Forbes: Hakeem Nicks among 'most underpaid' players in 2013

USA TODAY Sports

According to Forbes, Giants wideout Hakeem Nicks is among the NFL's most underpaid players.

When Hakeem Nicks' contract negotiations begin at the end of the season, he may want to bring a certain piece of literature with him to the table.

The New York Giants wide receiver was ranked the No. 3 most underpaid NFL player for 2013, according to Forbes. Nicks earns an average salary of $2.508 million, which is the final year of his rookie contract, but has an approximate value of 10.5 over the past three seasons.

For comparison's sake, an approximate value for players making $2 million or more per year was 7.5 over the last three years.

Ranked first on the "underpaid" list was new Cincinnati Bengals linebacker James Harrison. Behind him is former Giants and new Indianapolis Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw. And rounding out the top 10 is New England Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty (4), Seattle Seahawks corner Antoine Winfield (5), Dallas Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant (6), Arizona Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby (7), San Diego Chargers tackle Max Starks (8), Arizona Cardinals defensive end John Abraham (9) and Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey (10).

On the opposite end of the spectrum, not a single Giants player cracked Forbes' list of the NFL's most overpaid players.

According to that ranking, Minnesota Vikings fullback Jerome Felton is the most overpaid, followed by his teammate, John Carlson. Rounding out the top five is San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, Cleveland Browns linebacker Paul Kruger and Chargers fullback Le'Ron McClain.

A common denominator: you said "whaaat?" after each of the top five.

The list concludes with Tennessee Titans tight end Craig Stevens (6), Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald (7), Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams (8), Cowboys corner Orlando Scandrick (9) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers punter Michael Koenen (10).

The most glaring name on that list is Fitzgerald, a perennial All-Pro and arguably the most talented wide receiver in the league. Obviously, his production has suffered in recent seasons with the lack of a capable quarterback behind center, but the Cards had to overpay to keep a talent like Fitz in Arizona while they tried to rebuild the roster.

On Forbes' list of the NFL's highest-paid players, yet again no Giants players made the cut. The ranking encompasses more than inflated contracts; instead it includes endorsement deals, contract incentives, all of which add up to an overall annual earning.

Ranked first is New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, followed by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

The first player that does not play quarterback lands in the No. 7 spot in the form of Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. Ravens running back Ray Rice (8), Kansas City Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe (9) and Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson (10) round out the list.

Your thoughts are mine exactly: where are all of the nose tackles?

The final list released by Forbes was the most valuable NFL franchises, which again is headlined by the Cowboys.

The Giants landed the No. 4 spot, which is on par with the franchise's earlier ranking of No. 9 overall in sports. The Giants are currently valued at $1,550 million, earning an average revenue of $321 million. Upon further view, the Giants earn $828 through football, $334 through its market, $281 through MetLife Stadium and $113 solely through branding.

No. 2 on the list is the Patriots and behind them in the 'Skins. At No. 5 is the Houston Texans, followed by the New York Jets (6), Philadelphia Eagles (7), Chicago Bears (8), Ravens (9) and 49ers (10).

Overall, three NFC East teams rank among the top four, and all four rank among the top seven. Both New York franchises rank among the top six.

Follow Sam on Twitter @SamSpiegs

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