The 5 o’clock club aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.
The elephant in the room
The “elephant in the room” in Odell Beckham’s mind is that he should be the highest paid player in the league. Period.
Funny; I didn’t see that elephant hanging around before he mentioned it. Now that he has mentioned it, I can smell the elephant poo.
I have to say, I don’t think OBJ is the best player in the league. Heck, I don’t think he’s even the best wide receiver in the league.
Receiving yards? 5th in yards per game last season
Receiving TDs? 5th in the league last season
Odell Beckham Jr. Very good. Not great. Certainly not the best.
Being the best
Being the best involves being unstoppable. It means maturity and leadership as well.
Being the best involves handling pressure, stepping up when the going gets tough, and winning games for your team.
Being the best means being selfless; being the kind of player that puts his teammates first, who doesn’t demand attention, who doesn’t distract from the team.
Beckham is physically gifted, but he’s not mentally or emotionally tough enough to deserve to be thought of as “best in the league”. When the pressure is on, the cracks show.
Being paid as ‘the best’
I draft OBJ annually in my fantasy league if I can, but in real football, he creates too much distraction and leaves too much of a leadership void to be paid like anything other than a productive wideout. Beckham lacks the maturity to be worth top dollar.
Undeniably, some players add more value than others. I’m not sure if players always understand their value clearly. Some do.
Donald Penn is slated to make around $7m this season playing left tackle for the Raiders. There are 19 Left Tackles in the league making more money than Penn. The top 11 players at the position all make over $11m per year. I don’t have trouble understanding why Penn is holding out, trying to get a new contract.
Meanwhile, Le’Veon Bell isn’t in Steelers Training Camp because -- according to Bell -- he thinks he should be paid as the best running back in the league (and the franchise tag this season would do that) but he ALSO wants to be paid for the other skills he brings — specifically, his ability to line up as a receiver. Maybe he’s right. But Bell also has a history of not being there for his team -- a history of suspensions and injuries (he’s played in just 18 games over the past two seasons) — and now he’s refusing to sign his $12m franchise tag and skipping training camp. His coaches and teammates have noticed, and don’t sounded impressed.
So, maybe Le’Veon Bell deserves a bigger payday... but maybe he doesn’t.
Maybe OBJ deserves to be the highest paid player in the league... but maybe he doesn't.
In the NFL, we know that the highest payday always goes to the quarterback position, whether that’s fair or not. But let’s leave the quarterbacks out of the conversation for a moment.
Which non-quarterback do you think --- based on his contributions to his team on and off the field -- deserves to be the highest paid player in the NFL?
A few players not named Beckham or Bell jump to mind when I ask myself that question:
- David Johnson
- Vonn Miller
- Julio Jones
- Antonio Brown
- Khalil Mack
- Aaron Donald
- Patrick Peterson
- Luke Kuechly
- Rob Gronkowski
- Joe Thomas
- Trent Williams
- Mike Evans
- JJ Watt
- Devonte Freeman
These are just a few names out of the more than 1,500 that I could list; there are certainly others that deserve consideration.
Use the comments section to give your opinion on who, all things considered, the highest paid non-QB in the league should be.
If you were the Redskins GM, which of the following non-QB players would you give #1 priority to for a big-dollar contact next season?
This poll is closed