The 66 million dollar man

Hello football fans.  There is a serious problem with NFL owners and player’s salaries (it spans all major sports, but dammit, we’re talking about football).  Football owners pay salaries in hopes of future returns, but gauge salaries on past performance.  Unless, of course, you are a first round draft-pick, then you are guaranteed big money based on collegiate performance (kind of like your first job).  A lot of people look at this system and say “yeah, that makes sense, it’s the way things are, and I’m OK with that, I also beat up orphans”  Well I am not one of those people, are you?

Can you hear me now?  Good, because I totally beat up orphans

Can you hear me now? Good, because I totally beat up orphans

Owners hand out salaries to these guys like a really excited mother hands out candy during Halloween.  Let’s look at a couple of examples, the first being one Mr. Glass, oh I’m sorry, Aaron Rodgers.  Brett Favre’s replacement was handed a $66 Million contract after a handful starts.  So you are probably thinking, ‘well they must be undefeated and the Packers somehow won the next 3 Superbowls, right?’  WRONG.  Currently the Packers have a losing record (5-6), and Aaron Rodgers has looked more like Ryan Leaf and less like Brett Favre. (Brett Favre is 8-3)

The Greeks called him Zeus, the Romans called him Jupiter, we call him Brett Favre

The Greeks called him Zeus, the Romans called him Jupiter, we call him Brett Favre

Another fairly recent example would be that of one Mr. Larry Johnson.  I linked his stats page so you can clearly see where he got his big contract; I got news for you, it’s not before those two good seasons.  After Larry Johnson’s second consecutive 1,700 yard season, he said “well fuck this” and held out for more money.  He got that money and has never been seen again.  Frequent injuries, and well, being on the Chiefs have really slowed him down.  Now he has this big contract, the Chiefs are forced to pay him, and now all he does is get into fist fights with women (I could do that for so much less than he’s making, hello, pay me!)

So what I’m getting at is, I don’t think that our current method is working, I think we need to re-think the contract situation.  Imagine this as my utopia scenario:

1.  The salary cap stays in place, a soft cap to ensure no one team just loads up on super talented players.

2. ALL contracts are for the league minimum with performance clauses, therefore your contract will directly reflect your performance that year.  Players won’t be begging for money because if they are doing what they are supposed to, they will be making that money along the way.

3. All contracts are guaranteed.

4. Signing bonuses are gravy, enjoy.

Now, if we review the previous two examples under the new system what would the results be?  Aaron Rodgers, who looked like Michael Jordan trying to play baseball, would probably be making a couple of mil this season, not 12.9, which is more than Brett Favre, yes the same Brett Favre who has Three more wins, is in first place in his division, with more completions in fewer attempts and more touchdowns than Aaron.  Larry Johnson would be making the league minimum, still laughing over how much he stole from the Chiefs.

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