Percy Harvin: The Most Underpaid Player in the NFL
Through 6 games of the 2012 NFL season, Percy Harvin has accounted for 29% of the Minnesota Vikings Offense and leads the league in receptions with 49. In 2011, he accounted for 25% of the team's offense. That kind of production means he must be making elite wide receiver money right? Think again. Percy Harvin's salary in 2012 is $915,000. That ranks 13 on his own team alone, below punter Chris Kluwe who is making $5 million this year and fellow WR Michael Jenkins whose salary in 2012 is just under $4 million. Harvin is also arguably the most electrifying return man in the game, averaging 35 yards per kick return over the last two years and returning 5 kicks for a touchdown since 2009. Below is a list of other NFL players, all of which will make more money than Percy Harvin in 2012.
Mike Wallace is known by some as the fastest man in the NFL. To others, he's known as a holdout. That's because he held out of training camp in 2012 in the hopes of getting a new contract. That didn't happen, but he is still set to make $2.74 million this season. In 2011 Wallace accounted for just under 20% of the Steelers offense and 23% in 2010. He may be the next most underpaid player in the NFL, after Percy Harvin.
Larry Fitzgerald signed one of the most lucrative NFL contracts for a WR in league history last summer when the Arizona Cardinal locked him up for 8 years and $128.5 million. Fitzgerald has been as consistent as anyone over the last 5 seasons. In 2011 he accounted for 27% of the Cardinals offense and 26% in 2010. Fitzgerald, a Minneapolis native, is still admittedly a Vikings fan when the Cardinals aren't playing them. He especially would like to see his fellow wide receiver, Percy Harvin, get paid.
Roddy White, the most dynamic player in an explosive Atlanta offense has been as productive as they get over the last few years. In 2011 he accounted for 22% of his teams offense and 25% in 2010. White will make $5.5 million in 2012 and has been afforded the luxury of having Julio Jones line up along side of him, giving him single coverage more often than he ever dreamed.
Santonio Holmes, one of the league's biggest divas will make $7.7 million in 2012. Holmes' production has dipped a bit since coming over from the Steelers after winning the Super Bowl in 2008, but in 2011 Holmes accounted for 15% of his the Jets offense and 12% in 2010. It makes sense that he should be making more than seven times what Percy Harvin is making this year right?
The newest elite receiver to transfer to the NFC North is Brandon Marshall and he has quickly become Jay Cutler's favorite target. Marshall has been somewhat of a journeyman over the last few years, but at each one of his stops, he has been extremely successful. In Denver, he set the record for most receptions in a game in 2008 with 18. In 2011 in Miami Marshall accounted for 24% of the Dolphins offense with 81 receptions for 1214 and 6 TDs. In 2010 he accounted for 20% of his team's offense. Brandon Marshall will make $9.3 million in 2012.
Now Phil Dawson may not be a WR, but he is the most obscure player making more money than Percy Harvin this season. In 2012 Phil Dawson is set to make $3.81 million. The worst part is that Dawson isn't even one of the league's better kickers. Over the last two seasons, Dawson has made an average of 82% of the field goals he attempted. That ranks 17th in the NFL. The league's best kicker, Mat Bryant of the Atlanta Falcons, has made an average of 91.5% of his kicks since 2010.
Zach Miller has been a household name for the last couple seasons playing with the Seattle Seahawks. Well maybe not, but he will make $6 million in 2012. That would have amounted to $240,00 per reception in 2011, not to mention the fact that he didn't score a single touchdown.