NFL Nation: millionaires
July, 31, 2014
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- In stark contrast to Ray Rice's awkward news conference in May, the Baltimore Ravens running back showed Thursday that he finally understood the weight of his actions from the alleged altercation with his then-fiancée in February.
He delivered the correct message, one the NFL failed to do last week with the two-game suspension, by not only apologizing to his wife, Janay Palmer, but also expressing a desire to become an advocate for domestic-violence causes.
Rice was compelling in his contrition, calling it the biggest mistake of his life. He stood in front of the microphone alone, without his wife standing by his side, and took full responsibility for the incident. Perhaps more importantly, Rice actually said the words "domestic violence," which weren't heard in his statement two months ago.
"My actions were inexcusable," Rice said. "That's something I have to live with the rest of my life."
Before anyone pats Rice on the back, this is what he should have said the first time when he broke his silence in May. Instead, Rice nervously fumbled through notes on his phone and apologized to team officials and his sponsors. That debacle of a news conference came across as damage control to his image.
His 17-minute news conference Thursday hit the right tones. He apologized to all women affected by domestic violence. He accepted the blame for losing the respect of fans. Rice came across as genuinely sorry.
"I let my wife down, I let my daughter down, I let my wife's parents down, I let the whole Baltimore community down," Rice said.
Rice's biggest misstep was not talking about what happened in the elevator. He was asked twice about it and declined to answer both times. His stance against domestic violence would have resonated stronger if he had explained his transgressions.
"I'll be honest: Like I said, I own my actions," Rice said. "I just don't want to keep reliving the incident. It doesn't bring any good to me. I'm just trying to move forward from it. I don't condone it. I take full responsibility for my actions. What happened that night is something that I'm going to pay for the rest of my life."
The only way Rice can move forward from this incident and show he's truly sincere is through his actions. It's not by his words. It's not by a hefty donation, which is merely a gesture. It's by proving this will remain a "one-time incident" and by supporting domestic-violence causes.
Thursday represented a small step forward for Rice. But it was an important one.
March, 2, 2011
By Paul Kuharsky | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Phil CoaleMario Williams and David Garrard are two of the 53 players under contract in the AFC South slated to make more than $1 million this season.After being struck recently with how the NFL's labor rift has been cast as billionaires vs. millionaires, I thought I’d look at some players' salaries.
Totaling-up career earnings is quite difficult, and bonus money can be hard to nail down and sort through.
We can still get an interesting snapshot by looking at scheduled 2011 base salaries. I suspect many readers will be surprised that the vast majority of players will earn less than $1 million this fall.
Here, according to the NFLPA, are the players from each AFC South team currently scheduled to make a base salary of $1 million or more in 2011. Keep in mind guys in line for some form of free agency are not part of things here.
Fifty-three of 216 players under contract are slated to make $1 million or more. That’s 24.5 percent of the division.
- DE Mario Williams -- $13.8 million
- WR Andre Johnson – $7.2 million
- QB Matt Schaub -- $5.7 million
- LB DeMeco Ryans -- $5 million
- DE Antonio Smith -- $4.6 million
- RT Eric Winston -- $4.5 million
- DT Amobi Okoye -- $2.95 million
- C Chris Myers -- $2.75 million
- QB Dan Orlovsky -- $2.75 million
- K Neil Rackers -- $2.15 million
- G Wade Smith -- $1.75 million
- WR David Anderson -- $1.44 million
- RB Steve Slaton -- $1.2 million
Total players under contract for 2011: 49
Percentage of roster making $1 million or more: 26.5
- DE Dwight Freeney -- $11.42 million
- CB Kelvin Hayden -- $6.105
- WR Reggie Wayne -- $5.95 million
- RT Ryan Diem -- $5.4 million
- FS Antoine Bethea -- $4.745 million
- TE Dallas Clark -- $4.2 million
- DE Robert Mathis -- $2.41 million
- C Jeff Saturday -- $2.4 million
- LB Gary Brackett -- $2 million
- LB Philip Wheeler -- $1.2 million
- WR Anthony Gonzalez -- $1.11 million
Total players under contract for 2011: 57
Percentage of roster making $1 million or more: 19.3
- QB David Garrard -- $7.975 million
- CB Rashean Mathis -- $4.45 million
- LB Daryl Smith -- $4.2 million
- RB Maurice Jones-Drew -- $4.05 million
- FB Greg Jones -- $3.1 million
- DE Derrick Harvey -- $2.8025 million
- DE Aaron Kampman -- $2.45 million
- G Vince Manuwai -- $2.9
- K Josh Scobee -- $2 million
- OL Justin Smiley -- $2 million
- C Brad Meester -- $1.95 million
- WR Kassim Osgood -- $1.475 million
- LT Eugene Monroe -- $1.2425 million
Total players under contract for 2011: 51
Percentage of roster making $1 million or more: 25.5
- QB Vince Young -- $8.5 million*
- SS Chris Hope -- $6.5 million
- WR Kenny Britt -- $5.75 million
- LT Michael Roos -- $5 million
- G Jake Scott -- $4.7 million
- RT David Stewart -- $4.5 million
- DT Tony Brown -- $4 million
- WR Justin Gage -- $3.5 million
- FS Michael Griffin -- $3.3105 million
- WR Nate Washington $3.3 million
- CB Cortland Finnegan -- $3.293 million
- DT Jovan Haye -- $3 million
- C Eugene Amano -- $2.68 million
- K Rob Bironas -- $2.4 million
- DB Vincent Fuller -- $2.06 million
- LS Ken Amato $1.05 million
Total players under contract for 2011: 59
Percentage of roster making $1 million or more: 27.1
*Young will be cut or traded, the Titans have announced.