The average salary for an NBA player in 2020 was 8.32 million, whereas the average salary for an NFL player was 3.26 million.
On average, NBA players will make over twice as much as NFL players.
There are four major sports leagues in North America, and the NBA is the highest paid. The NFL ranks third in average salaries behind the NBA and MLB.
Why are Basketball Players Paid more than Football Players?
Basketball players make more money despite football being the most popular sport in the United States.
Listed below are some of the main reasons basketball players earn more than football players.
Basketball players make more money than football players because of the size of their rosters.
An NFL roster has a total of fifty players during the season, whereas an NBA roster has fifteen players.
Although the salary cap is different between these two leagues, the number of players under the cap makes a huge difference.
An NFL roster has 53 players, making it 3.53 times larger than an NBA roster. If salaries are divided evenly among all players, the NBA would be much more expensive.
The salary cap for the NFL in 2022 is 208 million dollars. The salary cap for the NBA is 122 million dollars.
In spite of the NFL’s much higher salary cap, NBA players make more on average because NFL teams have fewer players to pay.
Furthermore, an NFL roster tends to have many players who are rarely on the field, such as long snappers and depth players.
A player on the NBA roster will likely play some minutes on the court almost every night.
It is likely that each NBA player on a roster is more valuable than each NFL player, so NBA players can argue for better salaries than NFL depth players.
Guaranteed money is another reason NBA players make more than NFL players.
In the NBA, a significant percentage of the money is guaranteed. This means that the player will receive the money even if he or she is injured or cut from the team.
There are only a few guaranteed contracts in the NFL. Players will often see guaranteed money in their first few years, but the team can terminate the contract at the end.
As a result, NBA players earn more since their earnings will not stop if they are injured or perform poorly.
In addition, NBA players earn more than NFL players due to the international attention basketball receives. Football is a more popular sport in the United States, but this is not the case abroad.
Basketball is one of the main sports throughout the world, while football is primarily played in North America.
Some of these earnings are reflected in players’ salaries, as an increase in revenue usually means an increase in salary caps for the NBA.
You can find out who makes more money playing baseball or football in our guide to basketball vs. football salaries.