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OK for players to be unhappy with signed deals?

I have traditionally sided with players in contract and other labor disputes because, after all, the game is about them. They are the stars that put people in seats at the stadiums and in living rooms.

I also have this thing about siding with David over Goliath and in the financial tug of war between players and owners, the millionaires are David and the billionaires are Goliath.

But ...

It seems this offseason, more than any I can remember, players are simply out of control with their complaining and manifesting and ridiculousness. You think Jason Taylor missing a MANDATORY minicamp because he wants out of Miami is out of bounds?

I wouldn't argue with you too much because, after all, he has two years remaining on his contract. But that is almost tame compared to what nearly a dozen players throughout the league are doing this offseason. They are missing offseason conditioning, voluntary OTA workouts, MANDATORY minicamps and more as they request trades or more money despite having iron-clad contracts they once gladly signed.

It is happening throughout the NFL.

In Buffalo, All Pro offensive tackle Jason Peters did not report to the team's MANDATORY minicamp this week because he is unhappy with the contract he signed a couple of years ago -- a deal that still has three years remaining. Despite being scheduled to earn $9.6 million the next three seasons and having banked a $5.75 million bonus when he signed the deal in 2006, Peters now reportedly wants a new deal that pays along the lines of the contract Dolphins rookie Jake Long signed this year.

Tight end Chris Baker is feuding with the New York Jets because he wants a new contract although he has two years remaining on his current contract.

Cincinnati receiver Chad Johnson wants a new contract or wants to be traded and he has generally made himself a pain this offseason to get his way. Oh, did I mention he willingly signed a $36.5 million contract extension prior to the 2007 season that runs through 2011?

New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress signed a contract in 2005 that runs through 2010. But he now wants a new contract, and to underline his point, he declined to do any on-field work during the team's MANDATORY minicamp.

Philadelphia's Lito Sheppard, Marques Colston in New Orleans, Jeremy Shockey with the Giants, Osi Umenyiora with the Giants. All are crying (look ombudsman, I'm doing it again) unhappy about their contracts or work situations. All have missed at least portions of this offseason's team activities.

I grant you it is hard to feel sympathy for teams in this increasing phenomenon because they often don't adhere to the spirit of contracts by cutting players before the deals are played out. Some teams also emboldened agents to do this stuff we are currently seeing by renegotiating contracts early when players outperformed their previous deals.

But somewhere, somehow, the current trend has got to stop because this is getting kind of crazy. How crazy?

Cleveland tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was injured all but two games of his rookie season after he  broke his leg playing on special teams. Then he fell off his motorcycle and tore up a knee before his second season and missed that whole year. So he barely played his first two seasons but got paid handsomely anyway.

Well, Winslow finally played in 2006 and 2007 and guess what? Now that he actually did some work for his money, he thinks he deserves a new contract. Never mind that he's signed through 2010.

The nerve.


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Part of the problem is the unbelievable pay early 1st rounders get. I dont see this getting resolved until the NFL learns to put in a draft cap. They have to take back control. Secondly, I disagree with siding with players. I usually go with david too, but goliath in this case puts in large amounts of cash to update stadiums, pay personnel, etc.

Yes, I know they make much more then they dish out and that home cities pay a lot of the stadium costs. But what do the players provide? They workout(unless they want more money or have some other complaint) and play at most 19 games. This is their job and they have incredible leeway in their job.

How many people can say they go to work when they please, get paid several years for getting injured off the job, put future jobs ahead of the one paying you, can cut work because they dont get paid what they feel they are worth, and have instant celebrity status where they live(with included benefits).

I'm tired of seeing the whiners. I know for a fact people will still watch football as long as there is football to watch. I don't care if I see Terrell Owens or Sammy Ownes. As long as I'm enjoying the game, its all gravy. Switch places with me any day JT. Any day you want.

Mando, you have a thing about siding with David or Goliath? It sure doesn't come out in your writing.

Players are entertainers, I would not pay $110 dollars a ticket to see Wayne H. catch passes! The players should get whatever they can. Every year though it seems like the divide between the fan and the player or sport grows larger and larger. I remember the Phins players in the 70's and early 80's(killer B's) as being loyal to the fans and the team. Football has gone from being fan based to being corporate based.

Please more articles about the guy that is grateful to being playing for the Phins and loves to play the game for the game.

9/11 was an inside job

checkout wtc7.net & watch the collapse videos

learn the truth









The reason that we don't understand the players point of view is that we can't comprehend the money they make. That kind of money is unreachable to us. But they look at a $10,000 dollars as a drop in the bucket and look at the right to earn that money is a given and that they don't have to work for it.

They are just going to have to realize that the end of the money is coming. It is going to quickly become a whole lot less affordable to go to the games. It is already beyond what a lot of people will spend. Concessions will suffer first and and then no season tickets. I believe that the NFL is going to see it real fast. Imagine buying season tickets to watch Miami last year lose 7 games. Wow, $1000 bucks to watch a team that didn't show up for 4 quarters. I have a lot better things to do with $1000 than give it to a team that doesn't even try.

your points are well made. interesting bit regarding winslow.

The sad thing is, if teams don't pay a pant load, and let the whiney little [darlings] go, several things come into play. Either they are signed by a competitor, and then play against their former team, or, if they are not offered the money they want then, they cry collusion. Owners are stuck in a place where they have to keep paying more, and more for the players, or be castigated as being stingy, or accused of cheating to keep prices low. Why would someone put themselves through that? You guys go off on Wayne, but he has always been willing to pay for players(at least with the Dolphins, the Marlins are a different story). He has always tried to bring in staff that knows football (JJ,Satan, Cameron was supposed to be an offensive genius, and at the time Offense was seen as our problem, and now the Trifecta). Before you rail about how Shula left, it was time. He lasted here longer than anyone expected him to, even as a legend. Did the moves he make always work? Obviously not, but he at least TRIED to bring in the right people, and trusted those people to bring in the right players. The worst thing he did was trust JJ when he endorsed Wanny, but then, why wouldn't he? JJ was a legend, both in Miami, and the NFL.

This is exactly why the Owners opted out of the CBA this year. Everyone thinks the caps are there to hold down salaries, but I think it is there more to fend off accusations of collusion, and to keep what is happening now from become all out anarchy. With no salary cap, how do you think these whiny players would act?

Hey, Mando, I said before that we only seem to agree about half the time.lol. This is one of those times, to make up for a couple of days ago.lol. Good article.

What gives? I posted in agreement to you, and Got a message that it wasn't being posted because it might be spam? Did you ban me from your site? If so, why? Because I don't always agree with you? If that is so, I will deffinitely not be back. I thought NO Taboo subjects meant we were alloued to have our own opinion, not just those you agree with.

Hey Tree Relax I know exactly what your talking about it has happen to me and its just that if you have a curse word or something that seems like a curse word that comes out so you just got to change the specific word or change a letter in it (eg: dic*, @uck, cra*) and it would work I doubt that Armando would block you. You are a solid contributater to this blog and it would be a shame to have you blocked

Armando Great Article and I think your on the money and I agree with PT there definately needs to be a cap on rookies like in the NBA
players that have never played a down in the NFL should not be making more than 5 years veterens that probably is the reason that all this unhappy contract stuff comes from

Imagine being the stud reciever on your team you've been in the league for 4 years you were a 5th round draft choice but played up and above your draft class and just signed a new contract for lets say 5 years 30 million (wow i wish) anyway the draft comes around and your team is looking for a second reciever so they draft one in the first round that they just could not let slip and he signs a contract that pays him 5 years 36 Million or more.

I'd be pissed too but in the teams defense they are just trying to get the players into camp and the agents take full advantage of that. if there was a cap I don't think this problem would not be such an issue.

Go Phins

This is just another sure sign that the NFL is heading for a lockout season in 2010. The players are already making what,,.64 cents on every dollar made and now they want more. How much money does one need to live ? Why is 5.75 million dollars not enough to live happy for the rest of your life? Sheesh, if someone gave me that much money , just as a signing bonus, I could retire now. And I still have 30 something years to go before retirement! So it is hard to sympathize with "David" in this situation.

I'm never on the players' side. Ever. But I think you left out an important fact about K. Winslow: when he got hurt in 2005 he renegotiated his contract to take less money. He's going to make $4 million this year....... and compare that to Dallas Clark $6 million.

I'm not saying he should hold out...... oh no. That's where I part ways with the guy, but asking for more money seems fine to me..... he's proved he deserves the money a top TE should get.

Good stuff, Armando. I noticed the same thing going on.

A couple of things though, I didn't think Chad Johnson was disgruntled over money, I thought he wants out of loserville Cincinnati?

I understand what you're saying about the players and the owners and the game is about the players. But without the owners the players have no forum, no place to play, no team, no competition. So they're both equal and neither succeeds without the other.

These guys can be released at any time with no recourse. It doesn't matter if they have 6 years left on an existing contract. The only money that is guarenteed is bonus money. Thats why the newer contracts are so front loaded with signing bonuses and if you are a detriment to your team the team can sue for bonus cash already handed out ex. Vick, Ricky.... It is a business and the athletes are a commodity. They have to maximize their shelf life in the league and try to exit with the most money in hand as possible. Ask Earl Campbell if he made enough money to compensate for not being able to walk without assistance. Its a rough game that can end tomorrow for any player therefore I can't fault them for attacking the situation as intelliegently as posible. GO FINS!!!!

Have you all seen the movie Mr. Deeds, when the QB comes in complaining, deeds hits him in the face... thats what should be done to all those who ask for a new deal...

I wonder if they had their own business what would they do after an employee who signed a wealthy contract 2 years ago, comes in for renogotiation...

There is an easy solution that could stop this BS but it would take all owners to agree. Contracts are non-negotiable, period. If you sign for 20 large for 4 years, thats your pay. It doesn't matter what the pigskins paid their new rookie or the Dal-Fins just signed their latest free agent for.

I wonder what percentage of NFL contracts actually meet maturity without any changes in pay. The way you read about it I would think most of these contracts aren't worth the paper there printed on.


I agree with the draft cap idea. It has never made any sense to me that an untested rookie would make more than a playmaking veteran. In no other business do you see an entry level position pay more than a supervisor who worked his way up, for example.

Couple other notes, I spit coffee on my keyboard when I saw the line through 'crying' in the author's post.

Also, finfan in orlando, where you wrote, "(eg: dic*, @uck, cra*)," what letter comes after the 'cra' that could possibly get your comment blocked? Speaking of getting blocked, bill kid, you do know JT and BP aren't reading your comments right? And you do know you're illiterate, right?

LOL, tinshaker, too true about bill kid. I think the draft cap for rookies is the best idea. I'm also a big fan of the linemen getting more of the pie. Until recently, linemen got really bad pay compared to receivers, QBs and the flashy positions.

The line at Denver had made RBs look like Emmitt Smith for years. J. Ogden made good money but you have to be as dominant as him to get it.

Giants would have lost without their D-line. Even average QBs can efficiently run an offense with a great line.

OK, Thanks for the info, Finfan, and if that's the case, I hope you understand my confusion. I don't know what word would have been seen as offensive, but I am sure after review, Mando will delete the offending word, or send me the post back to fix, or something. If not, no biggie.

As for the state of the game? I hate to tell you BrianL, but what you suggest is illegal. It's called collusion, and would get the NFL sued. That is half of why we are in the mess we are in today.

My solution would be to implement a Rookie cap, and limited guaranteed contracts. Guarantee something like 25% of a contract, if the TEAM cuts the player, but nothing if the player Rickys out, stipulating that a player cut for holding out gets nothing either, as well as no cap hit for that instance only. Also, limit the percentage of revenues to 55% for the players, with the stipulation that the ownership will increase the pay, and maintenance of facilities by 2.5% of the remaining 5% they are saving from the players. The Guaranteed contracts should be payment enough for the union to accept both the salary cap, and the rookie cap(which they want anyway), while the indemnity against a player putting his booty on his shoulders, like the many this year, should satisfy the owners.

Tree, I didn't delete or block you. You did it to yourself when you used a word that rhymes with witches.

One inaccuracy in your comments Armando, Osi Umenyiora is actually doing the opposite. He is upset about his contract, true, but has said he will still come to camp, play, and wait for it to all be worked out.

I am glad to see that the Bengals still prove to be the most pathetic organization in the history of sports. They were offered a kings ransom for Chad Johnson and instead, chose the circus. TJ Housyourdaddy is real good receiver and considering they are a dime a dozen these days, they were better off getting the picks, and trying to rebuild the joke of a team Marvin Lewis is running.

Glad my team in Miami is only partly pathetic, otherwise I would of burned all my Bengals gear, thrown all the NFL team names into a hat, and randomly picked my new franchise to blindly worship.

Ain't Life Grand?

PT - did I read that correctly? You are saying that Denver's line made players look like Emmit Smith?

What did Emmit Smith's line make him look like?

Every guy on that line needs to be inducted with Emmitt Smith as a UNIT into the Hall.

David, I'm pretty certain OU missed "voluntary" work. And yes, I know it is voluntary but other vets, including Manning, participated.

Tinshaker the letter is "p" the word is not even a bad word but for some reason the other day when i was writing a post i had wrote that word in it and i got the same screen that Tree posted about I changed the "p" to a "@" and it went through with no problem that may not have been the problem but it seemed that way to me

I'm definately with the rookie cap just like tinshaker said if somebody was just hired at my job and we worked the same position and got paid alot more I would be pretty pissed and be demanding a raise too. then there is another perspective I get paid $21.00 an hr not $531,250 a game(thats what JT makes Which is an Hr since they play 60 mins)I know that there is practice and everything so lets divide it by 364 which is the whole year (which he is not doing since he is skipping OTA's) that works out to be $23,352 a day so if I worked this out correctly it means JT can pay 364 people minimum wage for a year and these people have to work all year flipping burgers and making pizza and take a whole lot of cra@ from people with a smile on there face and all JT (and all those other players) have to do is workout and play and everyday that they do that they get paid pretty dam well.

I'm all for the players getting paid but when they start holding out for what ever reason rings, happiness, or money I think it's wrong just go out practice and play. I don't even care if they come out publicly and say that they want to be traded or that they want more money but still go out and practice (working out will help here or anywhere you end up playing) and talk about retiring once the season is over not before it begins.

Well back to phins news any word on Bentley Armando?

Go Phins

Tree, How is it collusion if the league suggested a rule that contracts are non negotiable? It's out in the open and of course the P.U. would have to agree. The players all know prior to signing on the dotted line that this is what you will be paid, not a cent more. I would think it would make for shorter contract terms which would be less of a hit financially on teams. Unhappy participants wouldn't be tied into long term deals. Please explain more as Im not a lawyer, heck Im barely smarter then a blocking dummy. ;-)

Gotta agree about the rookie cap freeking Russel and Calvin Johnson were way overpayed with no assurance they would be able perform up to they're pay rate. If I was Roy Williams or Brady or Manning I'd be pissed

Emmit Smith had the best line ever, I'd be a Hall of Famer with that line. If you look at all the good teams (Pats, Colts, Cowboys) they all have good lines which makes them look better for running and passing. lineman deffinetly get the short end of the stick over so called skill position players

The holding out thing annoy's me too unless it negatively affects a team were playing in which case I'm all for it

Phinatic - Agreed, if it's an AFC East team other than the dolphins, hold outs are accepted if not recommended.

finfan - yeah I knew it was a 'p' (I know you know I knew).

To be honest folks, I don't really care about hold outs, contracts, or what have you, because when I watch a game I don't make comments about the player's salary when he drops his third pass, or gives up a sack, gets called for a penalty, etc. I know lots of people do (they're generally the ones with the best spot at the bar), but its the last thing on my mind when I'm watching a game. I never yell out, "you overpaid pre-season hold-out media frenzy creating jerk!" No, I yell out something much more compact and definitely unrepeatable on this blog.

Also, if you think these guys are overpaid, they're not even in the same level of soccer stars and italian race car drivers some of which could earn four times JT's weekly paycheck for a photo shoot.

You got a point there tinshaker but no athletes get paid more than boxer's and now a days there more like actors

finfan in orlando - yeah like that one boxer with the 70,000 sq ft house that he can't pay for now....what was his name....

I never understood these super-rich folks who can't pay their mortgages. I always wondered why they had mortgages to begin with. If I made 5 million + per year, I'd pay cash for my house.

Tinshaker I feel you

Problem is they get all this money and don't appreciated just one of there paychecks would be enough for me and my family to live happily and not have to work again but they buy these hugh houses 20 cars and then feel unstoppable and find some way to screw it up I don't get it either. Thats why I don't get the whining
I wonder how many of us if we were asked to play football for living and they told us they would pay us the league minimum which I believe is around $285,000 or $290,000 (Not really sure) would turn that down or for that matter say its not enough. Just tring to put a different perspective on this. Think about us in the real world what type of job would pay you that type of money some of them without a college education.

Armando, great column for a debate, and you make great points...PT, good points on your initial post. What I'm torn over is the sacrifices players make for what few years they spend on the field, and the absolute raping of the integrity of the game by players who fail to honor their signed commitments to their teams. On one hand, the NFL career is short lived, and players have years of pain, disability, and personal issues to look forward to once the dream is turned to reality. I once read an eye-opening article on the divorce rate of NFL players once their careers are over...so, I have no problem with players trying to make as much money as they can while they have the chance...not everyone has the opportunity to destroy the english language on ESPN once their playing days are over. On the other, you have idiots like Chad Johnson...need I say more? What kind of example are players like him setting for children in sports today? I can understand players wanting to renegotiate their contracts, but not any earlier than a year before it's up...don't sign the lengthy deal, if you can't see it through...how many players do you see paying the organizations back when they don't meet the potential their contracts are actually paying them for?

David, you are very correct. When I look at my comment again I should have said that. I was trying to say Denver can take dog-turds and make them into 1000 yd backs. Emmit did have one heck of a line.

Talking about overpaid- anyone see the gigantic mansion Pacman had(or still has) for sale in Tennessee?

I also cant understand how they lose their property. I know the costs of playing are high(a lot of these guys don't live to be 60 nowadays) but they dont really have to play long to be set for life. As finfan pointed out they make a ton of money any way you want to split it.

Players should only complain if they "outperform" their rookie contract. If a 3rd year/6th rd qb turns into Tom Brady, that guy deserves a raise. However, if a veteran player signs a lucrative/blockbuster deal that makes him one of the top paid players at his position then HELL NO!

It seems to me that the biggest problem is the length of the contract.maybe they should make a 5 year deal the limit?

This post is in no way intended to be an attack on you, Mando, it is a statement of the current, overly PC reality.

Thanks for clarifying what got my post booted. I would never have known otherwise. I never would have thought a word that isn't censored out of network TV(which is regulated by the FCC, under the Bogus "Public Airwaves" BS, put in place to restrict the freedom of the press) would be considered obscene for print(which is constitutionally protected from any regulation). Clearly it is so much more offensive to read the actual word than 8iches, or some other modified version of the word, that leaves nothing to the imagination. Other than above, I have never used these modified words, as I rarely feel the need to curse in type. I had no idea that word was considered that bad, or I would have used something else.

performace pay, end of story.

Good article, and I agree with you except for the mention of Colston. I don't think he fits here because he is the rare exception of why players should have the power that they do. The dude was a very late draft pick and has played like a first rounder. He has proven on the field more than deserves a big payday. The others can go find another job somewhere else if they think they can do better than their current contracts. I think the Marines are hiring, but I don't think they pay quite as well...

People always distort the issue based on the amount these people make and how it's beyond other careers. That's the wrong approach; it's not about "enough to live on" or the income prospects of the average joe, it's about ensuring that someone is receiving proper market value for their special skills. The need to receive full market value is amplified by the short nature of football careers and also by the one-sidedness of the contracts in the NFL in particular, where the team can cut you but you have to resort to outstanding steps (that, as shown here, often lead to public disputes and public scorn that also hurt athletes as public figures who trade on their fame through endorsements, etc.) to have your contract adjusted.

This is further amplified by the nature of NFL contracts and the cap, with the way guaranteed money is spread over the deal; they're torn between not having the security of a market-value guarantee and foregoing the opportunity to readjust their contract on a more regular basis, because teams need to use long deals (that they often have no intent of completing) to delay cap hits.

I'm getting a little sick of the babies. The last two years I watched about half the football I used to. This year will probably be the same. I would rather go play some B ball or spend time with the kids then watch a bunch of over paid players and owners charge that much money to watcha dumb game.

Get fit and drop the babies. When they have to actually work for $30,000 a year they will repect what they have.

I have to take exception to you mentioning Marques Colston.
That guy was drafted in the 7th round and has out-played all of the receivers drafted in the first round that year.
If he was making noise after just one year that would be annoying, but this guy deserves to be paid.

The other side of the coin with this is that the team can sign a player to a 100 year contract if it wants, but as soon as the team is unhappy with the deal it can cut the player lose. The player doesn't have that same luxury of just walking away and starting over.

Make it Mandatory that EVERY PLAYER signs a 1 year deal. Re-negotiate all contracts the next year. We all know that there is really NO long term contracts in the NFL, either the players want a change B4 their contract is fulfilled, or they run the prospect of being cut. The cap increases annually, why not earn next years pay? I also think that there should be 2 caps if teams and players are going to try to lock up long term contracts. 1st cap should be implemented on ALL ROOKIES. The 2nd cap should be a position cap. (dont bring rookies in and pay them more than your veterans at that position.) Once you reach TOP Pay, the only other way to make more money should be performance Latended. (i think i spelled that right) If, and when the salary cap increases, then the team can apply the increases as pay raises.

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