08-11-2006, 04:03 AM #11Del Rio Guest
Re: Expect new deal for Vikings' Johnson
We broke this story months ago at PP.O. Good work Sid. =Z=, for one, is due some crow when this comes to fruition.
Just look for the 13 year old prepubecent boy with the Moss jersey fresh from 1998.......
"HE SIGNED THE CONTRACT HE HAS TO LIVE WITH IT!"
Words etched above the doorway to a person who has never had a job except for maybe scrubbing the basement toilet cause his wee wee doesn't reach the bowl...........
Yeah I can't wait till he gets a raise.
08-12-2006, 05:31 PM #12
Re: Expect new deal for Vikings' Johnson
Posted on Sat, Aug. 12, 2006
[size=18px]Bigger check for Johnson?[/size]
BY SEAN JENSEN
Last year, with his starting quarterback contemplating a holdout at training camp, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf revised Daunte Culpepper's contract, making Culpepper one of the NFL's highest-paid players at his position.
Will Wilf call a quarterback audible again this year?
Or will he maintain the status quo and keep Brad Johnson as the NFL's lowest-paid veteran starting quarterback?
Here are five arguments each for why the Vikings should or shouldn't adjust the four-year, $6 million contract Johnson signed during the 2005 offseason.
THE ARGUMENTS Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ FOR THE VIKINGS
Last training camp, Wilf avoided a potentially ugly standoff with his team's Pro Bowl quarterback by giving Culpepper a $4 million signing bonus and guaranteeing another $3.5 million bonus after the season.
But Culpepper and the Vikings stumbled to a 2-4 start before he suffered a season-ending knee injury in a 38-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 30.
Johnson has looked sharp in camp so far, but is Wilf leery of prematurely giving another sizable bonus check to his starting quarterback?
2. No distraction
A year ago, the Vikings hastily canceled a morning training camp practice after Culpepper didn't show up. He returned the next day after his contract was renegotiated. Johnson has gone through training camp without making any noise about his contract.
"Is something going on?" veteran receiver Marcus Robinson asked. "We don't pay attention to it, because most guys don't even know what he makes or for how long."
If he doesn't get a raise, don't expect Johnson to gripe, said Sean Salisbury, a former Vikings quarterback who played with Johnson.
"Brad will not do it in public," said Salisbury, an analyst for ESPN. "He'll do his job."
Johnson, who turns 38 on Sept. 13, will be the NFL's oldest starting quarterback in 2006. Although he is signed through 2008, his contract allows the Vikings to release him at any point, with minimal impact on the salary cap.
The Vikings could jeopardize that if they redo Johnson's deal. For example, if the club gives him an immediate bonus, that money would be prorated over the rest of the deal Ã¢â‚¬â€ but the Vikings would take a bigger cap hit if they release him next year.
"From a management standpoint, they just don't know how long he can play at that level," said former NFL quarterback Warren Moon, who played for the Vikings.
Johnson never has stayed a starter Ã¢â‚¬â€ or healthy Ã¢â‚¬â€ anywhere too long. Other more prototypical quarterbacks inevitably make him appear expendable.
He still would be the backup if Culpepper essentially hadn't forced the Vikings to trade him. And the Vikings traded two draft picks to get Tarvaris Jackson, who appears to be the future of the franchise. If the Vikings have a bad season, Jackson could get some playing time before long Ã¢â‚¬â€ or at least get a longer look entering next training camp.
5. Honor the deal
The Vikings aren't bound to do anything, because nothing in Johnson's contract took into account the possibility of him becoming the No. 1 quarterback.
The only inclusion is a not-likely-to-be-earned incentive, which is unknown, that is worth up to $700,000. When Johnson signed his deal, he clearly was the backup behind Culpepper, who was coming off a Pro Bowl season.
"He or his representative could have negotiated escalator clauses, if he played in X number of games or started X number of games," former NFL quarterback and ESPN announcer Joe Theismann said.
"His representative could have put different incentives into the contract, where if it didn't happen, it doesn't cost the team any more money. If he does, then he gets compensated."
THE ARGUMENTS Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ FOR JOHNSON
1. Track record
Johnson did last year what he's done throughout his career: win. He has a 65-43 career record as a starter, including a Super Bowl title with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Last season, he led the Vikings to a 7-2 finish and had an NFL-low interception percentage of 1.4.
"I've always been impressed with Brad," Robinson said. "When given the opportunity, he makes plays and helps his team win."
When he led the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl title, Johnson ran the West Coast offense, the same offense the Vikings will use this season. Johnson runs the offense as well as any quarterback in the NFL and operates the system far better than the other three quarterbacks on the Vikings' roster.
"If they make the playoffs, it'll be with Brad Johnson as their starting quarterback," Salisbury said.
3. Lack of options
Despite flashes, Jackson is a long-term project and isn't ready to start.
Although he's looked solid in camp, Mike McMahon was 2-5 last year as a part-time starter in Philadelphia. J.T. O'Sullivan is trying to earn a roster spot after serving on the practice squads in Chicago and with the Vikings last season.
The crop of free-agent veterans also is barren, headlined by Kerry Collins, who isn't suited for the West Coast offense.
"(Johnson is) on the tail end of his career. But they traded Daunte partly because Brad was here and because of (Johnson's) performance last year," Salisbury said. "If they're going to let Daunte go for a second-round pick, they must have thought very highly of Brad Johnson."
A clear-cut starter, Johnson is the league's best value.
He makes about $300,000 more than the average kicker and as much as backup quarterbacks J.P. Losman, Jason Campbell and Aaron Rodgers, who have a combined eight starts and eight touchdowns.
Ten projected backup quarterbacks make more, on average, a year than Johnson.
"They should step up and redo his deal because he solidified a team in disarray," Moon said. "There's no question the Vikings should make his contract fair with other starters in the league."
5. Send a message
Wilf generously has spent on the coaching staff, free agency Ã¢â‚¬â€ and even upgrades to Winter Park. But he also could send a message to his players that he rewards those who outperform their deals.
With about $10 million in cap space, the Vikings could award Johnson an immediate bonus, with incentives that enable him to earn more based on starts, completion percentage or touchdown passes.
"Every now and then, you have to do what's right. It can't just be about money," Salisbury said.
Sean Jensen can be reached at [email protected]
"If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"
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