Stupid is as stupid does, and when do we get to vote to extend De’s contract?

Um, it would appear Bruce’s first instinct was correct. They’re stupid. Just, stupid.

JC Tretter just put out an analysis of the downsides of this deal. He very succinctly addressed certain specific problems that are IN THE DEAL, and to be fair, those things are real issues to the players. The issues in his little post are absolutely things that should be discussed, negotiated, and fought for. But if these are the issues he’s identifying, it’s just more proof that the players simply do not get it, and exactly like last time, fifteen minutes after this deal gets signed, they’ll be announcing that they got the shaft (and then they’ll probably vote to renew De Smith’s deal again).

But, Tretter’s post is a fantastic demonstration of the fights NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith is fighting, and the fights he’s ignoring. And to see Tretter ‘educating’ the players of the downsides of the deal, without identifying the issues the players have claimed they wanted resolved for oh, about a decade (coincidentally the time the last deal was signed), verifies that yet again, De negotiated nothing but weed. He snowed the players into believing that these smaller issues are where the fight is.

The true problem isn’t the details within the current deal. The problem isn’t how owners must set aside funds  for guaranteed contracts and how that issue can play into an advantage for owners in the negotiation of a single contract with a single player. And the real issue isn’t whether the players are required to take the field during practice for three versus four unpadded hours. Are you kidding me? Truly these are important issues to be bargained. But, the NFL is happy to argue details like that all day long. To the NFL, THAT IS MINOR, and fighting to the death about the little things keeps the players from fighting to the death about the real issues.

The NFL doesn’t want to pay a higher percentage of earnings. The NFL does want to continue to provide health care for a maximum of 3 post NFL years to the lucky few that actually qualify for it.The NFL does want 17 games. So, what did the NFL do? The NFL gave De a free pass on weed and a 1.0-1.5% bump in revenue split, in exchange for a MAJOR money maker in a 17th game.

For a full decade, players have been saying save your money, this is unfair! We’re holding out! We want more money! We want Goodell out of the discipline business! We want more safety, and on that note we will NEVER player more than 16 games! We want to revamp the franchise tag! We want life long health care! We want a better system of retirement!

A decade later, the NFL only moved on things that they didn’t care about as token gestures, and things that will cause them to make additional obscene amounts of money. They don’t have to do anything, because they’re negotiating with De Smith, the guy that 10 years ago negotiated the players from roughly fifty-fifty revenue down to forty seven percent revenue, and got virtually NOTHING in return! (there was a single 1 billion dollar payment to a pension fund, which was immediately determined not to be enough, and which the NFL made up for in full within the first week or two of the first season of that deal with that 3%, and have fleeced the players on that 3% ever since). The NFL is not only playing with house money on that 3%, but they still refuse to give any of it back! Sure, they’re going up to 48%, maybe 48.5%, AFTER the players agree to play a 17th game. That’s 16 additional games the NFL gets 51-52% of! Think the NFL is losing money on that trade off? I sure don’t. They’re laughing their asses off at giving 1.5% in exchange for more games that will make them BILLIONS of additional dollars. I can hear Jerry Jones at the signing table right now….”remember when De GAVE US 3% in exchange for NOTHING????? I think milk just came out of my nose, oh that stings!”

That is the only true monetary change here, and the NFL fleeced the players again for a 17th game. Have you heard about a new long term health care plan? I haven’t. Have you heard of any improvement of retirement plan or assistance? Is every player playing 17 games somehow safer than playing 16, and how is playing 17 games in accordance with the decree that we will never ever ever play more than 16? Oh, and players still get those laughable bonuses for playoff games, while the owners get to nationally televise two more playoff games annually!

The players got weed. The players got a 1.5% bump in exchange for playing 16% more football. By contrast the owners are giving up 1.5% for BILLIONS of dollars they weren’t getting paid before. Franchise tag? Still there. Long term health? Still not there. Retirement? A joke. But hey, play another game and generate billions more, and um, we’ll get Goodell out of the player discipline game (that was a stroke of genius last time, leaving this as a bargaining chip. Think the owners actually care about this? They planned to use this as a bargaining chip this all along and the players actually think they won something!)

But yeah, lets argue about how that first round pick can be kept by the team coming out of that 4th season on his contract and how much he’s guaranteed if they keep him past the 5th season. Yeah, lets make this deal about the important stuff. Oh, and the minimum salaries of guys that will never make the 52 man roster are going up. Oh, and we’re expanding rosters, so the amount of salary cap space available to you actually just went down. Good stuff. Glad we worked this all out for everyone’s benefit.

But thanks JT, for pointing out the flaws that actually made it into the text. I was afraid nobody was going to bring up the downsides of voting for this.

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