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Apparently we aren't overpaying our players enough

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A gigantic hat tip to Bleeding Green Nation for tracking down this USA Today Salaries Database that is bursting full of interesting salary related information. Conventional wisdom tells us that the Redskins dramatically overpay for free agents again and again. And maybe there's some truth to that; I'd have to shove my head in the sand not to acknowledge overpayment (that even the team granted through later behavior) of, say, Adam Archuleta. But a lot of guys are overpaid. For instance, here's a list of the Top 25 Highest Paid Players of 2006. The following Redskins made the list:

Crickets.

But those brilliant capologists in New England have two guys on the list, at #1 (Richard Seymour; 24+M last year, over twice what any Redskin made) and Tom Brady at #6. The two of them combined for a cool 41M in '06. The Super Bowl Champion Colts have 3 guys on the list, though it may surprise you to know that Peyton Manning isn't one of them.

Skeptical Redskins fans might suggest that Washington might not have dramatically paid few individuals but rather overpaid everyone to a degree unmatched by other teams, despite our paucity in the Top 25. And you'd be partially correct, as we were better represented in Total Payroll, though we weren't league leaders. We chugged in at 6th, behind the Colts, Vikings, Cowboys, Bengals, and Ravens.

Median Income does the best job telling the familiar story, as we have an unusually high median salary ($904,730) which speaks to having large quantities of highly paid athletes, even if none sneak in to the top 25. But even here we aren't the most financially disparate as the Chargers surpass us with a $1,066,500 median salary.

I should note that those total salary numbers are not reflective of actual cap hits, as they consider signing bonuses as money made the year one actually receives it (and checks are cut immediately for signing bonuses) while, for cap purposes, those SBs are "paid" out on a prorated basis. And here are some facts that may interest only me. All conclusions below are based on cap values and not absolute salary figures. In 2006:

  1. Reuben Droughns cost more than Clinton Portis.
  2. Our highest cap value receiver was Santana Moss. At 36th.
  3. Adam John Hall (4th) cost the team $1,969,510 or over 200K dollars per FG made which, incidentally, was around twice as much as Shaun Suisham made over the entire year. At $102,941 cap hit in '06, Suisham's made field goals cost the team just over 11K a piece.
  4. The Panthers, Dolphins, Patriots, Eagles, Giants, Jets, Falcons, Colts, and Packers all paid multiple DEs more than we paid backup DE Renaldo Wynn last year.
  5. Two of our cornerbacks (Jerametrius Butler and Fred Smoot) made more in 2006 than Shawn Springs, but will make less than they did then, this year. David Macklin (who along with Butler is on a one-year contract) made more than Carlos Rogers last year, but will make less this year.