt this season. Yes, Dalton is a rookie but he is also the only player deserving of being payed big bucks on this team besides A.J. Green. I chose Dalton over Green for one reason and one reason only: Dalton means so much to this franchise and would likely be looking forward to the 2012 NFL Draft already without him.
Although Hayden is payed a fair amount, he means so much to this team that I couldn't leave him off this list. He is one of the few players that the Cleveland Browns can rely on to be consistent, and with so many questions looming this year for the Browns, Joe Hayden has stepped up and proven reliable for this franchise
Mike Wallace is a speed demon and the top wide receiver on this Pittsburgh Steelers squad. Hes emerged as Ben Roethlisberger's favorite target and is becoming the new Hines Ward for this group of receivers. A big play threat for the Steelers, opposing safetys must be on their feet if they want to stop number 17.
One of the easiest choices on this list, Arian Foster is in my opinion the best running back in the NFL, and not just fantasy wise. The Houston Texans have no quarterback and will get into the playoffs simply by giving Arian Foster the ball and letting him do the work. He's a true work horse for the Texans this year.
Ouch. Garcons face says it all. That's what kind of year its been for the Indianapolis Colts this season. But with seasons end comes a glimmer of hope this off season with most likely the number one pick in the NFL draft and an active offseason. One thing Colts fans can be excited about however is wide receiver Pierre Garcon. He's putting together a good season, but I expect even more of an impact from him next year when franchise quarterback Peyton Manning returns.
I had a tough time making this decision, yet I also had a tough time deciding if anyone on this team is valuable at all besides MJD. Tyson Alualu has proven to be consistent, much of what the Jacksonville Jaguars lack out of their players. Alualu is a player for the Jaguars to be excited for in the near future.
Before suffering a devastating season ending injury, the Titans looked like a surprise team out of the gate. Kenny Britt is a big body and a reliable target for this Titans offense, and is surprisingly paid the same as Titans wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins. Talent like this is too good to go unrecognized, and I think he will make a big impact for this team next season
I didn't want to do this, but how can you deny a 5-1 record as a starter this season. Many other players are underpaid on this Broncos team, but Tim Tebow is the most valuable. He is an electric player, running a college offense in the NFL. Not only is he underpaid, but he could be revolutionizing the game of football. We will get a better read of Tebow in these final weeks of the season.
Another player victim of a season ending injury, there is no guarantee that Jamaal Charles will return to his old form. If he does, however, he is deserving of a bigger salary. He is just that good. With him last year, the Chiefs made the playoffs and finished with a 10-6 record, and now they have Tyler Palko and Jackie Battle running this offense. Injuries can literally hurt your team.
Opposing quarterbacks dread facing this guy. Arguably the best linebacker for this Raiders team, he's paid the least amount of money. Something has got to change, and if he keeps up his spectacular play, I think something will.
The long time San Diego Charger Luis Castillo has been effective ever since he stepped onto the field. For his caliber of play, he deserves much better from this franchise. He is payed a descent amount, but is overshadowed by Shawn Philips. I'm not saying her deserves more money, but more credit
This was another easy choice. The Dream Team's season has officially turned into a nightmare, and one of the only reasons they're not in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes is running back LeSean McCoy. He is such a weapon on this offense as a receiver and a half back. A true dual player, he is the second most underpaid player in the NFL.
A huge target for John Beck/Rex Grossman this year (whoever feels like stepping up and taking over the quarterback role this season). A big body and a safety blanket for the Redskins this season, not many players have been more consistent than him this year for Washington.
And now for the most underpaid player in the NFL this season... Matt Forte of the Chicago Bears. You know you're underpaid when Soldier Field chants "Pay For-te, Pay For-te". A combination of power, speed and size is a rare combination in the NFL theses days. Matt Forte has it. He is an upcoming free agent, and I expect him to be payed like a real play maker, not Chris Johnson.
DeAndre Levy has incredible talent and finesse coming off the edge for the Lions this season. An anchor in the line backing corps for the Lions, he is a natural talent and has a great ability for attacking the quarterback
So many excellent choices for this one, but I had to choose cornerback Tramon Williams. He was talented to begin with, but now learning from 14 year veteran out of Michigan Charles Woodson, he will turn out to be even better.
There was so much controversy coming into the season with Percy Harvin. From headaches, to drug problems at the University of Florida, to his potential for this year. He's another big play threat in the NFL, and an underpaid player as well.
Sean Weatherspoon strikes fear into the heart of opposing offenses. Not only is he excellent at blitzing with his power moves but he's also great in coverage. There is no doubt he doubt he deserves more credit for this teams success, and more money.
Such a rare talent out of the University of Auburn, Cam Newton is proving many of his critics wrong. It turns out that his 400 yard games in the beginning of the season were not flukes, that was just Cam Newton getting started. Although he deserves more money, he deserves a strong supporting cast even more.
Such a tough decision, Darron Sproles or Jimmy Graham. I chose Jimmy Graham because none of the Saints wide receivers have stepped up and taken charge, but Jimmy Graham has. He's a Rob Gronkowski type tight end and means the world to this Saints offense this season.
Its been an up and down year for LeGarrette Blount, but he is a great running back nonetheless. An extraordinary talent has become a dynamic part of the Buccaneers offense this season, and continues to improve week by week.
Beanie Wells resembles a fast Brandon Jacobs with quick, ankle breaking moves. Almost a Steven Jackson type player. However, he is not making Steven Jackson type money. He signed a 5 year contract for 9 Million dollars back in 2009, and is an essential part to this offense. I'm sure the young play maker out of Ohio State will get more than twice as much when his current deal expires.
Quinton Mikell is a great all around safety. He's excellent with coverage and can get to the quarterback almost as fast as a defensive end can. He's the type of player that just gets better with age, and should recieve more credit for that.
The so called "Game Manager" deserves props for leading his team to a 9-2 start to the season. He is more than a game manager, he's a great quarterback if he can lead his team to this much success. He should be paid more and get more respect from football fans.
Marshawn Lynch is literally a touchdown machine for the Seattle Seahawks. He means so much to that offense and has been thriving all year for this team. Hes been a great story ever since the 76 yard run he broke last year against the Saints last season, and embraced the challenges hes faced. He is the most valuable player on the Seattle Seahawks and I expect great things out of him the rest of the way.