SIDELINE PATROL: Professional sports contracts are a joke

Peter Silas Pasqua
Peter Silas Pasqua is the sports editor for the Gonzales Weekly Citizen. He can be reached at sports@weeklycitizen.com

The New Orleans Saints first-round draft pick Malcolm Jenkins is still not signed as I write this column. When Jenkins initially began his holdout before the Saints began training camp July 31, only eight of the 32 first-round picks had signed.

It is now going on two weeks since the start of New Orleans’ camp and Jenkins is still not a Saint. Head coach Sean Payton said he is hoping the process speeds up after draft picks directly ahead and behind Jenkins, who was picked 14th overall, have signed and are in their respective camps.

Brian Orakpo, the 13th overall pick by the Redskins, signed a five-year, $20 million contract and is guaranteed $12.1 million if he never plays a down. Brian Cushing, the 15th overall pick by the Texans, signed a five-year $14 million contract and is guaranteed $10.435 million if he never plays a down.

So that means Jenkins will sign a five-year, $17 million contract and get $11.3 million guaranteed if he never plays a down. This is my point.

Professional sports contracts are a joke. When did athletics turn into such a disgusting display of money swapping.

Eli Manning just signed the biggest contract in the NFL, a six-year deal worth $97 million. That is $16 million a year. That doesn’t compare to A-Roid’s, excuse me, Alex Rodriquez’s richest sports contract that includes $275 million over 10 years. Basketball’s biggest contract is  $136.4 million over seven years to none other than Kobe Bryant.

If I work the rest of my life, I don’t know if the total amount I will make will exceed $1 million. Yes, athletes are entertainers but do they work any harder than the rest of us that justifies their outrageous salaries. Probably not.

But we are to blame. If people just quit attending games or watching them on T.V., maybe teams wouldn’t be making enough money to pay them their outrageous salaries.

For example, if you buy a pizza in one of the new Texas Stadium’s suites, it will cost you $90. That is for just one pie. I wonder how much of that will go to Tony Romo’s $67 million contract that he will flaunt to woo Taylor Swift. 

Anyway, here is a short wishlist if I were a professional athlete – a 75-foot sailboat, a Dodge Charger (I may find a way to get this anyway someday), a Houmas House replica  on 40 acres in Ascension Parish complete with horses, cows and sugarcane fields, separate islands in the Carribean, Mediterranean and Indonesia, a winery in Sicily, a goat farm in France and a date with supermodel Petra Nemcova. I guess I would need A-Rod like money for all that.

Next week, I am going on an entire week-long vacation and I am hoping that I can find my way to an island and pretend like I own it even if I can’t afford to buy it.