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Keenan does have a point, but he's wrong

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  • Keenan does have a point, but he's wrong

    By DEREK REDD, [email protected]
    June 30, 2004

    In holding out this preseason, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Keenan McCardell is not making the wisest decision.

    But why he's making it is understandable.

    McCardell was a 12-year veteran brought in as option No. 2 behind Keyshawn Johnson. He was then thrust into the No. 1 spot after Keyshawn's relationship with the Bucs melted down. He was one of the few bright spots on an otherwise disappointing 7-9 Bucs team. He caught 84 balls for 1,174 yards fifth in the NFC and eight touchdowns.

    He earned $2 million in 2003.

    Muhsin Muhammad got $3.9 million to catch 54 passes for 837 yards and three scores. Marty Booker got $2.5 million to catch 52 passes for 715 yards and four scores.

    McCardell will earn a 2004 base salary of $2 million this season, plus a $500,000 roster bonus. That's still less than the $4.4 million Muhammad will make or the $2.7 million Booker will make.

    So if he's the team's No. 1 receiver and produces No. 1 receiver numbers, he'd like to get paid like a No. 1 receiver. He's not in the $5 million-plus club like Marvin Harrison or Randy Moss, but the Bucs should put a little more space between his salary and, say, Peter Warrick's ($2.06 million).

    The popular refrain among print and radio pundits is that McCardell should shut his trap, report to camp and whatever happens, happens. Once he finishes the last two years of his contract, then he and the team can talk.

    Not really.

    McCardell is 34 years old. The pundits also point out that 34-year-old wideouts don't make big-time money. Well, unless you're Jerry Rice, 36-year-olds don't make that money, either.

    They get cut for being over the hill.

    He can't really play himself into a better contract. By the time his current one expires, the Bucs can balk at a bigger paycheck, with his age as their excuse. Now is the only time he can make more money, and if holding out is his sole weapon, then he's using it.

    But he's using it against the wrong team at the wrong time.

    This Bucs regime doesn't budge. It paid Keyshawn to sit on his can at home for the second half of 2003. It jettisoned John Lynch and Warren Sapp without so much as a goodbye. When Jon Gruden says he's willing to move forward without McCardell, you should take him at his word.

    The rest of the receiving corps didn't help McCardell's chances at last week's mini-camp. Joey Galloway looked good, as did rookie Michael Clayton. And if Joe Jurevicius fully recovers from injury, the Bucs have three exceptional receivers and McCardell's name isn't among them.

    So McCardell will fight for more money, money he probably deserves, the only way he knows how. He and the Bucs will stare each other down to see who flinches first.

    I can't say I agree with McCardell.

    But I understand.

  • #2
    Re: Keenan does have a point, but he's wrong

    These guys are really starting to get to me.
    He earned $2 million in 2003.
    About $1.97 million more than most people in this country make who don't decide to "sit out".
    Muhsin Muhammad got $3.9 million to catch 54 passes for 837 yards and three scores. Marty Booker got $2.5 million to catch 52 passes for 715 yards and four scores.
    No Mr. Redd, they were paid to do the best job they could do. There was no pre-determined number of catches and total yardage amount that was required in return for their salary. They signed a contract to play the best football they are capable of playing for the term of the contract.
    The popular refrain among print and radio pundits is that McCardell should shut his trap, report to camp and whatever happens, happens. Once he finishes the last two years of his contract, then he and the team can talk.
    Yes, Mr. Redd. That is what an honest man does when he signs his name to a contract. He fulfills the contract. If the Bucs stop sending his paycheck, then he has a complaint.
    He can't really play himself into a better contract. By the time his current one expires, the Bucs can balk at a bigger paycheck, with his age as their excuse.
    A thought that Mr. McCardell should have had before he signed the contract.
    The rest of the receiving corps didn't help McCardell's chances at last week's mini-camp. Joey Galloway looked good, as did rookie Michael Clayton. And if Joe Jurevicius fully recovers from injury, the Bucs have three exceptional receivers and McCardell's name isn't among them.
    Sounds to me that he should be happy with what he's getting.
    I can't say I agree with McCardell.
    That makes two of us.
    But I understand.
    And that makes one of us.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Keenan does have a point, but he's wrong

      If you sign a contract, you should be prepared to live up to it. Do you ever see players agree to take less money after a sub-par year? Not a chance. If a player has the bargaining power to get a re-negotiated contract, great. But if a contract is signed and a player wants to get paid according to performance, he should get an incentive clause.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Keenan does have a point, but he's wrong

        I suppose athletes, like anyone else, have the right to try to renegotiate when they perceive their bargaining power to be at its highest. But the minute they start whining about being underpaid, I just tune out.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Keenan does have a point, but he's wrong

          I understand McCardell's beef because his role on the team has changed. The contract he signed with Tampa Bay was that of a #2 receiver behind Johnson. He's making money equivilent of a receiver in that position, perhaps even less. But now he's the team's number one option, and he wants to be paid accordingly. If I was employed by a workplace and a similar store across the road was paying someone 25% more than what I was getting for the same job, I wouldn't just sit on my rear end and be happy. We're talking about this guy's career. He wants to be paid for the performance and the role he's in since it's now changed from that of his previous contract. I dunno, I can't say I'd burn him at the stake for this one.

          We talk about how players should live with the contract they signed, but how often do franchises follow that motto? Every year we hear about renegotiations with players, pay cuts, players being cut to avoid paying them their money... if players are to be held to the contract they sign, so should franchises. The ugly truth is that that's never going to happen, so arguing for it is rather pointless. Yes, it'd be nice if players and franchises could sign a deal and live by it, all the way to the end. But it just doesn't happen on either end. Franchises hardly ever let those final big cap hit years see the light of day before they either cut a player or renegotiate a longer deal.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Keenan does have a point, but he's wrong

            Don't get me wrong. McCardell is a grown man and can do what he wants. But if I were him, I would live up to the contract I signed. I can't control what the franchise does, but I wouldn't depreciate my name by backing out of the contract.
            The more things change, the more they stay the same.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Keenan does have a point, but he's wrong

              Well, I'm not sure if it's worth holding out over, but I think McCardell is justified in asking for a raise. Especially when you consider that he's probably not going to get much later in his career as he gets older.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Keenan does have a point, but he's wrong

                Those of us looking for jobs making 5 figures, definitely have a great deal of sympathy for him.

                Suck it up.

                I understand the desire to compare those in similar positions and their salaries, but come on. Sorry, but I have very little sympathy for athletes whining about more money, regardless of what team the play for.
                Last edited by DJRamFan; -07-02-2004, 07:24 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Keenan does have a point, but he's wrong

                  Originally posted by DJRamFan
                  Those of us looking for jobs making 5 figures, definitely have a great deal of sympathy for him.

                  Suck it up.

                  I understand the desire to compare those in similar positions and their salaries, but come on. Sorry, but I have very little sympathy for athletes whining about more money, regardless of what team the play for.
                  I definitely see your side of the coin, and even agree with it in ways, but I think it's different once you're inside of the system. What Keenan is asking for is a salary fitting of his role since his job has now changed. Would any of us like being told to "suck it up" if our job changed to something with more weight on our shoulders but we saw no increase in pay? I know I wouldn't. I wouldn't hold out about it, but I'd probably ask for a raise.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Keenan does have a point, but he's wrong

                    Originally posted by NickSeiler
                    I definitely see your side of the coin, and even agree with it in ways, but I think it's different once you're inside of the system. What Keenan is asking for is a salary fitting of his role since his job has now changed. Would any of us like being told to "suck it up" if our job changed to something with more weight on our shoulders but we saw no increase in pay? I know I wouldn't. I wouldn't hold out about it, but I'd probably ask for a raise.
                    If I was getting paid $2.2 million per year to catch say 50 passes, and my boss asked me to catch 80 passes for the same money, would I do it? Hm.....absolutely yes. Making multiple millions per year for playing a sport? Yea, I'd give them 30 catches for free.
                    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Keenan does have a point, but he's wrong

                      This is turning into an interesting debate. To me, this is the classic case of the working man vs the big rich company. It doesn't matter what the salary is, all that matters is what the market dictates. If the going rate for a number one receiver is millions of dollars then that is the bottom line. For the context of the argument at hand, it is really not fair to compare the multi-million dollar salary of an NFL player to the average working mans salary. If the company doesn't want to pay the money then that is their choice, but I don't think it is right to appease the company by working more for free.

                      Hell you can't hardly find a pair of shoes let alone other products that are made in the USA. Why? Because American workers refuse to work for rice kernels like their counterparts in china. Of course, you don't see American citizens protesting by refusing to buy the products made outside of the USA, rather, they consider working more, for free, just to keep their already low paying and hard to find jobs, so they can buy the trash made in china.
                      Last edited by Curly Horns; -07-02-2004, 03:24 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Keenan does have a point, but he's wrong

                        Originally posted by HUbison
                        If I was getting paid $2.2 million per year to catch say 50 passes, and my boss asked me to catch 80 passes for the same money, would I do it? Hm.....absolutely yes. Making multiple millions per year for playing a sport? Yea, I'd give them 30 catches for free.
                        And I think that's an opinion based on being outside the system. If you really were a professional athlete, there would be a lot more you'd have to do than just catch 80 passes a year. You'd be involved in heavy physical and mental training, practices, team functions, etc etc. Keep in mind you're also risking permanent physical injury or even death every time you step out into the field.

                        What I'm saying is I don't fault Keenan for asking the market value for what he's doing. He's being paid for a role he's not playing in, and I can understand his wanting compensation for the job he's actually doing. I think that's fair, but we all know this sport isn't fair.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Keenan does have a point, but he's wrong

                          Originally posted by NickSeiler
                          And I think that's an opinion based on being outside the system. If you really were a professional athlete, there would be a lot more you'd have to do than just catch 80 passes a year. You'd be involved in heavy physical and mental training, practices, team functions, etc etc. Keep in mind you're also risking permanent physical injury or even death every time you step out into the field.

                          What I'm saying is I don't fault Keenan for asking the market value for what he's doing. He's being paid for a role he's not playing in, and I can understand his wanting compensation for the job he's actually doing. I think that's fair, but we all know this sport isn't fair.
                          Nick, you're right. I'm not in the system. But I don't think that would change who I am. My point is simple. He signed a contract to play football for the Tampa Bay Bucaneers for a certain time period for a certain amount of money. That time period has not passed, yet Keenan is refusing to play football for the TB Bucs (ie. fulfilling his end of the transaction) without a change in that certain money amount agreed upon in the contract. Strictly my opinion here, but Keenan is not living up to his word. And regardless of whether I'm in the system or outside the system, I would not go back on my word. But that's just me.
                          The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Keenan does have a point, but he's wrong

                            To me, this is the classic case of the working man vs the big rich company.
                            I'd see it more as a multi-millionaire vs some other multi-millionaires.
                            The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Keenan does have a point, but he's wrong

                              Keep in mind you're also risking permanent physical injury or even death every time you step out into the field.
                              Just like every law enforcement officer, firefighter, soldier, seaman, airman, marine, etc... none of which get paid multiple millions of dollars every year to do the job they said they would do. And yet they show up to work every day. Honestly it is more dangerous to work a minimum-wage job at the local convenience store than it is to be an NFL player.
                              The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                              Comment

                              Related Topics

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                              • DJRamFan
                                [Bucs] Ditka's Advice For Keenan: Just Play
                                by DJRamFan
                                Published: Oct 14, 2004






                                TAMPA - Mike Ditka has some advice for Bucs holdout Keenan McCardell: Dump your agent and show up at One Buc Place ready to play.
                                McCardell, who flew into Tampa unannounced Monday to discuss the impasse with Coach Jon Gruden, has two years remaining on his contract.

                                He is slated to make $2.5 million this season and $2.75 million in 2005.

                                ``I say to Keenan if you can find another job that will pay you $2.5 million, take it,'' Ditka said Wednesday during a Tampa stop to promote a national men's health education campaign. ``Keenan McCardell is a good football player, but like Keyshawn Johnson, there's a lot of 'em out there.

                                ``He'll probably catch on somewhere else. Will he make any more money? No.''

                                When Ditka coached the Bears, the Hall of Fame tight end faced a pair of malcontents on the brink of Chicago's 1985 championship season.

                                ``We had linebacker Al Harris and safety Todd Bell holding out,'' Ditka said, ``and we never looked back. They missed our Super Bowl year because of their agents.''

                                As a player, Ditka negotiated directly with Chicago owner George Halas without a representative.

                                ``You think that was easy?'' he said. ``My attitude toward holdouts is don't be too greedy. There's enough pie to go around for everyone.''

                                Ira Kaufman
                                -10-14-2004, 05:28 PM
                              • Nick
                                McCardell ready to sit out season
                                by Nick
                                Veteran will play when Bucs agree to pay him like one of the league's top receivers
                                By ROGER MILLS, Times Staff Writer
                                Published June 24, 2004

                                TAMPA - The agent for receiver Keenan McCardell said Wednesday there appears to be a stalemate in resolving the contract dispute that is keeping the Bucs' leading receiver from minicamp.

                                Responding to statements made by general manager Bruce Allen on Tuesday, Gary Uberstine said the 12-year veteran is prepared to not only miss training camp but part, if not all, of the season."There is and will be no resolution in sight until some point during the regular season, at which point everyone loses," Uberstine said. Uberstine said McCardell is resolved to stay away until the Bucs make him a better offer. "If it's gone six months with no progress, there's no reason to think that the next six months are going to be any different or better," Uberstine said. "I'm certainly hopeful and optimistic that something can bridge the difference between now and then, but I have no reason to believe that."

                                McCardell, due to make $2.5-million this season and $2.75-million in his final year, has asked for a deal close to the average of the top receivers in the league. Those who are not in their rookie contracts average $4.4-million.

                                Uberstine was particularly concerned about Allen's comments that the dispute was based on money.

                                "Most things in life and business contain some financial component, and that doesn't make them dishonest, selfish or unreasonable," Uberstine said. "I'm certain if the team had its way it would pay players as little as possible." Uberstine said McCardell is in elite company with 410 catches and 5,052 yards the past five seasons. Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Marvin Harrison, Torry Holt, Rod Smith and Jimmy Smith are the only other receivers to accomplish that feat.

                                The Bucs said they have no plans to negotiate a new deal and pointed out that McCardell is under contract for two more years.

                                "Contracts in the NFL have essentially become one-year deals," said Uberstine, pointing out players are forced to take a pay cut for poor performance or injury. "Teams cannot adhere fairly to such a practice yet not recognize the converse."

                                Last season, McCardell led the Bucs with 84 receptions, 1,180 yards and eight receiving touchdowns. He has 724 career receptions and five 1,000-yard seasons.

                                The Bucs appear less than willing to engage in a long-term deal with McCardell, 34. Allen commented Tuesday that he has a good idea of what the market value is for older receivers such as the Raiders' Tim Brown.

                                "The reference to Tim Brown is interesting," Uberstine said. "Because Bruce and the Raiders signed Tim Brown to a contract where he received $8.5-million over two years to play at...
                                -06-24-2004, 11:23 PM
                              • Nick
                                McCardell to skip camp in protest
                                by Nick
                                Bucs Pro Bowler says he wants to be paid like the average No. 1 receiver.
                                By ROGER MILLS, Times Staff Writer
                                Published June 22, 2004

                                TAMPA - He doesn't want to shatter the Bucs' salary cap. He isn't asking to be compensated like Terrell Owens, Marvin Harrison or Randy Moss.

                                What Bucs receiver Keenan McCardell wants is to be paid close to the average of the league's No. 1 receivers.

                                Now, he's about to make his point.

                                After missing all 14 of the "voluntary" offseason team practices, McCardell said Monday he will not take part in the mandatory three-day minicamp that starts today. He said he will stay in Houston until the Bucs make him an offer he can't refuse.

                                "I just want to be treated fairly," McCardell said from his Houston home. "When I signed (with the Bucs) it was to complement Keyshawn (Johnson), and even prior to his departure I was performing as a top receiver. And I'm still performing as a top receiver. I'm not trying to break the bank. It's fair for any employee in any line of work to get a raise when he gets a promotion or increased responsibility. ... That's fair."

                                The veteran receiver, who has been silent about his contract situation since the end of the 2003 season, said he is making a stand based on his production and his work ethic.

                                "I really think I'm a hard-working employee," he said. "I started from the bottom and worked my way to the top. I have never caused a problem in the locker room. I've been a consummate team player. I'm not trying to cash in on last year's season, I'm fighting for what's fair. I think the public would agree I was a Pro Bowl receiver and I deserve to be paid at least the average of the No. 1 receivers."

                                McCardell, 34, has two years left on a four-year contract. He is due to earn $2.5-million this season and $2.75-million in his final year.

                                McCardell's absence at this week's minicamp could cost him up to $1,000, the maximum fine allowed by the league's collective bargaining agreement. He could be fined $5,000 a day for any missed time at training camp, according to the CBA.

                                "I understand that situation, I've been in the league long enough," said McCardell, entering his 13th season. "I'm fighting over a principle. What is fair and just, and sometimes you have to take some risks. Stand up for what you believe. ... I understand that there are negatives, including fines and other economic sanctions that go along with my situation, but I have to do what I know is in my heart."

                                In keeping with team policy, Bucs general manager Bruce Allen does not comment on contract negotiations. McCardell's Las Vegas agent, Gary Uberstine, also wouldn't comment.

                                Negotiations between Allen and Uberstine are ongoing with the hope of a resolution before July 30, when the...
                                -06-22-2004, 07:44 AM
                              • DJRamFan
                                [Bucs] McCardell Visits With Gruden
                                by DJRamFan
                                TAMPA - Bucs wide receiver Keenan McCardell made several strides Monday in an effort to resolve his contract holdout. When his journey was over, though, McCardell realized he'd gotten nowhere.
                                McCardell flew from his home in Houston to Tampa to meet with Bucs coach Jon Gruden, but said the meeting left his situation unchanged.

                                ``While I have not changed my feelings or intentions concerning my situation, I decided to fly into town to personally meet with Coach Gruden in an effort to come to a mutually beneficial resolution to my holdout, whether by trade or otherwise,'' McCardell said in a statement.

                                ``We both aired our views concerning the situation. Unfortunately, nothing was resolved, so I will return to Houston to continue my holdout.''

                                Gruden was unavailable for comment on the meeting.

                                McCardell has two years remaining on a contract that was slated to pay him $2.5 million this year and $2.75 million next year, but he is seeking close to the $4.4 million average being paid No. 1 receivers.

                                McCardell contends several teams, including Chicago and Kansas City, have submitted trade offers to the Bucs, but Bucs general manager Bruce Allen has denied that claim.

                                Roy Cummings
                                -10-12-2004, 08:48 AM
                              • Nick
                                BRONCOS - Clarett wants to prove worth, signs incentive-based deal
                                by Nick
                                Clarett wants to prove he's worthy of first-round money
                                Thursday, July 28, 2005
                                By John Clayton
                                ESPN.com

                                Maurice Clarett, who legally challenged the league for early entry, still hasn't given up the thought he should have been a first-round choice in the NFL.
                                Instead of suing the league, Clarett came up with a novel approach. He is putting his money where his mouth is. On Thursday, he signed a four-year contract in which he gave up the $410,000 of guaranteed money in order to secure an incentive-laden deal that could eventually earn him $7 million.

                                The complex contract, which includes more than $5 million of performance escalators, forced the Broncos and Clarett's agents to negotiate well into Wednesday night. After a few hours of sleep, they resumed their talks Thursday morning and reached agreement by the afternoon. Clarett was the last pick in the third round of the draft.

                                The contract was negotiated by Steve Feldman, Josh Luchs and Clarett's attorney and advisor, David Kenner.

                                "This deal struck gives Maurice the opportunity to be paid like the first-round draft choice he was born to be," Feldman said.

                                Specifics of the contract are sketchy, but it works something like this. If Clarett gains 1,000 yards, he could hit an escalator worth more than $1 million, almost three times what he would have made in a signing bonus given to him by the Broncos.

                                The more he rushes for, the more he makes. He can max out at around $7 million.

                                This was Clarett's gamble. He has the confidence he can gain the yards and hit the $7 million figure. Rollovers give him a chance to make the big bumps in salary if he doesn't do it as a rookie.

                                To further show his commitment, he accepted no guarantees. The $410,000 the Broncos were willing to give him Thursday was put into workout bonuses in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

                                Clarett wants to prove he's a first-round talent. If he runs like a first-rounder, he could be paid like a first-rounder instead of a third-rounder.
                                -07-29-2005, 11:46 AM
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