If Rod Tidwell were an NFL Free Agent Today, I would not Show Him the Money

Fans of Jerry Maguire will recall that Rod Tidwell had two main justifications as to why Jerry ought to “show him the money.”

Rod goes across the middle and makes the tough catches.  Those are the reasons that Arizona is supposed to pay him.  Later on in the movie, we see exactly why Rod deserves the money.  He “goes across the middle” and catches a ball which lines him up to get leveled.

The point is, when Jerry Maguire was released in 1996, these hits were a part of the game.

More recent cultural fixtures than this have been made irrelevant by the kind of rules we saw enforced yesterday.  Is Hines Ward worth $6 million a year in Pittsburgh?  Is there any point in investing in a wideout like that?  A Rod Tidwell prototype from the real world?

And for that matter, is there any reason to invest in a John Lynch (to return to the Jerry Maguire era) or a Brandon Meriweather?  Why bother making it intimidating for people to go over the middle if it is now illegal to follow through on the threat of physical punishment for running into the defense’s wheel-house?

As an extension of those questions, should we allow gang tackling?  That’s an easy way to get hurt.  Maybe we should institute a third man in rule, similar to what the NHL has, to protect stray limbs and such from being injured in a pile.

Wait a minute, people get hurt all the time when they’re tackled in the open field.  We can’t have that, it’s too big a risk.  Perhaps the NFL needs to consider certain tackling alternatives.  Flags?  Two Hand Touch?  Please use the comments section to make suggestions.  I’m just trying to stop people from getting hurt…