Richard Sherman Says NFL Players Need to Be 'Willing to Strike' for Higher Wages

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2017

July 12, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman arrives for the 2017 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman had a message for NFL players seeking higher wages.

Speaking to ESPN's Jalen Rose on Wednesday on the ESPYs red carpet, Sherman said players should be willing to strike if they want to earn contracts like the ones that have been doled out during the NBA's free-agency period.

"If we want as the NFL, as a union, to get anything done, players have to be willing to strike," he said, according to ESPN.com news services. "That's the thing that guys need to 100 percent realize.

"You're going to have to miss games, you're going to have to lose some money if you're willing to make the point, because that's how MLB and NBA got it done. They missed games, they struck, they flexed every bit of power they had, and it was awesome. It worked out for them."

Sherman's comments come days after free-agent defensive lineman Terrance Knighton tweeted it was "time to get back to that negotiation table" and that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers "should be making more money then James Harden" after the Houston Rockets shooting guard inked a record-breaking extension that ensured he will earn $228 million guaranteed through the 2022-23 season.

But as Rodgers told Bill Simmons on HBO's Any Given Wednesday in July 2016 (h/t For The Win's Steven Ruiz), the NFL's roster size prohibits players from maximizing their earning potential.

"The difference is [the NBA] has 15 guys on the roster, so the average [salary] per player is like 6.3 [million]. We have 53 guys, and if you divide that by our salary cap the average money spent per player is like 2.9 [million]. That's the reason you got guys who are, you know, the seventh, eighth, ninth guy on the bench making more than everybody on our team except for me and Clay [Matthews] and Julius [Peppers]."

To Rodgers' point, 16 NBA players are scheduled to earn more in 2017 than Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco—who owns the most lucrative cap hit in the NFL at $24.5 million.

The NFL Players Association will have a chance to address that issue when the league's collective bargaining agreement expires in 2020.

     

Contract information courtesy of Spotrac.com.