NFL player salaries are excessive, aren't they? It depends whom you ask. National Football League team owners seem to think NFL player salaries are bloated: in May they voted unanimously to terminate their labor contract with the players union early, in a move to cut salary costs. Even some NFL players themselves believe salaries, particularly for rookies, are unfair.
So just what do NFL player salaries look like these days? According to a recent USA TODAY survey of player compensation, the top-paid player for 2008 is Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at $27.7 million, followed by Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen at $21.1 million, Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald at $17.1 million, and Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell at $16.9 million. The survey includes all signing bonuses in the initial contract year, as well as base pay and other bonuses. The story notes that teams are willing to fork over big bucks for NFL player salaries, especially for a quarterback who holds the promise of being a "marquee player."