I have always thought that the thing that made the NFL great was that there are no guaranteed contracts the way there are in other sports. Players are always fighting for a spot on the team next year and to keep their salary. This prevents money-sucks, the way Eaton did to the Phils. If you don’t earn your keep, you’re out the door. With a few exceptions, players can’t just give up on their team like Manny did in Boston… they’d end up without their jobs.
But now I’m beginning to worry about the flip side. If the NFL teams don’t guarantee their ends of the contracts, players don’t feel the need to honor their side. This leads to an off-season of endless whining and complaining. Think of any storyline you’ve heard so far this off-season. McNabb. Lito. Boldin. “Ochocinco.” Peters. Now, Sheldon Brown. Has it made this off-season more interesting? Yes. But I’m tired of hearing about #2 CBs whine about making $1.75 mill to do something I’d give anything for.
Its not even the NFL Draft and already its exhausting. Just wait til training camp and hold-outs. These guys are blessed to make loads of money with the sole talents of running fast and hitting hard… but yet they have unimaginably large egos and are pupetteered by agents whose egos are even larger. If any worker in any other profession performs well, they’d have no leverage to threaten their boss for a new salary. Especially in an economy like this.
The NFL contract is dead. The 6-year, $60 million contract to Peters is utterly meaningless. By the time 2015 rolls around, one side or the other with demand a re-negotiation. Is it actually time to change this system? Make a contract an actual contract? Ensure that signing your name for 6 years actually means 6 years and not until your next Pro-Bowl season?