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PFT.com: Bulger, Bruschi get worst of deals of '04

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  • PFT.com: Bulger, Bruschi get worst of deals of '04

    BULGER, BRUSCHI GET WORST DEALS OF '04

    A league insider tells us that, in his opinion, the offseason contracts signed by Rams quarterback Marc Bulger and Pats linebacker Tedy Bruschi were the worst deals signed this year by NFL veterans.

    Bulger's four-year, $19.1 million package in St. Louis (they guy's a quarterback, right?) is "a joke," the source said, explaining that some teams are using Bulger's contract as justification for lowballing players at other positions. Weeks after agent Tom Condon hit the motherlode with Peyton Manning's record-setting deal, Condon flat-out laid an egg with Bulger's contract.

    Sure, Bulger got a $9 million bonus, which isn't out of line with the bonus money received by guys like Tom Brady in 2002 ($10 million), Brett Favre in 2001 ($10 million) and even Kurt Warner in 2000 ($11.5 million). But the market for top-tier quarterbacks supposedly had changed dramatically, with Peyton Manning's $38 million hijack bonus in Indy, Donovan McNabb's $20 million bonus in Philly, and Daunte Culpepper's $16 million bonus in Minny.

    Though Bulger likely thinks/hopes/prays that two or three more solid years will result in a much bigger contract, he should look no farther than his own rise to prominence as proof positive that, in the NFL, the gig can come crashing down without warning, as it essentially did for Warner two years ago.

    And, in Warner's defense, at least he got paid handsomely (relative to the market at the time) before the wheels came off. If Bulger disintegrates within the next year or two, that $9 million signing bonus will have to go a looong way for a guys who's still fairly young. (Plus, Bulger's contract doesn't have features like the $6 million option bonus the Rams paid Warner prior to 2003, in which he played only one game, or the $1.2 million option bonus they paid him this year -- for the privilege of cutting him three months later.)

    As to Bruschi, his four-year, $8.1 million deal translates to a lower per-year average ($2.025 million) than the contracts signed by Carlos Emmons in New York ($3.3 million), Dhani Jones in Philly ($2.7 million), and Barrett Green in New York ($2.6 million). Bruschi arguably is a better player than each of those three.

    So what happened? The problem, as the insider explained it, is that Bruschi acts as his own agent. Sure, he avoids the three-percent fee that he would have paid to an agent. But based on the comparable deals signed by Emmons and Jones and Green, an experienced agent likely could have gotten Bruschi a significantly higher after-fee net deal.

    And although it seems that the Patriots generally have good intentions, they've got a salary cap to manage and their objective is (as it should be) to sign as many players as possible to manageable (i.e., below market) deals.

    They'd be stupid if they gave money way, regardless of whether a guy has no agent. That's why (even though we've got concerns about the current structure of the system, which rewards the agent only for getting a guy the most money, not for placing him on a winning team) every player should have an experienced, competent agent that is committed to getting him the best deal.

    Players play and agents . . . um . . . agent. In the midst of increasingly intense offseason workouts and conditioning programs, did Bruschi really have the time or the knowledge to do all the things that a good agent would have done to ensure that he maximized his contract? It's doubtful.

    And, again, we're not saying the Pats screwed Bruschi. If anything, the kid screwed himself by trying to go it alone. We're not saying he should hire the Postons next time around (which in our view is an alternative worse than going it alone) and we're not saying that every player needs an agent in every circumstance (e.g., Pats corner Terrell Buckley, who signed a one-year deal for the veteran minimum).

    The reality for Bruschi is that there likely won't be a next time around. At 31 years of age, Tedy likely just signed his last seven-figure contract.
    I've never really trusted these guys' "sources" but they do present some interesting ideas.

  • #2
    Re: PFT.com: Bulger, Bruschi get worst of deals of '04

    I think Bulger's contract is fine. He gets a nice signing bonus, and the team retains the option to move in another direction in a couple of years without destroying their cap. Not sure why the writer thought that Bulger had the leverage to get a better contract. After all, the Rams could have just paid him $1.8 Million for this year to retain him.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: PFT.com: Bulger, Bruschi get worst of deals of '04

      If Bulger disintegrates within the next year or two, that $9 million signing bonus will have to go a looong way for a guys who's still fairly young.
      Let's see, how far should a young man be able to stretch $9,000,000...hmm, I don't know, how about...a lifetime!
      And, again, we're not saying the Pats screwed Bruschi. If anything, the kid screwed himself by trying to go it alone.
      The guy is making over $2 million a year for the next 4 years to play football, and the writer thinks he got screwed!?

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but both Marc Bulger and Tedy Bruschi are grown men, right? Nobody forced them to sign the contract, right? Maybe, just maybe, these two men understand the value of signing cap friendly contracts that will assure their financial comfort while still managing to think of their respective team's needs. These guys try to be team players by not breaking the bank and PFT.com says they "got screwed". Un-freakin'-believable.
      The more things change, the more they stay the same.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: PFT.com: Bulger, Bruschi get worst of deals of '04

        The author just does not get how the system works.

        Look at Grant Wistrom and Adawale Ogunleye. Most would probably assert that Ogunleye is the better player, or at least Grant's equal. But, while Grant got a huge signing bonus and contract, Ogunleye is in limbo. The reason? Grant was an unrestricted free agent, while Ogunleye is restricted. As a result, Ogunleye has little or no leverage.

        Bulger was in the same boat. He was a restricted free agent. Had he waited until he was a UFA (and played well in the meantime), he probably could have received a bigger contract. Instead, he decided to avoid the risk of injury (or poor play) and take the money that is available now.

        To blame the agent for that is absurd. I would rather have an agent that helps clients make decisions that suit them, rather than the Poston type that convinces clients that they should hold out for the world.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: PFT.com: Bulger, Bruschi get worst of deals of '04

          We're not saying he should hire the Postons next time around (which in our view is an alternative worse than going it alone)
          Well, at least I agree with them there.
          Originally posted by AvengerRam
          To blame the agent for that is absurd. I would rather have an agent that helps clients make decisions that suit them, rather than the Poston type that convinces clients that they should hold out for the world.
          How true, how true. Actually I hope that every other team in the NFL swoops up as many Poston clients as possible. Their cap will be eaten up so quickly, we could pick up top-tier talent at reduced rates.
          The more things change, the more they stay the same.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: PFT.com: Bulger, Bruschi get worst of deals of '04

            Originally posted by AvengerRam
            I think Bulger's contract is fine. He gets a nice signing bonus, and the team retains the option to move in another direction in a couple of years without destroying their cap.
            Compared to Manning or McNabb or Culpepper, the deal is pretty weak. Chances are though that's all the writer based this article off of. I think Bulger's deal is fine as well, especially considering nine million in bonus money.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: PFT.com: Bulger, Bruschi get worst of deals of '04

              Originally posted by HUbison
              Let's see, how far should a young man be able to stretch $9,000,000...hmm, I don't know, how about...a lifetime!

              The guy is making over $2 million a year for the next 4 years to play football, and the writer thinks he got screwed!?

              Correct me if I'm wrong, but both Marc Bulger and Tedy Bruschi are grown men, right? Nobody forced them to sign the contract, right? Maybe, just maybe, these two men understand the value of signing cap friendly contracts that will assure their financial comfort while still managing to think of their respective team's needs. These guys try to be team players by not breaking the bank and PFT.com says they "got screwed". Un-freakin'-believable.
              Mark Bulger is from Pittsburgh, so I know a little about his background. The way he was raised and the type of young man he is, it's no suprise that he was happy with the deal he got. As long as he doesn't feel he was screwed, that's all that matters. He'll get along just fine on what he signed for. And depending on how well he plays, he'll get a better deal down the road. Contrary to what a lot of NFL players think, it is possible to live quite well on a salary similar to Bulger's. I wouldn't mind trying it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: PFT.com: Bulger, Bruschi get worst of deals of '04

                After the contract was signed, i remember reading an article in which the reporter asked bulger how the money would change his life. His reply was that he wanted to buy his parents a house and take care of the rest of his family. He went on to say something to the effect of "$20 still seems like a lot of money to me."

                Nice that once in a blue moon a highly compensated athlete actually remains grounded despite his financial situation.

                general counsel

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                • #9
                  Re: PFT.com: Bulger, Bruschi get worst of deals of '04

                  Originally posted by general counsel
                  After the contract was signed, i remember reading an article in which the reporter asked bulger how the money would change his life. His reply was that he wanted to buy his parents a house and take care of the rest of his family. He went on to say something to the effect of "$20 still seems like a lot of money to me."

                  Nice that once in a blue moon a highly compensated athlete actually remains grounded despite his financial situation.

                  general counsel
                  You've got to love a QB with his head on his shoulders. With all the primadonnas in the NFL, I can't think of anything more refreshing than to see an athlete that understands the concept of value. That's what you want in a leader, folks.
                  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: PFT.com: Bulger, Bruschi get worst of deals of '04

                    I agree with everything you guys said. It's refreshing to hear about players not fighting for larger contracts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: PFT.com: Bulger, Bruschi get worst of deals of '04

                      I tell you this much, even though I am still distraught over losing KW, it does make it a little easier knowing that MB is such a class act. I really, REALLY hope he takes care of business and earns that 9 million.

                      The contract seems appropriate considering what he has accomplished to date.

                      Comment

                      Related Topics

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                      • RamWraith
                        Pasquarelli's Tip Sheet on Bulger
                        by RamWraith
                        Extension for Bulger near? Look for St. Louis officials to soon ramp up efforts to complete a contract extension for quarterback Marc Bulger, one of the NFL's best but most underappreciated players at the position. Team president Jay Zygmunt and agent Tom Condon have begun checking their respective calendars for dates on which they might get together to kick off negotiations. As noted here last week, Bulger is entering the final season of his current deal, with a scheduled base salary of $3.95 million. Without an extension, he would be eligible for unrestricted free agency next spring, but the Rams aren't about to let things reach that point. Nor will they be inclined to use the franchise marker, which this year was $12.615 million for a quarterback, on Bulger. The preferred option is an extension.

                        Bulger, by the way, has a better career completion percentage (64.4) than Peyton Manning (64.0) and has averaged more passing yards per start (270.5 to 261) than the Colts' two-time most valuable player. He also own a career efficiency rating of 91.3, not far behind Manning's 94.4. That's not to suggest that Bulger is in Manning's class on the field, or should be in his tax bracket. But the Rams' six-year veteran is among the NFL's top 10 quarterbacks, and will probably have a new contract reflecting that status at some point before the end of the 2007 season.
                        -05-26-2007, 05:59 AM
                      • RAM-BO
                        Idea For A Bulger Backup
                        by RAM-BO
                        Brian Griese. A very solid quarterback who is likely to be resigned by TB if he doesn't get an offer from another team. Simms was announced the starter of 06, so they are not going to break their necks in signing him. I say we nab him for a couple million for the first year with a 500k signing bonus. 3-year $6.5 million contract, signing bonus included.
                        -03-12-2006, 08:08 PM
                      • RamWraith
                        Rams need to show Bulger respect in contract talks
                        by RamWraith
                        By Bryan Burwell
                        ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                        07/24/2007

                        We interrupt the impending demise of your Cardinal baseball season for this news flash: The St. Louis Rams' management still doesn't get it.

                        The Rams open training camp Friday morning, and all over the city, they have sprinkled marketing billboards that essentially asks you to believe in them. But what exactly are we supposed to believe when the biggest news of the offseason and the most significant story leading into camp is the possibility that management is about to put the economic squeeze on Marc Bulger?

                        A few weeks ago, the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback made headlines when he told a national radio show that a training-camp holdout wasn't out of the realm of possibility. In typical Bulger fashion, it wasn't an angry, brash diatribe. He simply answered someone's question, then within 24 hours toned down the saber-rattling negotiating rhetoric. But if you know anything about the soft-spoken Bulger, that was the equivalent of a "I'm mad as hell and won't take it anymore" manifesto.

                        Bulger doesn't yell. He doesn't scream. But when he does talk, and the words have an angry edge to them, his words carry weight. Remember last year when he blasted unnamed teammates for being unprofessional?
                        Everyone in that Rams locker room knew who Bulger was talking about, and he got everyone's attention, and in the process those slacker attitudes changed.

                        There isn't any showy fire-and-brimstone bravado with Bulger, but there is a definite simmering competitive fire that shouldn't be underestimated by anyone, particularly Rams management.

                        He has spent his entire NFL career being occasionally disrespected, unappreciated and underpaid, even as he has become one of the most prolific passers in NFL history. So now with a year left on Bulger's contract, it's time for the disrespect to end and the appreciation to begin.

                        In pro sports, respect and appreciation are shown on payday.

                        In 2006, Marc Bulger ($5.12 million in guaranteed money) was the eighth highest-paid player on the Rams roster, behind five defensive players (Will Witherspoon, $11 million; Leonard Little, $10 million; Cory Chavious, $6.5 million; Pisa Tinoisamoa, $6.5 million; and La'Roi Glover, $5.5 million) and two offensive players (Alex Barron, $5.26 million; and Torry Holt, $5.2 million).

                        The business of professional football is one of constant change. So what seemed like a good deal four years ago no longer holds much value. So you need to constantly negotiate in real time, rather than waste too much idle chatter clinging to comparisons with two- or three-year-old deals.

                        Pro sports contracts are a lot like hi-tech gizmos and gadgets when you think about it, almost obsolete before the ink is dry. So while it might seem to make sense to use New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees...
                        -07-24-2007, 06:01 AM
                      • RamWraith
                        More Bulger contract updates (UPDATED 7-27 6:00am)
                        by RamWraith
                        Just reported on ESPNEWS, JUly 25th 3:00 pm CSD.

                        Marc Bulger and his agent are to resume contract negotiations with the Rams on Thursday July 26th.

                        GOOD NEWS INDEED!~
                        -07-25-2007, 02:28 PM
                      • Goldenfleece
                        A Bit About the Bulger Benching
                        by Goldenfleece
                        Just a little food for thought here...

                        A) Linehan said there would be changes, and Bulger really did have a bad game. Even when he didn't have a defender in his face, the accuracy just wasn't there. If nothing else, this is a statement that no one is safe. In all honesty, does anyone think we could win with him throwing like that? I mean how long do you give a guy to work himself out of a funk? It has already been more than a year.

                        B) It's not like Bulger had just one bad game. He had a 70.3 QB rating last season. That puts him in the same neighborhood as Trent Edwards, Brody Croyle, and Rex Grossman. Guess how many of them are starting this season. Kyle Boller and Joey Harrington also rated better in 2007, and it's not like they were playing behind stellar lines. Bulger was the 30th ranked quarterback among those who threw at least 150 passes last season. I've generally defended him, but at this point, maybe we need to give someone else a chance.

                        C) Now I hope Bulger gets his groove back, but when you talk about the "cap hell" that it would put us through if we had to cut him, that doesn't seem to be the case. I did a little research, and according to ESPN (link), it would cost us $8 million in guaranteed money if we had to cut him at the end of the season. That would be more than the $6.5 million we'd pay him if we didn't cut him, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. I'm not sure of all the details, but Jim Thomas reports (link)that Bulger's entire $7 million 2008 salary was guaranteed, which means that right there was a big part of the $27 total guaranteed in the contract. His signing bonus was $12 million according to USA Today's salary database (check it out!)...which does leave $8 million outstanding. If the front office was convinced we had to move on, that would probably be a price worth paying. I'm not saying we should cut him; I'm just saying that no one should assume that we can't afford to.
                        -09-23-2008, 07:17 PM
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