Former defensive end Rob Ninkovich knows all too well what it’s like to be a member of the Patriots.
Ninkovich experienced plenty of success during his tenure, spending eight seasons with the team after signing with New England back in 2009. He obviously also played with former QB Tom Brady, but he gave a little insight earlier this week on how the club leveraged Brady’s contract into getting players to take lesser deals.
In an appearance on the Pat McAfee show this week, Ninkovich gave some insight into what it was like to try and negotiate a new contract with the Patriots’ front office. He said that when the conversation came up when it came to valuing himself, he compared himself to similar players at his own position. Yet, there was one factor that was pointed out that prevented him from necessarily being paid like his peers.
“Look, when you go to negotiate your contract, and you’re like, ‘Hey, you know, I’m up next year, this is what guys are making at my position.’,” said Ninkovich. “They’d look at you and be like, ‘You know, Tom is the best of all time and where’s he at in rank? Oh, like 15th.”
“So if you want to be here and you want to win, I’d suggest that you do what you’ve got to do to, #1 provide. Which, yeah…I was able to do when I was here in New England, but I think winning is the number one thing. Because I could have went off, at some point in my career, and I could have tested free agency and went to Cincinnati or something and played a couple of years and then got cut because a new coaching staff came in, but I wanted to be somewhere and have some legitimate statistics behind my name.”
Ninkovich ultimately finished his NFL career in Foxboro before retiring after the 2016 campaign.
It was interesting because it gives a little bit of insight into player negotiations, which as we know has always been a situation where guys have taken less money for the sake of keeping the team competitive. This at least gives us a glimpse into that process, and it’s hard not to wonder, now that Brady is gone, how they’ll be able to convince guys to continue accepting less to stick around moving forward.
NOTE: This bit of information, if you missed it, was featured yesterday in our daily news column. You can also read some additional things he said, or watch the full interview below.
The interview also includes some other funny moments, including McAfee cursing Ninkovich out after the veteran dismissed all the success they had winning Division titles.
"I think @CoachVrabel50 said it best when they asked him about the "Patriot Way" & he said isn't that the address? Like 1 Patriot Way?"@ninko50 goes on to explain his experience with the "Patriot Way" #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/9Od9v4Lau0
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) February 16, 2021
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: New England Patriots Pat McAfee Rob Ninkovich Tom Brady