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Todd Gurley: NFL players deserve guaranteed contracts, could strike to get them

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  • #16
    Everyone can maintain and advocate for their own interests. I find it somewhat comical, though, when either side in these disputes solicit my support. As a fan, I want (1) no work stoppages, and (2) a system in which competitive balance is not replaced with financial haves and have-nots.

    The details are not my problem.

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    • #17
      In response to Russell Okung's twitter feed provided by Nick several posts earlier, and as someone who neither owns a lucrative business nor is filthy rich, you might find my position on this issue a curious one, but I largely side with ownership on this. The boss is the boss. The owner is the owner. How they got there and how much money they have is irrelevant- they have put themselves in a position of strength by being the boss. They pay the bills and the paychecks. While players have the right to collectively bargain, the advantage still lies with the owners. If the NFL disappeared tomorrow, 90% of the players would be in huge trouble financially, as only a select few would be able to make anything even close to the money they're currently making, whereas the owners would still be filthy rich.

      I sympathize with the players in that they're the ones risking their health and football is a tough profession physically, but they know the risks. They enjoy the upside of fame, glory, every perk imaginable and opportunities in every walk of life the rest of us can only dream about. Along with that comes a great salary that most of us don't make in our chosen professions. While the players have every right to advocate for themselves, they're simply living in dreamland if they think guaranteed money is gonna' happen anytime soon.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by general counsel View Post
        The only point i will make is that the collective bargaining agreement is not forced on anyone. If the players dont like its terms, they dont have to play (ie dont have the vote to ratify the collective bargaining agreement) and can effectively strike. That might cause the owners to change their negotiating position. All negotiations are on some level a function of leverage. The owners have more of it than the players because they can better afford to take the losses as the players have short careers. What gets lost many times in this discussion is that "fair" is a relative and subjective term. The players want to scream bloody murder about guaranteed contracts, certain terms of the collective bargaining agreement they dont like and other injustices. However, did you ever see a player complain when they get paid a big signing bonus and either get hurt or simply fail to perform to expectations? Sure, players like aaron donald are badly "underpaid." Many players are overpaid as well. In the real world, employees are are valuable as what they did for the company very recently. If you dont perform, you get fired and you dont get paid. You arent guaranteed anything. The fact that football players have a short career is a red herring. That is the career they have chosen. If players dont like it, they dont have to play. They can also buy their own team and give guaranteed contracts if they can raise the money and want to do things differently. That is their choice. Unequal bargaining power between people that own companies and employees is not new and its not changing anytime soon unless people want a socialist state, and i certainly am not trying to turn this into a political discussion.

        Players today are about a thousand times better off than they were before free agency. A lot of progress has been made from the players perspective on the revenue sharing side. I appreciate that the players would like more, and there is no reason they shouldnt try for it, but i dont think either side gets to vote in favor of a collective bargaining agreement and then complain about some of its provisions after the fact. The collective bargaining agreement is a long complicated legal document. You cant really pick one provision and say its unfair. The agreement needs to be looked at taken as a whole, because taken as a whole its a good deal for both sides. That does not mean that every provision is a good deal for both sides.

        To summarize, the players can choose to strike (ie breach and deal with the damages), not sign a new collective bargaining agreement, make any demands they want in the next round of negotiations, same as the owners. We can then see where the breaking point is for each side. We can talk about billionaires all we want, but i think that misses the issue in many respects. Go ask any small business owner in this country trying to make a living how difficult it is to hire and retain quality employees and how those small business owners feel when their workers dont perform and whether they want all their workers to be guaranteed wages for a period of time regardless of the level of performance. See how that works out for the economy....

        Ramming speed to all

        general counsel
        Thanks for your response GC. It is very informative for a layman/fan like me. I am not taking a side in this simply because I don't know anywhere near enough to have an informed opinion. I am a small business owner though, and you are spot on with your comments in that area as regards performance, wages, etc.



        Originally posted by AvengerRam View Post
        Everyone can maintain and advocate for their own interests. I find it somewhat comical, though, when either side in these disputes solicit my support. As a fan, I want (1) no work stoppages, and (2) a system in which competitive balance is not replaced with financial haves and have-nots.

        The details are not my problem.
        As stated above I don't have a side - I was just asking for information as regards both sides. Given that you work in this arena, I respect your right to defer. I don't particularly wish to spend my off time discussing what I do for a living either. That said, on occasion in the past you have given some extremely insightful information as regards various legal issues - hence my solicitation.

        1) "no work stoppage" is what we all hope for I am sure.

        2) "a system in which competitive balance is not replaced with financial haves and have-nots." That one is intriguing. I would love to hear more thoughts on that.
        Last edited by MauiRam; 1 week ago.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
          In response to Russell Okung's twitter feed provided by Nick several posts earlier, and as someone who neither owns a lucrative business nor is filthy rich, you might find my position on this issue a curious one, but I largely side with ownership on this. The boss is the boss. The owner is the owner. How they got there and how much money they have is irrelevant- they have put themselves in a position of strength by being the boss. They pay the bills and the paychecks. While players have the right to collectively bargain, the advantage still lies with the owners. If the NFL disappeared tomorrow, 90% of the players would be in huge trouble financially, as only a select few would be able to make anything even close to the money they're currently making, whereas the owners would still be filthy rich.

          I sympathize with the players in that they're the ones risking their health and football is a tough profession physically, but they know the risks. They enjoy the upside of fame, glory, every perk imaginable and opportunities in every walk of life the rest of us can only dream about. Along with that comes a great salary that most of us don't make in our chosen professions. While the players have every right to advocate for themselves, they're simply living in dreamland if they think guaranteed money is gonna' happen anytime soon.
          Hopefully the players will make some fair and equitable gains when it comes time for a new CBA. After reading all the posts, yours certainly reflects the "it is what is is" of the situation. A lengthy work stoppage would most likely piss off fans with sentiments going against the players. Mike's post is relevant in this scenario ..

          Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
          I'm with Gurley on this. That $9,376,550 guaranteed portion of his rookie contract is just not enough to take care of his family should something happen to him.

          Comment


          • #20
            It all depends on their performance. And in the Gurley thing as really the nearly $10M he should both invest to the right kind of people not like a Bernie Madoff.
            Carolina Panthers @ Denver Broncos 2/7/2016 CBS 6:30PM EST Santa Clara CA!

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            • #21
              Guaranteed contracts mean teams will buy insurance just like in MLB and they'll go with shorter contracts over 4+ year contracts. Suh's contract would be far more common than Whitworth's. Teams will adapt.

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              • #22
                You cant buy insurance against performance issues. Insurance pertains to injuries, especially major injuries. i doubt the players are going to win this point as i highly doubt that a majority of the players are going to be prepared to strike or not sign a new collective bargaining agreement over the point. I think the owners are too smart to give this up. ethics of the issue aside, its a major leverage point for the owners and the football owners understand how badly the baseball owners got hurt when they converted over to the fully guaranteed long term contracts.

                ramming speed to all

                general counsel

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                • #23
                  So you think the reluctance to guaranteed contracts is performance issues and not injury related?

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Dreadlock View Post
                    So you think the reluctance to guaranteed contracts is performance issues and not injury related?
                    In my mind, it's both. But to your point, sure, take Tavon Austin as exhibit A. Dude was 2 years in on a 40+ million deal. So he was making 10 - 11 million a year with a mere 2-3 touches per game last season. Wasn't injured; just wasn't producing anything on the field (except for consecutive fumbles amiright?). Can you imagine the Rams cutting him and still having to pay another 22 million over this year and next because his entire contract was guaranteed? haha. And the "but they traded him" argument won't work. The only way the Rams were able to trade him to Dallas was because he voluntarily restructured his contract to a one year deal. He'd have zero incentive to restructure his contract if it was entirely guaranteed. And thus, no team would take on his contract in its prior form.

                    Conversely, what if a team changes coaches and entire schemes are affected? What are you going to do with an obsolete player if you can't trade him?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I think the reluctance to guarantee contracts analysis goes something like this "Why should i guarantee a contract if i dont have to?" Same as any other employer. I have never heard of an employer who will voluntarily guarantee a contract if they dont have to do so. Have to is a function of market conditions. Employers may choose to do so, but they dont want to be legally obligated to do so because human nature being what it is, if people are guaranteed to receive a certain amount of money over a certain period of time why should they give their absolute best every day, come to work or play when sick/hurt etc. Kudos to the baseball players for getting market conditions to the point where guaranteed contracts are the norm. Same with the NBA. But its a very rare situation and i dont see that the nfl owners will give in unless they have to and they wont have to unless the players can be unified enough to refuse to play for some extended period of time unless and until they get what they want. Its both injury and performance, the tavon situation is a great example.

                      ramming speed to all

                      general counsel

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by General Counsel View Post

                        ...Human nature being what it is, if people are guaranteed to receive a certain amount of money over a certain period of time, why should they give their absolute best every day, come to work or play when sick/hurt etc. Kudos to the baseball players for getting market conditions to the point where guaranteed contracts are the norm. Same with the NBA. But it's a very rare situation and I don't see that the NFL owners will give in unless they have to and they won't have to unless the players can be unified enough to refuse to play for some extended period of time unless and until they get what they want. Its both injury and performance, the Tavon situation is a great example.

                        Ramming speed to all

                        General Counsel

                        Makes sense, one of the infamous sides / factors of human nature. Unfavorably and unfortunately.

                        It is thus highly comforting and a relief to know that there ARE some NFL players with a truly responsible, mature and committed mindset. In fact, even self-motivated players by virtue of personal ethics and integrity. Exemplary individuals.

                        Here on planet Earth.
                        Last edited by RealRam; 1 week ago. Reason: Gracias Nick!

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                        • #27
                          If performance is a problem, why not just only make short term contract deals with players?
                          MLB teams are stuck with high dollar underperforming players. Last time I checked MLB wasn't damaged by it. The NBA is also.
                          I see no reason to believe that if Austin's contract were guaranteed that the Rams would have entered into it in the first place.

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                          • #28
                            Dreadlock, that is why the signing bonus money that is guaranteed effectively acts as the guaranteed portion of the contract. Players say contracts arent guaranteed, but the signing bonuses are guaranteed, effectively creating a partially guaranteed deal. I disagree that MLB owners havent been damaged. Sure they are making plenty of money. They would be making more money if they werent all giving guaranteed contracts on a long term basis. you make a great point about short term contracts. owners would love short term contracts, but if that is the direction it goes, the huge signing bonuses will be gone because the owners wont be able to amortize their cost over the length of the contract, both on a cash basis and a salary cap basis.

                            Ramming speed to all

                            general counsel

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
                              I'm with Gurley on this. That $9,376,550 guaranteed portion of his rookie contract is just not enough to take care of his family should something happen to him.
                              I tend to agree. I think if any of the big three sports should have guaranteed contracts, it should be the NFL where the possibility of injury - especially life changing injury - is greater. I don't really see the path for how they get there, though.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Nick View Post
                                I tend to agree. I think if any of the big three sports should have guaranteed contracts, it should be the NFL where the possibility of injury - especially life changing injury - is greater. I don't really see the path for how they get there, though.
                                You did see the sarcasm in my comment, right?

                                Gurley's $9,376,550 in guaranteed money (and that doesn't include the hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary he's made) over a 40 year working career translates to $234,413 per year. If you can't carve out a very good life for your family and retirement on that, you're not doing something right. I'm sorry, but I just don't accept the argument that NFL players "need" guaranteed contracts to survive in the world.

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