Mike Trout’s 12-year $430 million deal with the Los Angeles Angeles proves NFL and NBA owners have been getting over on their players with the salary cap and max contracts, unlike the MLB. The games’ greatest players like LeBron James and Tom Brady are rarely the highest paid.
LeBron is one of the greatest players in NBA history. He is a 14-time all NBA selection, four-time MVP, and three-time Finals MVP. He has only been the highest paid player once. LeBron has only been amongst the top five highest-paid four times. How much would teams had been willing to pay LeBron had there been no wage scale in the NBA? Maybe $50-60 million per season?
Tom Brady is considered by most to be the greatest NFL quarterback of all time. He is a six-time champion, four-time Super Bowl MVP, and he holds numerous passing records. But, is he ever the NFL highest paid player? No.
Money Left on the Table For NBA, NFL Highest Paid
LeBron, Brady and other greats are well paid, but don’t get to collect their fair market value because of wage restrictions. MLB players have a truly open market, and players are paid what the market will bear. LeBron and Brady combined have been paid or are owed a total of $614 million in on-field salary. Mike Trout himself will now be at at least $521 million.
The owners created the salary cap, and max salaries to control costs. The leagues are kicking down 100s of millions per year to each franchise. There is no shortage of dollars, but fans believe there is. Teams regularly ask players to take a discount to help build a championship roster. Fans should hold owners responsible for getting the finances right instead of the players. Let the billionaires figure it out. 16 years ago, Arte Moreno bought *the entire Angels franchise* for $182.5 million. They are now worth $1.8 billion.