David Givens Sues Tennessee Titans: More Than Money on the Line

Sven KlemencicCorrespondent ISeptember 23, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 12:  David Givens #87 of the Tennessee Titans runs against the Baltimore Ravens on November 12, 2006 at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Ravens won 27-26.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

We all know lawyers run the world.

They even run the small, fictitious worlds within our world, like the world of the NFL.  Ex-Tennessee Titan David Givens is suing his former employer for $25 million for failing to properly treat the deteriorating condition of his knee in 2007.

$25 million is, for the record, one million dollars less than the value of Givens' five-year contract with the Titans, which he signed in 2006 after four promising years with the Patriots.

Givens was diagnosed by Tennessee Titans doctor Tomas Byrd with a lesion on his medial femal cordyle, which connects the upper leg bone to the knee. 

Byrd suggested that surgery for the condition would be necessary in the long term, but Givens was still allowed to play.

Allegedly, playing time exacerbated the condition, and when Givens went down with an injury in 2007 against the Baltimore Ravens, it became clear that the defect in his knee had rapidly deteriorated.

Givens will almost definitely never play football again, especially at the ancillary position of wideout, where there is almost continuous talent flowing from colleges and free agency, and where Givens, a seventh round selection, had only begun to show flashes of his stuff.

This explains the high price the lawsuit demands.  $25 million, which would be a real pretty penny for you and I, is probably roughly what Givens would have earned over his career had it been allowed to occur.  The Titans cut Givens in 2008.

In that sense it's only fair he receive that amount from the Titans' organization, which is looking like the guilty party in this affair.

However, isn't the issue of motive a troubling one?  Why would the Titans risk contract money on a player they knew had a ticking-time-bomb knee condition? 

Hearing that explanation will probably be the difference between the Titans looking clueless or malicious.

If the lawsuit, as argued, is more targeted at the Titans' alleged malpractice, than it's going to be hard to argue without a fuller knowledge of the injury that playing hurt was the right idea.

The true letdown in this scenario would be if Givens was one of the rare players for whom the money didn't matter, where he was just playing because he loved the game.