“Well, I’m the best negotiator in the game, and when you try me with a sorry CBA proposal like this, that’s the result you’re going to get. Don’t you even talk about the franchise tag.”
Sorry. I got carried away there imagining Richard Sherman at the bargaining table, negotiating on behalf of his fellow players against the NFL owners and the stuffed shirt that is Roger Goodell.
It’s the job Sherman is built for: a potentially perfect outlet for the Seahawks cornerback’s adamant unwillingness to let any argument end before he is declared the winner. The fact that he was dressed to impress at the ESPYs on Wednesday and talking about the potential need for a strike among NFL players was absolutely fantastic news for everyone in Seattle for two reasons:
1) Who wouldn’t enjoy the idea of Sherman arguing with Goodell over the specifics of revenue distribution and rookie deals? Forget letting logic prevail. Shut Goodell in a room with Sherman for a week’s worth of negotiating sessions and watch the NFL commissioner start making concessions because he’s sick of listening to Sherman.
2) More importantly from the perspective of anyone interested in the Seahawks, any time Sherman spends time being a pain in the butt for the owners is time he can’t spend being an all-around pain in the butt to those in and around the Seahawks’ headquarters in Renton. Not that Sherman would necessarily do that, mind you, though it has been known to happen from time to time.
Sherman may have found his huckleberry, to borrow a phrase from Val Kilmer’s character of Doc Holliday in “Tombstone.” A worthy adversary.
Is Sherman right about the players needing a strike to improve their financial situation? Maybe. But not in the way everyone thinks.
The idea that it would take a strike to produce the kind of contracts that routinely go to NBA and Major League Baseball players is misguided because of the simple fact that there is nothing preventing an NFL player from insisting on a fully-guaranteed contract right now.
It would require a couple of top-end players who are adamant about receiving a fully-guaranteed deal and willing to accept some of the changes that would entail. Namely, the total value of the contract is going to be significantly different than the current deals.
The deals are going to be smaller, and likely shorter because the risk is going to be shifted from the player to the team. Right now, a player bears most of the risk because it’s rare to see a contract that guarantees a player’s salary beyond the second year of the deal. If he gets hurt or his performance declines, the team can let him go without having to pay him more money.
In a fully-guaranteed deal, the risk shifts to the team. If the third and fourth years of those deals are guaranteed, it’s the team that’s shouldering the risk because if that player gets hurt or his play declines, he’s still going to get paid what was promised.
That’s a reality Sherman recognized in his comments on Wednesday. Just one more sign that speaking for the players might be the role he’s perfectly suited for.
The kicker: It’s still not quite clear whether Robert James Richey – better known as Kid Rock – is going to actually run for Senate or whether the “announcement” and branded merchandise that accompanies it is merely a promotional gambit. If he were to be elected, though, he might already have a theme song, according to my 83-year-old nanny, who is worth following on Twitter by the way:
Bawitda bill da budget diggy quorum diggy
— Nanny O’Deil (@nannyodeil) July 12, 2017