NFL contracts

Nicholas Rose, Housekeeper

The last several NFL seasons have seen an increase in players walking out of practice and games in an attempt to challenge their contract. In this way, players are hoping to bring attention to the many problems they are facing within the league as well as compensation concerns. This phenomenon has lead to many superstars holding out in the last two years, including Ezekiel Elliott, Le’Veon Bell, Melvin Gordon, and Julio Jones. Russell Wilson threatened to hold out but the Seattle Seahawks quickly met his needs. All of these players did this for the same reason; they want more money.

The primary reason for wanting a new contract is for financial security. The window of opportunity for professional athletes is short, so they deserve to make their money while they are still able to compete. Doctors can work in their field for decades, but the average NFL Player only is only in the league for 3.3 years while a superstar may be able to play for about 12 years. As such, a normal person is able to work for a long time and continue making money throughout their lifetime. NFL players have between three and 12 years to make as much money as possible. A career ending injury usually means players are off that team and no longer are getting paid. Kevin Everett was a star player for the Buffalo Bills. Sadly, Everett suffered a severe spinal injury in week 1 of the 2007 season while trying to tackle a Broncos’ return man. This was the end to his football career and the start to an injury he would never recover. NFL stars go through many big hits which can cause bruises, fractures and concussions. All athletes have a great risk of getting hurt, which could end their career.

After being in the league for a period of time, certain rookie players begin to show promising results. These players begin looking at teammates and players on opposing teams that are less productive yet are making more money than them. This causes them to get upset and ask for a bigger contract. In most cases, teams deny their request because a contract is a binding document and athletes are bound by it. If the player decides to go on strike, the coaches realize that they need to give the player a larger contract because they need this person to succeed. We believe the athletes are doing the right thing to stand up for themselves and the athletes of the future. 

NFL franchises receive a large portion of their income off the backs of their starting players. They sell t-shirts, jerseys, and other items with the players’ numbers and names. Most of the money received from such marketing does not go to the players but is earned by the team and its owners. Many players believe their contribution to the team is more valuable than what they are currently being paid with their salary. Leagues and teams are making more mon

Ezekiel Elliot celebrates after a successful drive.

ey each year, and star players think that they are earning the money from money they should be receiving. The players are the face of the franchise and are the reason the team is selling tickets on a regular basis yet the money being earned is lining the pockets of the owners. The players have to do all the hard work but don’t get much of the reward. The team wouldn’t exist without players.

“The superstars sell all the tickets yet most of the money goes towards the team and not to that player” said Daniel Shoaf, junior.

Team owners have begun to penalize those players that refuse to attend practice and games by withholding their agreed upon salary until they come back to work or a new deal is put into place. Owners believe players hold all the cards in these negotiations and that they are forced to withhold the salary of the players as this is their only leverage against the players that strike. However, unlike workers that work together to strike an injustice at the workplace, single players are at a disadvantage because their refusal to practice and play does not stop the game from occurring. 

Pro-athletes should take a stand for a larger contract because they are risking their lives for their teams to win. Teams market their team around the players, particularly the superstars.