While the NFL remains king as far as professional North American sports is concerned, all anyone could talk about this week was Shohei Ohtani and how much the two-time MLB MVP would get paid in free agency.
It’s not often that a generational talent hits the open market in any sport, but Ohtani is arguably a once in a lifetime type of player. He’s already being considered a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest baseball players of all-time and he has yet to hit the peak of his career.
Imagine Patrick Mahomes and Lawrence Taylor were the same person and hit free agency this offseason. It seems outrageous but even that comparison seems to understate how much of a talent Ohtani is, and every team in baseball had a chance to sign him.
Only one did, and they paid him more than any other player in North American sports has ever been paid on a single contract. The Los Angeles Dodgers gave Ohtani a 10-year, $700 million contract which is almost impossible to fathom.
The shock of the deal is settling in, and there really doesn’t seem to be an equal comparison. Patrick Mahomes getting half a billion dollars from the Chiefs was obscene at the time, but Ohtani not only passed that but he has dwarfed most payrolls that entire teams have.
Shohei Ohtani’s new deal dwarfs the Buccaneers entire payroll
Cap space has been a big conversation around the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year thanks to everything that happened in the offseason. Tom Brady retiring cost the team $35 million in dead cap, and the $55 million salary cap knot that needed to be untangled complicated moves the team could make.
That’s chump change compared to what Ohtani just got paid.
Tampa Bay’s total cap liabilities this season adds up to $223,958,204, which means the Bucs payroll this year is less than 35 percent of Ohtani’s total overall deal with the Dodgers.
Mike Evans is the highest paid Buccaneers player this season, making $13 million and counting as a $23.6 million cap hit on the books. Ohtani is set to make $70 million a season, which means Evans makes just 18 percent of what Ohtani will make annually with the Dodgers.
The highest paid player in the NFL is Patrick Mahomes, who makes $450 million which is still $150 million less than Ohtani’s total deal. Annually Joe Burrow is the highest paid player in the league, making $55 million, just to put into context how much money Ohtani is set to make.
Of course, nothing illustrates it better than pointing out that he’s making not only more than the Buccaneers entire payroll this season, he’s making 20 percent of what the Cincinnati Bengals. entire franchise valuation is ($3.5 billion)
It’s a preposterous amount of money for a single player to make, but it’s all of a sudden a reality.