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View Full Version : NFL needs fiscal timeout


Count Zarth
03-13-2008, 07:39 PM
http://kan.scout.com/2/737302.html

With NFL owners and players locked in the beginning stages of a sparring match that could result in the elimination of the current CBA, it seems odd that so many teams are carelessly throwing money away in free agency.

Owners have been complaining that players receive too large a slice of the revenue pie. But when quarterback Trent Green, a 38-year old player with a history of concussions, can get $4 million in guaranteed dollars in 2008, thereís danger in the true solvency of the NFL over the next decade.

Green, of course, isnít ready to give it up, especially when you consider the path he took to the NFL. Iím not going to debate the merits of his desire to play. Thatís his choice.

But when Bill Parcells took over the Dolphins, he quickly released Green Ė a sure sign that heís more or less finished as an NFL player. Undaunted, the Rams, who hired Al Saunders (Greenís former offensive coordinator) and Terry Shea (Greenís former quarterbacks coach), went after the veteran quarterback.

Saunders and Shea undoubtedly convinced Rams head coach Scott Linehan that Green would be the perfect replacement for Gus Frerrote, the Ramsí second-stringer a year ago. So, St. Louis made Green the highest paid backup in the NFL. He wonít start for the Rams Ė the franchise already invested nearly $65 million in Marc Bulger (http://kan.scout.com/a.z?s=115&p=8&c=1&nid=2987759) last season.

Paying out those big bucks to Bulger now essentially looks like a waste of money, as the Rams won only three games last season (you'd think someone earning franchise-player money could deliver a few more). Adding Green ties up even more money Ė in addition to the guaranteed portion of his signing bonus, he can earn another $5 million in 2009 and 2010 merely by sitting on the bench.

Why are the NFL owners so upset that theyíve given 62 percent of the leagueís revenue to the players? Because they were dumb enough to hand it over willingly.

The NFL is dangerously close to becoming Major League Baseball. Gene Upshaw is the new Marvin Miller. If the owners donít get control of themselves, and quickly, this league we love will outprice the fan base that made it Americaís game.

You canít begrudge the players. When teams like the New York Jets give out $74 million in guarantees to free agents on the downside of their NFL prime and the Oakland Raiders pay part-time players $18 million in guarantees, it simply pleads ignorance, not fiscal responsibility.

The players wonít complain about the huge signing bonuses given out to marginal talent since free agency began February 29. The owners, desperate to fill seats and stay competitive within their own divisions, canít help themselves.

The willingness to throw money at the situation is nothing new, of course. Weíve seen it in Kansas City in years past. But this yearís Chiefs have wisely abstained from dumping truckloads of money into free agency. Unfortunately, they are in the minority.

At the end of the month owners will convene for their annual meetings. Thereís no doubt that 32 billionaires will plead their case for the system to change, and I agree with them 100 percent (regardless of whoís fault it is).

The players make up the game, but running an NFL franchise isnít an inexpensive endeavor. Some people run them into the ground, while others run them with remarkable precision and accountability. But fair is fair. The NFL is a business, and with so many teams unable to play .500 football, do all the players deserve a majority of the projected revenues each year? They donít run the franchises and the quality of play isnít equal across 32 cities.

The bottom line is this - the NFL has become a sport that charges fans too much to attend games while asking taxpayers to assist in funding incredibly expensive stadiums. Meanwhile, the players have their hands out more than UNICEF.

All of this leads me to believe weíll see some kind of work stoppage in the near future, one that would surely turn off fans for the first time in nearly 20 years.

The NFL better learn from the power trip that nearly destroyed MLB. Baseballís owners banked on fans returning. If not for juiced balls, most wouldnít have. Now we know they sold the fans a bill of goods.

The NFL canít afford to take for granted or fool the fans as baseball did. Thereís too much money at stake and fans have become too wise after the steroid-induced mess that MLB currently finds itself in.

As for the players, they can live without some of the excess thatís afforded to them at the moment. It would be for the greater long-term good of the players in the college ranks who havenít made their millions yet.

Both sides have to be in agreement on this one, and the financial split has to be more reasonable. Itís time the players give back just a bit. The owners canít expect too much from the players given their irresponsible spending of late, but a middle ground must be found.

Letís hope they find one before itís too late.

Bacon Cheeseburger
03-13-2008, 07:57 PM
Stupidity may play a role, especially when it comes to the Raiders, but the main reason the players are getting overpaid is because the league is watered down and there aren't enough good players to go around. Teams are so desperate for even marginal players that they have to overpay to get them. The last two rounds of expansion never should have happened.

Count Zarth
03-13-2008, 07:59 PM
Teams are so desperate for even marginal players that they have to overpay to get them. .

That wouldn't be true if a few teams just exercised a little common sense. If you wait long enough, it drives the price down. Player A, no matter how good he is, isn't going to get 30 million if no one is willing to give him 30 million. A perfect example is Ian Scott, who last year shopped around to five or six teams asking for an absurd amount of money if I recall.

Halfcan
03-13-2008, 09:06 PM
Now that is a 1st class article-nicely done!

KCwolf
03-13-2008, 10:03 PM
Now that is a 1st class article-nicely done!

Wow......I completely agree.....very well written article.

Bacon Cheeseburger
03-13-2008, 11:50 PM
That wouldn't be true if a few teams just exercised a little common sense. If you wait long enough, it drives the price down. Player A, no matter how good he is, isn't going to get 30 million if no one is willing to give him 30 million. A perfect example is Ian Scott, who last year shopped around to five or six teams asking for an absurd amount of money if I recall.

Oh I agree, but the key word is "desperate", usually that and common sense don't go hand in hand. Nevertheless, the law of supply and demand is going to kick in at some point.

btlook1
03-14-2008, 09:47 AM
Now that is a 1st class article-nicely done!

Excellent writing well done!

Count Zarth
03-14-2008, 06:49 PM
Excellent writing well done!

Now that is a 1st class article-nicely done!

Wow......I completely agree.....very well written article.

So you're all fans of Nick Athan now. Outstanding.

Brock
03-14-2008, 07:04 PM
Few things go over better than "those gosh darned overpaid athletes" articles. It's lazy editorialism.

Bearcat
03-14-2008, 07:17 PM
It's been going downhill for a while, but he's right, it's getting close to being MLB-bad. I'm fine with athletes making millions of dollars to play a game, because they deserve a big slice of the pie, but it gets ridiculous when one person, much less a couple or a family, has to pay over $100 for a ticket + parking; and CBS has to show 4 minutes of commercials every 10 minutes so they can pay for their eleventy billion dollar contract.

Paying out those big bucks to Bulger now essentially looks like a waste of money, as the Rams won only three games last season (you'd think someone earning franchise-player money could deliver a few more).

Heh... I hope whoever wrote that has never said something like "don't blame Croyle, no one could play well behind a line that bad, and he didn't have a running game". Bulger missed like 5 games because of injury, was without Steven Jackson because of his injuries, and was sacked like 40 times (and he missed 5 games!) because of an O-Line that was about as bad as the Chiefs'.

Hydrae
03-14-2008, 07:27 PM
Penny pinching King Carl must be this guys hero.

Halfcan
03-14-2008, 11:34 PM
So you're all fans of Nick "The Erroneous One" Athan now. Outstanding.

I think YOU are doing his homework for him-at the very least-Heavy Editing.

It is a nice piece of work-Whoever really wrote it??

Ultra Peanut
03-15-2008, 01:57 AM
eh

ClevelandBronco
03-15-2008, 02:34 AM
It's remarkable that the fans of professional sports franchises continue to believe that they have much say in the running of a private business. The extent of your input is whether to buy or not to buy. That's as far as fan influence goes, guys.

And you'd better keep buying or there's another city on the list. It's a shell game that can continue for decades in very much the same fashion as it's operating now.

BTW: I don't want to be misunderstood. I'm in favor of NFL franchises making as much money as possible from their fan bases.

whoman69
03-15-2008, 08:47 AM
The difference between the NFL and MLB is that in baseball the value of players was set initially by arbitration. Agents argued that a player who had 60% of the production of a highly paid superstar should get 60% of that type money. Because of the revenue structure of the league it shut smaller market teams out of the free agent market and forced those small market teams to trade away players that would soon be overpriced by this faulty logic.

In football because of the watering down of talent across the league, to stay competitive owners pay record contracts to the 10th best player in the league. It pushes up the bar for everyone at that point. There are some teams that have historically stayed out of these bidding wars like the Steelers and Packers and still maintained competitiveness by making intelligent decisions. Other teams like the Chiefs have not been able to draft intelligently and are forced into the risky business which is the free agent market. In football those who have entered the free agent market can either be coming into their prime or be washed up at the same point in their careers.

DaFace
03-15-2008, 09:11 AM
So you're all fans of Nick "The Erroneous One" Athan now. Outstanding.

Don't take acknowledgment of a well-written article to mean that people are "fans." There's a pretty big difference there.

whoaskew
03-15-2008, 02:05 PM
Well written article, but really I can sum the article up in a couple sentences.

1. The owners choose to pay the players huge amounts of money.

2. The owners immediately start to complain about the amount of money they chose to pay them.


I don't see the problem. If I applied for a minimum wage job, and then two days later I complained that the job didn't pay me enough, everyone would call me an idiot for putting MYSELF in that situation. The same can be said of these owners.

The sword is sharp on both sides.

nychief
03-15-2008, 02:24 PM
is this an op-ed piece?