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New York, NY • United States • 2013 Years Old • Male
You see it in the NFL. Currently, Buffalo Bills' Jason Peters is holding out of training camp until a new deal gets inked. He wants more money, even though he's already signed for the next three years.

You see it in MLB. Look no further than the whole Manny saga in Boston right now. And if you're not much familiar with that, here's the low-down: http://insider.espn.go.co...05%26name%3dgammons_peter

The NHL is next. These lucrative 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 - heck, 15(!) (WANG!) - year deals are just bound to create similar problems - both from a personnel level, the players themselves, and for teams.

Then there's the whole transfer agreement dilemma going on at the present, taking international hockey by storm. Unless a viable long-term solution can be arrived at, that issue isn't going away either.

So, what say you?

These players are already making millions. In Manny's case, a ridiculous amount and he wants a ridiculous amount more.

Are you worried by this disturbing trend of players not honoring contracts?

This isn't the 50's or 60's anymore. Loyalty is hard to come by. It's a hard, cruel world out there, and let's not forget, pro sports is (for good or for bad) a business first and foremost - we all know that as hockey fans from the 04-05 lockout.

And what's the answer? How do you deal with these sorts of players? I would love to hear feedback about this very current issue, which I feel will only get worse in due time.

My take: These players signed the deals. It's their duty to honor the contract. Simply put, and listen up players, if you're not planning on fulfilling the obligations behind a contract, please don't sign it.
Filed Under:   nhl   contracts   mlb   nfl   players   teams   current issue  
July 28, 2008 9:19 PM ET | Delete
The NFL teams do not have to honour contracts -- they just dump the player whenever it's convenient to do so. Fulfilling a contract is usually a two-sided thing, just not in the NFL. So I don't have a problem with ANY NFL player who wants to renegotiate.As for Manny, he's honouring his contract. How can you say he's not. It's up to the team next year (and the next, if applicable) to pick up his option. All he's said is that if they want to trade him, he'll waive his NTC. And as far as the ESPN writer -- well he's a buffoon anyway so who cares what he says about the issue. His opinion is nothing but an opinion.
July 29, 2008 1:22 AM ET | Delete
I get what you're saying about the NFL, but with Manny, he is refusing to play in certain games...thus not honoring his contract. Not to mention he's causing a major distraction off the field for the BoSox, but that's a whole different story. He's certainly not living up to the deal he signed.
July 29, 2008 2:44 AM ET | Delete
It seems that you believe the assertions about him faking injury. I tend to believe the person who says he is injured, rather than the team who says he's not and rushes him back too soon. And certainly I would believe (almost) any player before hack writers (actually, I just don't like Gammons -- he's not a hack writer) like you've quoted. Manny is one of the best all-round hitters in the history of Baseball. He doesn't need to dodge anyone. The problem is a 2 way problem -- not just a Manny problem.
July 29, 2008 7:07 AM ET | Delete
Manny is Manny-he's not a good example of a "normal" guy. The NHL aspect of this is sort of moot, though. Under the current CBA, player contracts can not be renegotiated at all, so even if a guy sits out, or forces a trade, that contract can't be re-worked.
July 29, 2008 7:21 AM ET | Delete
To elaborate on previous points, there is nothing 'honorable' about NFL contracts. They mean almost nothing. Bonus money is all that matters in an NFL contract, and only the signing bonus is guaranteed. The NFL CBA benefits player agents, high first round draft picks, and no one else. The NHL CBA on the other hand, has benefits and detriments to players and teams alike. All contracts are guaranteed, and buyout rules are fair. It's by far the smartest CBA in sports, and that's what happens after a lockout/holdout. As far as Manny goes, that's an internal mess with that organization and seems very similar to previous situations like Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, and Nomar Garciaparra. There's something going on there down at Yawkey and Brookline.
July 29, 2008 7:55 AM ET | Delete
rdfred- but the nflpa agreed to that. i agree its a bad deal, but their folks ratified their cba and people with any honor/integrity fulfill their contract( unless they retire,etc). and to truthbluth- anytime you sign your name to a contract/agreement its all about honor/integrity. they shouldnt have signed off on the agreement if they werent going to keep it. they had that chance so now they live with it till the next chance rolls around. im sure they will protect themselves a little better next time around, and i dont blame them
July 29, 2008 8:29 AM ET | Delete
I think all of pro sports should go the route of the NFL. If you don't perform then you can get cut. I can get cut (fired/laid off) at my job and my salary is not guaranteed. Maybe you will see players playing with more heart instead of a paycheck if you make all the league like the NFL. If they want to make the money, then come and play each and every day. Regardless if you out perform your contract, you signed it. I beleive in fulfilling your contract. If you didn't sign a long term contract then most players would not be in this situation.I have never heard a player come back and say, hey you know I sucked last year, let me give you back half my salary.
July 29, 2008 8:49 AM ET | Delete
"These players are already making millions. In Manny's case, a ridiculous amount and he wants a ridiculous amount more."Quite the contrary. Whatever any player is paid can't be a "ridiculous amount" because it was negotiated by the parties, who could walk away from the table at any time. Therefore, it was "fair market value" at the time the contract was signed. And, after winning back-to-back World Series - after a 100-year drought in Boston - signing Manny was a great deal for the Red Sox and a bargain to boot. It is obvious that Manny is highly eccentric. But, if you want the talent you have to take the whole person, neurotic behaviors and all. Obviously the Red Sox management was aware of that and frankly, it is their problem to handle the trade off of benefits/debits.Unfortunately, plenty of folks in the sports media don't hold themselves up to the same standard of high-level performance that is required for any athlete to achieve consistent success day after day after day. Too many of the sports media have nothing much to add to the conversation so they have to delve into "personalities" or engage in repetitive speculation on what someone said, didn't say, or "meant" in an innocuous interview.
July 29, 2008 9:12 AM ET | Delete
Anne, I agree that Manny is making "fair market value," you make a good point, but my "ridiculous amount" comment was not about whether or not it was fair market value, it went along with my belief that no professional athlete should be making that much money. A million tops, per season, seems extravagant enough, don't you think? The league should instead take its hefty surplus and either (A) improve the league, (B) improve society or (C) give to charity. But that's just my opinion.
July 29, 2008 10:01 AM ET | Delete
Good blog, MT. I think the problem in all sports except football is that the players associations are too strong. Holding out in the NFL when you have only one year left on your deal and no other bargaining chip, I respect because the likelihood of injury in football is extremely high and player's careers are quite short. Doing it with 3 years left is pretty lame. The one idea I always toss around with my friends that I would absolutely love to see the NHL do is build a hometown discount into the cap system. By that, I mean for any player that has been with a team for 5 years or that a team has drafted, that team would receive a % discount from what dollar amount counts against the cap. Maybe 10-15%? So, the Sabres wouldn't have had any help with Briere or Drury, but it gives the franchise added ability to keep all the players that it has spent so many resources into developing. That's my attempt to solve the "I need a new jersey every other season" problem, anyway.
July 29, 2008 10:44 AM ET | Delete
CL, great idea. I think you should write a whole blog about it. I'd fully be in support of a system like that. Teams should be rewarded for drafting well and bringing up their own players. And a system like that would sure help the Sabres right now finish up a deal with Pominville, but that's a different story. I also agree with you that the Players Associations are far too strong.
July 29, 2008 10:48 AM ET | Delete
IMO hockey players are a different breed form other sports. They tend to give it their all for the team. However I do notice the level of play tends to go up in a contract year. As for the other sports, they feel they are entitled to a raise for one good year regardless of contract or not. Like phi1671 says they never offer a reduction coming off a bad year. They still feel entitled to a raise.
July 29, 2008 12:30 PM ET | Delete
A lot of my distaste at this specific time is coming from Baseball salaries. When the economy is struggling you have guys making money that is out of this world. i'm tired of hearing what fair market value is...that's crap...owners and players (agents) are all to blame to the rising salaries. right now i'm not a fan of Ryan Howard, since he wanted the money and overall he hasn't produced this year. When i say produce i mean to be consistent but like i said in a previous post he's going to come back to the phillies next year and ask for more money.Just like their are athletes in college that go to college to simply use it as a stepping stone to the pro's. That's crap too. I think if you enroll, stay in school but money and greed wins out. the days of turning pro to win a championship is long gone. The days of highlights and money rules is here (thank you ESPN).cue the espn them song....Bitter...table for one...anyone want to join....??? haha
July 29, 2008 12:45 PM ET | Delete
phi1671 -- And of course in with your idea a player would not have to live up to his contract either, right? It's a two-way street.
July 29, 2008 1:09 PM ET | Delete
okay...i left this rant...RD what are you asking? When a player signs a contract you committed to the contract. you want more money out perform (a raise) the contract to when it expires.
July 29, 2008 2:42 PM ET | Delete
"And, after winning back-to-back World Series - after a 100-year drought in Boston - signing Manny was a great deal for the Red Sox and a bargain to boot."A quick correction, the Red Sox did not win back-to-back World Series, they won in 2004 and in 2007.At any rate, if you put your name on the contract and sign it, it should be set in stone unless you retire, or some other lucrative ailment prevents you from fulfilling it. I disagree with the NFL on their cut policy unless the player is injured or is problematic, these players make enough money in the NHL, NFL, MLB, and NBA to where they have NO right to opt out of a contract that THEY signed. As crazy as it might sound, I think if a player (like the thugs in the NFL) doesn't abide to the contract signed should be imprisoned, few others agree with me obviously. In that case, measures should be taken in a court of law to ban them from playing in the league for good if they dispute a contract THEY agreed to. A player should be given the opportunity to be traded, and if they are not able to be traded then the contract should be voided. It's ridiculous that some jerk that doesn't appreciate his abilities would demand more money after he already agreed to a contract, I don't even understand why this is being debated. You signed the contract, fulfill it or be sued or REMOVED from the league. Integrity used to be an unspoken rule in sports, and it should remain, I'm tired of filth ruining the games we enjoy so much.
July 29, 2008 3:55 PM ET | Delete
phi and xhabsx: The point I am making is that as long as an owner can opt out of a contract then the player should be able to do so too. Further to 'xhabsx': sorry but what you say is ridiculous. IMPRISONED????? Integrity goes both ways -- so should GMs or owners who break contracts be put in jail also? ROFLMAO!
July 29, 2008 4:44 PM ET | Delete
xhabsx thanks for the feedback you make some interesting points. i agree with you about the integrity of sports, and phi i agree with a lot of your points too. thanks for comment everyone; this made for some interesting discussion during a lull period for the nhl. 08-09 can't come soon enough.
July 29, 2008 6:06 PM ET | Delete
"A quick correction, the Red Sox did not win back-to-back World Series, they won in 2004 and in 2007."I stand corrected. It just seems like back-to-back to me because my Tigers have such a hard time beating this team, most of the time. I like plenty of their individual players - I just don't like the Red Sox:))Fortunately, contract law is handled in the civil courts, not criminal, unless we are talking about such things as fraud. The idea that someone would be removed from any league for breaching a contract is rather extreme. Contract law is basically private law between the parties and they can generally both change the terms at any time they mutually agree to do so - of collect and negotiate the damages for the breach. However, probably not too wise in sports to burn too many bridges as very few athletes - even in the elite athlete stratosphere - get better indefinitely with each passing year - just older and less marketable. And as their value fluctuates, their reputation proceeds them as well to all the other limited pool of professional club houses. But they are all big boys who can figure it out without all the outside chatter and input from officious intermeddlers, that's for sure.
July 29, 2008 9:55 PM ET | Delete
Good blog, whether the player chooses to sign the contract is ultimately his decision. The player needs to read the whole article before signing. In the NFL as one person said the player can be dumped before the contract expires. This is the kind of contract the player signed. It is up to the team owners to take them to court and enforce the contract or sue them for the remaining amount of the contract and then cut them loose. Hope this never happens in the NHL. One thing good about the NFL, you don't perform, you get cut. The NHL could use some form of that.
July 29, 2008 10:00 PM ET | Delete
They can't create a problem in the NHL because the contracts are guaranteed and its an NHL rule that the can not be re-negotiated. Therefore there can be no issues unless the players are going to stand up to the league, which I don't see happening, they signed the contracts and the league has the upper hand 100% as well as the team in such a situation. This will not become an issue in the NHL at all.
July 29, 2008 10:04 PM ET | Delete
Also Manny's situation has NOTHING to do with his contract. Manny simply wants out of Boston and Boston doesn't want Manny there and will just not take his extra 2 year option at the end of his contract. Manny wanting to leave Boston is not even a money issue. Lets do your homework here before you post such a blog. The real problem lies in the NFL in which contracts are not guaranteed so that gives the teams 100% leverage on the contracts and that results in players holding out to gain leverage back when they feel they are underpaid. In the NFL if players do not do well they can simply get cut but when they go above and beyond what their contract is worth they shouldn't get more money? The problem there lies with teams having too much leverage with contracts.
July 30, 2008 8:07 AM ET | Delete
And Manny has certaintly lived up to the deal he signed. He was a HUGE part of both World Series and a consistent bat in one of the best lineups in baseball for years. Manny is Manny he has always had off the field issues and has always taken games off for one reason or another, that's just how he is. But it has not effected the team since he has been there as they have been either the best or one of the best teams in baseball. I would take Manny on the Phillies and sign him to a huge deal, in a split second. He is one of the top hitters in baseball. IN 8 years he has batted under 300 twice and has never batted under 292. I will take that on my team any day and deal with the rest of it. Just like the Eagles should have paid Owens and dealt with the BS.
July 30, 2008 8:56 AM ET | Delete
hey Richards18, i agree with you that my post was a stretch. it wasn't intended to be 100% factually correct. it was intended to generate a discussion about a trend of pro players not being loyal to their teams, whether that be contract-related or in some other way. basically saying pro sports isn't what it used to be, and trying to generate a discussion about what that COULD mean for the future.
July 30, 2008 4:48 PM ET | Delete
No, no, no rdfred. BOTH parties should be forced to abide the contract they signed, not just the player. I would love to see the owner imprisoned as well for breaching a contract he signed. Integrity in the sports we enjoy is a must, and I'm beyond passionate about that. I knew no-one would agree with imprisoning one of the parties, hence why I made an alternate plan to fix this mess, a simple one. If you cannot abide to the contract that you signed, then you should be REMOVED from the league, a league is only as good as the filth that run it and the filth that play within it's system. A pro athlete or owner should not be subjected to any more special treatment than you or I on the basis of a contract they agreed upon.THE SIMPLE SOLUTION: Play out your contract for what you signed or a lucrative fine and removal from the league should be applied to you. If you are an owner all team assets should be forfeited upon you not abiding to your contract. There is no reason for men making millions of dollars to not abide in the contract they signed, that is gluttonous and despicable. Greed should not be tolerate in the NHL or ANY other league, children are watching these athletes and they regard many as heroes. What does it teach a child watching a hold out about the game? That if they don't want to do something they agreed to do via contract signing, they can just not do it? NO, do what you signed to do or be PUNISHED severely. I realize my course of action is a bit extreme, but my ideas work, that being that there should be big repercussions for not abiding in one's word. A man is only as good as his word.
July 31, 2008 12:24 PM ET | Delete
I'm from the old school where a man's word is his bond. I guess the professional athletes and the owners of today are of the new school - contract, what contract?
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