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Pack's Walker sad victim of system

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Raider Pride, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. Raider Pride

    Raider Pride Cheesehead

    Joined:
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    How does Brett feel about Walkers injury? Could he wish he perhaps did not enject his comments about Walker's hold out?

    This scribe seems to almost blame Brett in small way? I feel Brett 's comments were just fine and were needed by the leader of this team.

    It is a fact that the NFL Players have the weakest CBA in pro sports and I think when the agreement runs out there is going to be a war between the players and the owners.


    Pack's Walker sad victim of system

    NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA:

    September 16, 2005

    BY NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA
    FREE PRESS COLUNIST


    I hate it when athletes want their contracts renegotiated. I especially hate it when they turn the situation into a circus like Philadelphia wide receiver Terrell Owens did last month, giving his teammates the silent treatment, getting kicked out of training camp, doing sit-ups outside his house in front of TV cameras.


    It just feels wrong. You sign a contract, you honor it.


    But I understand why players do what they do in the NFL, and Javon Walker is a prime example.


    Walker caught 89 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns for Green Bay last season. He went to his first Pro Bowl. And -- three years into the five-year deal he signed as a rookie -- he asked for a raise.


    The Packers said no, so Walker held out in the off-season and threatened to hold out of training camp. Quarterback Brett Favre criticized him, and because of Favre's stature in the NFL, the words had a lot of weight. Walker showed up to camp on time.


    And in the season opener Sunday, Walker and Lions defender Terrence Holt tumbled to the Ford Field turf -- and Walker didn't get up. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Out for the season.


    Walker is no Owens. The Packers' media guide describes him as "ultra polite" and "a true student of the game." He is a sympathetic figure.


    All he will make this season is his base salary -- $515,000, a small sum for a top wide receiver. He could have made as much as $1.65 million next season, but because he will have virtually no statistics this season, he won't make the most of an escalator clause. So, while risking another injury, while trying to prove he deserves another contract, he will make $1.15 million next season.


    Assuming the Packers bring him back.


    See, in baseball, basketball and hockey, contracts are guaranteed. You sign a contract, you honor it, they honor it. Have a lousy season? You get paid. Get hurt? You get paid.


    That's why you should always live up to your end of the bargain.


    But in football, the only thing guaranteed is what you negotiate. That's why signing bonuses are such a big deal. You sign a contract, you honor it, you see if they honor it. Have a lousy season? They can cut you. Have a great season but they find somebody even better? They can cut you. Get hurt? They can cut you. It's a cold business.


    That's why you have to get the money when you can.


    Contact NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA at 313-222-8831 or cotsonika@freepress.com.
     

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