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Jennings' contract question...

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Headrush, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. jaybadger82
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    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    ...we could have the whitest receiving corps in the NFL.
  2. HardRightEdge
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    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I think "security" is a somewhat apt term. Maybe "financial security" would be better? I don't know what else you'd call it when you're guaranteed $8 million or $20 million or $50 million in pay before you do the work.

    If anything, it's inapt for the opposite reason you suggest. Jennings current 4 year deal was for about $27 mil with some incentives (most if not all have been earned), with about $16 mil guaranteed. He should ALREADY be financially secure. If he isn't, it ain't the owners' problem. I guess his next deal is for "more security".

    I've got more sympathy for the guys playing for the minimum with no guarantee, but at least they got a free college education (if they chose to avail themselves of it) and at least $390,000 for one years work. Still and all, not a bad start in life if the guy busts out early in his career.

    Don't get me wrong. Jennings is an outstanding player. He's one of the best route runners in the league, savy and productive in the red zone, not afraid to go over the middle, and one of the best back shoulder receivers in the league...those catches kill corner confidence. He's a hard worker, a good citizen, an engaging personality. The point I've been trying to make is that there are mounting signs he will not be resigned at market.
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  3. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    I'm sure there are other teams with more than one white WR... Right? I'm not sure and entirely too lazy to check.
  4. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    Not the one who brought it up, but I apologize anyway.
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  5. HardRightEdge
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    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    And that would matter because....?
  6. DevilDon
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    DevilDon Inclement Weather Fan

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    If you've ever seen one of those reality shows where people squander their lottery winnings you should know that it's easy to piss away millions.
    Regardless, each team has a person to talk to the players and teach them financial security. If a player ignores that it's to their own peril. The ungodly money paid to fringe players should set them for life. I'd like to spend a year on the practice squad.
    I have no sympathy financially for any NFL player. I don't care if you include sacrificing your body or not. It's far less dangerous than tunnel diggers and so on. I have no sympathy for their bodily perils... they are feeding their families or stockpiling money. It's a dangerous profession but not even close to the most dangerous and the money is far and away better than the most dangerous.
    Greg Jennings should get paid... just not by the Green Bay Packers. Love the personality and excitement he brings but he can't hold up the rest of the team and I"m not angry with him for getting what is best for him.
  7. jaybadger82
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    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    "Financial security" is a marginal improvement. "Consideration" is the proper term.

    The term "security" is misleading. While NFL contracts offer security to franchises, they offer nothing of the sort to players. Teams are free to cut ties with an athlete whenever the arrangement no longer makes sense while players are obligated to play out the terms of their contracts no matter how grossly they're underpaid. Not really a balanced arrangement.

    The only money guaranteed to players is that expressly secured by the terms of their contracts. This varies from player to player but very few of them ever earn $50 million dollars over the course of their careers, much less $8 million.

    It doesn't matter whether you think Jennings should be financially secure or not. It really isn't up to you. Jennings' value will be determined by the market and the rational thing for Jennings to do is to maximize his value.

    Should Jennings stop trying to earn money since he's "already set?" I don't think you would have the same attitude if you were in his shoes...

    Uh, sure. Value is subjective. But there are many problems with the "free college education" assertion above. It's just a remarkably ignorant statement.
  8. jaybadger82
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    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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  9. HardRightEdge
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    I'm always willing to grant the last word once I've made my points. Congrats.
  10. HardRightEdge
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  11. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    “Security”, as in “financial security” is the perfect descriptor IMO for wanting “guaranteed money in a profession where careers can end in a single play”. Why is desiring financial security in any situation “condescending”? Don’t we all strive to be financially secure? In contract law, “consideration” is “something of value given by both parties to a contract that induces them to enter into the agreement to exchange mutual performances.” So “security” in this context, modified or not, describes the money the players receive no matter what, while “consideration” includes the promises of both parties.

    Exchanging a discount for security has nothing to do with naïveté, it’s reality. Otherwise why wouldn’t players love playing for the franchise tag amount? Three consecutive seasons of doing so would be more money than any long-term deal after those three years, but the reason players hate it is because of the risk of injury. When looking at NFL contracts, the guaranteed money is the key because of the risk of injury and job security (someone beating the player out). When I look at NFL contracts I look at the guaranteed money and the annual salaries until the year in which waiving the player renders a lower cap number than keeping him. Except for a career-ending injury, I consider the guaranteed money plus those annual salaries as the security the player is receiving. The discussion of Hawk’s contract is an example. BTW, Jennings has been paid approximately $30M since being drafted by the Packers. Even if he kept a little more than one-half of that amount after taxes and pissed one-half of the balance away (unlikely), his net worth should be around $8M. Good for him BTW. Of course he deserves to get market value for his talents, just say’n.

    I too have no idea why anyone would bring up race in this discussion.
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  12. jaybadger82
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    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    Sorry. Reading that now, I see that was a really jerky toss in on my part.
  13. jaybadger82
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    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    Because two caucasian WRs is unusual in today's NFL. You've got to admit, the NFL player demographics bear no resemblance to the larger racial demographics of the United States population (especially in Wisconsin).

    Race clearly matters to you as well. Were you offended by something that was said?
  14. jaybadger82
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    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    You might want to reread the conversation above: I said suggesting that Jennings wanted to get paid for "past performance" was condescending and reflected a rather management-centric outlook. He would like to get paid what he's worth on the market and that's probably more than the Packers are willing to invest.

    And I took issue with the term "security" because it's inaccurate. "Security" refers to a degree of protection (or a financial instrument). This really isn't what players are receiving when they sign with a team and the word perpetuates an inaccurate perception of NFL contracts amongst many casual fans.

    Yep. "Consideration" refers to both money and promises exchanged as part of a contract, individually and collectively.

    "Security" is a rather disingenuous descriptor of what players are receiving: When a player signs a contract he forgoes the right to play for another organization during the term of the agreement. He cannot terminate this contract and work for a higher bidder, even when he outperforms his compensation. On the other hand, teams are free to tear up a contract whenever the agreement no longer suits them. "Security" generally refers to a degree of protection, and this isn't what players receive when they sign contracts. The security in this arrangement lies with franchises that get to monopolize a player's services at a fixed price with the option to terminate at will.

    Players receive consideration, not security.

    Good points all and we're largely in agreement with the dynamics you're describing here.

    Much of the earlier back-and-forth between HRE and I centered on the way these concepts were being described and presented. For example, the continued use of the term "security" for what is actually "consideration" is irksome but I'll shut up.
  15. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    jaybadger82, you seem to taking a pro-union, anti-business/management stance. You see contracts offering franchises security but offering “nothing of the sort to players”. A common definition of “security” includes “freedom from anxiety” and one online dictionary even offers, “freedom from the prospect of being laid off <job security>”. That’s not “on the nose” but pretty close to the situation we’re discussing. Most would agree “financial security” means never having to worry about money again. At the moment a player signs a contract including, for example, a $15M signing bonus, he has insured financial security for himself and his family even if he can’t play another down of NFL football. With reasonable management of that guaranteed money he and his family never have to worry about money again. Even if the player never works anywhere again. The player is free from financial anxiety and free from the worry of being “laid off”. So via common usage and dictionary definitions, the consideration that player received can be said to provide security for that player and his family.

    It’s interesting you see teams, management, receiving security. There are many examples of teams being on the wrong side of contracts but because of his connection to the Packers on leaps to mind. I was amazed at the contract Javon Walker signed with the Raiders in 2008: Six-years for $55M contract, including $16M guaranteed. The consideration the Raiders received was: In 2008 in 8 games he caught 15 passes for 196 yards and a TD. In 2009 he played in three games and didn’t record a stat. He was released in March of 2010. The Raiders paid him $21M. Albert Haynesworth was guaranteed over $30M by the Redskins. In two seasons he played in 20 games, recorded 53 tackles and 6.5 sacks. I don’t know how much he collected, but do you think the Raiders, Redskins, and every other team that has paid huge money for nearly nothing in terms of production received security in those deals?

    Players are represented by their union and by agents if they choose to employ them. Teams, players, and agents understand exactly what is being agreed to. Each recognizes that after signing the contract, the player can bust (due to poor performance or injury), underperform, over-perform or perform as expected. Each understands its an employment at will contract and once waived, the player can pursue employment with another NFL team.
  16. jaybadger82
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    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    Sorry to keep replying with choppy quotations but it's the easiest way to isolate the points I'm responding to:
    I really dislike this characterization and, for me, this is akin to the time when some members of this community were labeled "haters" in one of our (beloved) Favre threads...

    I haven't said a word about the union and I don't think acknowledging the objective disparity in bargaining position between players and teams when they contract makes me "anti-business." --Seeing as how the NFL largely operates in violation of United States antitrust laws, one might call the entire league "anti-business." It's a rather strange bird and its contract landscape is warped.

    Within the context of player/franchise contract negotiations, sure, I often sympathize with players.

    Of course we can expand the definition of the word "security" to this fit this context if we try hard enough. But, just to reiterate, it's a misleading term that suggests a benefit that players are not actually assured. Whereas a term like "consideration" more accurately describes what players receive: they get paid.

    The term "security" glosses over the incredibly tenuous nature of NFL careers and, inherent in your construction above, the word implies a determination concerning how much money a player needs in order to be secure. I find such thinking rather anti-market and I believe individuals can determine for themselves how much they require to be "secure" in their livelihood. "Consideration" doesn't imply the same subjective valuation.

    Whatever the case, the widespread use of "security" for consideration received by players is a rather clear indicator that the NFL is winning the PR battle. It's a great euphemism from a management perspective, makes players seem like real a$$holes when they hold out. And, hey, sometimes the player is being an a$$hole.
  17. jaybadger82
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    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    There are just as many, probably more examples of players that are under compensated: Aaron Rodgers, Von Miller, Cam Newton, A.J. Green. (The new rookie wage scale figures prominently here.)

    Teams receive security by monopolizing a player's services and they are generally protected from overpaying players because they can cancel the agreement on a whim. On the other hand, players cannot cancel their contracts and it's difficult for them to renegotiate unless their team is interested in locking them up. As a whole, this system provides much greater security for franchises as long as they don't agree to a contract that is structured poorly (as with your Walker and Haynesworth examples above).

    P.S., I like how these examples came from Al Davis and Dan Snyder-owned operations. Seems about right.

    I wasn't really upset by any of this until the last sentence, which is just plain factually incorrect and underlines what all my quibbling is about.

    A contract terminates at-will employment and replaces it with the terms negotiated.

    Since NFL teams are generally free to dissolve a player contract when it suits them, the relationship remains fundamentally at will for management. However, players do not receive the corresponding freedom to take their services to a higher bidder. This is NOT an at will arrangement for players.

    So what does all this mean? -It means franchises receive broad protection from overpaying players but players do not receive the corresponding protection from under-compensation. This hinders the market from setting efficient prices for services. (And I'm the one in the "anti-business" camp?)

    Coupled with the uncertainty that characterizes an NFL career, this contributes to a disparity in bargaining position between players and management that makes me sympathetic to the individual athletes navigating this mess.
  18. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    Yes, the entire system was made to protect the franchise. You sign a contract saying that you will play this long for this much and that the team can release you at any time. If you are not prepared/willing to play under such conditions, don't sign the contract. Guaranteed money is how players protect themselves, "Even if you release me, you still have to pay x number of dollars: dollars that will affect your cap space." This guaranteed money however is a luxury afforded by productive performance. Take the shaft until you can negotiate some security. It's a play for pay league, and if you don't play, you'll never get paid.
  19. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    I was listening to the WTMJ pregame show yesterday and the discussion turned to Jennings' contract and the other stars that will need to be extended in the near future. They turned to Mark Tauscher, a new commentator on the show. I find him to be very intelligent generally and of course knowledgeable about NFL matters. Guess which phrase he used in describing the difference between the franchise tag and signing a long-term extension? Yep, "financial security". So it's not just common language usage and common sense as applied to this situation, it's also a term at least one recent NFL player - and of course I've heard many other pro athletes use it.

    There are examples from every franchise of players being overpaid, not just the most obvious. For example, how much money did Justin Harrell receive vs. how much he earned? How 'bout Brian Brohm? In addition to getting paid 4 years of his rookie contract, including signing bonus in Green Bay, Javon Walker received $15M in bonuses alone in Denver before bilking Oakland out of millions. Thank goodness Thompson isn't as foolish as many GMs, but before his tenure as GM, how 'bout Joe Johnson? It's not always a "play for pay league" - Ryan Leaf is another example of a player producing next to nothing for the millions he received.
    You seem to get upset a lot. Relax, this is at least a nice distraction from the Packers' "performance" yesterday. What happened to Cullen Jenkins or any other vested vet (per the CBA which was bargained by the NFLPA)? If they are waived or their current teams don't tag them and pay them multi-millions for one year, they are free to go to the highest bidder. It IS an at will arrangement for vested veterans per the CBA - which the players of course agreed to! That IMO is the biggest flaw in your argument: If the CBA is unfair to players, why did the NFLPA agree to it and why don't the players get better representation?

    The minimum salaries this season for a rookie, one year, two year and three year player are: $390K, $465K, $540K, and $615K. The vast majority of players get paid more. The minimums increase each year of the CBA so an undrafted rookie who makes a team this season and sticks for the next two years gets paid: $390K, $480K, and $570K. That's nearly a million-five. And everyone else makes more. Not bad for a first job out of college. And here's another fact: After leaving the NFL all players are "allowed" to work for a living and/or start their own business, just like the rest of us.
  20. jaybadger82
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    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    Common usage? -Sure. I thought I conceded that in my last post(s).

    Common sense? -I think that depends on your perspective...

    You're right. I'm literally pulling my hair out over here, just overwrought.

    With regards to the CBA, all I can point out is that an organization representing hundreds of athletes earning a wide variety of salaries is going to have difficulties negotiating on behalf of such a diverse group of constituents. Especially when negotiating with a very small organization (comprised of thirty-two franchises) that share a relatively narrow set of interests. You're an intelligent guy: if you're not familiar with collective action problems then you can Google it.

    The number of players that would significantly benefit from a more balanced contract landscape represents a fraction of the NFLPA's membership and the number of opportunities to adjust the CBA are limited. In the latest round of talks, the union focused on extending the off season and limiting training camp activity, benefits enjoyed by its entire constituency regardless of compensation level. Some limits on the franchise tag were obtained but this will never become a top priority for the organization so long as it remains as beholden to stars like Greg Jennings as it is to the 53rd man on the Jaguars roster.


    That's definitely more than most people earn, but we're talking about an industry that generated $8.3 billion in revenue last season. If the fact that NFL players earn more than the average American helps you rationalize the fact that the NFL labor market subverts free market dynamics and promotes inefficient compensation, then so be it. I just don't understand why I'm being called "anti-business" for acknowledging these realities along with the general disparity in bargaining position between high production players and franchises. The NFL simply lacks a number of free market characteristics...
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  21. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    Hey c'mon, you were the one who posted you were upset - it's not like I made that up. And if the NFLPA doesn't represent the players very well - or well enough - whose fault is that?
    I posted, "jaybadger82, you seem to taking a pro-union, anti-business/management stance", because you bristled at the term "security" being applied to multi-million dollar players but assigned it exclusively to teams, as if only one party to NFL player contracts take all the risk. I believe you have since conceded that point.

    I don't have to rationalize anything in this discussion. The NFL is in effect exempt from Sherman anti-trust laws because 1) if it weren't only super rich teams like the Cowboys would vie for championships and 2) the players are represented by the NFLPA. If the NFL were a pure free market enterprise, the Packers would have folded a long, long time ago.
  22. jaybadger82
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    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    I don't really think a collective action problem is anyone's fault. It's just a social dynamic that explains why a particular result wasn't achieved. You asked.


    I conceded that "security" was widely used to describe what players receive when they sign contracts/extensions. I believe the term is a misnomer. On the balance, the greater security lies with NFL organizations, who possess the option to terminate an agreement.


    That about sums it up.

    It's easy to speculate when you don't have to rationalize anything. At the moment, the Packers are the ninth most valuable franchise in the NFL according to Forbes. Granted, they're riding a wave of popularity from SB XLV, but given their ability to sell out Lambeau and issue stock, I think it's a bit presumptive to say they would have folded.

    I doubt an NFL franchise has failed since the 50s.

    FWIW, I appreciate the necessity of professional sports (and the NCAA) to operate in violation of antitrust laws in order to maintain competitive balance. But I also appreciate that players unions serve an important role in reigning them in.

    P.S., With regards the "old" rating my last post received from HardRightEdge: I don't understand why those comments were old when they contained new material addressing an issue raised by someone else (re: why the NFLPA hasn't negotiated for a better contract environment for players). You're welcome to disagree with me, but the "old" label is really poorly chosen where a post contains new arguments. Ignore this thread if you've grown weary of the debate. Thoughtless rating.
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  23. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    The players were represented in CBA negotiations by their elected representatives in the NFLPA. All NFL players, no matter their level of compensation are able to vote for their representation. As far as I know, each player can only cast one vote. If their representation doesn’t represent the largest group (by definition) - those of “average” compensation - that’s on the players.

    Regarding “rationalizing” how about some context? You posted in a somewhat snotty fashion, “If the fact that NFL players earn more than the average American helps you rationalize the fact that the NFL labor market subverts free market dynamics and promotes inefficient compensation, then so be it.” More recently you posted, “I appreciate the necessity of professional sports (and the NCAA) to operate in violation of antitrust laws in order to maintain competitive balance.” So it looks like you now “appreciate” the NFL “subverting free market dynamics”. Or you did before but were momentarily confused. (That too, was snotty.)

    Also, while you appreciate the need for competitive balance you missed the point of the portion of my post you quoted. Of course the Packers are currently competitive. And although some NFL franchises have apparently felt the need to relocate, I don’t recall one failing since the 50’s either. But those examples occurred while the league was violating free market principles. My point was small market teams like the Packers couldn’t be competitive without sharing equally in TV revenue and the “equalization” provided by the draft and salary cap. That Forbes article you cited reported last year the Cowboys generated $108M more in operating income than any other NFL team. Seattle’s owner Paul Allen is worth somewhere around 13B. In a pure free market environment how many of the top collegians could those two and the other ultra-rich owners grab before teams like the Packers would get their turn? And how long do you suppose the Packers relatively paltry cash reserve fund would last? Yes, it’s speculation but I don’t think it’s far-fetched.

    That’s it for me on this subject, you can have the last word on this if you’d like…
  24. jaybadger82
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    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

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    You know I'm the kind of a$$hole that will jump at that.

    I apologize for my comments where they've been snotty. Feel like I've received a couple of those as well.

    I would distinguish between subverting free market dynamics under which players can more freely negotiate their compensation and subverting free market dynamics for the sake of maintaining competitive balance through salary caps. I don't want the NFL to go the way of Major League Baseball, either.

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