NFL Contracts?

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by TTexasTT, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. TTexasTT

    TTexasTT Well-Known Member

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    The more I try to understand this the further I become lost. Could someone perhaps break this down into layman terms for the mentally inept such as myself?

    NFL "contracts" dont really sound as concrete as the word "contract" leads me to believe.
    From what I understand in baseball some of these guys sign monster contracts and get every darn penny despite lack of performance or health.
    NFL pay seems very bizarre to me. They sign a contract... Get a big lump sum as a "signing bonus" upfront, which I assume to avoid salary cap issues? Then the remaining monies are spread out among a set amount of years with the salary fluctuating year to year. There seems to be tons of deferring and restructuring done (in many cases) throughout the length of the contract. Then if for whatever reason (ala Miles Austin) the player isnt putting up desired numbers you can just cut him. Kinda seems to contradict the term "contract" IMO.
    Its almost like a player being rewarded with a big contract should get too excited.

    Maybe some of you guys who have a better grasp on this can expand a little of what and how these things work.
  2. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    Your question is why can the team cut the player without having to pay his complete contract, yet the player is bound by the contract.

    The answer is that a contract is an agreement between two or more parties. If the parties agree and sign the contract, then they are bound by whatever is specified in the contract. NFL contracts can specify that part or all of a player's contract is or is not guaranteed. There is nothing unfair about it. Both the player and the team voluntarily agree to sign it. Contract's in the US can only stipulate things that are legal. A contract to cut off someone's head would not be upheld in a US court of law.

    In the NFL, the CBA allows team to give out non-guaranteed contracts. In the MLB and NBA CBA's, teams are required to give out guaranteed contracts.

    Signing bonuses, restructures, deferrals, and the salary cap just confuse the issue.

    Bonuses came into play as a way to manage the salary cap within league rules. Teams started giving out the guaranteed bonuses in exchange for cap space. After a period of time, players and agents now expect a big signing bonus even if the team does not need to use if for cap purposes. Teams are not required to give out signing bonuses, but players will not sign contracts without them.

    Restructures just give players money earlier and guarantee it. The team gets cap relief in exchange. The concept of a player being reported to "agree" to a restructure is silly. The restructure is always in their favor.

    A renegotiation is different than a restructure. It is basically a player agreeing to a pay cut on their upcoming non-guaranteed salary.

    A deferral is not a cap issue. It is just a payment system. A team might give a player a signing bonus that just appears like any other signing bonus under the cap; however, they only pay 1/2 of it up front and pay the remaining half 1 year later. This just helps the team's cash flow, but the commitment to the player is the same. Deferrals are usually not reported in NFL contracts.
    TTexasTT likes this.
  3. TTexasTT

    TTexasTT Well-Known Member

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    Wow, thats a lot of good info. I dont know it you found that somewhere or actually took the time to type it all out. Either way I appreciate it.

    I guess after having a far better grasp on the baseball contracts, the ones in the NFL seem to favor the team owner over the player. Its like the team can let them go whenever but the player cant just leave when he can get more loot elsewhere.

    Atleast the NFL can avoid absurd contracts like that of A-Rod or Pujols.
  4. Bluefin

    Bluefin Well-Known Member

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    The NFL is a far more violent sport than MLB and the owners simply can't risk fully guaranteed contracts for every player.

    NFL contracts are best viewed as a series of one year deals.

    Players must pass an entrance physical at the start of training camp every year before they are allowed on the field. Anyone who doesn't will either be placed on PUP or waived.

    In the salary cap era, teams started using big signing bonuses to both entice players to sign and to get around the soft salary cap.

    Any player who has received a large signing bonus will typically have a safe roster spot for 2-3 years before the team can realize major cap savings if the player under-performs.

    Tony Romo, Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick and Sean Lee are all safe.

    Dallas will not eat those contracts in the next two years unless given no other choice, which is what just happened with Jay Ratliff.

    Most of the other veteran players are year to year and the Cowboys can get out of those contracts at anytime.
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  5. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    JMO but baseball contracts favor the players waaaay to much.
  6. TTexasTT

    TTexasTT Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Some of them are waaay too outta hand. There is no way Cano lives up to his. Pujols is probably closer to 45 than 35... Well, A-Rod...

    Really I guess that being there are over 80 home games instead of 8 there is more money generated to pay the guys? IDK.

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