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Honoring a contract?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by atlpatsfan, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. atlpatsfan

    atlpatsfan Rookie

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    I have been reading all the posts about Branch and hear a lot of people talking about how he should do the right thing and live up to his contract. How "in the real world" people sign contracts and then honor them.

    Well, news flash people THIS ISN'T THE REAL WORLD. This is the NFL.

    I was raised on a small New Hampshire town by working class parents and they taught me that a man lives by his word. They also taught me that if the people you sign a contract with don't have to honor it then neither do you. Let be fair to the players, they are million dollar crybabies but they do have a point. Any player can be cut from any team at any time for any reason, whether they are under contract or not. Teams cut players who are honoring thier contracts all the time, just to save money. Is that fair to someone under contract?

    If the teams don't have to honor a contract why do the players?

    Just my two cents.
  2. Digger44

    Digger44 Rookie

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    you can have your 2 cents back
  3. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As has been said many times, teams do honor the contract. However the contracts consist of bonuses + a series of one year contracts with a team option. The players know this, that's why guaranteed money, usually in the form of a signing bonus, is a frequent sticking point.
  4. mdhprime

    mdhprime Rookie

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    Your argument is flawed. The NFLPA agrees to the language and rules regarding NFL contracts. There is a CBA in place and players know the situation they are getting into when they sign contracts. Contracts should be honored.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2005
  5. Digger44

    Digger44 Rookie

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    he also assumes that the employer has no right to fire the employee. plain and simple---a cut is the ruslt of the team not thinkng the player is worth (playing up to) the money he is being paid. it is the real world. you get fired if your employer sees it the same way.
  6. scout

    scout Rookie

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    I don't fault Branch. Its part of the bargaining process. The part which turns me off, is when fans start in with the name calling and then diminish what he has done for the team, much the same way Ty Law "wasn't that valuable to any of the championships", or the attacks on Richard Seymour last year. My hope is that both sides can come together and agree on a fair contract.
  7. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Good post. However, you are forgetting a key and very critical point. The players are given a guaranteed signing bonus that they don't have to return if they are cut. I think that Jeff George made close to 10 million over 3 seasons just in signing bonuses and only played like 2 or 3 games.

    This guaranteed signing bonus is in lieu of having a guaranteed contract. Also, its actually very few players who are cut for money saving purposes. More are cut because they aren't performing up to the level that the team is paying them for. And that case could be argued in the point of Willie McGinest. The team was scheduled to pay him over 8 million this year and chose not to because they felt the level of performance wasn't there.

    Also, please remember that the non-guaranteed contracts were negotiated and agreed to by the NFLPA. So they are all bound to it.

    And the CBA also gives Branch the right to hold out until week 10, though his salary isn't guaranteed because of it.

    However, what gets me is that Branch said this past off-season that he was like you. A man who honors his contract. If he was truly a man, he'd have been in training camp practicing while his agent bargained in good faith with the Patriots. Branch proved that he was a liar and that he nor his agent understand what it means to bargain in good faith.
  8. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What has Branch truly DONE for this team? Yes, he is the receiver that has developed the best rapport with Brady. So what? That hasn't translated into production, has it? No 1000 yard seasons. No season with more than 5 TDs. No season where he's been healthy unless he's been coddled.


    Also, I DO fault Branch because he's been around long enough to know that the Patriots don't take kindly to players who try to negotiate in the press. We saw that with Ty Law (who only helped the Pats win 2 of 3 SBs).

    The ONLY way that there will be a fair contract is if Branch fires Chayut, reports to the Patriots, and is willing to accept a deal that pays him between 5 and 6 million. Not the almost 7 million Branch was looking for.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2006
  9. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If you think that teams don't honor contracts, go to Miguels pages. Scroll down to the bottom of the Salary Cap page. You will see a section on "dead" money.

    That is the money that still has to be chrged againts the cap that was paid to players that were released. This year there is $4.5 mil. I believe that is one of the smaller amounts in recent years.
  10. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    Because this is how the system was COLLECTIVELY bargained.
  11. Crowpointer

    Crowpointer Rookie

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    Although Luca Brazzi was present when he signed the contract.:eek:
  12. desi-patsfan

    desi-patsfan Rookie

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    NFL isnt the real world?? Really? You mean to tell me i wont make 6 million a year after working in my field for 2 years? Hey thanx alot for letting us all in on the secret.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2005
  13. Kdo5

    Kdo5 Rookie

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    You forgot to mention that Deion said no matter what he'd play out his contract. So in that case he is also a liar.
  14. Bertil

    Bertil Rookie

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    Am I the only one tiring of this sanctimonious tact?

    Equating your personal situation to one in which millions of dollars are at stake is self-serving and phony. If this was your one opportunity to set yourself and your family up for life (even if you don't have one yet), you wouldn't want to sqander it. The truth is, you have NO idea what you would do in a similar situation, despite what you might think. You know what you COULD do. You know what you MIGHT do. But, what would you actually do? You don't know...

    The NFL sword cuts BOTH ways. All parties involved know this. As it pertains to this particuilar case, I'm reserving judgement because, as of right now, Deion has played as many games during this preseason (0) as he did last year. Additionally, he hasn't missed any regular season games.

    Maybe this is just a BB/SP created ruse to bypass the haranguing they withstood from the NFL last year (remember) after holding fragile SB MVP Deion out for the preseason. This would be similar to what they do with the injury list. Until the season starts, who cares?
  15. mdhprime

    mdhprime Rookie

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    Having an opinion on the issue does not make one sanctimonious. Believing that someone should live up to something they agreed to is not "being phony."

    In addition, you have got to be joking about a holdout being a ruse to save Branch from the rigors of the preseason. The Patriots would want him in camp and at practice honing his skills and getting better. The powers that be do not need a ruse to make a coaching decision on who should play a preseason game and who shouldn't.
  16. Bertil

    Bertil Rookie

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    Yeah, that was just said in jest.

    I'm just trying to say, lighten up on this situation. It'll resolve itself before too long.
  17. dhamz

    dhamz Rookie

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    Apparently you missed a couple Super Bowls and some playoff games where the guy was unstoppable. Unless of course, double digit catches in Super Bowls don't meet your criteria of having truly done something for the Patriots.

    Holdouts are part of the business of the NFL. They are expected. The sides collective bargain rules governing them. Guys getting cut so the team doesn't have to pay their contract is also part of the business. Both sides know it.
  18. PlattsFan

    PlattsFan Rookie

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    So teams cutting players is just part of the CBA and the way business is conducted, but players holding out (also allowed in the CBA) is a duplicitous rejection of the sanctity of the contract? This is the one and only form of leverage open to Branch; he's choosing to exercise it. It may be a good decision, it may be a bad decision, but it's not an immoral decision any more than cutting Willie McGinest to save some dollars on the salary cap was.

    And, I'm with the other guy on this ... making moralistic judgements about Deion Branch is sanctimonious.
  19. RI Pats Fan

    RI Pats Fan Rookie

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    What the heck was that?....

    I mean... that wasn't beligerent, ignorant, arrogant, or threatening. That's what I'm used to reading around here at least anyways.

    How dare you pretend these noble men of the internet wouldn't bleed Patriot blue when it came to contract time if they were in these players shoes and go "Nay! Keep your millions, I want to be here just for the privelege of playing for these great fans!"


    (P.S. If contracts were meant to be honored, why the heck would all these teams sign backloaded contracts so that a guy in his mid to late 30s would be scheduled to make $7+ million. I agree with the others, both sides know this and cap-saving cuts are just part of the business.)
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2006
  20. mdhprime

    mdhprime Rookie

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    No one is talking about morality. It is just one view that honoring a contract is the right thing to do. He signed a contract knowing its duration and how much he was going to get paid. He has stated before that he would honor it and now he is not. It is not "sanctimonious" to think that his stance is wrong and it is certainly not a "moralistic judgement."
  21. JDSal45

    JDSal45 Rookie

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    You obviously don't understand a contract has many terms. Including allowing NFL teams to cut you if they deem it in their best interest. So THAT IS PART OF THE CONTRACT. How hard is that to understand? Its part of the deal that was bargained for and perfectly allowable by the CBA as negotiated by the player's own union. Similarly, if a player receives a bonus up front then performs at a much lower level than expected, you don't see him returning the bonus money, do you? That was part of the risk/negotiation of the deal as well.

    Contracts are varied. There can be non-monetary terms as well as other terms. One terms Branch agreed to is the Patriots could cut him if they so choose and he wouldn't receive subsequent salaries. HE AGREED TO THAT. Understand? It was PART of the contract, part of the deal.

    It really shouldn't be that complicated, but apparently for some folks it is.

    J D Sal
  22. arrellbee

    arrellbee Rookie

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    There have been several replies trying to explain why a team cutting a player is:
    IN NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM not living up to or 'honoring' the contract.
    Not even IN THE SLIGHTEST any 'moral' obligation.

    As explained, this type of contract is structured where the player gets guaranteed money. Believe you me, there has NEVER been a case where the player hasn't gotten that money as owed him by the contract terms. THIS is the obligation of the team and is exactly and ONLY what it is they have to HONOR.

    On the other hand, the landscape is littered with players who have taken the up front money and then violated the contract (eg Kellon Winslow and Ricky Williams) and haven't been made to repay the up front money that is their 100% contractual obligation to return in order to HONOR the contract. The landscape is littered with players who refused to honor their contracts and forced the teams to trade them or tender more favorable contracts.

    Perhaps it would make it more understandable - - are you aware what an OPTION contract is ? To briefly recap, in an option contract up front money is paid and is NOT refundable for the right to later purchase a commodity for stipulated terms. The person entering into the contract completely fulfills their obligation to HONOR the contract by making the payment. They have NO obligation to HONOR anything else such as ultimately purchasing the commodity. On the other hand, the person giving the option contract, DOES have an absolutely iron clad legal obligation to HONOR the contract if the person with the option wants to buy the commodity. If they refuse, they are breaking the legal terms of the contract and, in the terms we like to throw about, are not HONORING the contract.

    NFL player contracts are an exact analogy. The signing bonus money is the only thing that the teams have any legal or responsible obligation to HONOR. PERIOD. In return for that payment, the player agrees to one or more years of options which the team can exercise - at its SOLE discretion. The player has no right to have any expectation whatsoever at that point as to whether the team exercises the option or not. The player has sold any right of expectation for the up front money which was the team's only obligation. So ANY cut of a player has NOTHING to do with HONORING the contract. It's simply exercising a right that the team ALREADY PAID FOR.

    Somehow or another, the aspect of - "well he isn't getting paid what he is worth" always creeps in. This is meaningless nonsense in the terms of an option contract. The contract was agreed upon by both parties and both took a gamble. The team gambles that the the player will be worth the money agreed to for each option year. If the player isn't worth it, the team loses their up front money which they do not get value for. The player trades off getting an amount of up front money that will make it worth his while to perform for the option money that he has agreed to for each year of the contract. Part of his tradeoff is that he gets the up front money whether he is worth anything or not - and the flipside is that if he turns out to be a superstar, he still has to honor his contract for the money agreed for each year.

    There is another aspect which I absolutely cannot fathom. And that is another thing that creeps in - "the player was coerced into accepting an option contract that was not to his advantage". Actually, this may be the case in the NFL. But it is not the TEAMS who are responsible for this inequity (IF IF IF there is any), it is the PLAYERS' UNION !! !! !! In the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the players' union negotiated and agreed to the WHOLE contract structure - the number of years AND the amount of money that can be paid to the rookies. The PLAYERS' UNION set these ground rules. If one were cynical, one would say that the reason they are quite comfortable with the rookie contract structure is that it leaves more money for the veterans !! !! !! If there is ANY gripe, it should be directed SOLELY toward the players' union.

    Hopefully this helps put this whole thing into perspective.
  23. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You might have a point if when a player were cut, the player returned his signing bonus or even a share of it.

    The signing bonus (and any other guaranteed money) is what a player gets as value for promising to play under the salary and other terms of the contract for a specified number of years. A player must also live under the rules of the players' union and the CBA that they have agreed to.

    Guss Scott didn't receive a signing bonus. He plays under one year contracts, under terms that are consistent with the CBA.

  24. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    Apparently you have no real idea about the chemistry of football and what it takes to MAKE a team. So little Deion hasn't shown up to play and that is OK..like last year. He was in training camp and practicing and looking at film and getting the chemitsry down with the other recievers..THAT is what it takes, my friend, the fact that he was not used in games to me only shows how the coaches see his lack of durability and his fragility as a player.This year, he's been a no-show and whenever he returns, he must work his way back into shape both individually and collectively with the team; he is far behind in both.
    If you believe that a receiver can NOT be in camp and just come in and play, I think you have zero concept of what it takes to play football and build a team. And I don't care if Brady does have good chemitsry with him. There are 11 players on the field on offense and Branch has to be PART of that.
    As to who cares...I think many care because they KNOW how much his holdout has hurt the team and himself.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2006

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