On Saturday, a baseball player by the name of Shohei Ohtani broke the internet and the world of sports as he announced he was signing a mammoth 10-year, $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, per The Athletic.
The contract surpassed even the gaudies of expectations, as no expert and source close to the league were projecting a deal over $600 million getting signed by the Japanese ball player.
Ohtani's contract will break even Lionel Messi's 2017 record-breaking deal, let alone Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson's contract signed earlier in 2023.
Ohtani is a two-time MVP and he has a unique two-way playing style, reminiscent of Babe Ruth's, which has been unheard of since the latter's days in the league a century ago
Lamar Jackson secured a substantial five-year, $260 million extension with the Baltimore Ravens last spring before the NFL draft, claiming the title of the highest-paid player back then (the total money was later topped by other players signing extensions).
Jackson, similarly to Ohtani, is considered the best-ever dual-threat quarterback considering both his passing and rushing prowess, making him a unique player in the history of NFL football.
These two contracts offer a glimpse into the financial landscapes of their respective sports, and it's quite impressive to see a baseball player sign a deal to top the salary standings of the sport nearly three times as big as the one signed by the (then) highest-paid NFL player. Talk about "baseball is dead."
Ohtani's contract will surely break the MLB market and salary scale going forward, perhaps even forcing the league to implement rules about future contract structures.
Jackson's deal mirrored the current trajectory of escalating quarterback contracts in the NFL. It pushed it further as others (mainly Joe Burrow) followed Jackson's steps to capitalize on it and sign even bigger deals.
In essence, these two deals signify more than just monetary milestones and sporting achievements.
At the end of the day, however, it's clear that the impact on and off the field is something pro-sports franchises are valuing more than ever and that multi-positional/multi-faceted skill sets are more valued than they ever had before.