I'm sick of hearing everyone bashing DeSean for being affected by his contract situation. Do I want him to snap out of it, be the playmaker he can be, and lead the team to victory? Of course. But can I blame him for not having his heart in the game when he is getting screwed with his contract? No. Not at all.
Before we trash the man, let's try to put ourselves in DeSean's shoes.
Have you ever had a job where there is some clown who makes five or ten times as much as you do, but he does absolutely nothing? You bust your ass and do the equivalent of two or three jobs, while the asshole who makes five or ten times your salary does nothing productive at all. And on the few occasions when he tries to lift a finger, he just ends up fucking things up and you have to clean up the mess.
Sound familiar? How did you feel in that situation? I've been there, and it pissed me off. Makes you want to vomit when you think about how much more that guy is making than you are.
Now, picture the boss coming in and hiring four or five more clowns like the first guy, and then paying each of them several times more than what you make. They're all totally useless, and do nothing at all except occasionally fuck things up. How do you feel then?
To add a bit of color to the story, let's give them first names and fill in some details (all hypothetical, of course):
There's Vince, who makes ten times as much as you do. Vince generally just stands around with a baseball cap on. The first two times he was needed for something, he said he wasn't available because he pulled his hamstring three weeks earlier. And then when he finally stepped up to do something, he threw an interception on his first pass. Then he went back and put on his baseball cap again.
Then there's Steve, who makes six times as much as you do. Steve does the same job as you do, but he isn't nearly as good as you are so the boss always calls on you. Steve finally gets in there, and gets the ball thrown to him in a key moment, but instead of catching the ball it bounces off his hands and goes right to the other team (which happens to be his former employer). It's clear to all that Steve is a liability, so he disappears completely for a few weeks. Then he reappears when times are desperate, people are out, and the team needs a boost. Steve gets the ball in a key situation, and he has a chance to put his head down, drive forward, and do something big for his team. What does he do? He flops down on the ground, pathetically avoiding any contact. That's the guy who's making your money at your position. How do you feel watching that shameful nonsense?
Then there's Ronnie. He makes two-and-a-half times are much as you do. He's similar to Vince, in that he rarely does anything at all. On one of the few times he was asked to do anything, Ronnie pulled off one of the most bone-headed moves anyone has ever seen, and he ended up costing your team a critical game because of it. After that, the boss tried to ship Ronnie to Siberia, but the guy who came in return had brain cancer, so the boss couldn't even get rid of Ronnie. Seems like the boss should have just dumped Ronnie and given his money to, say, a guy who is doing something productive and knows better than to throw the ball away on the goal line (well, let's not go there with that last part...). But instead, the bosses keep Ronnie around even though they don't trust him enough to let him do anything.
Then there's Jarrad. He "only" makes twice your salary. Maybe he wouldn't piss you off so much, but he's the worst goddamn tackler anyone has ever seen. Jarrad is so terrible that even the half-retarded manager of Jarrad's unit realizes he can't play. So does Jarrad get cut? Nope, the boss keeps him around for another month, paying him twice as much as you get paid even though Jarrad will never see the light of day again.
Then there's Winston. He's a big fat fuck who once gave up six sacks in a game all by himself. He found himself back on the bench for a couple of years after that, but then he had one halfway-decent season. After that season, the front office tore up his rookie contract and gave him a 4-year $18 million contract. Yes, the same front office that is now telling you that they won't renegotiate your deal - even though you have been a lights-out performer since the day you arrived - gave that fat fuck $18 million after he had one half-decent season. So now Winston is making ten times as much as you are. But is he performing? Well, Winston has shown up for work once this year. He was ok that day, but not good enough to be called on again. But the boss still keeps him around and keeps paying him.
You see all of this craziness going on around you - big piles of money are being thrown around to guys who can't carry your jock and who have done nothing to help your company, and your peers at other companies are being paid much more, all while you've given it your all, kept quiet, and been a company-guy. You think the blood and sweat you've contributed and your superior performance has to get rewarded at some point. Some of the money the bosses are throwing around has to come your way. Right?
So, you go in and ask for a raise. The boss says to you: "Fuck off. You signed a contract, so go ahead and honor it." When you tell the boss that it's wrong and that you don't think you should have to carry the company on your back for pennies on the dollar, the boss responds: "Did I stutter? Fuck. Off. And if you think you can get somewhere by making a scene, we'll blackball you so fast you won't even know what hit you. Go ask Lito how that worked out for him. If you think other companies are going to be so anxious to pay you, then you can go try to get them to pay you when your contract is up. But when we label you as a head case, see how much money they're willing to pay you. We fucking own you, so keep your mouth shut and do your fucking job." (Oh, and by the way, your job is extremely hazardous, and it is routine for guys to have their careers ruined on any given day, so you might never make it to the big payday at the end of your contract.)
So, every day, you show up and see Vince, Steve, Ronnie, Jarrad, Winston, and a parade of clowns make millions of dollars for doing nothing but occasionally fucking something up. And every day the boss demands that you go out there and put everything on the line. You hope the boss will pay you what you deserve, but it becomes increasingly clear that it isn't going to happen.
How do you feel at that point? Do you show up for work on time, bust your ass, put the company on your back, risk your neck every day (literally), and carry all the overpaid jackasses who do nothing while they each make more money in a year than you've made in your entire career? Or do you check out, say "fuck it," and do whatever you can to protect yourself until you can get out of this company and get paid by someone else?
I know what I would do, and it wouldn't be half as much as DeSean has done this year. We should all get off his back. And the front office should pay the man.