Koppen will turn 33 when the regular season begins. If he is looking to maximize his earning potential from the game of football, then this upcoming contract will be his last opportunity to do so.
I know many fans would hope, and some fans expect him to accept less than what he could earn elsewhere based on 'how much does one person need', 'he'll have less chance of a chance to win a championship elsewhere', or even 'where's the loyalty' ways of thinking. Each individual has their own priorities; just like each of us would have considerations to make for a job offer that would pay us more money even though we've been comfortable with one company for several years.
Personally I am not going to begrudge him (or any other player) for leaving when he can make more elsewhere, or have more job security elsewhere; by the same token I am not going to begrudge the team for refusing to match any and every offer that any of their players receive.
Just for the record here are the details of Koppen's last contract, which in 2006 made him one of the top-five paid centers in the league
, and included what was at that time the second highest signing bonus in league history for a center.
- $7.5 million signing bonus
- 2006: $1.573 million base salary
- 2007: $900,000 base salary; $107k workout bonus
- 2008: $1.4 million base salary; $107k workout bonus
- 2009: $2.4 million base salary; $107k workout bonus
- 2010: $2.9 million base salary; $107k workout bonus; $500k roster bonus
- 2011: $2.9 million base salary; $107k workout bonus; $500k roster bonus
- Total value: 6 years, $21,108,000
The public talk could be simply part of typical negotiations, it could be a way of letting 31 other teams he'll be available, or something else. Perhaps Koppen sees the writing on the wall between his age, the effectiveness of Connolly, and the talk about drafting a center to replace him that has been going on for the last three years.
It would be nice if everyone could return so the team could have both quality starters as well as great depth, but things aren't that simple. What if, for example, he signs a two-year contract and then gets cut at the end of training camp? He's be kicking himself for not previously looking around if that were to happen.