Greed Before Glory: NFL Players Who Value Cash Above Passion

Darren - September 29, 2023

Greed Before Glory: NFL Players Who Value Cash Above Passion

Darren - September 29, 2023


Lamar Jackson

Jackson has one of the most interesting stories on this list. The quarterback is a divisive figure because some people think he’s one of the NFL’s most overrated players. But the former MVP saw Patrick Mahomes’ contract and wanted a massive deal too. However, the Ravens resisted meeting his demands.

Many people called him naive because he went into negotiations without an agent. In the end, Jackson proved that he was a brilliant businessman because he achieved a five-year, $260 million extension. This also made him the highest-paid NFL player on a per-year basis (via CBS News).

Le’Veon Bell

These days, Bell admits that his Pittsburgh holdout was the biggest mistake of his career. The running back was phenomenal in 2016 as he surged for 1,884 yards in 12 games. Everybody assumed that he would sign the franchise tag in 2018 after he failed to agree on an extension (via Fox News).

Sports Illustrated

Instead, he sat out for the entire season as he refused to change his position. But the Steelers didn’t blink so he sat on the sidelines as he missed the full year. Bell joined the Jets in 2019 but this was a disaster and he quit the franchise in disgust. Finally, he fell out of the NFL after three games for Kansas City.


Tom Brady

Brady may seem like a strange addition to this list but there’s a couple of reasons why he’s on it. Firstly, he joined Tampa Bay in 2020 despite heavy links to the Raiders and his beloved Niners. Florida’s tax laws made it a very attractive choice for the aging quarterback (via The Mirror).


Nobody can blame him for wanting to maximize his final contract. He also helped the Buccaneers to a fairytale Super Bowl win. But Brady cares about cash as fans realized in 2023. He had a stake in the Raiders and this prevented him from coming out of retirement to rescue the Jets.

SacTown Sports

Josh Jacobs

Jacobs joined the ranks of disgruntled running backs in 2023. These days nobody wants to pay these players because it’s so easy to replace them. It’s a tough position when it comes to negotiating an extension. Jacobs discovered this the hard way when the Raiders tried to use the franchise tag.

Las Vegas Review-Journal

He held out throughout the summer and missed their summer schedule. Finally, the Raiders agreed to renegotiate and added an extra two million dollars in incentives to his deal. It’s not much in the grand scheme of things but running backs must fight for every extra dime (via

Sky Sports

Aaron Rodgers

Everybody knows that Rodgers is one of the greatest players of his generation. But he’s also one of the greediest as he proved in recent years as he held the Packers to ransom. The Denver Broncos thought that they were going to pull off a sensational trade in 2022 when Rodgers flirted with them.


But the canny quarterback knew what he was doing as he cajoled the Packers into offering him an extension. He signed a huge deal with the franchise before he quit them the following year for the New York Jets. It’s fair to say that he rubbed many fans up the wrong way with his cash grab (via


Nick Bosa

Bosa became the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history in 2023. This came after he missed the Niners’ entire training camp in a dramatic holdout. The franchise didn’t want to deal with this after Deebo Samuel’s situation the previous year. But they recognized Bosa’s importance and gave him the cash he wanted.


Samuel was the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He led the league in sacks as he showed why he’s one of the best in the business. The Niners knew that it was crucial to keep him to fulfill their championship ambitions because the clock was ticking (via The Guardian).