Grand Designs Podcast – Episode 24 – NFL Hold Outs Transcript

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Jerry:                                     00:20                     This is Grand Designs Podcast with DJ and Jerry Grand, where we link the chains of reason of sports politics and culture.

DJ:                                          00:30                     Thank you so much for taking the time to tune into the grand design podcast on DJ Grand. And I’m here with my brother Jerry.

Jerry:                                     00:43                     Hello.

DJ:                                          00:44                     I first want to tell you how to get a hold of us. Our website is Our email is GrandDesignsPodcast@Yahoo. You can follow us on Twitter at GrandDesignsPod and Instagram is GrandDesignspodcast. Today’s topic we’re going to be talking about holdouts from the NFL. Are they ethical? Should they happen?

Jerry:                                     01:08                     Well, we have to start with the owners. What’s their side? Obviously what’s the player’s side? Because those are the two sides, uh, the owners and where’s it start from? But the owners, obviously they have their profits and they have a profit margin and they can only pay so many star players, so much money. But as we go through these years, uh, Le’Veon Bell last year holding out has pretty much changed the format of how these players are trying to get more money. And the question that I want to ask is should the iron of their contract? For example, is Ezekiel Elliott right now is holding out, he signed a five year deal. He’s on year four right now. He’s got two years left. Should he honor that contract?

DJ:                                          01:49                     I think he should. If you sign a contract you should do it for the length of the contract. I don’t think the holding out is necessary. I get, I understand (it and) we’ll get into the reasons why they do it but I still don’t think that is more compelling than your word. You signed a contract.

Jerry:                                     02:04                     But if we go back years, decades, even since we were kids watching football, it was when we were little kids you didn’t hear much of this. But as the NFL made more money, you start hearing players wanting to renegotiate before the contract runs out and now it is just gotten to a ridiculous situation to where, why even have the contracts? Cause they’re going to break them or they’re going to hold out. Melvin Gordon, he’s doing a complete 180 on the chargers and he’s holding out. So it’s really what has caused this? What’s the reason for all these players doing this all of a sudden now?

DJ:                                          02:35                     Well, part of it is the fact that the nature of the business, it’s a rough league and usually, it’s three years, four years, five years tops, average now. I’m not talking about Tom Brady. What? I’m running backs, they get hurt a lot. I mean it wears and tears on their body and I get that they, because of that, they want to make as much as they can, but that doesn’t make it right to go against your word.

Jerry:                                     03:01                     You said correctly. They want their money and they want an asap. They want, they want to take care of their families and their futures and their kids beyond. The problem is again, like you said, they should honor that contract, but they don’t. And then you have two players right now. Let’s go back last year because two things really changed the format of how these contracts are now dealt with. In the uh, they were earthquake changing and that was Le’Veon Bell and Todd Gurley. Le’Veon Bell basically told the Steelers, hey I’m not coming back until you negotiate. And I think they thought it was blocked him cause he did this several years before. But he always came back in the last (days) of training camp cause they thought not many veterans like training camp but this, this year and he sat the whole season. Now you have players…

DJ:                                          03:42                     Last year

Jerry:                                     03:42                     I’m sorry. Yes, last year now last year Todd Gurley also signed a $57 million contract. That just went ditch it all through the whole shape. Now Ezekiel Elliott, he wants to top that before he gets because he’s on year three. If the average four years there is a chance he may get injured and never see that money. So that’s why he wants that money now.

DJ:                                          04:05                     Oh, I get that. They want (it) because they’re getting injured. They’re getting injured (and) that they want to take get it while they can. I totally understand that. But sign that contract that, so you get it while you can in that first year.

Jerry:                                     04:19                     They’re not going to do that, especially the NFL because if we go back and I call it the Matthew Stafford Syndrome, but it’s really, that’s not right. I shouldn’t write to Matthew cause he was just the last quarterback to come out when he just got an outrageous contract without even throwing one pass, not playing one down. And a lot of the veterans just had a problem cause this was happening year after year. The number one draft pick number two and three, they’re making more than some of the veterans. So the NFL wasn’t, not the NFL decided but they negotiated and the union collectively bargained that there was a new rookie contract system and the system basically says, I don’t know if it’s a five year contract or a six year contract and yes, I don’t know what the cap may be, but Ezekiel Elliott makes $6.5 million on his current rookie contract. That’s a lot of money.

DJ:                                          05:02                     That’s part of the problem. I think the length of the rookie contract is what hurts them because it holds them into for six years when really should only do it for one or two years and then renegotiate.

Jerry:                                     05:15                     Now Ezekiel Elliott has led the NFL in rushing in the first three seasons of his career, only two other people have done that and that’s Earl Campbell and James Brown, so that puts him in an elite company. Now, Todd Gurley did not do that. I don’t think Todd Gurley has been in the year this, this would be his third year if I’m not mistaken. Yes sir. Last year was year three and in the middle of his second year now and he had a five year contract, too. He then goes to sign for $57 million, 500 of which a 21 million was totally guaranteed $21,000,900. Now that just changed out Ezekiel, that was a second year. Other owners in the NFL did not like the Rams doing that because now Ezekiel Elliott a) wants to do the same thing and, and he’s going to hold out. Same thing with Melvin Gordon. We have two running back to him at the same time, but the owners want to put a limit at 57 million, which means they do not want to exceed that Todd Gurley money. Elliot had made it clear I want more than him. Now think about it. He’s done something that Todd Gurley hasn’t done. Now, Jim Brown and Earl Campbell, those were legendary backs. So when you have the negotiating and these, and this was the agent comes in, they negotiate for them and they know the NFL has got just a ton of money. They understand and where it’s available and coming from. So they’re going to set the market and that’s what happened with Gurley. He set the market, but I don’t think the owners are going to let that stand.

DJ:                                          06:34                     A part of the problem or the nature of the beast, I guess is the unions and the agents because both of them are looking out for themselves. They’re not looking out for the players and not looking out for the NFL. They say they’re looking out for the players, but no, they’re still looking out for themselves.

Jerry:                                     06:49                     Don’t think the union did running backs, and this is kind of hard to explain, but I don’t think the union did the running backs any favors and the NFL is making rules to protect the quarterbacks and those are the glory boys. They’re getting all the money, so they’re lasting. Tom Brady 20 years, a lot longer than you know, back off when Johnny Unitas, Dan Marino, Joe Theisman played. Again, Tom Brady’s played 20 years running backs, average three and there’s a chance that they’re walking like Earl Campbell who can’t right now. So they’re trying to get their.

DJ:                                          07:19                     Joe Namath can’t walk. He’s a quarterback.

Jerry:                                     07:22                     How many years of joining with play?

DJ:                                          07:23                     He played a lot.

Jerry:                                     07:25                     Again, but again, here we go back in Joe Namath. That was, that was back when, I guess the men played. Right now. I mean, come on, Deacon Jones. There’s some other ones, the fearsome foursome. They were out to kill quarterbacks. Those guys would’ve been kicked out of games left and right in today’s league where they’re protected. I wonder what Nameth with what had done in today’s league. Same thing with Marino. You know it’s a passing game now, and the rules are you can’t call roughing the quarterback. I’ve seen some. Pretty Weird, they came even touch (them). You might as well put flags on the quarterback. The point being is to protect in the quarterback, but not the running backs. Running backs are done in three years. So I kind of see where again, it is the, where I’m kind of baffled. $6.5 million is a lot of money. That’s what Elliott’s making. He wants 14 million a year. He wants, you know, literally to more than double that salary. Is that greed? Is that rational self-interest, greed?

DJ:                                          08:15                     Are they forced to sign a six year deal as a rookie?

Jerry:                                     08:19                     You see, I think, I don’t know. I’m not sure, but I think, there’s a length of the CBA negotiated that the, there’s a three year, five year, I think it’s five because…

DJ:                                          08:29                     And they have to sign five years. They can’t sign one or two? It must be five?

Jerry:                                     08:32                     I believe. I think that there’s, I don’t want to quote myself, I’m going to say just to guess yes, that they have to go through a five year contract because I know Gurley had a five year, but again, he re-upped to in year two.

DJ:                                          08:43                     That I think it’s part of the problem. They shouldn’t have to be forced to sign that long of a contract. Especially sense their average career is only three to four years. That takes off their, their whole, almost their whole career that I see as wrong.

Jerry:                                     08:58                     That’s where I’m saying the CBA didn’t do any favors to the running backs. Now there’s, that’s what I’m saying. This next one, not only, I mean, do they want to, the union want to break down the owners, but they’re going to hold out for the running backs, now. That you know literally, I don’t know how they’re going to word it, but the running backs are getting screwed. So now Ezekiel Elliott is holding out, Melvin Gordon is holding out. It’s just turned into this melee. How do you solve it?

DJ:                                          09:23                     I think, now this is just speculation on my part. You should use the NHL model. That’s how I would solve it. That doesn’t mean it’s right and I don’t think the agents nor the union will go for it, but you make it a one or two years, you cap it, you give them a certain level. Now that’s an X, you can negotiate between them what that would be based on the NFL revenues. So they’re not getting that short change, but that gives them the opportunity to perform for one or two years and then renegotiate their contract. Now if they’re going to hold on after one, then I would say, you can extend your rookie contract.

Jerry:                                     09:59                     I could just tell you right now, Barry Sanders comes out and does what he did his rookie year. He’s not playing the second year until he gets that.

DJ:                                          10:04                     Like I just said. Then you can then your rookie contract is extended for however long you hold out. That way, that rookie contract and stay three, four years. If you hold out two years, if you hold out then you extend it. But if you don’t then you after two years you can renegotiate and get that the money that is Ezekiel Elliott is searching.

Jerry:                                     10:23                     I’m not sure if it’s a middle ground, but if you gave them the one year then they had that one year to prove himself and they get their big money, their 26 million. If they’re good enough to get at 17 million a year. However, um, well that does all the complaint of the veterans saying this guy hasn’t played one down. He’s played one season now. So he…

DJ:                                          10:42                     It’s twofold. It also solves a problem them playing, the rookie contract being longer than it should be. So it so that way they can renegotiate earlier and don’t have to sign a six year contract and then hold out on year four. Cause the contract will be done after two, they can renegotiate it and get the money they want and at that point you can, you should be able to do it for the length that you want or you can get and then…

Jerry:                                     11:06                     But like you said earlier, the agents and they really got their hands in on this and I know they’re lobbying the union before all the contract negotiations. I think they really pushed it. They would, they like longer contracts and they also know full well that that contract is made to be broken. It will not last, especially if they exceed expectations. They’re going to go back and my client’s going to hold out and Calvin Johnson did it. I mean it’s happen(ed) all the time. It’s only gotten worse after Le’Veon Bell held out the whole season.

DJ:                                          11:34                     Just cause it happens all the time, doesn’t mean it’s justified. I mean in the real world, if you go into a corporation and you just outperform everybody your first or second year, does that mean you get to renegotiate right away and you get CEO level of compensation? I totally don’t see that as justification.

Jerry:                                     11:51                     I don’t like using the real compared to NFL cause it’s, it’s not real world. It’s just, it’s not a, it’s a kid’s game and a business at the same time. And you got the NFL making what, 14, 15 billion a year in revenue. So, I can see the players, agents, while I don’t agree with the union, I can say, I can see them saying we want half of that 14 billion, the owners get seven, we get, the players get seven. And then you’ve now got the whole thing of negotiating the contracts and this is where the agents come in and to lobby the union saying, listen, we, we liked the long-term contracts because we want our clients to be able to renegotiate (at) whatever point.

DJ:                                          12:29                     They want, the bigger contracts, so they get a bigger percentage. I think the agents are out for themselves.

Jerry:                                     12:33                     Oh, absolutely and that’s the problem. When you had the agents involved, they’re always going to be looking out for themselves included cause now they know off the bat they have no leverage on a one year contract, none whatsoever. And actually takes it out of their hand a little bit because hey your guy did bad last year. We’re not going to pay him what we paid them last year cause look at the results.

DJ:                                          12:52                     Well, the opposite of that coin, like you said, is Ezekiel Elliott did really good these last three years. He then would be able to get the big money after the one or two years. So it’s, it can work both ways.

Jerry:                                     13:02                     Do you truly, again, Elliott, Sanders, they’re there, the freaks, they’re rare talents. Can you just say one year is a good judgment that hey, that’s a one year I can pay that guy 14 million a year or should they get it approve themselves over and that’s where it comes in. Shouldn’t that guy whom suffer a couple three years that age is durable? Now we get back to the question. I know that you brought up, a running back cannot last that long, but at what point do you one year?

DJ:                                          13:27                     I think two that gives you, that lets you prove that it wasn’t just a fluke season. You do it twice, you’ve proven yourself. It doesn’t matter to me that they won’t go for it. It doesn’t matter to me if the union won’t go for it and what I’m trying to solve here is the hold out problem. I really believe the rookie hold out problem I think guys are going to hold out later because they think they get screwed later in their career.

Jerry:                                     13:49                     Antonio Brown.

DJ:                                          13:50                     But I’m talking about the rookie hold out with all of the contract, the rookie contract last too long causing like Ezekiel Elliott is a perfect example, where his rookie contract, he’s outperformed at any, he should renew it. Now, if you, if he only signed a two year contract and that was mandatory for all rookies coming in and they would be capped so that once again they can negotiate what that cap is. I’m not saying it has to be $1 million. I’m not saying it has to be $10 million. It can be negotiated with their unions and the owners, but once they establish what the given market is then they should be held to it for that one, two years and then they can renegotiate and that will stop the rookie holdouts.

Jerry:                                     14:32                     Always think but I always think every with a two, with a more than a one year contract, you’re going to have, I think his name is Drew Rosenhaus. He’s a very famous agent along with Scott Boris. Those guys are not going to a, if it’s a two year contract, I’m, they will tell their client and they will basically go on the media and say, I’m just going to. I don’t, I don’t know who representing Ezekiel Elliott. But Boris goes and says, my client just did things that Jim Campbell and Earl, sorry, Jim Brown, Earl Campbell didn’t do. He deserves top notch money right now. After one year I want to renegotiate and if we don’t renegotiate, he’s going to hold out. So we’re back to the same what we’re talking about right now. This guy (is) just going to hold out.

DJ:                                          15:13                     Once again in the rookie contract you put a stipulation in there that if you hold out, it extends. It will always extend that rookie contract.

Jerry:                                     15:22                     I like the idea. I do, I do, but I don’t think the union would ever agree to that and they’ve already got a couple of reasons why they want to lengthen this uh, the 2020 negotiation toward there won’t be a 20, 20 season. That’s just going to add to it.

DJ:                                          15:36                     It doesn’t matter to me what the Union thinks. It doesn’t matter to me what the agents think. What matters to me is an ethical side of it, right or wrong, and I think you should hold, you should hold to your word and when you sign a contract that is equivalent to your word, ethically, the right thing to do is to fulfill your word. And if you shortened the length of the contract, it makes it easier for these players to actually do that, to fulfill their word, to be moral people and not hold out. Cause I don’t think holding out is necessary even though it’s a good bargaining chip that works. Yeah. Tactic. It works for them. I don’t think it’s a moral thing to do because you’re going against your word. It’s equivalent to lying to me. You’re saying, I will be here for three years, but no, after two I’m not going to be here anymore. That’s a lie.

Jerry:                                     16:26                     And you’re describing a state of the league that was back in the 60s, 70s, but it started going away in the late 70s toward the 80s and when the money started coming in, and that’s what this boils down to. They themselves, the agent, like you said, from themselves, but they want their clients. It’s almost like the Jerry Maguire movie. Show me the money, show me the money now.

DJ:                                          16:44                     You can be shown the money after the rookie contract, after the two years…

Jerry:                                     16:48                     Again.

DJ:                                          16:48                     When you’ve earned it.

Jerry:                                     16:49                     I love the idea how, look if you hold out, if you’re not a rookie for another extra year. I get it. I love it. But again, I really don’t think, I know you don’t care. You made that clear, but they’re not going to agree to that. That’s not going to happen. There’s no way that’s going to be in the contract because A. the union wants to make as much money for their clients. All the players, not clients. All of their membership I should call it. And then the, yeah the agents on top. Yeah. They want their money and they’re not going to let their client hold out. Cause if they would hold out and then it extended, they lose all their lucky, what you call the tactic bargaining chip is gone. Yeah, I agree that that’s why the CBA or the union will not agree to it. The union will say no, we’ll give them a two or three year but they can hold out and they do, if they put up numbers that are astronomical, it’s no different than a veteran who’s been in the league and he signed four different contracts but after the fifth contract, he blew the numbers out of the water and now he demanded a trade cause he wants Antonio Brown money cause he does things that Antonio Brown didn’t do.

DJ:                                          17:48                     Even though I’m putting the restrictions on those veterans, they are just as wrong for holding out. If they signed for that big money and they end up, someone else gets a bigger contract, they should perform during their contract and then negotiate for that big money once their contracts over. I’m just trying to stop the holdouts within the rookie contract the, five, six years of the beginning of their career. The rest of them, they’re just as wrong. But there’s no way you’re going to stop them from holding out. I don’t know how, I haven’t come up with it.

Jerry:                                     18:17                     I think with the entitlement thinking that our younger generation has now, that they’re going to come out and it’s just, it’s not, it’s almost like stamping little babies. They’re not getting their way as far as the agents. So, how am I going to say this? That they want to get their clients where they can hold out and yes, she got the unions. Again, they’re saying they’re looking out for all membership. Now, It’s almost like, I think what would happen if it went through in your ideal pass and the union agreed to it. Now you’re going to have these rookies doing what Antonio Brown (did) and I think he was advised by his agent to do what he did. And Antonio Brown didn’t hold out last year. You know what he did. He basically jumped ship, almost like a mutiny, didn’t show up for practice and then he got benched. He almost kind of like threw a fit that he would be traded or almost kicked off the team. I mean he did things like a pouting child. So, how I’m referring it back to these rookie contracts. You get a rookie that and their agent says, look, you can’t hold out because if you do, your contract was three years now it’s going to be four years. So now go there, but go do half. Don’t show up at practice, be late, take the fines. Be, in other words, be a poison in your locker room.

DJ:                                          19:28                     Be pragmatic, which I think is evil..

Jerry:                                     19:30                     Which is what.

DJ:                                          19:31                     That does, that doesn’t make you, I’m trying to stop the bad ethics of holding out and you’re replacing it with another one bad ethic.

Jerry:                                     19:39                     I know what you’re doing, but I’m trying to tell you what will happen. I’m not replacing it. You will have these players that will be advised by these slime agents.

DJ:                                          19:47                     I didn’t mean you. I meant the players are..

Jerry:                                     19:47                     I know, I know. And they’re basically, well, they’re acting out like a little child and I know it’s not them, it’s the agent saying, listen, this is wrong.

DJ:                                          19:56                     Didn’t I already say the agents are bad, just as the unions are bad? I already said that. So that’s been established.

Jerry:                                     20:00                     How do you get rid of the agents? You can’t.

DJ:                                          20:02                     I’m not saying get rid of them, but harness, at least the beginning of the career and that way it lessens their power. The agents will have the power after the rookie contract, after they’ve established themselves. You’re right. They’re not going to go for it. You’re absolutely right and I don’t think that the union will go for it either. You never, look, where I got part of this idea from was where it actually happens in reality, in the NHL. They have a rookie contract. It’s based on age, but you have to sign for, if you’re between 18 and 21, it’s a three year contract between 22 and 23, a two year contract and over 24 it’s a one year contract. That was the template where I got the idea from. The numbers to me is like an Algebraic equation. It’s an x. It can mean any number, but it must mean some number and that’s for them to negotiate. But there’s no reason why I can’t see the rookie contract, can’t stick to these and you can even do this tier way with by position, cause we know running backs last longer. You could make them the one year and we know, instead of doing it by age or by position. And you know, kickers and quarterbacks last longer, they can do the three year one. There’s ways you can make this work to where it’s equitable. The question is, do they want it? And I agree with you, I don’t think the agents and the unions are going to want that.

Jerry:                                     21:28                     And that’s where I ask, I don’t know how the NHL got this. I don’t know how the union representative agreed to this, but okay. The problem, the only thing that I see with. How do I explain this? Hockey and football are almost like what I’m talking about with generation shift and back when we were growing up, when we did something wrong. We got yelled at. We literally admitted our guilt. Sorry, it won’t happen again and you didn’t make that same mistake twice. To where now it’s..

DJ:                                          21:54                     Oh, you think Brad Marchand admits his guilt and won’t make the same mistake twice? No, I think it still happens there. That attitude is still there. I don’t think It’s..

Jerry:                                     22:01                     No, I’m not talking on the ice. Okay. I’m talking off the ice, that these hockey players are more respectful and grateful that they’ll take that 900,000 or a million dollars. Now, again, the NHL only made $4 billion. They make a lot less, but still, I think that hockey player is just more of a, hey, I just want to play hockey. I’ll take 2 million. And if the union agreed to this contract, I’ll skate my butt off. Sidney Crosby did it. Uh, Connor Mcdavid, you pointed out, was the one who did it. And these guys are of god-like talent. But again, I think those two are a cut above. Yes, that’s how things ought to be.

DJ:                                          22:34                     But they were still harnessed to the contract. That’s the point.

Jerry:                                     22:37                     I know.

DJ:                                          22:37                     And these big stars in the NFL should be harnessed the same way.

Jerry:                                     22:40                     I don’t think there’s one NFL star that you can put to David and Crosby character and say that they’re both equal. Those guys have class.

DJ:                                          22:46                     I meant by talent, not character. I was talking about talent.

Jerry:                                     22:49                     Again with their talent, but that’s my point. Crosby, if you put Le’Veon Bell in hockey and he’s got Crosby skill, he’s not going to accept this contract, even as a rookie. He’s going to hold out. He’s going to say, hey, I’m more, whatever. I’m just saying that the attitude of the NFL player is not close. The NHL is more respectful.

DJ:                                          23:09                     He has no choice. Then you don’t sign. You don’t play. If you want to play in the NHL as a rookie, you must. This is in the CBA. You must adhere to this.

Jerry:                                     23:19                     Again.

DJ:                                          23:20                     So if it’s in the CVA for the NFL, I don’t care if you have that attitude or not. You must adhere to it or you don’t play and if they don’t play, they’re not going to get the million.

Jerry:                                     23:30                     I guess my point is, the NHL players aren’t going to complain about it. When Crosby had ungodly years, first rookie season, they thought this kid is the next one. He didn’t come out and say, I want more money.

DJ:                                          23:40                     I don’t know who did that.

Jerry:                                     23:40                     But an NFL player would.

DJ:                                          23:41                     I don’t agree with that because they have a union. They have gone strike, they’ve tried to, it doesn’t matter the strength or not. They have negotiated, they have gone on strike. They’ve done everything that the NFL players association can and will do and yet they negotiated for this for the rookies only and this is why I emphasize it for the rookie contracts only. It would at least stop those holdouts. It’s not going to stop Le’Veon Bell’s. It’s not going to stop what Antonio Brown does. The solution I have for the Antonio Brown situation is, other teams should shun him. Also, see here’s the where the pragmatism comes in, they only care about winning, so they won’t, they won’t shun him. They care about getting that prize at the end of the season. Instead of caring about principle, there’s the root of the problem. If they cared about principle, then they would shun him. They would not reward him for acting like the baby you’re saying he’s acting like. That is the problem.

Jerry:                                     24:37                     I completely agree. That’s never going to happen because you’re going to have a team like the Raiders, that will pay Antonio Brown to be that child because of the so called skill and athletic ability he brings to that team. I mean, even though they’ve seen what he did in the locker room as a poison to the Steelers, you still got that team that will go out there and do this. So you got NFL teams saying, we can’t let him go, because if we do, someone will scoop him up. Even though he’s a character and he’s a locker room problem, we can’t let him go.

DJ:                                          25:03                     That’s the problem. That’s part of the problem. If they would learn to let him go, then he would be punished without being punished. He’d be punished because no one would sign him.

Jerry:                                     25:14                     But okay. That’s only if the other 31 teams don’t sign him.

DJ:                                          25:17                     Wait a minute, I know they can do that because of Colin Kaepernick. They didn’t sign him. It’s possible. I’m not saying it was right or wrong what they did to Kaepernick, but I’m saying it’s possible because it happened to him.

Jerry:                                     25:30                     Okay, but I’m going to throw something that Kaepernick was different. If Kaepernick would of had Brady’s skills, the team would have, someone would of signed him. I don’t think that that was a collusion thing.

DJ:                                          25:41                     So you think you’re going to put Antonio Brown up, cause we were talking about Antonio Brown being the child.

Jerry:                                     25:45                     Yes.

DJ:                                          25:45                     You’re going to put Antonio Brown’s skills up with that of Brady and all the great ones. I don’t think he is.

Jerry:                                     25:51                     Yeah, no, yeah.

DJ:                                          25:51                     I think he’s like, even though, it’s different positions, I think it’s equivalent to Kaepernick.

Jerry:                                     25:57                     You know he’s done, no, no, not Antonio Brown. He’s done things. He’s special. He is a special player. He’s one of those ones. That’s what I’m trying to say, another team will scoop him up. There are other teams out there. They were just begging the Steelers to cut him, that they didn’t want to trade for him and the more it went, the more leveraged the other teams had. Why would we want to trade for them when we know for a fact you’re going to cut them after their season ends?

DJ:                                          26:16                     Okay, let’s just say you’re right. He is special and that could be the case. I’m not arguing that. It doesn’t mean the other teams could not stand and just say, no, I’m not doing that. Just like they did with Kaepernick..

Jerry:                                     26:28                     I guess what I’m saying is Kaepernick was special. Someone would’ve picked him up and they were with third that press hit, they would have went through it. I’m telling you, I really believe that the 32 ethical that thought..

DJ:                                          26:38                     It’s irrelevant.

Jerry:                                     26:38                     Kaepernick wasn’t good anymore.

DJ:                                          26:40                     But that’s irrelevant. The point is they still did it. They still did it and if they can do it for him, they can do it for Antonio Brown. That’s my point. If they stuck together. You’re right. There are weak, morally weak teams out there, the management’s morally weak, ownership community, morally weak and they will compromise. They’ll compromise on everything, just to get that glittering prize.

Jerry:                                     27:02                     Okay, I also think Kaepernick was a business decision too.

DJ:                                          27:05                     All of this is the business decision.

Jerry:                                     27:06                     Yes. But again, Antonio Brown was not going to bring negativity right away to the locker room. A distraction, from day one. Kaepernick brings that to every organization. And then an organization knows that and then you add up. Again, Antonio Brown had Kaepernick’s motive, the whole anthem stuff. You’re kneeling down with all his social injustice thing and he did what Kaepernick’s doing. Yes. Another team would have picked him up in a heartbeat. So what I’m trying to say is it’s one of two things, you’re saying the owners did it, but the owners did it because there were 32 teams who voluntarily said, I don’t want this guy on my team.

DJ:                                          27:40                     I agree. And they could, they could voluntarily agree, I don’t want Antonio Brown. The problem is they will compromise. I’m agreeing with you on this point. They will compromise, they will be the Raiders. But the fact that they did it with Kaepernick, it means they can do it within Antonio Brown. They choose not to, but they can.

Jerry:                                     27:57                     I understand that. But, I’m trying to say is, yeah, with a talent like that, it just won’t happen. So again, your rookie contract would be solved and I still think you’re going to have bad advice from the agents who act like attorneys to get my client more money.

DJ:                                          28:10                     Agents aren’t attorneys.

Jerry:                                     28:11                     Okay, well what they’re doing basically is saying, listen for you to (not) drag this out. Don’t give full effort. If they want full effort, they should pay you. And you’re getting these agents telling me, these guys are kids.

DJ:                                          28:21                     That could also be detrimental to them, cause if they don’t give the full effort, when they do end that small working contract, they won’t get the huge money cause they didn’t give the effort.

Jerry:                                     28:29                     What I was going to say is, if it’s a three year contract, the other first year he has a great year and he..

DJ:                                          28:34                     But I did it by position, what, you said three year contract, what position are we talking about now?

Jerry:                                     28:37                     Running back, running back.

DJ:                                          28:38                     I don’t think that should be that long, running back should be maximum two years contract, because the nature of their position, they could get hurt easily.

Jerry:                                     28:45                     I’ll tell you what, the two year contract answered my, I guess my flaw in the three year contract was. The agent will tell that player, okay, look, first year we want to negotiate. Ownership says no, you signed a three year deal and you’re going to hold to it, that’s the way it is. All right. Listen, you’re going to go through and go through the motion the second year. The third year is the contract year and every player in the (contract) year lights it up because that’s your next year. Now, also what we say is, if the plan is Ezekial Elliott were playing for the cowboys. You’re right. I’m going to go through the motions second year and I’m coming out. I’m going to shine my third year, but I’m not reupping with you.

DJ:                                          29:18                     They have that choice to go, if they’re a free agent, to go where they want to. That’s their freedom of volition.

Jerry:                                     29:25                     Correct, but that team just got split.

DJ:                                          29:27                     But with, oh well, you could get screwed. You could draft and sign the best player in history and he could break his knee in training camp and he can never ever play a game for you and you end up getting screwed. It’s no different. There’s a gamble in everything.

Jerry:                                     29:43                     No, you’re correct. No. Well, you don’t know what they’re going to turn out to be, but again, a version of Barry Sanders, you’re going to have that agent basically saying, we want to re-up, because he’s done things that no other running back has done.

DJ:                                          29:56                     Well, we have to stick it within the context of what I said. The running backs would have a chance to re-up sooner than virtually everyone else. And those, even those tiers could be negotiated with the Union and management. But I do think this is a template that could work in the NFL and any of this. It’s only the solution of rookies holding out. That’s it.

Jerry:                                     30:22                     I understand. I know, I understand. I just think when they negotiate the quarterbacks, they’re going to say, no way, whatever, we want that to, linemen, safety’s, whatever it may be.

DJ:                                          30:30                     Well, tell us what your opinion is on this. You can email us at, go to our website and you can get the podcast, as well as the transcript and sometimes the blog. Just let us know. Give us some kind of feedback. I want to thank you so much for listening to us. We appreciate every single listener that we can get, and we do get, this is the Grand Designs Podcast. Who are you listening to?

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