For quite some time, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had owners who had a reputation for being cheap -- accurate or not. That reputation faded after the Bucs spent big in free agency starting in 2012 -- immediately and repeatedly demonstrating why this is not a viable long-term strategy -- but there are still some remnants of this belief.
Which is where the Bucs' current payroll comes in. It seems that ESPN has decided they rank 131st among all sports franchises in average pay per player. Just $2.3 million per player in 2014.
That sounds low, right? It's not, though. In the NFL, only five teams had higher average salaries than the Bucs did last year. And the team's total payroll ranked fifth in the NFL.
The reality is that ranking teams by average salary paid to players across different sports doesn't tell you all that much, because each sport has a massive difference in the amount of players on a roster at any given time. A ten-man NBA roster is not a 23-man soccer roster nor is it a 53-man NFL roster. Of course NBA teams are going to pay their players more on average: they have far fewer players to pay.
The good news is that this is, once again, a nail in the coffin of the myth that the Glazers are thoroughly cheap. There are certainly areas where they skimp, as does any business, and given that this is an enthusiast industry where people are lined up around the block to work with the team they can afford to pay a lot of their employees less than they'd earn elsewhere. I'm not going to excuse that -- but it is a common feature of all sports teams and enthusiast markets.
But the amount of money they spend on players is not something anyone should be complaining about.
Of course, that should've been obvious after all the free agent spending sprees the team went on over the past four years. But some people will never stop complaining.