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NFL reality in the middle of the corona virus: players should sign now and hope for a better offer later

There is some very simple advice that the NFLPA should give to every player who is currently on a franchise day: sign it. Sign it now. Don’t play around.

The economic climate in the NFL has certainly cooled, even if some buildings around the league reopen in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. The market has stalled – though not completely closed, except in the case of some superstar quarterback negotiations – and there is a strong feeling in the agent community that the well has dried up. The owners don’t even want to spend a little money at the moment, let alone dig deep to add external talent.

At the moment it is seller caution. Bad time to be a free agent who is still on the street. The bird in hand is the right way. 2020 was not a good year for many and NFL players are not an exclusion.

Nobody I spoke to expects spending habits to change until there is more clarity about what the 2020 season will actually look like. Wallets were largely posted indefinitely at the NFL front offices. Sure, things could still go well for Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson ̵

1; but they are extremes as generation QB talents with significant impact. They’re not the norm, and for guards like Brendan Scherff or Joe Thuney who were on $ 16 million tenders, they were wise to sign this bad boy some time ago.

And in the almost certain case that games are played without fans (maybe every game is played without fans and maybe not with a full 16-game season), agents don’t expect owners to be really open to business on larger transactions There is economic certainty as to which players will be paid in the event of a fanless and potentially compromised season.

“Show me the last deal of a consequence that was negotiated in the NFL,” said a prominent NFL agent who still has several high-profile players in the free market. “Nothing is being done. It’s over. Apart from a couple of quarterbacks, big contracts are only negotiated when the training camps are open in the summer.”

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I tend to agree … so secure these franchise deals and don’t give the owners a chance to cancel the day. Because this could have serious financial consequences for many of the players involved. The climate is simply not conducive to carrying out mega deals in extreme cases, and even the middle class – older, but still potentially effective pass-rushers like Cam Wake, Clay Matthews, Everson Griffen, Markus Golden and Mike Daniels stay on the road – it is badly squeezed.

Jadaveon Clowney, who was on the day a year ago but had the right to be taken off the table in 2020 as part of his trade from Houston to Seattle, remains the face of this dilemma. Having to mark him with a 20 percent increase in his salary for 2019 would have been a problem, but in retrospect, sitting on a day would be the best scenario for the earlier top overall selection.

Across the agent community, it is said that the supposedly “super lucrative” deal he had rejected from the Cleveland Browns would have been worth $ 12 million at its base. That’s a far cry from the over $ 20 million a year Clowney originally wanted for a long-term deal. It’s also way below the $ 16.8 million franchise day that Matthew Edge, the other defender, signed with the Ravens last week. It’s actually not that close.

Agents and players need to be aware of the talent that is still on the street and the possible options that NFL teams have to add potentially effective cheap labor. Almost everyone can be replaced in this league and the balance of power lies with the owners. In the case of Judon, his representatives at SportsStars certainly examined this landscape when they decided to advise their customer to sign his label.

“One hundred percent,” Agent Brian Mackler, who represents Judon with James Ivler and Jerard Roggio, told me last week. “We had two guys that I thought would be tagged this year – DJ Humphries, the left attacker for Arizona who could make a deal before the day, and then Matt (Judon). And if you were with me in February We would have had a completely different conversation.

“But we are in a different world now and I agree with you, Jason, there are many good football players and the economy in the National Football League is likely to change this year from what it was in the past.”

The cold reality is that if the ravens had picked up the label for any reason – instead, they worked out a compromise with Judon as to whether he should be called a defensive end or linebacker for the purposes of the label – might have been forced to do so to take a financial blow. Again, the Ravens are in Super Bowl-or-Bust mode and unable to lose their best outside pass rusher, but if they had drawn the day, the executives I spoke to would have guessed that Judon might Has considered $ 8 to $ 10 million payday. And that’s the same area that several executives I’ve spoken to have been rated for Clowney given the current state of the NFL.

Will Clowney end up getting more than the $ 17 million Judon just saved? I tend to doubt it very much; Maybe in summer when a top team loses an elite defender due to an injury. Otherwise, I think the market has spoken. The Chiefs were never likely to be able to make a long-term deal with Stud Defensive Tackle Chris Jones, and like the Baltimore and Judon case, they’re likely to hire that player for another year to try a Lombardi to win with him before moving on to a mega deal elsewhere. Both teams have a lot of young talents that can still be locked up after such a good design.

This is a first world problem. A good one for the teams. As far as players are concerned, now is the time to bet on safety, ensure that you have committed to these salaries, and hope for the best possible offer as the new economic norms of professional sports in the COVID era- 19 for the NFL and NFLPA too.

As we see in baseball, searching these new fiscal realities is far from easy, and from a health and safety point of view, let alone bargaining, there is still a lot of work to be done before these checks are deposited directly into an account.

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