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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Brad Johnson: Starting QB, backup pay? Could be costly

    [size=18px]Starting QB, backup pay? Could be costly[/size]

    Brad Johnson signed on to be the Vikings No. 2 quarterback. He's now the starter, and money might soon become an issue.

    Vikings Insider Kevin Seifert
    Last update: July 02, 2006 – 7:20 AM


    The NFL will go dark for the next week while most coaches, players, administrators and owners take their final holiday respite. Yet as even the casual observer of Winter Park knows, "dark" and "quiet" are but relative terms.

    Sooner or later, the Vikings will have to address an issue that has been strangely dormant this offseason. Quarterback Brad Johnson's contract remains untouched following his ascension from backup to starter, a recipe for ill will that could cause -- in the worst-case scenario -- a training camp holdout.

    As of Friday, the team had given no indication that it plans to adjust Johnson's $1.2 million salary, a figure that would make him the NFL's lowest-paid veteran starter this season. Owner Zygi Wilf and Rob Brzezinski, vice president of football operations, were on vacation late last week and unavailable for comment.

    Coach Brad Childress said that to his knowledge the issue has not been discussed.

    "I'd end up hearing about it, I'm sure, if that were the case," Childress said. "But I'm more into Brad Johnson the player."

    It is no exaggeration to suggest that Brad Johnson, the player, carries as much burden for the Vikings' 2006 success as anyone on the roster; his value is magnified by the depth left behind following the trade of Daunte Culpepper. Presumptive No. 2 Mike McMahon has a career passer rating of 55.1, while neither J.T. O'Sullivan nor rookie Tarvaris Jackson has thrown an NFL pass.

    To be clear, the team is well within its rights to hold Johnson to the 2005 contract he signed to back up Culpepper. Yet that decision could carry legitimate implications: Namely, how would Johnson react to what most pro athletes consider a case of financial disrespect? Would he exercise his ultimate leverage -- holding out of training camp -- to pressure the Vikings into raising his salary?

    In May, Johnson said that "over time those things just take care of themselves." This week, however, he declined comment through his agent, Phil Williams. Speaking from his Atlanta-area office, Williams himself said he did not want to discuss the issue publicly "at this time."

    Entering his 15th NFL season, Johnson's finances are set for life. He has been named to the Pro Bowl, has won the Super Bowl and in 2005 reaffirmed his skills while winning seven of nine starts for the Vikings. He is considered one of the NFL's classiest players, appears well-liked by Vikings fans and has been central in the team's recent marketing efforts.

    At the same time, Johnson is a proud man who has taken umbrage in the past when his talent is questioned or underappreciated, as it was in departures from Washington (2000) and Tampa Bay (2004). The Buccaneers' decision to bench him left Johnson unable to secure a starting job on the 2005 free-agent market; instead, he accepted a four-year contract worth $6 million from the Vikings.

    That deal provided market-level compensation for a veteran backup at a time when everyone believed Culpepper would be the team's starter into the next decade. Now, however, it appears Johnson could be their starter for at least the next two years while Jackson, a highly touted prospect selected in the second round of the April draft, develops his Division I-AA skills.

    In the meantime, Johnson is locked into backup salaries through the 2008 season. Depending upon interpretations of contracts, at least 36 quarterbacks are scheduled to earn more this season than Johnson -- including veteran backups such as Chicago's Brian Griese ($6 million), Detroit's Josh McCown ($4 million), Miami's Joey Harrington ($3 million), St. Louis' Gus Frerotte ($3 million) and Buffalo's Craig Nall ($2 million).

    The benchmark for veteran starters this offseason was the three-year, $15 million contract that Kurt Warner signed with Arizona, a deal that will pay him about $7 million in 2006.

    The Vikings will open training camp 25 days from now, giving both sides plenty of time to consider their positions. One issue they can both agree on: Johnson should be on the field from Day 1.

    Kevin Seifert • [email protected]

    Starting QB, backup pay? Could be costly

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

  2. #2
    boognish's Avatar
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    Re: Brad Johnson: Starting QB, backup pay? Could be costly

    Give the man some more money; he's been nothing but a good soldier for us and deserves to get paid starting money. I'm confident that Zygi will take care of him. The cheapness of Red McCombs is a thing of the past.
    I am a dipshit!!!

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    Re: Brad Johnson: Starting QB, backup pay? Could be costly

    "boognish" wrote:
    Give the man some more money; he's been nothing but a good soldier for us and deserves to get paid starting money. I'm confident that Zygi will take care of him. The cheapness of Red McCombs is a thing of the past.
    I hope so. Brad deserves more. He's our starter (whether some of you like it or not) and has proven that he is a hardworking QB and a dedicated player to the Vikings franchise. I believe he's an asset to our organization and should be paid along the lines of other starting QB's with the same amount of NFL experience. I'm a supporter of Brad and hope he gets the $$ he is due.
    Even babies know the difference.

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    Re: Brad Johnson: Starting QB, backup pay? Could be costly

    I like the way John is handling this at this point

    In May, Johnson said that "over time those things just take care of themselves." This week, however, he declined comment through his agent, Phil Williams. Speaking from his Atlanta-area office, Williams himself said he did not want to discuss the issue publicly "at this time."
    Imo he is under paid but he hasn't slung any pooh around, team and himself aren't fighting in the media, yet the press is starting to dig for the pooh to start something. :roll:

    He is considered one of the NFL's classiest players, appears well-liked by Vikings fans and has been central in the team's recent marketing efforts.
    I hope with some of the mistakes that happened in the last year with the handling of Tice's slap in the face your gone, oops we hired an idiot Foley, and your injuried pro bowl QB tantrum/press nightmare can be overcome. The front office needs to fairly reward Johnson before this becomes a media saga and Zygi won't look like a rookie owner.

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    Re: Brad Johnson: Starting QB, backup pay? Could be costly

    Much like Daunte, Johnson signed a contract & he should live up to it.

    He knew when he signed on the dotted line that he might have the opportunity to start, as do all backups.

    As stated, Johnson is a class act & he has more than a suffient bank account at this point in his career. All indications are he is not asking for a raise.

    IMO playing the game & playing to win a superbowl are more important to Brad than what his paycheck reads.

    If a raise is merited & rightfully he has earned it, it should & probably will come from the front office & not by a request from Brad or his agent.

    But agents being what they are, may force the issue. They get a percentage of the take & are not set for life for the most part.

    My personal opinion is that the Vikings front office will wait until the draftees are all signed & see how much money they have left over before they re-do Brads contract.

    I put Brad in the same class of players as Moe Williams. Moe turned down a $1 million dollar contract to play for the Vikes at the annual league minimum for a running back at $666,000.

    For all he did for the Vikings over those 4 years when called upon, doing whatever was asked of him, including starting at running back for most of the 2003 season, he never once asked for or was given a pay raise.

    If anyone deserved one, it was Moe.

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

  6. #6
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    Re: Brad Johnson: Starting QB, backup pay? Could be costly

    If Brad is classy like the article says he is, I dont think he'll end up holding out. That being said he does deserve a raise.
    "I hate when threads are destroyed by facts and logic."
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    Re: Brad Johnson: Starting QB, backup pay? Could be costly

    BJ deserves more money if he is to be the starter for us for the next couple of years.. What he signed was backup money, he was the backup before DC got hurt, and now he is our starter. He should be paid accordingly. That would be a huge slap in the face to his accomplishments if he were to get paid less then Craig Nall, Gus Ferotte, and Josh McCown..

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    Re: Brad Johnson: Starting QB, backup pay? Could be costly

    "VikesfaninWis" wrote:
    BJ deserves more money if he is to be the starter for us for the next couple of years.. What he signed was backup money, he was the backup before DC got hurt, and now he is our starter. He should be paid accordingly. That would be a huge slap in the face to his accomplishments if he were to get paid less then Craig Nall, Gus Ferotte, and Josh McCown..
    Not to mention being paid less than Mike "false start" Rosenthal

  9. #9
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    Re: Brad Johnson: Starting QB, backup pay? Could be costly

    "vikinggreg" wrote:
    "VikesfaninWis" wrote:
    BJ deserves more money if he is to be the starter for us for the next couple of years.. What he signed was backup money, he was the backup before DC got hurt, and now he is our starter. He should be paid accordingly. That would be a huge slap in the face to his accomplishments if he were to get paid less then Craig Nall, Gus Ferotte, and Josh McCown..
    Not to mention being paid less than Mike "false start" Rosenthal
    He's making more now ($1,200,000) than Daunte Culpepper made in 2004 ($1,037,300), a pro-bowl year, yet everyone thought DC should honor his contract. :wink:

    2004 NFL QB salaries

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

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    Re: Brad Johnson: Starting QB, backup pay? Could be costly

    Now, however, it appears Johnson could be their starter for at least the next two years
    Two?

    I thought we knew this was a one year last stint for Johnson... Any of you guys see him playing yet another year?
    i m better than you, so just give up...

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