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Peterson: Contracts too large for pro athletes

Take a look at some of the salaries being paid to today’s professional athletes and you have to wonder if it’s case of them being overrated or overpaid.

Now, I know the year is 2019 and everything has an exorbitant price tag.

Take a look at your next grocery bill — or the sticker price on a new car or truck — and you’ll know what I’m referring to.

The most glaring example that comes immediately to mind are baseball salaries.

And our local big league favorite, the Detroit Tigers, is one of the prime examples.

Sure, I know that the $30 million annual salary paid to Miguel Cabrera jumps out.

And while Cabrera is a sure bet for the Hall of Fame, isn’t that a bit high for a guy who hit .286 and hit 12 homers this past season?

He’s turned more into a jolly goodwill ambassador for the team rather than No. 3 hitter in the lineup.

But the figure that really jumps out at you is the price for vastly underachieving Tigers’ pitcher Jordan Zimmerman.

Zimmerman posted a 1-13 record this past season with a 6.91 earned run average. He also served up homers to the opposition at an alarming rate. All of that for roughly $24 million.

That’s the biggest money heist since the Brinks Bank job in the 1960s or quarterback Ryan Leaf’s signing of a big contract with the San Diego Chargers for producing next to nothing.

Speaking of quarterbacks, you only have to look at the cash being paid to the top signalcallers in the National Football League to see how money is being doled out.

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions each make in the $30 million range a year category.

Rodgers has a Super Bowl ring and several playoff appearances for his efforts as well as the adulation as the top QB in the league.

Stafford has an sub-.500 record as a starter and all of the passing records for the team as his consolation prize.

Even some of the less successful passers in the NFL make big money.

Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins, an average player at best, hauls down $29 million. And Marcus Mariotta of Tennessee and Jameis Winston of Tampa Bay, two other examples of overrated players, are in the $24 million range.

I won’t even get into NBA salaries, which are obscene to say the least. By that, I mean they approach the budgets of many small countries.