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A Career In Pro Football Like Money In The Bank

Sun., Oct. 22, 1995

Say you want your kids to be dentists? Doctors? Lawyers?

Or you want them to get into the REAL money as plumbers and electricians?

Maybe you’d be better off taking them into the back yard and working on throwing a spiral.

You might consider it after seeing some of the following numbers.

A recent Pro Football Weekly survey outlined the salaries of all National Football League teams, and it’s clear that many local products are on a faster track - financially - than the bulk of their classmates.

The salary figures include base salaries and signing bonus pro-rated over the length of the contract.

The $2.288 million figure for former Washington State quarterback Drew Bledsoe ranks at the top of the list, but is pale compared to the seven-year, $42 million deal that is expected to kick in for him after this year.

All teams are restricted by a $37.1 million salary cap.

Some of the better values include former Cougar Robbie Tobeck, who has earned the starting left guard spot for the Atlanta Falcons despite his relatively humble salary of $147,000.

Former Cougar Lewis Bush, meanwhile, starts at linebacker for San Diego, but, at only $219,500, he’ll collect $3.2 million less this season than his All-Pro linebacking colleague Junior Seau.

Both Tobeck and Bush are eligible for at least some form of free agency next year, though.

As for the Seattle Seahawks, 13 players make $1 million a year or more, with Cortez Kennedy leading the path to the bank ($3.2 million). Tackle Howard Ballard and cornerback Nate Odomes both pull in more than $2 million. The injured Odomes has never played a game in two years with the Hawks.

Seattle certainly will be busy this winter as a number of key players are entering free agency, including Brian Blades ($1.375 million), Robert Blackmon ($1.1 million), Chris Warren ($1.01 million), Ray Roberts ($1 million), Carlton Gray ($712,000) and Rick Tuten ($440,000).

Here’s a sampling of the 1995 salaries of area products:

Drew Bledsoe, New England QB (WSU) $2.288 million.

Doug Riesenberg, Giants OT (Moscow High) $2.225 million.

Ricky Reynolds, New England CB (WSU) $1.675 million.

Erik Howard, Jets DT (WSU) $1.3 million.

Marvin Washington, Jets DE (Idaho) $950,000.

James Hasty, K.C. CB (WSU) $775,000.

Mark Rypien, St. Louis QB (WSU, Shadle Park) $750,000.

Ed Simmons, Washington OT (EWU) $730,000.

Kevin Sargent, Cincinnati OT (EWU) $708,333.

John Friesz, Seattle QB (Idaho, Coeur d’Alene High) $700,000.

Mark Schlereth, Denver OG (Idaho) $650,000.

Jason Hanson, Detroit PK (WSU, Mead High) $475,000.

Kurt Schulz, Buffalo Bills S (EWU) $350,000.

Steve Emtman, Miami DT (Cheney High) $328,000.

Jeff Robinson, Denver DE (Idaho, Ferris High) $226,000.

Anthony Prior, Jets CB (WSU) $220,000.

Lewis Bush, San Diego LB (WSU) $219,500.

Doug Nussmeier, New Orleans QB (Idaho) $211,667.

Don Sasa, San Diego DT $201,667.

Torey Hunter, Houston CB (WSU) $183,750.

Tim Hanshaw, San Francisco G (West Valley High) $179,500.

Trent Pollard, Cincinnati OG (EWU) $171,667.

Brett Carolan, San Francisco TE (WSU) $153,750.

Robbie Tobeck, Atlanta G (WSU) $149,000.

Mike Hollis, Jacksonville PK (Idaho, Central Valley High) $119,000.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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