The Five Best Contracts for the Value in South Florida Sports
Black Friday, the day Americans decide cheap waffle irons and flat-screen TV sets are enough reason to hurdle other shoppers, face-smash an old lady, and dive into Macy's before the doors close like in Indiana Jones. It's a tradition like no other. Being a sucker for an unbelievable deal isn't unique to us — our sports teams like it too, because it allows them to splurge on other things. Unless you're Jeffrey Loria, that money just goes straight into your pocket and you let out a diabolical laugh.
Here are the most Black Friday-looking sports contracts in South Florida. Get them now, before they're goooooooone.
Hassan Whiteside: $981,348
Finding an athletic seven-foot center for the minimum salary in the NBA is like finding new Jordans at a garage sale — it happens only in your wildest dreams. Whiteside is the 12th highest paid player on the Miami Heat, but that won't last very long. This year's bargain will balloon into next year's $22-million-plus-a-year luxury. The Heat did well in finding and securing two years of a clearance Hassan Whiteside when he was just another NBA D-League player willing to sign any contract pushed in front of him.
Tyler Johnson: $845,059
"Bumpy" performed so well during the past two seasons that not only was the Heat getting a great value on him, but the team was also able to deal away Mario Chalmers and his $5-million-a-year contract — that's like buying an iPad cheap and getting a free $100 gift card. Johnson is under contract next year too for less than $1.2 million, so the savings will continue.
Lamar Miller: $1,542,000
In a league where starting tailbacks are making upward of $5 to $10 million a year, paying Lamar Miller a fraction of that price has been one helluva bargain for the Miami Dolphins since they drafted him in 2012 and signed him to a four-year, $2,586,000 contract. Miller has consistently outperformed his contract, totaling 2.653 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground alone. Next season, Miller is sure to cash in, either in Miami or somewhere else.
Rishard Matthews: $2,153,612
Matthews hasn't always seemed like such an absurd value, but this year he's broken out to the point that he's the best wide receiver on an NFL team — and those usually make five times his salary, at least. Matthews has 43 catches, 662 yards, and five touchdowns on the year. Nothing groundbreaking, but enough to make him one of the best values in South Florida sports.
Jose Fernandez: $651,000
Oh, the Miami Marlins will pay for this one down the road. All Fernandez has done in his time with the Fish is go 22-9 with a 2.40 ERA while never losing at home. That's what you call a steal in a league where comparable players make $25 million to $30 million. Fernandez and the team have already begun to bicker, so everyone involved not named Jose Fernandez better enjoy it while it lasts, because in 2018 he might cost $300 million.
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