I don’t know about you, but I did not watch the ESPYs last night. To be honest, I didn’t even know they were on. In fact, I forgot they even existed. But apparently at least one person said something interesting there last night—in my opinion, anyway.
According to Lauren Theisen of Deadspin, who evidently did watch the ESPYs, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman—who, let’s face it, is rather known for speaking his mind about as much as he is for being a shutdown player at this position—had some candid words about the current and future state of labor relations in the NFL.
Speaking on the red carpet to Jalen Rose during an interview, the All-Pro, as Theisen transcribed, believes that the players have their hands full when it comes to the next round of negotiations for the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is becoming a more frequent topic the closer it gets to that time.
“If we want to get anything done, players have to be willing to strike”, the cornerback told Rose. “That’s the thing that guys need to 100 percent realize. You’re going to have to miss games, you’re going to have to lose some money if you’re willing to make the point, because that’s how MLB and NBA got it done”.
The Seahawks do have some familiarity in this territory. In a relatively rare occurrence, Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor actually did hold out and missed the first two games of the Seahawks’ 2015 season, and one wonders how much longer he might have held out had his team not suffered losses in those two games, returning because he felt he was costing his teammates.
Unfortunately for him, the holdout didn’t actually net him a new contract. He is entering the third year of a four-year extension that he signed in 2013 with one year left on his contract at the time. So perhaps that is not the best example.
Will, Sherman talked about the nature of many of today’s contracts that players are signing, calling them “fake” with inflated salaries and incentives that are unlikely to be earned. He said that many of these contracts “pop like a balloon”, as players get released before they’re through. See Jeremy Maclin.
Ultimately, the Seahawks cornerback believes that players need to see things differently when it comes to signing on the dotted line. “I think guys need to re-evaluate how they look at contracts”, he told the reporter.
Perhaps there is something to be said for this, and for an over-reliance on agents to work out contracts that the players themselves perhaps don’t even fully understand. It is incumbent upon the players to reflect upon the types of contracts they’re signing versus the types of contracts they want to sign.