I wrote a letter to the NFLPA this spring, telling them that there was one thing they had to do during the lockout. It was pretty simple, I’d like to see football in September, but my biggest thing was, please get rid of the franchise tag.
Actually, it wasn’t quite that simple.
My take was, and is, I don’t like the position it puts me in as a fan and an observer when a guy gets franchised and wants to be a free agent, so he decides to sit out.
It’s really been the only effective recourse for players against the franchise tag, and while I understood why players did it, I was still bothered by this; they signed a contract, they voted for the CBA and they didn’t hold to it.
Well this spring they went to the mat. They held football hostage (so did the owners, but both parties equally did not compromise in March). So they had their negotiating sessions, at the cost of free agency, and mini camps, and OTA’s. They had a chance to get rid of it and they didn’t.
So when Adrian Peterson, or Patrick Willis, or whoever sits out because he doesn’t like the tag, I have a new take on it.
You guys voted. If you don’t like your new government, tough cookies. You screwed yourselves this time around boys. You have a brilliant new leader (hashtag d smith is a bad man), all the marquis names signed on to an antitrust suit (Brees, Brady, Manning), and everything that comes with it.
You had the owners’ collective balls in a vice, and you didn’t use it to get rid of that god awful slap in the face to the free market. Next time it bites one of you in the ass, I’m pro-team all the way.
I have been on your side for a while now. For years when people who just want my opinion or value my football knowledge have asked, any discussion of NFL contracts have usually ended in my saying, “These players get screwed all the time.”
I oppose the blanket rule against guaranteed contracts. I don’t like the franchise tag. I generally think the owners abuse labor every time the CBA is on the table for (re)negotiation.
During this labor battle, I am still in your corner. You should fix this relationship with the owners. You should expose their shenanigans. And now, for the first time in my lifetime, you appear to have the leadership and the public good will to do it.
That said, get it right. Not counting the guys who will hold out this year because of the franchise tag, I have defended my last tag-ee.
You have the power to go to the mat with the owners over this. They appear to be headed there anyway, why not fight for something while you’re there?
The franchise tag sucks, but I’m done defending you in the daily water cooler discussions if you don’t fix it. Average citizens don’t protest their government’s actions by refusing to pay taxes. They don’t say I’m not going to work until you lower my tax rate or give me what I want. They VOTE.
Well it’s election day, gentlemen. Go get the system you want, because if you agree to a CBA, that still has the tag, I won’t side with the next Logan Mankins.
The Democratic Fanatic