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KGB Gets No Respect

DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila was mentioned by Forbes as one of the best-paid bench warmers in professional sports.

With a tight salary cap playing a big role in setting NFL salaries and bonuses, players were measured by how much cap space they took on their teams' payrolls. High salaried vets relegated to part-time duty include Jets quarterback Chad Pennington, Packers defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and Raiders running back LaMont Jordan.

Is spending heavily on backups worth it? It depends on what team you're looking at. In the NFL, the perennially powerful New England Patriots employed five backups this past 16-0 season making at least $2 million.

A study by the football Web site shows that NFL teams generally get little return for big money spent on individual players. Given the frequent injuries and team focus of football, clubs are generally better off spreading money around the roster. That's certainly worked for New England. Then again, the 7-9 Detroit Lions had five backups of their own making $1 million or more last season. As with anything else, it comes down to the quality you're getting for the money, from a starter or a backup.

It's a pretty meaningless article, but I'm sticking up for KGB. The measurement is based on production and playing time vs. salary, but he was pretty productive when he got on the field. He recorded 9.5 sacks last regular season, and an additional 1.5 sacks in the playoffs. I don't have stats for all the times he put pressure on the QB to force a hurry, but he did that a lot too. He applied a constant pass rush all season, and always played against arguably the best pass blocker (left tackle) on every team.

He remains one of the highest paid players on the team, he can't play against the run or on every down anymore, but he's still worth it for what he does as a pass rusher.