Pay Stafford his money

Written by :
Published on : August 4, 2017

 

 

Lions training camp is underway and the team is looking to get back to the postseason for the third time in four years. This is a big change from the days when Detroit was bottom-of-the-barrel looking up at the playoffs. And quarterback Matthew Stafford is a big reason for this recent success. Because of that, management is working on getting Matt a new contract extension to lock up the young gunslinger for the next half decade. This is the move to make. The Lions need to open their checkbook and pay Matthew Stafford the big bucks he deserves.

 

Haters are going to say Stafford hasn’t won a playoff game yet so he doesn’t deserve $25 million+ per season. Or he throws too many interceptions. Or that Tom Brady isn’t even making that kind of money. Or that he sucks and Detroit needs to move on from him. These type of statements drive me crazy because they are so misguided. Talents like Matthew Stafford do not come around that often and the Lions are lucky enough to have drafted him, the franchise cannot afford to let a commodity like that walk away.

 

Embed from Getty Images 

 

The truth is, the NFL has a quarterback shortage. There are about 10-15 good to great QBs and 32 teams so you do the math. Most GMs are always looking for the next brilliant single caller. But they aren’t there. For comparison, Derek Carr was just given a 5 year/$125 million deal. Carr has never won a playoff game either. This just proves that the rate for a quality man under center has gone up. Carr helped set the price point. So forget all that talk about who is making what. All these numbers are going to shoot up. Stafford just happens to be next in line to get paid.  

 

Brady’s pay was cut because of the suspensions he was going to face. This allowed the team to pay him less in salary and give him most of his money via bonuses and performance incentives. Plus Tom is one of those guys that is already so rich that he doesn’t want to hamstring the rest of the roster with his huge contract. Keeps them so damn competitive. And in terms of interceptions, Stafford threw 10 picks in 2016. His fewest in 6 years. Also the 4th lowest total for QBs that played all 16 regular season games. Speaking of playing all 16 games, Matt was done that the last 6 years as well.  

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

On to the good stuff. Matt Stafford or as some of my buddies call him, Dad Stafford or Matt Dadford, has thrown for over 4,000 yards in all of the last 6 years. That’s bonkers. He is only 29-years-old but has a wealth of game management experience. Stafford is one of the best clutch players we’ve seen since John Elway. To date, Stafford has 28 comebacks in the 4th quarter or overtime. This is the guy you want to have with the ball in his hands. Plus the dude has a straight cannon. One of the best arms in the league. Hands down. Let’s not forget his legs either. Not known as a mobile guy but he routinely makes plays with his feet. AKA, the total package.

 

Matt Stafford is a recent father. He is maturing, becoming the leader the Lions needs. It’s time to reward him for all his growth and hard work. In the immortal words of John Malkovich’s character in the film Rounders:

 

Pay that man his money

 

Talk is that the contract could be worth somewhere around $30 million a year. That’s wild but Stafford earned every penny of that. And when he wins a Super Bowl, it will look like a real good deal.

 

Cash money.

 

 


Joey Bosa and the Chargers both screwed this up

Written by :
Published on : August 27, 2016

 

 

After the most recent collective bargaining agreement was finalized, most people thought that it would be the end of rookie holdouts. And for a few years those people were correct. That’s until the San Diego Chargers drafted the 2014 Big Ten Defensive player of the year, Joey Bosa, out of OSU. The situation between the team and Bosa has deteriorated to the point where the two have taken to the media to bash the other side and try to gain sympathy from the public. But how did we get here?

 

When the Chargers drafted Joey Bosa with the 3rd overall pick this past spring, the team and the fans thought that their pass rush had finally found the boost it has needed. Instead, Bosa has yet to practice with the team and has indicated that he is willing to sit out the entire season and re-enter the draft next spring. This all seems so puzzling when you consider that the NFL now has set salaries for rookies and the big holdup is minor details regarding the signing bonus and the team’s ability to recoup that money should they cut Bosa. As it stands now, Bosa is the owner of the longest rookie holdout since the new CBA went into affect. And it’s not even close.

 

 

Many people, including the Bosa camp, will say that the Chargers are being cheap. They’re probably right. The Chargers want to break up the signing bonus on Bosa’s guaranteed $25 million contract and include offset language. Both of these things are somewhat unprecedented for a 3rd overall draft pick and the reality is that it’s a pretty insignificant point to be holding up the contract on a player that could have contributed early and often. The team is being stubborn and once again showing the world why they are a second-rate organization in the NFL. But they also have all of the leverage, so you can’t really blame them for refusing to be pushed around by some snot-nosed Buckeye hotshot.

 

As a rookie, Joey Bosa should be learning the ins and outs of the NFL. Game speed and the skill of his opposition will be like nothing he saw in the Big Ten. The fact that he is missing out on all of this could be detrimental to his development. He has no power in this situation and if he really does sit out the entire season, it seems unlikely that he will be drafted as high as he was this time around. Some teams might consider him to much of a headache to deal with, or maybe they will be scared that a year off of the football field eroded some of his skills and conditioning.

 

 

The Chargers may have their reputation tarnished, but they never were much of an appealing destination for players to begin with. At the end of the day, the Chargers will still be an organization that is worth millions, even if it is run like garbage. Joey Bosa on the other hand, stands to lose out on millions of dollars. If he comes back from a year off of football and looks like Maurice Clarett did after he went from top prospect to slow, fat trash monster in his year off of football, then he sure is going to look stupid.

 

Both of the parties are probably at fault here, but only one has the chance to be ruined from it and that is Joey Bosa. It’s probably too late to repair the relationship between the two but it’s not too late to make something out of Bosa’s rookie season. The Chargers will still be a laughing stock among NFL Front Office’s no matter what, but they are used to that. They won’t bend and because of that Joey needs to sign the next offer they give him, even if it isn’t as good as the last one he so stupidly turned down. His livelihood could depend on it.

 

 


What’s going to happen with Von Miller?

Written by :
Published on : June 18, 2016

 

Von Miller is a monster on the gridiron and was a big reason for the Broncos’ Super Bowl Championship run last season. He is a complete defender who can do pretty much anything his coaches ask of him. Over five seasons, he has accumulated 60 sacks, including 11 last season. It can be argued that he was their most valuable player all of last year, and that was solidified by winning the Super Bowl MVP award. That’s what makes his current contract dispute so precarious.

 

The Broncos placed the franchise tag on Miller this offseason, which guarantees him $14.1 million in the coming year. But with the unpredictable nature of an NFL career, Von wants a deal with long term security, and rightfully so. If he was to play under the franchise tag and get seriously injured, he would never see the kind of money that he could potentially get this year. So he has taken a stand and said that there is “no chance” he will play under the franchise tag this offseason.

 


I’ve got to agree with Von’s stance on this one. The owners have all of the power when it comes to contracts with their players, and it would be foolish for him to not use the little bit of leverage he is ever likely to have in this situation. He’s only 27 years old and is coming off of the best year of his career, if he doesn’t go after the big money now, he might not ever get it again. And I’m not talking about the contract that he already rejected.

 

Negotiations for a long-term deal have been ongoing between Von Miller and the Broncos, but it seems like there is still quite a bit of ground that needs to be made up. The offer the Broncos made was for 6 years and $114.5 million. The problem was that the contract only guaranteed $39.8 million. For comparison, Fletcher Cox of the Eagles, a much more one-dimensional player than Von Miller, just got $63 million guaranteed. I’m not saying that Cox isn’t a good player, but I’ve never seen him cover a slot receiver either. As far as I’m concerned, $39.8 million guaranteed is a slap in the face for someone who means that much to the team.

 

 

Von Miller’s rejection of that contract was definitely the right move. It solidifies his position in the contract negotiations and shows general manager, John Elway, that he won’t be intimidated and that he knows what he is worth. Von seems ready to sit out as much of the 2016 season as necessary in order to make sure that he is compensated at a rate that reflects what he brings to the Broncos’ defense. But I find it hard to believe it will come to that.

 

I don’t blame John Elway for starting low, but it’s time to get realistic. That should have been the contract offer in May, not June. With Mark Sanchez starting at quarterback, the Broncos are going to need that defense to be at full strength for 16 games if they want to have a chance at making the playoffs again. I think Elway has got to know that.

 

So my prediction is that Von Miller will sign a contract before the July 15th deadline that will give him the highest guaranteed money ever for a non-quarterback. It will come in at $64 million, just beating out Fletcher Cox’s outrageous contract. Then he can get back to sacking opposing QBs, like god intended.

 

 


NFL Quarterbacks who just got Paid

Written by :
Published on : March 20, 2016

 

 

Boy, oh boy, it’s a good time to be an NFL quarterback. It feels like almost every team is looking for a starter and is willing to pay handsomely for one. The apparent lack of quality arms has seen some teams shell out huge contracts for players who are mostly backups. And speaking of backups, you need one of those too. You can’t build a great team without at least preparing for the idea that your star QB may get hurt. Plan accordingly and that injury may not sink your playoff hopes.

 

Below are not the quarterback elite. That’s the whole thing about this. We understand when Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers gets a fat extension but some organizations are so desperate that they will sink their fortunes in someone a little less proven. Let’s take a look at some the big money deals that have been inked so far:

 

Case Keenum

 

The Los Angeles Rams got him for 1 year/$3.6 million. He is supposed to start. I don’t know much about him. I know I don’t want him on my team, holding the ball every play. Not a great beginning for the LA franchise. Maybe they can still go out and sign someone. What is Tim Tebow doing?

 

Sam Bradford

The Philadelphia Eagles gave Sam a 2 year/$35 million deal. With $22 million of it in guaranteed money, including a $11 million signing bonus. This guy has never played well or stayed healthy for a full season. But teams keeping thinking he can be the guy. Maybe he can. Probably not. He is becoming the new Matt Flynn.

 

Brock Osweiler

 

You know, Peyton’s backup. Oh yeah, the Houston Texans gave him a 4 year/$72 million contract with $37 million guaranteed. Part of that $37 is a $12 million signing bonus. Not bad for a guy who just won a Super Bowl ring for holding a clipboard. I’m being mean, Brock could become a great player. The only problem is we just don’t know yet but that contact says differently. For example, Joe Flacco, who has won the Super Bowl for his Baltimore Ravens just signed for 3 years/$66.4 million. Flacco is a proven commodity. Osweiler is not, even if he is 6’8”.

 

Mark Sanchez

With Peyton Manning retiring and Brock Osweiler moving to Houston, the Denver Broncos needed to do something. They picked up the phone, called Detroit and asked about Mathew Stafford. The Fords just laughed and hung up. So Denver got the next best thing: Mark Sanchez! I’m kidding. It’s an insult to Stafford that I mention him in the same breath as Sanchez. Both were drafted in first round of 2009. Matt 1st overall and Mark 5th and that’s where the similarities end. Denver acquired Sanchez through a trade with the Eagles for a draft pick. Last year Sanchez signed 2 year/$9 million deal. Denver will pay him $4.5 million this year. So Sanchez didn’t exactly just get paid but if he plays decently then another sizable contract is coming his way.

 

Kirk Cousins

 

Cousins played great in the second half of last season but Washington still wasn’t sold enough to give him a multi year deal. Instead, they slapped him with the franchise tag which will net Kirk around $19.7 million for the year. If he performs well in 2016, then he can expect a massive contact.

 

 

There are still quite a few teams that need quarterbacks. Browns, Niners and the Jets all come to mind. Will RGIII and Colin Kaepernick find new homes? Maybe Brett Farve will come out of retirement? Only time will tell. The only thing we know for sure is these signal callers are ballers with the checks they cash. And from the looks of it, the money train isn’t slowing down. Damn, is it too late to switch majors?

 

Cha-ching.

 

Contract info from spotrac.com


Eli Manning Can’t Be Serious

Written by :
Published on : August 19, 2015

 

 

 

With the recent rash of NFL QBs inking lucrative contract extensions, it looks like Eli Manning is next up to the plate.

 

First it was Ben Roethlisberger, who got the ball rolling with his whopper of a contract that will earn him $60.75 million over the first 3 years. Then it was Cam Newton, Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson, and most recently, Phillip Rivers. All of these guys are pretty talented and deserve to make their money, but some of them have accomplished more than the others. Big Ben and Russell have both taken their team to the mountain top, while Cam, Tannehill and Rivers certainly have not, which is fine. There’s a difference between paying for a known commodity and investing in your future. Get your money guys.

 

What they’ve done is inflate the market and that has two-time Super Bowl Champion, Eli Manning, seeing dollar signs big time. To the point that he reportedly now wants to be the highest paid player in the NFL.

 

 

That’s right, Peyton’s little, interception happy brother, Eli, wants to be paid more than Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best quarterback in the game.

 

When’s the last time you heard someone arguing that Eli Manning is the best QB in the game? Don’t worry, I’ll wait. That’s what I thought. Never. You know why? Because he isn’t even close.

 

Eli’s face when he’s thinking about all that money.

 

He must be crazy to think that the New York Giants and Tom Coughlin are going to break the bank on a 35 year old (when his current contract ends) QB. One who routinely places in the top 10 in interceptions thrown. Sure, he has won 2 Super Bowls, and both of the wins were only possible due to late comebacks orchestrated by him (and helped mightily by some amazing catches), but let’s get serious. He is in the twilight of his career and almost certainly will begin to decline very soon.

 

If Giants fans are getting nervous about this prospect and are looking for someone to blame, then they should look across the country at the man they traded away for their starting QB, Phillip Rivers. Last week he inked a huge extension that guaranteed $65 million. That’s for a a guy with a 4-5 playoff record who has never played in a Super Bowl. That’s just about as crazy as Eli wanting to be the highest paid player in the game, but after Rivers screwed the market, you can’t really blame the guy.

 

That face.

 

I’ve heard the argument that with the salary cap increasing every year, contracts like Rivers’ and (potentially) Mannings’ aren’t that crazy, but I just don’t buy that. The fact is, Aaron Rodgers is the standard among quarterbacks, and no one who is that much worse than him should be making more than his $22 million per year, even if that contract is 2 1/2 years old.

 

Sorry Eli, but you just don’t deserve it. I know about the wins, the championships, the pro bowls. But I also know about the interceptions and that you haven’t been to the playoffs since 2011. Sure, you can play out your last year and get that one year, $24 million franchise tag payday, but after that you can be sure that the Giants will not be making you the highest paid player in the game. And if they do, fans in New York should get out the torches and pitchforks, because their team will have just sacrificed their salary cap, and future, for a much-too-close-to-40 years old quarterback who has proven he can’t carry the team anymore.

 

 


Fireworks go Boom

Written by :
Published on : July 9, 2015

In the immortal words of Katy Perry:

Just own the night like the 4th of July, ‘Cause, baby, you’re a firework, Come on, show ’em what you’re worth”

Two NFL players took these lyrics to heart over Independence Day weekend. New York Giants’ Defensive End Justin Pierre-Paul and Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Corner Back CJ Wilson both lost fingers as a result of firework-related accidents. You heard right. Injuries due to explosions from firecrackers. That is insane. What Looney Tunes world are we living in?

In the case of Wilson, he lost two fingers on one hand. That might be enough to end his two-year career. Where he mostly served as a backup. Wilson hoped to make the starting roster this summer but those chances just went up in smoke.

Pierre-Paul initially only suffered nerve and tissue damage to his hand but later decided to amputate his right index finger in the name of speeding up his recovery. Which is important because JPP has not signed his contract and the Giants have pulled their long term offer. So on top of losing millions, he may be looking for a new team if things don’t work out.

These bizarre events underline an ongoing issue with pro athletes where stupid recreational activities nearly cost them everything. Some may remember in 2006 when Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, with no helmet, got into a nasty motorcycle accident. Or in 1985 when Houston Astros Pitcher Nolan Ryan got his hand bit trying to pet a coyote. There are countless other examples of this reckless behavior. When are these Millionaires gonna learn?

Here is a list of things you should NOT do if you play pro sports:

  • play with fireworks or explosives of any kind

  • sword fight

  • race cars/motorcycles/jet skis/camels/anything

  • run with scissors

  • re-shingle your roof
  • goof around with handguns

  • walk on hot coals
  • wrestle a gator

  • fight Batman

  • Skydive or bungee jump

  • swim after eating

  • go anywhere with Pac-Man Jones

This may seem like a lot of restrictions but no fan wants their favorite player to blow up. So stay safe. And if all else fails, make someone in the entourage light the fuse.


What if Marriage laws were like Pro contracts?

Written by :
Published on : June 18, 2015

Forever is a romantic idea. But for most people it is not practical. The divorce rate in our country is substantial yet we insist on drawing up love contracts that are only void at “death do us part”. That’s a raw deal. Lots of folks are tying the knot at a young age, how can they know what the next 10 years is going to be like? Or others get hitched for the wrong reason. Are these poor saps doomed forever just because we have an archaic method of joining houses? Look, I’m not against love but I can recognize that things need to change. So what can we do?

What if the laws for marriage were more like a sports contract? The pro game has tons of relationships to manage: owner-player, team-network, league-sponsor. All of the arrangements are done with multi-year deals, allowing what’s best for both sides. So let’s take a closer look how this would work out.

When a couple is ready to wed, they get a marriage contract for 3 years. This allows for new partners to focus on chemistry and communication without the burden of eternity. The weight of commitment can hamstring younger minds so a short term contract should help alleviate that pressure. If someone finds themselves trapped in a bad marriage then they have the relief of knowing it will be over soon. And if you absolutely have to break a contract you can but there will be penalties and you will pay the other party.

Just like other rookie deals, years 4 and 5 are optional. If at the end of 3 years, if one or both sides are unhappy they can simply opt out. But if the newlyweds are done with 3 years and aren’t ready to commit long term then they can option the 4th or 5th year to buy more time to figure things out. At any point during contract, committed lovers can extend the deal to as many years as they like.

This system allows both sides to grow and build the team around them exactly the way they want it. Just like Championship squads do. If you marry a ’10’ and their game falls off then you should be able to cut ties and draft a new superstar. Or maybe your partner fails 4 consecutive drug tests or gains a ton of weight in the offseason. This is America and we all deserve the right to more forward.

I wish we still lived a world where players stayed with the team that drafted them for their whole career but that rarely happens anymore. We can’t all be Dan Marino, so instead let’s be realistic. Some will say this goes against the whole institution of marriage and I agree. But the system needs to change if it wants to stay relevant. Now, I gotta go, my girlfriend of 8 years wants to renegotiate closet space terms.


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