NEW ORLEANS (CBS Sports) — “Winning sure is fun, but it sure is expensive,” former Atlanta Braves baseball team owner Ted Turner once observed.
So, it comes as little surprise then that both the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens were among the highest-spenders in the NFL in 2012. The 49ers ranked third overall with a team salary of $127.4 million, while the Ravens also placed in the upper-echelon (11th) with a $116.2 million salary, according to an analysis by The Guardian newspaper of London.
Baltimore devoted more than 55 percent of its salary to its defense ($64 million), an amount that ranked fifth in the league. A large percentage went to its corps of linebackers ($26.1 million), as Terrell Suggs ($11.52 million) and Ray Lewis ($5.6 million) commanded high salaries.
The 49ers, meanwhile, spread their money fairly evenly among the starters on both sides of the ball. San Francisco spent $58.5 million on offense (ninth) and $61.4 million on defense (seventh).
With an overall team salary of $128.7 million, the Detroit Lions spent more than any team in the league. The Oakland Raiders ($83.3 million) spent the least overall of any team in the league.
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