Athletes that play sports no matter what they play at the professional level should be paid on what they can do for their team. Why should a team give a lot of money for somebody that is not as good as someone else? This will invoke people to work harder for the team.
I think the pay scale in professional athletics is a pretty big mess and I think it has come to the point that ticket prices are unaffordable to the masses. I think this is a problem leagues should consider in the future. In comparing pay scales, I would say that it is more justifiable to pay a player based on their ability rather than setting up minimums.
Pro athletes should only be paid based on there ability to play and leagues should adopt a free market model with no salary caps. Veteran athletes are often times awarded the veteran minimum, or they are cut by the league for a younger player. This is evident with the Seattle Seahawks cutting 4 veteran players in the 2013 season, and going for a younger roster that eventually won Super Bowl 42 at a much cheaper price than a veteran roster.
A pro athlete should not be paid based upon a set of minimums, because a professional athlete should only be paid for the success that they have. Professional athletes have to show that they can perform. If they don't, they are not worth much to the organization that hires them.