Sammy Watkins: ‘We gotta get paid more,’ 2014 draft class will change market

NBA free agency is in full swing, and we’re starting to see some huge contracts being inked. This doesn’t sit well with NFL players like Sammy Watkins.

The Buffalo Bills receiver retweeted something Jake Steinberg tweeted out on Saturday, that “NFL players have the right to be pissed. They get smallest piece of the pie. NFL has $12B in annual revenue; NBA has $5B.”

Here are just a couple of examples that show just how rich the new deals in the NBA are right now.

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry signed a five-year deal worth $201 million — all of it guaranteed. It’s a new NBA record, but it won’t be for long as the Association continues to see its salary cap rise. Heck, all you need to know about NBA salaries is that J.J. Reddick signed a one-year deal worth $23 million to play for Philadelphia next season.

Meanwhile, NFL players are well behind their NBA counterparts. And even the biggest contracts signed in the NFL aren’t worth as much as they appear to be, because only a portion of the money is guaranteed.

Watkins believes his 2014 NFL Draft class will be the one to change the market.

There are certainly some power players from the 2014 draft class, including Derek Carr, who just inked the richest deal in NFL history.

Others include Carr’s Oakland Raiders teammate Khalil Mack, Houston Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (who is hinting at holding out of training camp without a new deal), New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan.

We are sure to see NFL contracts continue to swell, thanks to a growing salary cap fueled by television deals. But they’ll never be able to compare to the deals being signed by players in MLB or the NBA. MLB teams don’t have a salary cap restricting them, and NBA teams simply don’t have the volume of players to deal with.

So as much as NFL players would love to change how things are done contractually, there are certain restrictions that aren’t going away any time soon. The upcoming CBA negotiations are sure to touch on this, but we don’t foresee a seismic shift in how NFL contracts are doled out any time soon.