MANKATO, Minn. - Jerome Felton had to do a double take when he saw Forbes' list of the most overpaid players in the NFL for the first time.
Felton, the Minnesota Vikings' Pro Bowl fullback, is No. 1.
"Wow," Felton said Wednesday before pausing to chuckle. "I don't care."
Forbes wrote that its list, released by the business magazine Wednesday, was compiled by comparing "each player's on-field contributions over the last three seasons, as measured by Pro-Football-Reference.com's Approximate Value statistic, to his contract's average salary."
Felton, whom the Vikings re-signed to a three-year, $7.5 million deal in March, topped the list despite helping pave the way for Adrian Peterson's 2,000-yard season in 2012.
Teammate John Carlson, who battled injuries and caught only eight passes in the first season of a five-year, $25 million contract with the Vikings, came in at No. 2.
"That's impressive," Carlson said. "Two guys on the same team."
Carlson, 29, actually restructured his contract in March, taking a pay cut that reduced his base salary for 2013 from $2.9 million to $1.5 million. He's healthy again and figures to play a larger role in the Vikings' passing game this season, though Kyle Rudolph is the starting tight end.
"People are going to say lots of stuff in the media," Carlson said. "That's what you guys are paid to do, right? I don't read that stuff, whether it's good or bad. I choose to stay away from it. My focus is on trying to be as good a player as well and earn the respect of my teammates and my coaches."
The value of Felton, 27, is probably best measured by the success of the Vikings' running game. He echoed Carlson by saying he doesn't "pay attention to stuff like" the overpaid list but did have some fun with the ranking when asked about helping Peterson reach his goal this season.
"If I can stay out of his way," Felton said, "hopefully he can get 2,500 yards. According to Forbes."
Coincidentally, Felton suffered an attack of appendicitis, and had his appendix removed on the same day the list was revealed.
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