Thursday, June 12, 2008

No New Contract, No Problem?

First of all, I appreciate your patience right now. As I am writing this, almost 80,000 in the Lansing area are still without power. My office has been very busy taking care of claims related to the storm and helping people get back to where they were before the damage occurred. However, on top of that, we are still trying to keep up with our day-to-day claims, sales, and service that does not go away just because we had 4 nights of windstorms. Please keep those who were affected in your thoughts, and remember to appreciate what you have.

Important things like family, food, and dry shelter.

Also, not so important things like Internet access, lights at night, and computers.

Now, onto football. I saw a story last night (I'm sure later than everyone here ) about Plaxico Burress holding out of Giants practices until he gets a new contract. He is apparently unhappy with the contract he signed in 2005, and wants a bigger payday. While it's true he is only making about $3.25 million compared to TO and Moss at about 9 mill each per year (based on overall contract average) and Fitzgerald at 10 mil he is not even close to the "highest paid WR" -- but lets also not forget that Mr. Burress also received one heck of a signing bonus in 2005 that is not included in that annual number.

It seems to be the norm these days for players -- WR especially -- to point at their current base salary compared to the annual average compensation on a new deal for a WR and omit the SB. If you take Plaxico's signing bonus into account, then he is "making" closer to 4.5 mil this year. While that doesn't put him with the big boys, it is pretty good compensation for a WR coming off in year in which, although he performed on Sundays, didn't practice the entire season -- and missed game time -- due to a host of nagging injuries.

I also thought of Chad Johnson and his "Oucho-Cinco" ifseseason moves. Even if he does play for the Bengals, his current payscale -- again including a bonus he received for re-upping in 2006 -- just two seasons ago -- is right there with what other top WR who signed contracts then are getting.

That brought me to Roy Williams and this thought:

Lions fans under appreciate what they have in Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson. Especially Roy Williams.

Then, as I was finding articles for this piece, I ran across this article where Roy once again answered inane questions about his contract to the Detroit Media.

All of the negative Roy talk, especially as trade rumors swirled, further reiterates my point. While Calvin Johnson - on the field -- is most often associated with TO or Moss, Roy is always referred to as more of a, well -- Plaxico Burress. While he is a top flite wideout, he is not likely to be a hall of famer. He likes to talk, and needs to work on his concentration at times --- although, with the teams he was surrounded by, the coaching and offensive changes -- not to mention Joey throwing the ball at his feet his first few years in the league -- yet he still remains an optimist.

So what if he likes to celebrate first downs and try to pump up his team? He learned his lesson about tipping the pizza guy when -- after catching flak for the article -- he spent two nights as a delivery driver, giving the proceeds to charity (sorry, my link was broken and I couldn't find the story again in short order -- it was from last year.) He supports his team and his QB, and doesn't talk trash about the organization nor his contract even when pressed by the controversy loving media.

Roy is, despite being outspoken, a very team-oriented buy. Don't look at words - look at actions. TO has always talked about being for the team -- and does the opposite. Same for Chad Johnson. Roy may trash talk opponents, or make brash statements about how good the team is -- but he doesn't dis his team, and is certainly a hard worker for the team. Many players have ifseason residences outside of Detroit (wouldn't you?).

But the media only makes a big deal about Roy going home because the National Media think RW is a great talent, wasted on a team like Detroit. They wouldn't want to play for *snort* the Lions -- why should he?

Don't get me wrong, Roy is far from perfect -- but his flaws, in comparison to the others at his level of talent at his position -- are about as harmless as you get. Roy also understands the business side of the league better than he lets on. The national media and many fans say "they have to sign Roy now. If they don't' sign him to an extension now, he's gone."

Why? He is not complaining about his base salary -- which at 5.4 million is above that of Burress and Ocho-Carpo -- and he knows that next year he is going to get paid -- so long as he plays back to pro-bowl form after his injury last year. The big reason the Lions haven't resigned him is that they can't. They DO NOT have the cap room. Think 4 mil in cap space is enough to resign him, much less make it through the season with injuries, etc.? Roy is too smart not to know this. Both he and the Lions know that they will start negotiating right after the season. They may have to franchise him. If his value is high enough, they may even trade him rather than tie up 9 mil in cap space. Or he could play a year under the franchise tender and go from there. Roy is not the type of player that will needlessly take it personally that he gets hit with the franchise tag and pout -- he sees it for what it is -- acknowledgement that you are so good at your position, you are worth at least two first round picks -- just to start.

What are Roy or the Lions supposed to say differently? "We have so much cap space taken up by screwed up former top ten picks and dumb FA signings that we can't afford to resign Stephen Peterman to a new long term deal, much less Roy. Maybe next year when we're supposed to have gads of cap space it'll get done." Personally, I just want to hear someone say the obvious just to get the media off of their Roy fixation and onto reporting things like how other players are progressing, etc.

Roy may talk -- but if you look back, it's all about the team -- the good of the team. And that is talk he backs up with action. He, despite working off his rookie deal from 2004, has not asked for a contract re-structuring to pay him more. Nor has he staged public holdouts complaining about management, coaching (for the most part excepting after Martz left), his contract, or even his team.

We are very lucky to have Roy in Detroit, and my gut instinct says that he will be here for many more years to come -- and that he and CJ will be the new Harrison/Wayne, Bruce/Holt, Fitzgerald/Boldin combo. And we won't even have to endure workouts in the front yard, bratty whining about being underpaid, holdouts, or attempts to hold the team hostage even if the cap space isn't there.

Roy's making over $5 million dollars this year to play football, play well, and earn the right to get even more dough next year -- At least he is smart enough to know a good thing when he sees it. Are Lions fans?


CHIEFGER139 said...

I question roys missing the plane and other excuses lately. Im not so sure he is so motivated to do well. I guess time will tell, I think both parties are temporarially stuck with each other. If we do actually make the playoffs and roy is a big part of that we will keep him and figure the 10 mil is worth it. However if we fall way short and bigger needs become available wouldnt surprise me if we let roy go elsewhere and sign a much cheaper mc donald to replace him at 1/2 the price. This season will tell us a bunch on where were at-actually the preseason will tell us a bunch-theres so many new faces on this team who knows what we have??

Anonymous said...


Don't try putting too much into that, either.

Remember, weather grounded Roy for the Thursday and Friday flights. The following Monday was Roy's fault.

Barry Sanders never did OTA's.

I know Barry was committed.

When you would watch warm-ups in practice or on game day, Barry would run each and every 40 yard sprint 100% until he crossed the 40th yard. He wouldn't quit doing side steps at 38 yards; he did everything full tilt and 100% even in practice. I never saw him take a short cut. Not once in 30 minutes of cals and stretching. That's why he was amazing.

I am not worried about Roy missing a few days now. Roy holding out of training camp would worry me.

Tatum Bell missing a few days because he felt like getting married doesn't worry me.

CJ missing a few days to be with his dad having heart surgery.

What really doesn't worry me---is the simple fact that Lions press people don't have a clue of where their Lions are until a few days go by. I love it. All these reporters are stonewalled. I love it.

No reporter had a clue of where Tatum Bell was, and detfan1979 out punches them. I truly love it.

Not because the reporters look bad (BONUS!!!) It means that this team is tight, respects their coach, and knows the iomportance that the only opinion that matters is their own.