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Odell Beckham: NFL players should get paid more

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Odell Beckham Jr. sits as the brightest young star in America's most popular sport and the current cover boy of Madden 16 is using his platform to establish his belief that NFL players deserve a pay bump.

"I think that we should make more money, personally," Beckham told The Huffington Post.

Beckham's own rookie contract guarantees him $10.4 million over the first four years of the deal. The crux of the second-year wideout's argument is that NFL players should earn more than basketball or baseball players because football, their chosen profession, is more physical.

"I understand that basketball plays 80-something games, baseball plays this many games, soccer plays that many games, but this is a sport that's most-watched in America," he said. "A sport where there's more injuries. There's more collisions.

"It's not even a full-contact sport, I would call it a full-collision sport. You have people running who can run 20 miles per hour and they're running downhill to hit you, and you're running 18 miles per hour. That's a car wreck.

"It's just the careers are shorter. There's injuries that you have after you leave the game, brain injuries, whatever it is, nerve injuries. And it's just something that I feel as if there's no way someone who -- even if they did their three or four years in the league -- should have to worry about money for the rest of their lives."

Pay for most jobs, however, isn't based on the inherent danger, otherwise loggers and fishermen would be cleaning up.

The average NFL salary in 2013 was $2 million, according to Forbes, with the 2014 veteran minimum at $420,000. The rookie wage scale was introduced as one way to spread the wealth more to established veteran players. 

The biggest reason NFL average salaries are lower than other sports is that the pie is cut so many more ways. NFL rosters contain twice as many players as MLB rosters and four times as many as those in the NBA.

Still, Beckham believes something can be done to get players more dough.

"I understand we have more players, but look, there has to be some way to balance that out," he said.

Star players do get paid handsomely and many players subsidize their earnings with off-the-field opportunities thanks to the NFL's popularity (even Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton has commercials).

In the end, don't we all believe we deserve more money? I know you, dear reader, have certainly earned a pay increase.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes Lindsay Rhodes to discuss the Patriots' response in the "Deflategate" saga and the latest names revealed on the "The Top 100 Players of 2015" countdown. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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