Originally posted on Player Perspective  |  Last updated 8/27/12

As players like Maurice Jones-Drew learn, unfortunately your contract is not just about you.

Since the Jags and Maurice Jones-Drew entered their standoff I’ve been reminded of a few things that people don’t seem to understand about contract negotiations and I wanted to quickly address them here.

1. Owners don’t want to be told how to conduct business

2. It’s not just about how  ”great” a player is but whether his presence on the team makes “enough” of a difference with all things considered 

3. The value of a player can go up or down with a contract already in place prompting either side to request a restructure. 

When negotiations and hold outs happen too often people are focused on the fact that the player was given a FAIR deal in the beginning and whether or not the player is “worth” more money based on play alone. But these other factors I’ve mentioned matter just as much and more in many cases.

[To finish reading about why these other factors matter in negotiations click Read More]


A player getting a fair deal when a contract was signed, let’s say three years ago, isn’t completely relevant today. During that three year period many of other players who play at the same position and are in the same class as the player looking for a new deal have skewed the contract values up or down.

When the value is skewed up, a player will ask for a renegotiation. When the value is skewed down (or when the value of OTHER players on the team is skewed up), the team will either request a player to enter a restructure (sometime at the risk of release) OR release the player and re-sign him at a lower value. Which of these options is on the table depends on the class of player, amount of money already guaranteed, salary cap etc.

The fact that the OTHER players on teams aren’t talked about bothers me because it matters a lot. To use Baltimore Ravens FS Ed Reed as an example, three years ago, before newer Ravens defensive players developed into major contributors, Reed probably could have held out and gotten much more money over the remainder of his contract and possibly another year tacked on to it.

But now, the question is not whether Ed Reed can still play at a high level–it’s whether the team believes they NEED  Reed to play at that level to make a Superbowl run. Given the capabilities of guys like Bernard Pollard, Lardarius Webb, and Cary Williams the Ravens would probably say the need for Reed doesn’t justify a lucrative contract even if he still performs as an elite DB.

To use another example, last year when OLB Mario Williams was injured and missed games for the Texans the Texans were able to make a good run deep into the playoffs. What the team found out is that they don’t need an elite OLB at the cost Williams commands in order make a Superbowl run. The Texans choosing to let Williams go was not in anyway a knock on his playing ability. Williams was later signed by Buffalo, a team that needs him to play at the level he’s capable of.

MJD is in a different situation than Reed and Williams because the caliber of players around him is worse not better. But it still matters. The Jags are not likely to make the playoffs whether MJD is on the field or on his couch. MJD’s leverage lies in how eager the ticket buying public will be to go see a team that looked largely pathetic against milquetoast defenses in the preseason. New owner Shad Kahn probably doesn’t believe that MJD’s presence will sell enough tickets to justifies a new contract comparable to those of his peers. He could be absolutely wrong cause what fan wants to see their team struggle to move the ball every series…but this is about what the Jags believe not what’s necessarily true.

In relation to the dispute between MJD and Kahn there is also the simple fact that owners, like any other employers, don’t like to be told who to pay and when. In that sense, as we’ve seen time and time again, contracts are as much about the owners’ egos (remember the lockout?) as the player’s skill or the good of the team. Some owners would rather lose games, players, and fan favor than be pressured.


Related Posts:
  • Titans Owner Says “Life is Too Short” To Deal With The Way Chris Johnson is Acting
  • Steelers Troy Polamalu Signs Brand New Contract in the Airport
  • Chris Johnson and THE TRUTH About NFL Contracts
  • NFLPA Concerned Saints Are Punishing Drew Brees Due to Involvement in Lockout
  • Ravens-Texans: All Eyes on Flacco Today
Why Tony Romo's return is the best thing for Dak Prescott's career
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Broncos ‘growing frustrated’ with Thomas

Report: Red Sox might not fill open general manager spot

Jared Goff to get first-team reps during bye week

Arian Foster announces retirement from NFL

Brock Osweiler booed in return to Denver


Josh Rosen out indefinitely with nerve issue in shoulder

Report: Tom Herman to Texas is ‘all but official’

Metta World Peace survives Lakers cuts, makes team

Jared Sullinger out two to three months after foot surgery

Hue Jackson shoots down Joe Thomas trade rumors

Teammates Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch tussle after race

Box Score 10/25: Lester, LeBron and Elton John

10 questions on the NBA season you were afraid to ask

Three reasons why the Cubs will win (or lose) the World Series

Week 8 in college football as explained by Elton John

Three reasons why the Cleveland Indians could win (or lose) the World Series

Good, bad, and ugly from Week 7

NFL Week 8 stock report

Heisman Trophy winners and losers from Week 8

Carmelo wants athletes to do more beyond anthem protests

What's wrong with Man U?

Can Oilers' amazing start last?

WATCH: MLS player got a yellow card for twerking

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

10 questions on the NBA season you were afraid to ask

Three reasons why the Cubs will win (or lose) the World Series

Week 8 in college football as explained by Elton John

Three reasons why the Indians could win (or lose) the World Series

Good, bad, and ugly from Week 7

Rock Band Rivals review: Score hunting

The NBA vets we're going to miss in 2016-2017 season

Who and what is hot and cold to start the NHL season?

With Game 6 looming, Kershaw is not defined by inaccurate image

Best games to watch in Week 8 of CFB and the rest of the season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker