Is Matt Ryan or Any Athlete Worth $30 Million a Year?

By: The Online Sports Guys

Friday, May 4, 2018

The short answer here before we start is this: If Kirk Cousins is worth $28 million a year to play QB for Minnesota and San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo (who's never played a full season) is worth $27.5 million then yeah, Matt Ryan is worth $30 million a year for the Atlanta Falcons.

It's relative when you are talking about these kind of numbers.

But the question is this: Are professional athletes worth $30 million or more a year? I should add Aaron Rodgers is due for a new deal very, very soon. It will likely be bigger than Ryan's.

When it comes to professional sports, we talk about Millions like pocket change. What's a few million here or there? Heck, in Major League Baseball and the NBA, teams will often take on players with big contracts and pay them millions to not play so they can get salary cap space the following year.

It's a complicated formula based on revenues neither me...nor anyone else without an accounting degree can comprehend.

And yeah, I suppose you can make the argument a LeBron James or Mike Trout or Tom Brady really is worth than kind of money for a professional sports franchise valued in the Billions. 

If you think about it, $30 million a year is pocket change on that kind of scale.

Ryan you can argue for his team---is worth the investment. He's 32-years old and he's getting $150 million for the next 5-years which would make him 37. Of that $150 million, he's guaranteed in theory to get at least $100 million of it no matter what happens to him the next 5-years.

Which actually is less guaranteed money than Cousins got from Minnesota even with Cousins considerably  less accomplished resume. Garoppolo didn't get as much guaranteed money---but he's like I said, not played a full season as a starting QB.

I guess that is really the issue to me here. Though I don't profess to understand the $30 million a year thing, at least Ryan has gotten to the Super Bowl and for most of his career, he's gotten the Falcons to the playoffs. Neither Cousins nor Garoppolo can say that.

Given the scale and perspective financially we're talking about, you can easily argue playoff level QB's or Outfielders or Small Forwards can be worth a $30 million contract.

But just contemplate this: Los Angeles Angels 1B Albert Pujols is in the $20-30 million a year range, has not hit higher than .260 the past couple seasons and still has a couple of guaranteed years on his nine-figure contract. Which is where the problem lies.

Matt Ryan will likely get the Falcons to the playoffs yet again in 2018. He might even get them to the Super Bowl (played in Atlanta). Which for Arthur Blank and the Falcons---justifies the expense. He likely will play out most or all of his contract with the team and likely will retire at age 37.

Why shouldn't he? Heck, how many millions are enough? If he collects the full $150 million to go on top of the $103.75 million he made on the contract about to wind down. And that's on top of the original $72 million he made on his first deal. 

Which gets him 1/3 of the way to being a Billionaire.....which is great for him but it makes you...or at least me wonder "How much money is enough?"...