As we learned from the 2011 NFL lockout, professional football is a business and everyone’s greed gets the best of them when it comes to deciding how money should be divided. While that involved the league in its entirety, there are financial issues that each specific team faces.
Whether it be generating revenue from ticket sales and merchandise or deciding how much to offer their coaching staff, there are choices that the owner must make.
One of the biggest challenges he faces is satisfying all of his players’ contract desires. Young players who outperform their rookie contracts want to be paid accordingly while veterans are looking for lucrative long-term security.
If a player isn’t content with his current situation, then he could choose to holdout. In most cases, it would result in a controversial debate over factors such as whether the player deserves it from a performance perspective, or if the team can afford to invest into him.
The player would lose valuable practice time and taint his image, while the team would suffer from not having one of their pivotal players available. Regardless of which side gets what they want, neither can proudly say it was a victory.
But now, with the new collective bargaining agreement, the owners have been deemed the winners of every holdout situation.
Based on the terms of the deal, players must report to training camp 30 days prior to their first regular season game, otherwise it’ll take an extra year for them to become free agents. And if that wasn’t bad enough, starting today, they must pay $30,000 per day they miss.
For a player like Chris Johnson—who’s set to earn only $800,000 this year—he would lose his entire year’s salary in just 26 days.
In the past, it was all about making a stand for what you believe is just. Now, you just look like a fool.
I’m not saying I don’t like this new rule, because after all I’m an avid football fan who wants to see my favorite players out there on the field.
But you have to feel sympathetic to players like DeSean Jackson. Not only is he underpaid, but he’s forced to witness the Philadelphia Eagles dish out money to free agents such as Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, among others.
Personally, I would’ve taken care of my own, especially due to the lockout, but I see where the Eagles are coming from. They know Jackson won’t sit out much longer so they don’t need to worry and are better off focusing their efforts on building a Super Bowl-caliber roster.
My advice to DeSean Jackson: Get into camp and just humiliate your opponent. If he has another Pro Bowl season, then there’s no reason why you won’t get your payday come next offseason.