Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17
  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    52,271

    Hey NFL, ease up on sleaze

    Monday, March 27, 2006

    [size=18px]Hey NFL, ease up on sleaze[/size]

    By TED MILLER
    P-I COLUMNIST


    In lieu of crank phone calls or toilet papering the trees in front of the Minnesota Vikings practice facility, the Seahawks opted to take the high road.

    They played "get-backs," a term I learned a few years ago from a 12-year-old explaining why he dumped his cherry Kool-Aid on his friend's head.

    "He spit on my baloney sandwich!" explained the future NFL general manager or player agent.

    In their contract offer to Vikings receiver Nate Burleson last week -- a seven-year, $49 million deal that, not-coincidentally, is nearly identical to the one that whisked guard Steve Hutchinson away to the Vikings -- the Seahawks inserted their own "asymmetrical-impact clause," a phrase culled from Wikipedia's definition of "poison pill."

    (How fast does the Internet work? Wikipedia, a popular online encyclopedia that allows folks to create and edit entries, already includes the Hutchinson saga on its site, explaining the origin and meaning of the term "poison pill.").

    First, the Vikings disingenuously manipulated the contract process by including a stipulation that Hutchinson be his team's highest paid offensive lineman or he would be guaranteed the entire value of his contract, terms the Vikings could easily meet but the Seahawks couldn't.

    Tit.

    So the Seahawks, about a week later, disingenuously manipulated the contract process by including a stipulation that Burleson will be guaranteed his entire contract if he plays five games in the state of Minnesota during any season of the deal. He, of course, can only do that as a Viking.

    For tat.

    This just in. ... Burleson's contract also includes a stipulation that every time he wears a purple uniform in a game his coach must dress up like a pink bunny rabbit or Burleson is due the entire value of his contract.

    While Seahawks fans are understandably livid about what amounts to sleazy business practices leading to Hutchinson's departure -- not to mention a terrible brain cramp by their own team -- there is room for amusement as well as analysis.

    For one, these episodes are clearly the most entertaining of the NFL free agent scramble, which is annually an endless rumor-fest waterlogged by a droning litany describing the league's complicated economic system -- signing bonuses and franchise tags and guaranteed money and salary caps and blah, blah, blah.

    Who, other than ESPN's John Clayton, actually understands this stuff? Who wants to?

    But walk into any bar frequented by Seahawks fans these days and holler, "Transition tag!" See how that goes over.

    It's too bad that Hutchinson, typically a standup guy, walks away a villain. This is how he explained himself:

    "I knew about the clause. I knew it would be hard for Seattle to match, but again, I did what I thought was best for me and my family."

    Which means his agent told him that $49 million in Minneapolis is worth $57 million in Seattle, based on a cost-of-living adjustment. It was about the money.

    Bottom line: the Seahawks blew the Hutchinson deal.

    It would have cost an extra $500,000 to slap a franchise tag on him, and that would have protected the team's interests. While this is a case of hindsight being 20-20, Seahawks management is paid very well to be aware of the potential pitfalls involved in free agency, which includes understanding why the transition tag is so rarely used.

    That said, how can you not like their spunky riposte?

    They filled a need with an up-and-coming talent who should fit in well with Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram. And, almost as exciting, they pantsed the Vikings, permitting Seahawks fans to savor their own joyous moment of schadenfreude while the Vikings frump around about bad-faith business practices.

    Sleazy is entertaining, no doubt. How much fun will the Vikings' visit to Qwest Field be next fall?

    Still, this can't be how the NFL powers-that-be, including his eminence, commissioner Paul Tagliabue, want franchises to conduct business. Tagliabue, who recently announced his retirement after 17 years atop the league, turned the NFL into an economic powerhouse by uniting players and owners and keeping them focused on the greater good.

    Team and league officials might want to remember that as they consider this issue during their annual meetings, which begin today in Orlando.

    Think the Seahawks and Vikings pooh-bahs are planning a Disney World getaway together?

    Here's a proposed rule: "Contract offers can't include random stipulations that are thinly disguised 'poison pills' aimed merely at screwing a player's present team because that's sleazy and we in the No Fun League don't like sleazy, see Malfunction, Wardrobe." NFL and players association lawyers can re-write that with suitable legalese.

    It seems foolhardy for the NFL to ignore gaps in its contract rules that are easy to exploit. It creates needless acrimony.

    Even if it is entertaining.

    Wait. ... before you go. This just in! If Burleson's team plays at least eight games indoors over the course of a season, then every Seattle resident gets a check for $49 million.

    P-I columnist Ted Miller can be reached at 206-448-8017 or [email protected]

    Hey NFL, ease up on sleaze

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Hey NFL, ease up on sleaze

    What will make this whole situation even funnier is when Rob pulls a move out that gives the Vikings Burleson at a minimal level and the Seachickens lose again. It just makes the Chickens look more pathetic. Outsmarted. Their rebuttal is funny, but an order of magnitude less suave than the Vikings 'poison pill' contract for Hutch.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    130

    Re: Hey NFL, ease up on sleaze

    Prophet,

    DO you know if the Vikings have said anything about contesting this to an srbitrator, just as the water chickens did to us. When you look at it, this stipulation HAD to have come from the Seahawks and not Burlesons agent. Wasn't the reason that the Hutch stipulation flew is that it was offered up by his agent and not the team?

    And even if there is some recourse we have...do we really want to keep Burleson. I think Seattle is getting a little happy over there "revenge" by taking a player that we offered very low money to, basically saying "we don't need to keep you"

    I'm interested in your thoughts!

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Hey NFL, ease up on sleaze

    "MN_SkolVikings_NC" wrote:
    Prophet,

    DO you know if the Vikings have said anything about contesting this to an srbitrator, just as the water chickens did to us. When you look at it, this stipulation HAD to have come from the Seahawks and not Burlesons agent. Wasn't the reason that the Hutch stipulation flew is that it was offered up by his agent and not the team?

    And even if there is some recourse we have...do we really want to keep Burleson. I think Seattle is getting a little happy over there "revenge" by taking a player that we offered very low money to, basically saying "we don't need to keep you"

    I'm interested in your thoughts!

    Thanks
    lol, There is always a first. You're correct, that the Hutch deal had to come from Hutch's agent (at least officially). I haven't read all the Burleson stuff because it was a poor attempt from Seattle to make a point. I think it was funny, but, like I said, it would be much funnier if during their emotion-laden rebuttal to the Hutch ordeal using Burleson's contract they screwed up the wording and created a loophole where the true genius, Mr. 'Poison Pill' himself, could come back with a case that puts Seattle further into the doghouse.

    Personally, I would be surprised if the Viking do not wait until the 7th hour and then send the deal to an arbitrator regardless of whether they want Burly or not. It would be the only fitting response, stretch this out as long as possible. In this case Seattle is playing with the big boys and they don't have the intellectual firepower, based on the wording we have seen in the Burleson contract, to be doing that.

    I'm guessing that Rob will come up with something in the contract that will strangle the Seahawks so they have to hold part of the contract valid....part that was initially made as a joke and to make a point. I would not put it past Rob to think of a way to put the strangle-hold on Seattle in a manner that is legally binding.

    In this situation we have a calm and collected intellect going head-to-head with an emotionally laden team that is angry that they lost their man. This could easily backfire on the Chickens.

    I could care less where Burleson ends up. I would be surprised if Brzezinski doesn't look at this as a sort of chess match with the potential of check-mate looming in the wings. It will be fun to watch it play out if the Vikings decide to play the game.

  5. #5
    ChezPizmo's Avatar
    ChezPizmo is offline Coordinator
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    705

    Re: Hey NFL, ease up on sleaze

    Wow, great article. We may have made a new unofficial rival.
    Quick! Make a 'Trash the Seahawks' forum!
    [size=11pt]"The only thing better than food & football is maybe Brett Favre."


    [size=8pt]


    -John Madden on Thanksgiving while on "Mike & Mike In The Morning"

  6. #6
    NodakPaul's Avatar
    NodakPaul is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    West Fargo, ND
    Posts
    17,605
    Blog Entries
    1

    Re: Hey NFL, ease up on sleaze

    In this situation we have a calm and collected intellect going head-to-head with an emotionally laden team that is angry that they lost their man. This could easily backfire on the Chickens.

    We have the advantage here anyway, as we have nothing to lose. Worst case scenario, this goes to arbitration, the arbitrator rules that both pills are valid, and Burley goes to Seattle and we get a third rounder. Best case scenario, the arbitrator rules that part of one or both pills are legally binding and must be enforced in Seattle, and Burley goes to Seattle (for a lot of money) and we get a third rounder.

    Either way we come out of this with exactly what we wanted. The Seachickens have put a lot at risk just to try and make a point.
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

    =Z=

  7. #7
    ColoradoVike is offline Pro-Bowler
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    444

    Re: Hey NFL, ease up on sleaze

    "NodakPaul" wrote:
    In this situation we have a calm and collected intellect going head-to-head with an emotionally laden team that is angry that they lost their man. This could easily backfire on the Chickens.
    That may be, but it's the imaginitive well-paid lawyers that write these contracts and not the people in the organization who are allegedly crippled by there emotions.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    281

    Re: Hey NFL, ease up on sleaze

    The Seahawks made a mistake offering Nate this kind of money. We got the best gaurd in football for the same money they are throwing at a top 30 receiver. Good point about the lawyers but lawyers are paid by those emotionally charged managers, so it is possible for better logic to loose.... Look at the money Nate is getting.

    If we wanted Nate we would have paid Nate. We wanted the third rounder. We are deep at receiver.
    We can solve poverty today.

  9. #9
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Hey NFL, ease up on sleaze

    He wont see 49 million.

    The contract is about what we were offering him. It is like Oprah heavy in the back end. He will not be getting 49 million. So you can't really say they paid too much for the guy.

    "The Vikings were offering a four-year contract worth a little more than $14 million, according to people with knowledge of the situation. It included a little more than $5 million in guaranteed money, and seemingly would have locked the Vikings into a three-receiver set of Burleson, Koren Robinson and Troy Williamson for years to come."

    They only added the large ammount at the end along with the poison pills to piss us off LOL, he wont see 49 mil.

    Burleson also was discussing terms with the Seahawks, however, and on Friday morning he was set to sign a four-year, $14.5 million offer sheet with $5.25 million in guaranteed money. In essence, the real money in Burleson's contract is almost identical to the numbers he was discussing with the Vikings.


    It's all just numbers on paper until checks get cashed. Most his checks are due a few years by now. Once they know they have secured him they can rework the backend of the deal.

    Very rarely do contracts run their course in the NFL. That is why for players the Signing bonuses are the big time deal. The guaranteed money is the goal for them. The rest is just BS.

  10. #10
    NodakPaul's Avatar
    NodakPaul is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    West Fargo, ND
    Posts
    17,605
    Blog Entries
    1

    Re: Hey NFL, ease up on sleaze

    "ColoradoVike" wrote:
    "NodakPaul" wrote:
    In this situation we have a calm and collected intellect going head-to-head with an emotionally laden team that is angry that they lost their man. This could easily backfire on the Chickens.
    That may be, but it's the imaginitive well-paid lawyers that write these contracts and not the people in the organization who are allegedly crippled by there emotions.
    True, but this reeks of Holmgren and his tantrums. Besides my point was that the Seachickens have a lot more at risk here. The Vikes will end up with the exact same thing regardless of the outcome.
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

    =Z=

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Vikings ease up on offseason deals
    By Marrdro in forum Vikings Offseason/Draft/FA Forum
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-29-2010, 08:08 AM
  2. New rules ease ban on guns in national parks
    By BadlandsVikings in forum The Clubhouse
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 12-06-2008, 12:33 AM
  3. Robison adapting with ease
    By singersp in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-29-2007, 10:54 AM
  4. Childress is more at ease as the boss
    By COJOMAY in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 07-28-2007, 11:41 AM
  5. Vikings more at ease this time around but lots to improve on
    By singersp in forum Vikings Offseason/Draft/FA Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-27-2007, 05:40 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •