Examining Why NFL Cornerbacks Get Such High Salaries Relative to Some Other Positions

Slightly off-topic, but it’s the off-season.  Be sure to scroll down for our profile of Terps senior quarterback Caleb Rowe

The NFL has a shortage of corners. There just aren’t 64 NFL caliber corners in the country, not even close, which is of course a problem in a 32 team league where you’re going to need at least 2 corners on anything that’s not a goaline stand or the like. In fact, the percentage of plays where offenses are using three receivers has gone way up, it may have hit the 50% mark, some your 3rd and 4th corner have become even more important. Some teams announce their nickle corner as a starter pregame these days.

Really, the NFL needs about 100 corners of reasonable quality. They might have 25. Hence, the payrate goes through the roof.

Adding to the problem is that there is a big glut of capable receivers (Not necessarily elite receivers, but guys who look like they belong on the field), who obviously are going to tear bad corners to shreds.


Add to this rules instituted either specifically to increase offense, or to physically protect players, and that’s going to make the distinction even bigger. What would be considered a legal tackle in the past is 15 yards after the end of the play. A cornerback’s best friend is the defensive front seven, and they have to approach quarterbacks so carefully on blitzes that it provides the quarterbacks extra time to throw, the receivers extra time to get open, and the corners extra time to get burnt like grandma’s toast.  If you sneeze in the vicinity of a receiver, out come the yellow flags. Receivers have also become very good at drawing flags.

One thing I like about Big Ten football is that the referees are better and fairer than in the NFL. In the NFL, refs don’t seem to know the rule book and don’t care- there’s a combination of ineptitude and bias there that sometimes makes games hard to watch. Big Ten refs, by contrast seem to know the rules, get in the right position to see the play, and call what they see right down the middle.

One might argue that the speed of the NFL game relative to college makes it harder to call, and that college football is easier to call, relatively speaking, and I agree with that, but so many of the miscues I see commonly I’m the NFL aren’t present in the Big Ten- and it’s often on things that have nothing to do with speed, and everything to do with knowing the rules, paying attention, and refereeing in an unbiased consistent way.

The NFL refs remind me of ACC refs.

Big Ten refs seem to take their roles more seriously.

Also, Will Likely rules. :blush: