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NFL contract basics 101 (1 Viewer)

P Boy

Footballguy
Okay, let's consoidate & get this settled once and for all in one thread.One poster referred to being hired for a $50,000 and $40,000 a year for 5 years was equivalent to being hired for $50,000 a year for 5 years in providing a basis for discussing NFL contracts.Here's my response:-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------First off, being paid $40,000/yr for 5 years with a $50,000 signing bonus is being paid more than if you get $50,000/yr for 5 years with no signing bonus. The time/value of money means that the $50,000 up front with a $40,000 annuity is worth more than a $50,000 annuity over the 5 years. That's Econ 101.Secondly, the signing bonus is guaranteed money, with all the risk being placed on the management end. Suppose the company contracts with you to do accounting for a $50,000 signing bonus and then $40,000 a year for 5 years, only to realize after 1 year that you have the mental capacity of a shrew and can not grasp accounting skills. So they fire you because you aren't worth $40,000 a year to them, but you still retain the entire $50,000 signing bonus plus the $40,000 first year's salary. That's $90,000 for one year's work at which you were incompetent. That's a great deal for you - and that's the risk that the company took when it paid you the signing bonus - but that doesn't mean that the company is required to pay for another 4 years of incompetence by you at $40,000 a year. Now, the reason the company assumes the risk of paying a signing bonus - and it is a risk assumed completely by the company - is that they see enough potential in an employee that they want to train the employee & ensure that after the employee is trained that they stay around for multiple years. That's called protecting their investment, and it's good business. That's a reasonable expectation for the trade off of the signing bonus.In other words, there are risks and benefits on both sides in this type of contract negotiation. The owners take a completely one-sided risk in offering a signing bonus before they even know how well a player can compete at the NFL level, or whether they will fit in on the team, or whether the player will get injured in the first 5 minutes of stepping onto the field for them. However, in return for taking this kind of up-front risk (and giving a more substantial sum in terms of future money value), the owners want to ensure that in developing the player that they will retain the player's services for an extended period of time. That's a vey realistic expectation.The players, in turn, get a sizable chunk of money up front (again, we have the advantage of the basic principle of time/value of money) - money that is guaranteed unless they violate their end of the contract - and then also have the assurity of long term employment provided that their performance meets what management considers comparable value to the team.Both sides understand this agreement. Both sides understand - or should understand - the risks and benefits of their part in the agreement. That the players don't get it despite "outperforming" their contract - a highly debatable point - only shows that they have received some very poor advice & representation from their agent. I don't see how that's the team's fault in any way, shape, or form.

 

BlueOnion

Footballguy
Good posting. Players have all the leverage in the World right before they sign their contract. After the contract is signed, the leverage shifts back to side writing the check. To only look at the scenario and make a judgement of what is fair and what is unfair by only looking at a contract after it is signed, is completely ridiculous.

 

P Boy

Footballguy
Now, I would also like to allude to a comment that I have read several times, including being posted by FBGs staff:A player "outperformed" his contract.What exactly does that mean? Is there a clause in the contract that nullifies the contract if a player reaches a specified performance level? If not, a player can not "outperform" a contract that he knowingly signed.The team took a risk, as mentioned above, by paying a signing bonus, and was on the hook for that signing bonus whether the player was with the team for 5 minutes or the entire length of the contract - provided that the player lived up to their end of the contract.The player's performance most probably has no relevence in the amount of annual salary specified unless there are incentive clauses involved, or that a performance milestone triggers an option in the contract. Why is it that players (and some FBGs) don't understand that they have to take some kind of risk when they sign a contract also - the risk isn't all on the team's part with the guaranteed money of the signing bonus.Part of that risk that the players take is that they may be cut if they don't perform to their perceived value as determined by the team. The other part of the risk is that if they perform much better than anticipated that they still have a contract to to be paid a specified amount. They can hold out - but if they do they also assume another risk - that they don't get paid and may have to return part of the signing bonus. That's the risk they take when they take the signing bonus as up-front money."Outperforming" a contract is a figment of imagination invented by agents and swallowed wholesale by some players - and apparently some FBGs. If a player does perform exceptionally well for an extended period, the team may offer another contract in place of the original - paying the player more money and probably with a bigger signing bonus in order to retain the player for a longer period - called renegotiation. Then the team has decided its worth even more risk on their part to keep the player on for a longer period of time, and they compensate the player appropriately. But a player (and their agent) can't decide unilaterally that a contract isn't fair compensation anymore when in fact there is a binding agreement between the player and the team.

 
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thesurfshop19

Footballguy
Here's my question -- why don't more agents try to put together deals that don't need restructuring?

Instead of signing a back-loaded contract with a huge signing bonus which leads to a player getting cut or holding out after a couple of years, why not sit down and come up with reasonable escalator and incentive clauses, multiple roster bonuses paid out every two years at minimum, and stuff like that?

 
I too would love to see the uninformed stop asserting that the owners don't have to honor their contracts so why should the players. The uninformed always say this when owners exercise a contractual right to cut a player before the end of an option contract. News flash. Standard NFL contracts are never violated by the owners. If they were the agents and the players association would be in court and would win. Standard player contracts work like this. The owner and the agent agree to tie the player to a team for a predetermined number of years at predetermined salaries, but at the owner's sole discretion each year. For allowing the owners this discretion the players bargain for, and get, signing bonuses, huge signing bonuses. When the owner pays that bonus he has honored the contract. Refusing to pick up the option is solely discretionary with the owner and not doing so is not a violation of the contract.

 

P Boy

Footballguy
Here's my question -- why don't more agents try to put together deals that don't need restructuring?

Instead of signing a back-loaded contract with a huge signing bonus which leads to a player getting cut or holding out after a couple of years, why not sit down and come up with reasonable escalator and incentive clauses, multiple roster bonuses paid out every two years at minimum, and stuff like that?
That's a very good question, and one that I have seen GMs ask themselves. Some GMs feel that they are forced to cut players for just this reason.Now, the tricky part in this is trying to determine the cap number, since if you have numerous players triggering incentive clauses it may force a team over the salary cap.

But I think the main reason is that the player & his agent want to maximize the amount of money they have guaranteed - the signing bonus - which means the team really can't afford to do this a predominance of the time.

 

jurb26

Footballguy
Now, I would also like to allude to a comment that I have read several times, including being posted by FBGs staff:

A player "outperformed" his contract.

What exactly does that mean? Is there a clause in the contract that nullifies the contract if a player reaches a specified performance level? If not, a player can not "outperform" a contract that he knowingly signed.

The team took a risk, as mentioned above, by paying a signing bonus, and was on the hook for that signing bonus whether the player was with the team for 5 minutes or the entire length of the contract - provided that the player lived up to their end of the contract.

The player's performance most probably has no relevence in the amount of annual salary specified unless there are incentive clauses involved, or that a performance milestone triggers an option in the contract.

Why is it that players (and some FBGs) don't understand that they have to take some kind of risk when they sign a contract also - the risk isn't all on the team's part with the guaranteed money of the signing bonus.

Part of that risk that the players take is that they may be cut if they don't perform to their perceived value as determined by the team. The other part of the risk is that if they perform much better than anticipated that they still have a contract to perform for a specified amount. They can hold out - but if they do they also assume another risk - that they don't get paid and may have to return part of the signing bonus. That's the risk they take when they take the signing bonus as up-front money.

"Outperforming" a contract is a figment of imagination invented by agents and swallowed wholesale by some players - and apparently some FBGs. If a player does perform exceptionally well for an extended period, the team may offer another contract in place of the original - paying the player more money and probably with a bigger signing bonus in order to retain the player for a longer period - called renegotiation.

Then the team has decided its worth even more risk on their part to keep the player on for a longer period of time, and they compensate the player appropriately. But a player (and their agent) can't decide unilaterally that a contract isn't fair compensation anymore when in fact there is a binding agreement between the player and the team.
Rookie contracts can very ealisly be outperfomed by players not drafted in the 1st round.BTW, great post and I think this should be pinned so we dono't have to go through this on a weekly basis. :thumbup:

 
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heckmanm

Footballguy
Here's my question -- why don't more agents try to put together deals that don't need restructuring?

Instead of signing a back-loaded contract with a huge signing bonus which leads to a player getting cut or holding out after a couple of years, why not sit down and come up with reasonable escalator and incentive clauses, multiple roster bonuses paid out every two years at minimum, and stuff like that?
Because if they did, the agent couldn't go tell prospective clients "I got <player X> a $49- (or $70- or $9:shades: million dollar contract!" And the player couldn't play "mine's bigger than yours" with his peers, either.The only numbers in a contract that are meaningful in real money terms are the signing bonus and the first couple of years. When a contract has late-year salaries of 10+ million, all parties have to know that those years will NEVER be paid. The cap hit would be absurd.

If the player is young enough to still be around (and productive) by the time those big-salary years roll around, the team will restructure the deal before they hit. (With another signing bonus and more big-salary years deferred further into the future, again allowing the agent and player to make a big deal of the HUGE contract they just signed, conveniently ignoring the fact that most of the $ in the prior huge contract were never paid.)

:2cents:

 

BlueOnion

Footballguy
Here's my question -- why don't more agents try to put together deals that don't need restructuring?

Instead of signing a back-loaded contract with a huge signing bonus which leads to a player getting cut or holding out after a couple of years, why not sit down and come up with reasonable escalator and incentive clauses, multiple roster bonuses paid out every two years at minimum, and stuff like that?
In short, recruitment of NFL rookies by the agents. Let us look at two contracts that will pay the player the same money.

Contract A is 10 million signing bonus for 3 years at 1 million a year. That is evaluated (on sportscenter and such) as a 13 million dollar contract.

Contract B is 5 million signing bonus, 2.5 million roster bonus in year 2 and 3...and 7 total years on the contract. Year 1, 2 and 3 are at 1 million a year. Years 4, 5, 6 and 7 escalate at 5 million, 7 million, 9 million and 11 million. That is evaluated (on sportscenter and such) as a 45 million dollar contract.

The player is not actually in the negogiations, so either case he is actually going to get the same money. The owner really doesn't care which contract is signed either, as they expect to pay the same amount either way over three years. But the difference is huge for an agent because he is constantly recruiting other clients. "Hey, T.O., look what kind of contract I got for said-player and team he signed with was apparently cap strapped!" In this case, the player is happy because he got his money, the team is happy because they got their player at their price (and did said prominent agent a 'favor') and the agent is happy because his client his happy and he signed a headline sized contract.

 
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P Boy

Footballguy
In short, recruitment of NFL rookies by the agents.

Let us look at two contracts that will pay the player the same money.

Contract A is 10 million signing bonus for 3 years at 1 million a year. That is evaluated (on sportscenter and such) as a 13 million dollar contract.

Contract B is 5 million signing bonus, 2.5 million roster bonus in year 2 and 3...and 7 total years on the contract. Year 1, 2 and 3 are at 1 million a year. Years 4, 5, 6 and 7 escalate at 5 million, 7 million, 9 million and 11 million. That is evaluated (on sportscenter and such) as a 45 million dollar contract.

The player is not actually in the negogiations, so either case he is actually going to get the same money. The owner really doesn't care which contract is signed either, as they expect to pay the same amount either way over three years. But the difference is huge for an agent because he is constantly recruiting other clients. "Hey, T.O., look what kind of contract I got for said-player and team he signed with was apparently cap strapped!" In this case, the player is happy because he got his money, the team is happy because they got their player at their price (and did said prominent agent a 'favor') and the agent is happy because his client his happy and he signed a headline sized contract.
I'd put :goodpost:, but this transcends to :greatpost:This is what a lot of contract squabbles end up coming from.

The team entered this contract fully expecting to keep the services of the player for only 3 years - by whatever means they came to that decision - but the agent negotiated like it was a 7 year contract to their benefit but not to the player's.

Very, very well explained point.

 

MrKlaw

Footballguy
Now, I would also like to allude to a comment that I have read several times, including being posted by FBGs staff:

A player "outperformed" his contract.

What exactly does that mean? Is there a clause in the contract that nullifies the contract if a player reaches a specified performance level? If not, a player can not "outperform" a contract that he knowingly signed.
:confused: You don't get that if a team signs a guy for the league minimum, say a veteren aging linebacker who has had injury concerns in the past, and that guy goes out and puts up a 110 tackle, 9 sack season that he has performed over and above what the team expected to get from him for the money that he was paid?

Most teams, I would guess, will think that for each position if we put $X into a player we should get Y performance back. Players can either meet, excede or fall short of Y thus over or underperforming from what the team expected.

You're just arguing over semantics and terminology. I guess we have to say "outperformed expectations" to make you happy?

 

ko-jaxx

Footballguy
I too would love to see the uninformed stop asserting that the owners don't have to honor their contracts so why should the players. The uninformed always say this when owners exercise a contractual right to cut a player before the end of an option contract.

News flash. Standard NFL contracts are never violated by the owners. If they were the agents and the players association would be in court and would win. Standard player contracts work like this. The owner and the agent agree to tie the player to a team for a predetermined number of years at predetermined salaries, but at the owner's sole discretion each year. For allowing the owners this discretion the players bargain for, and get, signing bonuses, huge signing bonuses. When the owner pays that bonus he has honored the contract. Refusing to pick up the option is solely discretionary with the owner and not doing so is not a violation of the contract.
yea but what about base salaries? there is more than just the bonus. if player X is due 7 million in year 6 of his 6 year deal and the owner cuts him becuase his cap # is too high, he can...he didnt violate the contract because the base salary isnt guaranteed. just like when a player holds out for more, he didnt violate the contract, its stipulated that if said player isnt in camp, he is subject to a fine. so fine him

 

ko-jaxx

Footballguy
Here's my question -- why don't more agents try to put together deals that don't need restructuring?

Instead of signing a back-loaded contract with a huge signing bonus which leads to a player getting cut or holding out after a couple of years, why not sit down and come up with reasonable escalator and incentive clauses, multiple roster bonuses paid out every two years at minimum, and stuff like that?
becasue the bonus is spread over the life of the deal (from a cap standpoint)so if a player wants huge $$$$ in the form of a bouns, they need to sign a longer term deal for it to be cap friendly. plus, the bouns is all thats guaranteed, so why sign shoter deals with more realistc salary figures? the owner can cut you when he he feels like it, and last time i checked, football careers dont last too long.

 
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CletiusMaximus

Footballguy
I too would love to see the uninformed stop asserting that the owners don't have to honor their contracts so why should the players. The uninformed always say this when owners exercise a contractual right to cut a player before the end of an option contract.

News flash. Standard NFL contracts are never violated by the owners. If they were the agents and the players association would be in court and would win. Standard player contracts work like this. The owner and the agent agree to tie the player to a team for a predetermined number of years at predetermined salaries, but at the owner's sole discretion each year. For allowing the owners this discretion the players bargain for, and get, signing bonuses, huge signing bonuses. When the owner pays that bonus he has honored the contract. Refusing to pick up the option is solely discretionary with the owner and not doing so is not a violation of the contract.
'tis true.NFL CBA

exerpt:

ARTICLE XIV

NFL PLAYER CONTRACT

Section 1. Form: The NFL Player Contract form attached hereto as Appendix C will be used for all player signings. This form cannot be amended without the approval of the Management Council and the NFLPA.

***
from the Player Contract (Appendix C):
11. SKILL, PERFORMANCE AND CONDUCT. Player understands that he is competing with other players for a position on Club's roster within the applicable player limits. If at any time, in the sole judgment of Club, Player's skill or performance has been unsatisfactory as compared with that of other players competing for positions on Club's roster, or if Player has engaged in personal conduct reasonably judged by Club to adversely affect or reflect on Club, then Club may terminate this contract. In addition, during the period any salary cap is legally in effect, this contract may be terminated if, in Club's opinion, Player is anticipated to make less of a contribution to Club's ability to compete on the playing field than another player or players whom Club intends to sign or attempts to sign, or another player or players who is or are already on Club's roster, and for whom Club needs room.
Its a one way street (completely fair and fully negotiated, of course, but one-way nonethless).
 

thesurfshop19

Footballguy
Here's my question -- why don't more agents try to put together deals that don't need restructuring?

Instead of signing a back-loaded contract with a huge signing bonus which leads to a player getting cut or holding out after a couple of years, why not sit down and come up with reasonable escalator and incentive clauses, multiple roster bonuses paid out every two years at minimum, and stuff like that?
In short, recruitment of NFL rookies by the agents. Let us look at two contracts that will pay the player the same money.

Contract A is 10 million signing bonus for 3 years at 1 million a year. That is evaluated (on sportscenter and such) as a 13 million dollar contract.

Contract B is 5 million signing bonus, 2.5 million roster bonus in year 2 and 3...and 7 total years on the contract. Year 1, 2 and 3 are at 1 million a year. Years 4, 5, 6 and 7 escalate at 5 million, 7 million, 9 million and 11 million. That is evaluated (on sportscenter and such) as a 45 million dollar contract.

The player is not actually in the negogiations, so either case he is actually going to get the same money. The owner really doesn't care which contract is signed either, as they expect to pay the same amount either way over three years. But the difference is huge for an agent because he is constantly recruiting other clients. "Hey, T.O., look what kind of contract I got for said-player and team he signed with was apparently cap strapped!" In this case, the player is happy because he got his money, the team is happy because they got their player at their price (and did said prominent agent a 'favor') and the agent is happy because his client his happy and he signed a headline sized contract.
Good points.It seems like a lot of players would be well to get a 2nd voice in their ear outside of their agents -- someone who will break down the contract in terms of what money you will see, and what money you'll never see.

If that increases awareness, then players can at least attempt to force their agents to negotiate deals that don't need constant restructuring -- if that's something they want. Of course, the appeal of testing the market is often too much to resist -- who knows, I might do the same if I were in their position.

 

BlueOnion

Footballguy
yea but what about base salaries? there is more than just the bonus.
It would seem logical to include base salaries as well, but in reality you are reaching. Well over 50% of all monies paid between NFL teams and NFL players is in the form of bonuses. Owners know this, players know this, agents know this. I don't think fans know this.When talking about annual base salaries in an NFL contract is like negotiating with a new car dealership for upgraded tires. Sure an argument could be made that it is important, but not really part of the big picture.

 

P Boy

Footballguy
yea but what about base salaries? there is more than just the bonus. if player X is due 7 million in year 6 of his 6 year deal and the owner cuts him becuase his cap # is too high, he can...he didnt violate the contract because the base salary isnt guaranteed.
And the team didn't violate the contract, either. It's well within their rights to terminate the player's services for any reason other than unconsitutional discrimination. Just like your boss can terminate you - unless your union & your company have some agreement regarding termination procedures. There is no such termination agreement in the NFLPA collective bargaining agreement.
 

fatkid

Footballguy
The signing bonus also functions as a defacto gaurenteed contract for a number of years.The team can cut the player, but the cap ramifications of doing so prevent them from doing so, effectively gaurenteeing one or more years on the deal. As an example, Cletius Hunt for the packers recieved a large signing bonus when he got his new contract. This offseason, he would have been cut for underperforming his contract if not for the salary cap escalation and the Packers current cap situtation. His large signing bonus essentially gaurenteed him a 3 year deal.The other reasons that owner and teams give long contracts is to buffer out the signing bonus. I personally think that is very shortsighted, but I understand why GM's do this. They need the team to be good this year to work there next year. Doesn't make any sense to give the next guy a ton of cap room.

 

ko-jaxx

Footballguy
yea but what about base salaries? there is more than just the bonus. if player X is due 7 million in year 6 of his 6 year deal and the owner cuts him becuase his cap # is too high, he can...he didnt violate the contract because the base salary isnt guaranteed.
And the team didn't violate the contract, either. It's well within their rights to terminate the player's services for any reason other than unconsitutional discrimination. Just like your boss can terminate you - unless your union & your company have some agreement regarding termination procedures. There is no such termination agreement in the NFLPA collective bargaining agreement.
in other words, a contract isnt a contract in the nfl. players want more, they hold out, players cost too much, they get cut. works both ways

 

P Boy

Footballguy
:confused: You don't get that if a team signs a guy for the league minimum, say a veteren aging linebacker who has had injury concerns in the past, and that guy goes out and puts up a 110 tackle, 9 sack season that he has performed over and above what the team expected to get from him for the money that he was paid? Most teams, I would guess, will think that for each position if we put $X into a player we should get Y performance back. Players can either meet, excede or fall short of Y thus over or underperforming from what the team expected. You're just arguing over semantics and terminology. I guess we have to say "outperformed expectations" to make you happy?
That's got absolutely nothing to do with it - semantics or otherwise.Unless performance specifications are incorporated into the contract in the way of incentive clauses or triggering options, a player's performance has nothing to do with what he is paid.It's a simple concept, but one that is often very confused by those talking about team/player relationships.
 

B-Deep

Footballguy
Nothing in this thread changes the fact that a player is not required to play under any contract. Signing bonus or no they can decide not to play. In some cases the team can try to recoupe the bonus, if the contract is written in such a way, but a player holding out is not violating a contract any more than a player who retires while still under contract.The team can terminate the contract at any time, and the player can chose not to play at any time If the player says he will not play unless the team rips up the contract, that violates nothing. It is the players right to decide if he is going to play. The contract simply tellls what the player will make if he plays, and the player is bound by that unless the team decides to rip it up. No player can be forced to play, that's not how contracts work.

 
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BlueOnion

Footballguy
It seems like a lot of players would be well to get a 2nd voice in their ear outside of their agents -- someone who will break down the contract in terms of what money you will see, and what money you'll never see.

If that increases awareness, then players can at least attempt to force their agents to negotiate deals that don't need constant restructuring -- if that's something they want. Of course, the appeal of testing the market is often too much to resist -- who knows, I might do the same if I were in their position.
Not really. This is actually good for the players. They get their bonsus up front and have an escalating contract that will force the owner's hand prematurely. Meaning said players gets released early from his contract while he is still in his prime to sign another contract with another big signing bonus. This fake-money in NFL contracts is considered soft money.What is happening are teams like the Eagles, Patriots and Vikings try to sign their players to contracts filled with 'real' money. Money the organization expects to actually pay the player for the actual length of the contract.

This came up with Randy Moss in Minnesota and there was very little national news about it. Probably because there was no soft money in the contract and the total contract number was not the biggest. This is also the case when comparing Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Manning got a bigger contract but the amount of real money may be a lot closer than people think (I am speculating here).

 

ko-jaxx

Footballguy
yea but what about base salaries? there is more than just the bonus.
It would seem logical to include base salaries as well, but in reality you are reaching. Well over 50% of all monies paid between NFL teams and NFL players is in the form of bonuses. Owners know this, players know this, agents know this. I don't think fans know this.When talking about annual base salaries in an NFL contract is like negotiating with a new car dealership for upgraded tires. Sure an argument could be made that it is important, but not really part of the big picture.
base salaries are in the deal, and the owners cut players to avoid paying them, dont see how thats a reachplus, try telling said athlete that the money he signed for isnt part of the big picture.

 
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P Boy

Footballguy
in other words, a contract isnt a contract in the nfl.
Just because you don't understand the way contracts work between teams & players doesn't mean that they don't exist and aren't enforceable.
 

ko-jaxx

Footballguy
Nothing in this thread changes the fact that a player is not required to play under any contract. Signing bonus or no they can decide not to play. In some cases the team can try to recoupe the bonus, if the contract is written in such a way, but a player holding out is not violating a contract any more than a player who retires while still under contract.

The team can terminate the contract at any time, and the player can chose not to play at any time If the player says he will not play unless the team rips up the contract, that violates nothing. It is the players right to decide if he is going to play. The contract simply tellls what the player will make if he plays, and the player is bound by that unless the team decides to rip it up. No player can be forced to play, that's not how contracts work.
exactly
 

ko-jaxx

Footballguy
in other words, a contract isnt a contract in the nfl.
Just because you don't understand the way contracts work between teams & players doesn't mean that they don't exist and aren't enforceable.
:lmao: judging from your posts, you dont have a clue

they exist and are enforceable, but they arent like contracts in MLB, NBA, NHL, which are all guaranteed. thats the point, sorry you missed it

 
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P Boy

Footballguy
Nothing in this thread changes the fact that a player is not required to play under any contract. Signing bonus or no they can decide not to play. In some cases the team can try to recoupe the bonus, if the contract is written in such a way, but a player holding out is not violating a contract any more than a player who retires while still under contract.
The other part of the risk is that if they perform much better than anticipated that they still have a contract to to be paid a specified amount. They can hold out - but if they do they also assume another risk - that they don't get paid and may have to return part of the signing bonus. That's the risk they take when they take the signing bonus as up-front money.
 

-OZ-

Footballguy
:confused:

You don't get that if a team signs a guy for the league minimum, say a veteren aging linebacker who has had injury concerns in the past, and that guy goes out and puts up a 110 tackle, 9 sack season that he has performed over and above what the team expected to get from him for the money that he was paid?

Most teams, I would guess, will think that for each position if we put $X into a player we should get Y performance back. Players can either meet, excede or fall short of Y thus over or underperforming from what the team expected.

You're just arguing over semantics and terminology. I guess we have to say "outperformed expectations" to make you happy?
That's got absolutely nothing to do with it - semantics or otherwise.Unless performance specifications are incorporated into the contract in the way of incentive clauses or triggering options, a player's performance has nothing to do with what he is paid.

It's a simple concept, but one that is often very confused by those talking about team/player relationships.
More accurately, the concept is blatantly ignored by agents who try to renegotiate contracts. Your contract is simply a function of past performance and future expectations. You exceed your expectations, great, your next contract should be bigger because that now goes to past performance when your contract expires.
 

Deranged Hermit

Not cool & Pissed
yea but what about base salaries? there is more than just the bonus. if player X is due 7 million in year 6 of his 6 year deal and the owner cuts him becuase his cap # is too high, he can...he didnt violate the contract because the base salary isnt guaranteed.
And the team didn't violate the contract, either. It's well within their rights to terminate the player's services for any reason other than unconsitutional discrimination. Just like your boss can terminate you - unless your union & your company have some agreement regarding termination procedures. There is no such termination agreement in the NFLPA collective bargaining agreement.
in other words, a contract isnt a contract in the nfl. players want more, they hold out, players cost too much, they get cut. works both ways
If you don't get it after the well thought out posts by Pony Boy and Blue Onion, you never will. Either that or you're just fishing.
 

B-Deep

Footballguy
Nothing in this thread changes the fact that a player is not required to play under any contract. Signing bonus or no they can decide not to play. In some cases the team can try to recoupe the bonus, if the contract is written in such a way, but a player holding out is not violating a contract any more than a player who retires while still under contract.
The other part of the risk is that if they perform much better than anticipated that they still have a contract to to be paid a specified amount. They can hold out - but if they do they also assume another risk - that they don't get paid and may have to return part of the signing bonus. That's the risk they take when they take the signing bonus as up-front money.
Which still doesn't mean that holding out is violating the contract. It's part of the system. A player has the right to not play football.
 

-OZ-

Footballguy
Nothing in this thread changes the fact that a player is not required to play under any contract. Signing bonus or no they can decide not to play. In some cases the team can try to recoupe the bonus, if the contract is written in such a way, but a player holding out is not violating a contract any more than a player who retires while still under contract.
The other part of the risk is that if they perform much better than anticipated that they still have a contract to to be paid a specified amount.  They can hold out - but if they do they also assume another risk - that they don't get paid and may have to return part of the signing bonus.  That's the risk they take when they take the signing bonus as up-front money.
Which still doesn't mean that holding out is violating the contract. It's part of the system. A player has the right to not play football.
:yes: the only thing he does not have the right to do is go play for someone else without a trade.If you think about it for a minute, that's really what the contract is for, just an agreement that the player won't play for another NFL team.

 
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psychobillies

Footballguy
Nothing in this thread changes the fact that a player is not required to play under any contract. Signing bonus or no they can decide not to play. In some cases the team can try to recoupe the bonus, if the contract is written in such a way, but a player holding out is not violating a contract any more than a player who retires while still under contract.
The other part of the risk is that if they perform much better than anticipated that they still have a contract to to be paid a specified amount.  They can hold out - but if they do they also assume another risk - that they don't get paid and may have to return part of the signing bonus.  That's the risk they take when they take the signing bonus as up-front money.
Which still doesn't mean that holding out is violating the contract. It's part of the system. A player has the right to not play football.
As long as he is willing to repay a portion of the bonus. (usually teams do not attempt to recoup this)
 

ko-jaxx

Footballguy
yea but what about base salaries? there is more than just the bonus. if player X is due 7 million in year 6 of his 6 year deal and the owner cuts him becuase his cap # is too high, he can...he didnt violate the contract because the base salary isnt guaranteed.
And the team didn't violate the contract, either. It's well within their rights to terminate the player's services for any reason other than unconsitutional discrimination. Just like your boss can terminate you - unless your union & your company have some agreement regarding termination procedures. There is no such termination agreement in the NFLPA collective bargaining agreement.
in other words, a contract isnt a contract in the nfl. players want more, they hold out, players cost too much, they get cut. works both ways
If you don't get it after the well thought out posts by Pony Boy and Blue Onion, you never will. Either that or you're just fishing.
dont forget to wipe their man juices off your chin
 

CletiusMaximus

Footballguy
Nothing in this thread changes the fact that a player is not required to play under any contract. Signing bonus or no they can decide not to play. In some cases the team can try to recoupe the bonus, if the contract is written in such a way, but a player holding out is not violating a contract any more than a player who retires while still under contract.

The team can terminate the contract at any time, and the player can chose not to play at any time If the player says he will not play unless the team rips up the contract, that violates nothing. It is the players right to decide if he is going to play. The contract simply tellls what the player will make if he plays, and the player is bound by that unless the team decides to rip it up. No player can be forced to play, that's not how contracts work.
This is false B-Deep. Under the standard NFL player contract, the player is required to show up and practice, play, conduct himself in a certain fashion, stay in shape, etc., etc. and it is a breach of the contract if the player fails to perform his obligations, giving the team a right to sue for damages (under the CBA, this suit would be subject to mandatory binding arbitration). Conversely, the team is fully entitled to terminate the contract in its sole discretion for any number of reasons and doing so does not constitute a breach of the contract (although it does implicate other provisions of the contract and may cause certain rights and obligations to kick in).
 

-OZ-

Footballguy
Nothing in this thread changes the fact that a player is not required to play under any contract. Signing bonus or no they can decide not to play. In some cases the team can try to recoupe the bonus, if the contract is written in such a way, but a player holding out is not violating a contract any more than a player who retires while still under contract.

The team can terminate the contract at any time, and the player can chose not to play at any time  If the player says he will not play unless the team rips up the contract, that violates nothing. It is the players right to decide if he is going to play. The contract simply tellls what the player will make if he plays, and the player is bound by that unless the team decides to rip it up. No player can be forced to play, that's not how contracts work.
This is false B-Deep. Under the standard NFL player contract, the player is required to show up and practice, play, conduct himself in a certain fashion, stay in shape, etc., etc. and it is a breach of the contract if the player fails to perform his obligations, giving the team a right to sue for damages (under the CBA, this suit would be subject to mandatory binding arbitration). Conversely, the team is fully entitled to terminate the contract in its sole discretion for any number of reasons and doing so does not constitute a breach of the contract (although it does implicate other provisions of the contract and may cause certain rights and obligations to kick in).
All true legal mumbo jumbo, but what's the bottom line?
 

CletiusMaximus

Footballguy
All true legal mumbo jumbo, but what's the bottom line?
The bottom line, as in all commercial relationships, is that it is all about leverage (or, to use a George Costanza term, "hand"). Whoever has "hand" in a commercial (or, for that matter, personal) relationship calls the shots and gets what he wants. In some cases, the team has hand and in others the player. The concepts of fairness, morality, legality, etc. are all irrelevant.The NFL just signed a massive new contract with the networks. The NFL CBA runs only through 2007 and I believe 2007 is presently an "uncapped" year. There is a ton of money coming into the league in the next several years and players, owners, agents and other interested parties are all scrambling to get their piece of the pie. It is all 100% predictable, rational and perfectly normal commercial behavior.

 

Deranged Hermit

Not cool & Pissed
yea but what about base salaries? there is more than just the bonus. if player X is due 7 million in year 6 of his 6 year deal and the owner cuts him becuase his cap # is too high, he can...he didnt violate the contract because the base salary isnt guaranteed.
And the team didn't violate the contract, either. It's well within their rights to terminate the player's services for any reason other than unconsitutional discrimination. Just like your boss can terminate you - unless your union & your company have some agreement regarding termination procedures. There is no such termination agreement in the NFLPA collective bargaining agreement.
in other words, a contract isnt a contract in the nfl. players want more, they hold out, players cost too much, they get cut. works both ways
If you don't get it after the well thought out posts by Pony Boy and Blue Onion, you never will. Either that or you're just fishing.
dont forget to wipe their man juices off your chin
And you wonder why no one takes you seriously.......
 

-OZ-

Footballguy
All true legal mumbo jumbo, but what's the bottom line?
The bottom line, as in all commercial relationships, is that it is all about leverage (or, to use a George Costanza term, "hand"). Whoever has "hand" in a commercial (or, for that matter, personal) relationship calls the shots and gets what he wants. In some cases, the team has hand and in others the player. The concepts of fairness, morality, legality, etc. are all irrelevant.The NFL just signed a massive new contract with the networks. The NFL CBA runs only through 2007 and I believe 2007 is presently an "uncapped" year. There is a ton of money coming into the league in the next several years and players, owners, agents and other interested parties are all scrambling to get their piece of the pie. It is all 100% predictable, rational and perfectly normal commercial behavior.
I hate to call the law irrelevant, but all it does is sightly alter "hand". The law helps the party with "hand", but does, on occasion, help give the little guy "hand".
 

B-Deep

Footballguy
This is false B-Deep. Under the standard NFL player contract, the player is required to show up and practice, play, conduct himself in a certain fashion, stay in shape, etc., etc. and it is a breach of the contract if the player fails to perform his obligations, giving the team a right to sue for damages (under the CBA, this suit would be subject to mandatory binding arbitration). Conversely, the team is fully entitled to terminate the contract in its sole discretion for any number of reasons and doing so does not constitute a breach of the contract (although it does implicate other provisions of the contract and may cause certain rights and obligations to kick in).
So every player that retires is in breech of contract? Is Teddy Bruschi in breach of contract? If every player that holds out is actually in breech of contrct why don't teams go after them. Breaking a contract can result in not only recouping of damages but also punative damages. I cannot belive that not one owner has decided to take a holdout to court if what you say is true. If Owens has breeched his contract the eagles could sue for the bonus, and for any income he has cost them by breaking his contract, this could mean jersey sales, ticket sales, anything.
 

CletiusMaximus

Footballguy
This is false B-Deep.  Under the standard NFL player contract, the player is required to show up and practice, play, conduct himself in a certain fashion, stay in shape, etc., etc. and it is a breach of the contract if the player fails to perform his obligations, giving the team a right to sue for damages (under the CBA, this suit would be subject to mandatory binding arbitration).  Conversely, the team is fully entitled to terminate the contract in its sole discretion for any number of reasons and doing so does not constitute a breach of the contract (although it does implicate other provisions of the contract and may cause certain rights and obligations to kick in).
So every player that retires is in breech of contract? Is Teddy Bruschi in breach of contract? If every player that holds out is actually in breech of contrct why don't teams go after them. Breaking a contract can result in not only recouping of damages but also punative damages. I cannot belive that not one owner has decided to take a holdout to court if what you say is true. If Owens has breeched his contract the eagles could sue for the bonus, and for any income he has cost them by breaking his contract, this could mean jersey sales, ticket sales, anything.
I don't claim to be an expert and am just going by what I read in the CBA and standard NFL contract. Retirement and injury (Bruschi) are specifically covered in the CBA. I don't understand exactly what happens to signing bonuses, cap implications, etc. in those cases, but I do recall in the cases of Barry Sanders and Ricky Williams that those players were threatened with actions by the teams for return of some of their signing bonus. In Williams case, I believe the matter went to arbitration and he lost. The difference with Sanders and Williams, as opposed to Tim Brown for example, is that they both retired under adverse circumstances and the teams were pissed off enough to go after them. If Brett Favre retired this year, obviously the Packers would not sue him for his signing bonus regardless of what rights they had. The reason you don't read very often about owners suing players in the case of holdouts is because these cases are always resolved, either through a contract re-negotiation, a trade, a release of the player, etc. When things get nasty, however, I am sure the teams are thowing that threat on the table as part of their negotiation strategy, as I believe the Packers did with Mike McKenzie last year.

 

-OZ-

Footballguy
This is false B-Deep.  Under the standard NFL player contract, the player is required to show up and practice, play, conduct himself in a certain fashion, stay in shape, etc., etc. and it is a breach of the contract if the player fails to perform his obligations, giving the team a right to sue for damages (under the CBA, this suit would be subject to mandatory binding arbitration).  Conversely, the team is fully entitled to terminate the contract in its sole discretion for any number of reasons and doing so does not constitute a breach of the contract (although it does implicate other provisions of the contract and may cause certain rights and obligations to kick in).
So every player that retires is in breech of contract? Is Teddy Bruschi in breach of contract? If every player that holds out is actually in breech of contrct why don't teams go after them. Breaking a contract can result in not only recouping of damages but also punative damages. I cannot belive that not one owner has decided to take a holdout to court if what you say is true. If Owens has breeched his contract the eagles could sue for the bonus, and for any income he has cost them by breaking his contract, this could mean jersey sales, ticket sales, anything.
I don't claim to be an expert and am just going by what I read in the CBA and standard NFL contract. Retirement and injury (Bruschi) are specifically covered in the CBA. I don't understand exactly what happens to signing bonuses, cap implications, etc. in those cases, but I do recall in the cases of Barry Sanders and Ricky Williams that those players were threatened with actions by the teams for return of some of their signing bonus. In Williams case, I believe the matter went to arbitration and he lost. The difference with Sanders and Williams, as opposed to Tim Brown for example, is that they both retired under adverse circumstances and the teams were pissed off enough to go after them. If Brett Favre retired this year, obviously the Packers would not sue him for his signing bonus regardless of what rights they had. The reason you don't read very often about owners suing players in the case of holdouts is because these cases are always resolved, either through a contract re-negotiation, a trade, a release of the player, etc. When things get nasty, however, I am sure the teams are thowing that threat on the table as part of their negotiation strategy, as I believe the Packers did with Mike McKenzie last year.
Everyone has to remember legal right does not always mean the action to be taken.Imagine the Patriots suing Bruschi right now, the PR would kill them. Same if Favre retired for medical reasons (even if not covered) or many other situations.

 
This thread is proof indeed that there are none so blind as those who will not see.Spoon feed the self-deluded and ill-informed all you want Pony Boy, but it will do no good. They refuse to be educated. It's like casting pearls before swine.

 

P Boy

Footballguy
dont forget to wipe their man juices off your chin
Now this is a well thought out response. No wonder you can't understand basic concepts regarding contracts that have been explained here.Well, at least you didn't inlcude anything racist or any religious slurs. Of course, you knew those would just get you banned again - decided not to go for twice in a month, huh?
 

P Boy

Footballguy
So every player that retires is in breech of contract? Is Teddy Bruschi in breach of contract?
No, these are examples where contracts have been renegotiated - or broken - by mutual agreement. Injury settlements occur regularly in the NFL.
If every player that holds out is actually in breech of contrct why don't teams go after them. Breaking a contract can result in not only recouping of damages but also punative damages. I cannot belive that not one owner has decided to take a holdout to court if what you say is true. If Owens has breeched his contract the eagles could sue for the bonus, and for any income he has cost them by breaking his contract, this could mean jersey sales, ticket sales, anything.
A holdout is indeed a breach of contract, which is why when teams push the issue that players have had to repay pro-rated protions of the signing bonuses (provided the verbage in the original contract allows them to recover those costs). The reason you don't see many of these suits is simply because both parties usually want to come to the same result - they want the player on the field playing football. Filing legal complaints only serve to escalate the hostility between the parties, which doesn't help either party in the long run.
 
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B-Deep

Footballguy
I don't claim to be an expert and am just going by what I read in the CBA and standard NFL contract. Retirement and injury (Bruschi) are specifically covered in the CBA. I don't understand exactly what happens to signing bonuses, cap implications, etc. in those cases, but I do recall in the cases of Barry Sanders and Ricky Williams that those players were threatened with actions by the teams for return of some of their signing bonus. In Williams case, I believe the matter went to arbitration and he lost. The difference with Sanders and Williams, as opposed to Tim Brown for example, is that they both retired under adverse circumstances and the teams were pissed off enough to go after them. If Brett Favre retired this year, obviously the Packers would not sue him for his signing bonus regardless of what rights they had.

The reason you don't read very often about owners suing players in the case of holdouts is because these cases are always resolved, either through a contract re-negotiation, a trade, a release of the player, etc. When things get nasty, however, I am sure the teams are thowing that threat on the table as part of their negotiation strategy, as I believe the Packers did with Mike McKenzie last year.
The contracts may well be written so that in the case of retirement some bonus money will be returned, but I find it impossible to believe that the NFLPA would allow a contract to be written such that if a player decides not to play he is breaching a legaly binding contract. Here is a list of remedies that are allowed for breech of contract. If deciding not to play was a legal breech, then Green Bay would have gone after Mackenzie rather then simply trade him to the Saints. There was no benefit to trading him, because if he was found in breech then they could sue him, collect damages, and potentially still hold him to the contract. Why would you not collect the money, get the trade, and send a message. If McKenzie was hit with punaative damages then does anyone think Walker would be holding out right now?

(1) Compensatory Damages - money to reimburse you for costs to compensate for your loss.

(2) Consequential and Incidental Damages - money for losses caused by the breach that were foreseeable. Foreseeable damages means that each side reasonably knew that, at the time of the contract, there would be potential losses if there was a breach.

(3) Attorney fees and Costs - only recoverable if expressly provided for in the contract.

(4) Liquidated Damages - these are damages specified in the contract that would be payable if there is a fraud.

(5) Specific Performance - a court order requiring performance exactly as specified in the contract. This remedy is rare, except in real estate transactions and other unique property, as the courts do not want to get involved with monitoring performance.

(6) Punitive Damages - this is money given to punish a person who acted in an offensive and egregious manner in an effort to deter the person and others from repeated occurrences of the wrongdoing. You generally cannot collect punitive damages in contract cases.
That #6 is a big one. If a court decided that TO (for example) was breaching his contract, they could hit him with huge punative damages to teach him a lesson. An agent and a player know their financial exposure and I am certain holdouts would be a lot less rare if such a remedy was possible,The law is set up to punish people for breeching contracts. If this speculation is correct then if a player's mother is sick so he takes a year off the team would have every legal right to sue that player in court. Would they do it, no, but I find it hard to believe that the NFLPA would allow contracts to be that restrictive, and I find it hard to believe that if this were the case not one holdout ever would have caused a team to seek legal recourse.

I'm no expert either but that doesn't seem right.

 

ko-jaxx

Footballguy
dont forget to wipe their man juices off your chin
Now this is a well thought out response. No wonder you can't understand basic concepts regarding contracts that have been explained here.

Well, at least you didn't inlcude anything racist or any religious slurs. Of course, you knew those would just get you banned again - decided not to go for twice in a month, huh?
i understand contracts. you dont. the proof is in your posts
 

Deranged Hermit

Not cool & Pissed
dont forget to wipe their man juices off your chin
Now this is a well thought out response. No wonder you can't understand basic concepts regarding contracts that have been explained here.

Well, at least you didn't inlcude anything racist or any religious slurs. Of course, you knew those would just get you banned again - decided not to go for twice in a month, huh?
i understand contracts.
No, you obviously don't. Despite being shown numerous examples, inculding the excerpt from the contract between the league and NFLPA, you can't admit you're wrong.
 
dont forget to wipe their man juices off your chin
Now this is a well thought out response. No wonder you can't understand basic concepts regarding contracts that have been explained here.

Well, at least you didn't inlcude anything racist or any religious slurs. Of course, you knew those would just get you banned again - decided not to go for twice in a month, huh?
i understand contracts. you dont. the proof is in your posts
I am a lawyer, who, while in law school won an Am.Jur. (American Jurisprudence) award in contracts, and who clerked for his Contracts professor researching and proof reading his textbook on contract law. I can state with a high degree of confidence that you don't understand what you are talking about.
 

BlueOnion

Footballguy
base salaries are in the deal, and the owners cut players to avoid paying them, dont see how thats a reach

plus, try telling said athlete that the money he signed for isnt part of the big picture.
You are partially right, which makes debating the concept difficult. But athletes (and their agents) know the base salaries for each season are not guaranteed years. This is common knowledge, but often overlooked when comparing the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in the NFL with other professional sports leagues. It is the responsibility of the player (and his agent) to understand the annual salaries are none guaranteed contracts and to apply leverage in the way of asking for bonuses (signing, roster, incentive).
plus, try telling said athlete that the money he signed for isnt part of the big picture.
It is important to look at your statement in a larger scope, as it is not a cut and dry scenario for every contract. Players can choose to make the annual salary part of the big picture or they can choose not too (there are pros and cons to both). Each player may value the annual salary differently and they have the liberty to ask for whatever they want the annual salaries to be; monetarily and figuratively (real or fake).It is not up to the owners during negotiations to give the player what he may want to have in a few years - their only interest should be giving the player what he wants today. It is up to the player (and his agent) to disclose and ask for whatever they want. On one side a player could ask for a huge signing bonus and a minimum annual salary. He could also ask for no signing bonus but a hefty annual salary. Or the player could try to find something in the middle that best suits there demands. This is part of negotiations.

Players are allowed to ask and receive money in the term of a signing bonus well before they even put on a uniform or even play a single down. What they give up for this huge benefit is the stability of the guaranteed years of the annual contract(s).

 

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