It's also about showing the love

The NFL, as a whole, makes billions of dollars every year. Each team is worth well north of $1 billion. Network pay an insane amount of money for the right to broadcast games and command a ridiculous amount from companies interested in advertising space. Then there are the players.

Yeah— depending on the position you don’t even have to be good to make millions. Money isn’t just important to the NFL. It’s what makes the league go ‘round. Without it or if the league or teams get too reckless with it, problems arise.

But sometimes, it is important to do something with money that on the outside appears to be reckless, at least from a business perspective. However, while the moves may not be prudent from a business perspective, they serve another purpose. They let the players know something essential—that they are beloved by the ownership as well as the fan base. Silly notion? Maybe. But let’s be real—who doesn’t like to feel a little love now and then?

Who doesn’t look forward to getting that birthday/Easter/Halloween/Flag Day card from Grandma with a $5 bill inside—and the warm feeling that comes with it (aka, Grandma’s love)? The Pittsburgh Steelers certainly showed linebacker Ryan Shazier some love with what they did for him. Shazier has already been placed on the PUP list as he works his way back from the spinal cord injury he suffered last season. He is not going to play this season.

Should the Steelers make it back to the Super Bowl this season, it will not be because of any plays he makes. According to, the Steelers odds of winning the Super Bowl this season are the fourth best in the league, 10:1 (as of May 3rd). With that in mind, a case could be made that they don’t owe him any favors this season; that they should be focused 100 percent on getting the guys that are playing to the Super Bowl.

But football teams always talk about being a ‘family.’ When you’re a family, you are supposed to take care of your brother when he is down. You certainly don’t forget about him. So, when Shazier approached the team about converting most of his salary this season to a bonus, the Steelers front office agreed to do it. He was due to make a base of $8.718 million this season after the team activated the fifth-year option on his contract. But to give him access to most of it now, they converted $8.26 million to a bonus. Necessary? Absolutely not. Classy? Absolutely. But it shows that they value the man more than anything else.


Matty Ice and the Falcons

On a different note, the Atlanta Falcons used money—a lot of money – to make sure longtime quarterback Matt Ryan is feeling loved by the organization. Ryan was going into the final year of his last extension this season. But the team had made it clear that working out an extension for Ryan ahead of the 2018 season was a priority. Matt is getting what he has earned, and we all know the marketplace for a great quarterback," Falcons owner Arthur Blank said recently about Ryan (via ESPN)  

Revenues are up, club revenues, new stadiums, and the players are the heart of the game. They're the ones on the field, and they certainly deserve their fair share  Ryan will get his fair share for the next five years. According to reports, the soon-to- be 33-year old quarterback is the proud owner of a new five-year extension worth $150 million with $100 million of it guaranteed.

His value is not questioned by anyone. With Jimmy Garappolo getting a deal averaging $27.5 million a year and Kirk Cousins averaging $28 million a year over the life of his, Ryan’s was expected to be pretty high. While his value and skill are unquestioned, it does seem like a lot of money for a player that has only made it to one Super Bowl and has yet to win one. Then again, Garappolo hasn’t played a full season, and Cousins hasn’t won a playoff game. Like Blank alluded to, the marketplace for a great quarterback is intense. If you have one and want to keep him, you better make sure he knows how much you appreciate him. It is safe to say that the Falcons have made it pretty clear they appreciate Matt Ryan.

But at what he is going to cost them over the next few years, he better lead them a Super Bowl title sooner rather than later if he wants to see the contract through to the end. Atlanta's odds, according to, for next year are not bad,but they  aren't great-- 20:1 to win (as of May 3rd).  It kind of makes you wonder what Aaron Rodgers is going to get paid.


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