Money Talks


For the last few months, leading up to the owners opting out of the collective bargaining agreement,

we’ve been reminded that small-market teams are being squeezed by the large market teams.

Anybody remember discussing the CBA and the salary cap?

Or how about going into depth about the insane amount of money being thrown at rookies and how the draft is no longer what it used to be?

Haven’t the owners asked themselves why they are in a mess?  They continue to tell us that the players are accounting for a much larger percentage of revenues than they should.  Check this portion of the statement released today.

The NFL earns very substantial revenues. But the clubs are obligated by the CBA to spend substantially more than half their revenues almost $4.5 billion this year alone — on player costs. In addition, as we have explained to the union, the clubs must spend significant and growing amounts on stadium construction, operations and improvements to respond to the interests and demands of our fans. The current labor agreement does not adequately recognize the costs of generating the revenues of which the players receive the largest share; nor does the agreement recognize that those costs have increased substantially — and at an ever increasing rate — in recent years during a difficult economic climate in our country. As a result, under the terms of the current agreement, the clubs’ incentive to invest in the game is threatened.

Alright, fine.  So the owners are spending too much in player salaries.  Their revenues just won’t allow them to continue paying players this way, right?  Isn’t that their argument?  To prove their point today, Arthur Blank and the Atlanta Falcons did something that makes little or no sense.

They have reached an agreement with their first-round draft pick, Matt Ryan.

Ryan became the second top draft choice to sign when he accepted a six-year, $72 million contract that included $34.75 million in guarantees. Less than a week before the draft, tackle Jake Long signed a five-year, $57.75 million deal with the Miami Dolphins.

Both players are represented by Tom Condon of CAA.

Long received $30 million guaranteed in his deal with the Dolphins. Last year’s No. 1 overall pick, quarterback JaMarcus Russell, got $29 million guaranteed from the Raiders.

WOW!  Who is doing the math for these guys?  An unproven rookie quarterback gets $72 million with $34.75 million guaranteed?  And the owners ask themselves why they’re in the mess they claim to be in?  Isn’t this the exact kind of contract that caused them to lose money?

They’re crying about paying too much in player salaries and then they sign rookies to deals like this!  Unbelievable!

I need an aspirin!