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  1. #1
    Prophet Guest

    The Poison Pill Bowl

    I'm excited for this game.
    I suspect Hutchinson will be in his prime.

    ================================================== ======

    Poison pills
    Thursday, October 12th, 2006
    by Judd Zulgad

    The Vikings’ game at Seattle on Oct. 22 could be dubbed “The Poison Pill Bowl” considering the nasty offseason exchange by the teams that saw Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson leave the Seahawks to sign a deal with the Vikings. That contract, of course, contained so-called poison pills that made it financially prohibitive for Seattle to match the offer. The Seahawks’ problem was that they had made the mistake of slapping the less-restrictive transition tag on Hutchinson.

    The Seahawks fumed and responded by giving restricted free-agent receiver Nate Burleson the same-type of poison-pill deal to leave Minnesota.

    NFL executives found nothing funny about this and vowed to fix it. Only problem is it doesn’t look like they will. ESPN’s John Clayton writes about the issue on his blog at

    Sounds as if Vikings cap chief Rob Brzezinski will remain free to get creative with contracts.

  2. #2
    Mr. Purple's Avatar
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    Re: The Poison Pill Bowl

    I'm very excited for this game, mainly becuz I wanna see our new D knock around Burley! Haha dont get me wrong, I used to like Burleson alot...but hes a SeaChicken now!Its deff gonna be a tough game, in a tough envoirment.

    Theres NOTHING greater then a Florida Gator!
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    "I am not surprised"."-PurplePackerEater

  3. #3
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    Re: The Poison Pill Bowl

    =] i would love to see how they manage to prevent future contract traps, but im definatly excited about the game.

    even despite the chicago asswhopping, i still think seattle is the best team we will have faced so far this year; the cubs vs chickens game was sans-alexander.

    im excited to see how we do - and hoping for a W

    "We’ll win our own Super Bowl, with our own players. Real Vikings. Something Brett Favre can never be."

    - Dan Calabrese

  4. #4
    snowinapril's Avatar
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    Re: The Poison Pill Bowl

    Nate has 3 starts out of 4 games.

  5. #5
    Prophet Guest

    Re: The Poison Pill Bowl

    "snowinapril" wrote:

    Nate has 3 starts out of 4 games.
    and it appears Branch is ready to step it up too.
    I think Alexander is still expected to be out.
    This will be a good test for our defensive secondary.
    They have a nice receiving corps.

    Seahawks | Branch could land starting role
    Thu, 12 Oct 2006 10:50:22 -0700

    Mike Kahn, of, reports Seattle Seahawks WR Deion Branch is becoming acclimated to the club's offensive system and there is a chance he could wind up in a starting role soon. "There's a chance - yes, there is," head coach Mike Holmgren said of Branch starting. "We haven't decided that yet. He's fine. He has done a good job of (learning the offense)." Branch is feeling much more comfortable with the offense heading into Week 6. "I worked on conditioning during the bye week," Branch said. "It's starting to come with me, so when I leave the huddle I know what the play is and what I'm doing. I'm not having to think on the field and I can just play. It keeps getting better."

  6. #6
    snowinapril's Avatar
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    Re: The Poison Pill Bowl

    Yes, Branch looks like a nice pick up.
    Another troubled WR!!
    All WR are trouble.


    They do have a nice WR corp.

    It will be a good test, we need to get after Matt so he unable to get them the ball.

  7. #7
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    Re: The Poison Pill Bowl

    Those WRs will be a challenge hopefully we can handle them and just use our front seven to stop their RB whichever one is in the game. I'm not surprised that the league made that decision if I were the NFLPA I would demand the elimination of the franchise tag to seal the poison pills I expect they did just that.
    Minnesota Vikings : Simply the best

  8. #8
    thevikingfan's Avatar
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    Re: The Poison Pill Bowl

    The thing tha pisses me off is that shaun alexander get injured right b4 they play the bears but he comes back the same week as they play us...sigh...

  9. #9
    Vikes's Avatar
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    Re: The Poison Pill Bowl

    They will not fix it. The players union is getting all the love on this deal.

    The rigors of Spartan life. Leonidas is cast out into the wild, and survives the harsh winter to return to his home, when he is crowned King ....a Viking!


  10. #10
    Prophet Guest

    Re: The Poison Pill Bowl

    Related to the poison pill....

    POSTED 9:26 a.m. EDT, October 13, 2006
    Mike Florio

    John Clayton of reports (via the pay-only Insider service) that negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA to remove the "poison pill" loophole from the CBA have been unsuccessful.

    As a result, teams will retain the right to include within offer sheets terms such as those utilized by the Vikings and the Seahawks in a tit-for-tat raid on otherwise restricted players during the offseason.

    The Seahawks had placed the "transition" tag on guard Steve Hutchinson, which gave them the ability to match any offers made to the otherwise unrestricted free agent.
    In the past, the thinking was that it made no sense to try to sign guys wearing the transition tag, because in most cases the current team would merely match the terms of the offer sheet.

    But the Vikings thought outside of the box on this one.
    Although an offer sheet can't require the current team to pay the player more than he would receive if the offer sheet isn't matched, there's nothing in the CBA that precludes the terms of the offer sheet from becoming fully guaranteed if the current team matches the deal, but not fully guaranteed if the new team gets the guy.

    The Vikes pulled it off by including in Hutchinson's offer sheet a provision that made the entire seven-year, $49 million contract fully guaranteed if he wasn't the highest paid offensive lineman on the team.
    In Seattle, he wasn't; in Minnesota, he was (and, even after the contract extension signed by left tackle Bryant McKinnie, still is).
    A grievance followed, along with a clumsy, eleventh-hour effort by the Seahawks to reduce the average value of left tackle Walter Jones' contract.
    In the end, the Vikings' move was upheld.

    The Seahawks returned the favor by extending an offer sheet to receiver Nate Burleson that pushed the envelope even farther, making the contract fully guaranteed if Burleson played at least five home games in the state of Minnesota.
    The Vikings opted not to match, and received a third-round draft choice in exchange.

    At subsequent league meetings, all parties received a dressing down for failing to work and play well with others.
    And it's our understanding that the teams generally were told not to try to pull any more of this stuff moving forward.

    The problem, however, is that the 32 teams can't agree among themselves to not take advantage of a rule that otherwise would promote player movement.
    Such an informal understanding amounts to collusion.

    We'd previously reported that talks regarding the removal of the poison pill loophole would have resulted in a spike in the restricted free agent tenders.
    Regardless of what the trade-off would have been, the league determined that the price tag was too high.

    Though we suspect that the union will be monitoring future developments very carefully in order to determine whether collusion is occurring, the practical consequence is that no one will use the transition tag (especially since the transition tenders are now fully guaranteed if signed) and that more and more teams will insist on all draft picks signing four-year contracts, which prevents them from ever becoming restricted free agents.

    As to any current players with rookie deals of three years in length, they'll likely get higher restricted free agent tenders from their original teams in an effort to preclude a poison pill power play.
    For example, Falcons quarterback Matt Schaub -- arguably the crown jewel of the 2007 restricted free agency class -- will most likely be tendered at the highest possible level, which will give the Falcons a first-round pick and a third-round pick as compensation if they don't match the offer sheet that Schaub signs, which based on the poison pill rule should include a term that says that the deal is fully guaranteed if he's not the highest-paid quarterback on the roster and/or if he plays at least five games in the state of Georgia.
    (And/or if the owner of his team has a porn-star moustache.
    And/or if the coach of his team had his eyebrows burned off in an oven-cleaning accident.)

    Since such terms make it much harder for a team to justify matching the offer sheet, look for the NFLPA to balk if any offer sheet in the future doesn't contain such a provision.

    In our opinion, the poison pill makes a mockery of the process, and it's not a term that the union specifically sought or engineered as part of the collective bargaining process.
    But now that the Vikings and Seahawks have discovered it, the only way to get rid of it is for the league to make a concession to the union.

    As practical matter, however, the refusal of the NFLPA to give up the poison pill likely guarantees that incoming rookies will be "forced" (as Jason Chayut might say) to sign four-year deals, since that's the only way to avoid losing them via restricted free agency.
    And for guys like Matt Schaub, the difference in fourth-year pay without a shot at restricted free agency could be very significant.

    Finally, we've got a feeling that some of the teams would have appreciated knowing that the poison pill was here to stay when negotiating with its 2006 draft class.
    A total of 65 players drafted in rounds three through seven signed only three-year contracts; if the teams had known that it would now be much harder to retain their rights as restricted free agents, that number surely would have been a lot smaller.

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