So, if the Patriots are the second most valuable franchise in the NFL, but Devin McCourty is on the Top 10 list of the most underpaid players in the league, McCourty must really be getting stiffed.
Forbes has released its annual valuing of NFL franchises, but this year’s version comes with a couple of twists. The financial mavens also broke down the value of individuals, making Top 10 lists of who it deems to be the NFL’s most overpaid and underpaid players.
That’s where McCourty comes in. While the Patriots are second on the most valuable franchises list, being valued at $1.8 billion thanks to $408 million in revenue in 2012, McCourty is the fourth most underpaid player in the league, according to Forbes. Using profootballreference.com’s Approximate Value and comparing it to commensurate salaries, Forbes has determined that guys like McCourty are giving their team way more in terms of value than they’re being paid.
James Harrison of the Cincinnati Bengals, who makes $2.225 million, was No. 1 on that list, while the Cowboys’ Dez Bryant was No. 6 (but the list doesn’t include an “AV” for off-field issues). McCourty has a $2 million average salary and an 8.3 AV per 16 games, and that’s even before getting to the unseen contributions he’s made to the Patriots’ patchwork secondary in recent years.
When it comes to overpaying players, the Patriots are not in the running. Few big NFL names lead that list, although Forbes has Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald and the much-maligned Mario Williams in the Top 10.
This all confirms what Patriots fans have long suspected: Bill Belichick knows how to get the most out of his players for as little as possible.