Not many people would call Rutgers football a juggernaut, but the Scarlet Knights have become quite proficient at developing defensive backs into NFL prospects. Currently six former Rutgers defensive backs make a combined average yearly salary of more than $32 million per year.
Here's a look at the six Rutgers DB's who find themselves employed by NFL squads and how much those NFL teams are paying (Contract info from Spotrac.com).
|Player||Pos.||NFL Team||Avg. Salary|
|Devin McCourty||S||New England||$9,500,000|
|Duron Harmon||S||New England||$4,250,000|
All told, the six Rutgers defensive backs in today's NFL average a salary of $5,439,722.17 each per year. If you take out Anthony Cioffi, an undrafted free agent this season who makes just $555,000, the five Rutgers veterans combine to make $32,083,333, or an average of $6,416,666.60.
Clearly, the defensive backs from Rutgers who have been drafted in the past decade have been successful. You have to go back to 2009 to find a Rutgers defensive back who was drafted and isn't still in the NFL. Courtney Greene was a seventh-round pick by the Seattle Seahawks in 2009 and played for the Jacksonville Jaguars for three seasons.
Of the six current Rutgers defensive backs in the NFL, two — Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon — play for New England and a third — Logan Ryan — did as well before he was signed by Tennessee as a free agent this off-season.
Rutgers has struggled as a team as of late. They've won just one conference championship since 1962 (the Scarlet Knights tied for the Big East title in 2012), they haven't won more than nine games since 2006 and have had a winning record in just 8 of the past 24 seasons.
Still, the Scarlet Knights have managed to consistently send talented defensive backs to the NFL, and those defensive backs have worked themselves into solid NFL contracts.