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Volume 26 No. 201
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Guaranteed Contracts To Be Hot Topic During Next NFL CBA Talks

NFLers have "never been upset enough" to affect much change regarding guaranteed contracts, but now, one can "sense a change is coming," according to Omar Kelly of the South Florida SUN SENTINEL. The NFL CBA negotiated in '11 was a "farce." Only a "select few" players, mainly QBs, are "benefiting from the recent CBA, and that won't change until the workforce does something about it by uniting" NFLers who are "tired of risking injury, which is a certainty in this sport, and being compensated less than what they feel their contributions are worth to the biggest and most profitable sports league in America" (South Florida SUN SENTINEL, 10/3). THE RINGER's Kevin Clark noted NFLers "deserve to be paid fairly ... given what it does to their bodies." However, the "modern NFL rewards teams for doing the exact opposite." Clark: "A player’s goal is to land a lucrative second or third contract -- and the NFL does give those out -- but giving out as few of those as possible has become the quickest way for a team to build a contender" (THERINGER.com, 10/2). In San Antonio, Mike Finger writes the NFL's salary structure is "broken." Everybody "knows it but almost nobody cares, because the victims of the problem are rich athletes." Given a choice between "siding with the wealthy owners or the less-wealthy players, the public sides with the guys in the suits and the cufflinks almost every time" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 10/3).

WHO'S THE BAD GUY HERE? In Pittsburgh, Mark Madden wrote Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell "got screwed by the franchise tag," but it is "part of the NFL CBA," which expires in '20. Next time, the NFLPA "needs to do a better job negotiating," and players "must be prepared to miss some paychecks, because shutting down the league is their only leverage" (TRIBLIVE.com, 10/2). In Seattle, Matt Calkins writes he will "rarely fault an NFL player for holding out for an extension." It is "understandable in most situations," and Seahawks S Earl Thomas, who held out during the preseason and then broke his leg in Week 4, is "no different." Calkins: "But I'll also rarely fault an organization for refusing to give in." It "might seem heartless for these teams to look at players as commodities, but that's how employees are viewed in most businesses, and the players know what they're getting into" (SEATTLE TIMES, 10/3).