Is A Lockout Looming?

Drew Rosenhaus may be the ultimate negotiator in the NFL, but he may be the instigator of a future NFL lockout. Hearing the word “holdout” in the past five to seven years was never a major cause for concern. Approaching the 2005 season though, there is an alarming jump with new agreements not even close. Is this going to be good or bad for the future of the NFL?

This test group of athletes holding out for bigger demands will be the true indicator of how far player’s can test franchises. With the salary cap in affect in the NFL, it’s difficult for franchises to make everyone happy and maintain a great NFL team. It just can’t happen, and the greed needs to exit from player’s heads to realize that. The pay cuts and sacrifices are going to have to be made in order to keep their team on a level of Super Bowl contention.

Terrell Owens is a prime example. His main objective currently is more money. It’s looking highly doubtful that will happen, and if I were the Philadelphia Eagles general manager I wouldn’t budge either. Yet, Owens is needed for the immediate future as he was the main key ingredient in the offenses success last season. This was a team that nearly knocked off the Patriots and should be poised to head back. Instead this side show is going to throw them off a little bit, and likely make way for teams like the Falcons or Vikings.

What happened to athletes caring more about a ring as they get older? The will to winning has taking a backseat to money. Instantaneous success is what athletes want; both in their pockets and on the field. I guarantee if Owens were to get a new huge contract and the Eagles were to have a 5-11 season, Owens would be back in the news demanding a trade. The loyalty to franchises is being abused just as much on the player’s side of things, as from the front office to its players.

The tug of war battles can only be pulled back and forth so much, before one side breaks for good and is unhappy. The revenue in sports has resulted an increase in contracts since the early to mid 90’s, to where it is at today. Contracts have been stipulated by franchises to fit the criteria they fill should fit the bill of that athlete.

What it all boils down to, is that this contract was agreed upon from the get go. Athletes act like they’ve signed a life long contract, when it was a year or two ago that they put their signature on that piece of paper. Honoring that contract and earning every penny of it, should be their primary goal. Instead squabbling to earn millions of more dollars is in their head.

Dollar signs, dollar signs, and more dollar signs. That’s it.

This current stage is going to give the ten to twelve athletes currently holding out their joy. They’ll get signed, but its precedent is only going to cause ramifications in the very near future. The tip of the ice is just breaking, and when more and more athletes decide to holdout next season, the ice is going to crack. The year after that, it may break and that’s when a lockout may be lurking.

It’s outrageous that it will happen, but it’s the best reality show in tell in sports right now. The media and fans are watching the disputes occur back and forth like a childish argument.

Terrell Owens was recently on Sportscenter stating that NFL athletes should have a complete guaranteed contract like they do in the NBA. Wrong, with a roster as big as the NFL just times the “busts” of the Derek Anderson’s, Allan Houston’s, etc times three. The only guarantees should be the ones already implemented into NFL contracts, and those are incentives.

Maybe adjusting from the regular yearly incentives and turning it into recurring would be better. That way if an athlete keeps having Pro Bowl seasons, every season their bonus adds interest upon the bonus they received the previous.

Figuring out a new idea could be tossed around for days, months, and years, but until the ugliest of the situations occurs no one is going to actually sit down.


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