Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Economics and the NFL

A fantastic and illuminating column by Phil Sheridan on the plight of Brian Westbrook and how circumstance and NFL economics can combine to cheat a player:
Westbrook really has been shortchanged by the NFL's system. Because he was a third-round pick, he didn't get a big signing bonus in his rookie contract. Because he played for the minimum salaries in his first three years, he truly "outperformed" his contract, to borrow a phrase from Drew Rosenhaus. And because the Eagles still have the right to slap a franchise tag on him next winter, Westbrook may not get to unrestricted free agency until 2007 or even 2008.

You can see why the man is frustrated. He could go his entire career without getting the big guaranteed bonus that establishes his financial security. And it's all because of where he was drafted and the position he plays.

Consider his fellow members of the Eagles' 2002 draft class. Lito Sheppard was a first-round pick, so he got nearly $4 million in his rookie year, even though he barely played behind Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor. Last year, Sheppard signed an extension that featured an $8.7 million signing bonus and $15.1 million in salary through 2011.

So Sheppard has already banked nearly $12 million. For a first-round cornerback, life is sweet.

Second-round pick Sheldon Brown got paid $2.25 million from his rookie contract before getting a $7.5 million signing bonus on an extension last year. That means he has banked roughly $10 million.

Westbrook, taken one round later, has made a total of about $1.3 million in bonus and salary. He is scheduled to make $1.43 million on his restricted free agent tender this season.

That sounds like a lot of money to the average person, and it is. But for a guy who has been the second-most important offensive player on a championship-caliber team, behind only the quarterback, it's a pittance.

If ever there was a time to side with a player over management, this is it.

12 comments:

That Dude said...

Actually, the Birds are offering BWest a 9M bonus with an additional 3M in salary over the first 3 years, more than likely 12MIllion guaranteed. I think BWest has been getting advice from someone other than his agent Fletcher Smith, who didn't even know that he had decided to hold out on day1.

Pablo Gersten said...

I still maintain, EAGLE SUCK!
There Dude, I posted my name.

Airborne Eagle said...

Westbrook is in a no-win situation. He really should just sign their contract and play about two more years. In the next two years, his average salary – with signing bonus paid – will be worth his value. After two years, he should push for a new contract. Would he get it? Very, very doubtful. Who knows, though. Point is, the cards are clearly stacked against him at this point. Grab $10 million (bonus and base) for the next two years and play the “new contract” game after it.

They'll sit him or cut him, but they won't sit him for long. If he proves his worth, they'll likely want to ensure he sticks around. If he doesn't, he just banked a large signing bonus and can find a new team. Injuries can happen throughout the team, which can increase or decrease his value to the team.

Grab the money now, Brian.

Airborne Eagle said...

Overstated a bit. I don’t think Westbrook is worth $5 million per year ($10 million over the two years I proposed). $4 per is about right…when not spending my money.

That Dude said...

Therefore I maintain, Pablo knows nothing.

Larry Rasczak said...

"Westbrook, taken one round later, has made a total of about $1.3 million in bonus and salary. He is scheduled to make $1.43 million on his restricted free agent tender this season."

Gee, here is a guy who made $1,300,000 last year PLAYING A GAME and people are whining about "He could go his entire career without getting the big guaranteed bonus that establishes his financial security."

GOOD GOD!!

$1,300,000 isn't enough to "establish financial security"? That's more than most Americans earn in a quarter century!! That is more than many Americans earn in their entire working lifetime, and he can't establish financial security on it???

GROW UP AND GET SOME FRACKING PERSPECTIVE PEOPLE!

Go see what the Army pays a Spec/4 for speding a year in IRAQ.

My heart bleeds.

That Dude said...

Update: at 4PM Andy Reid sent TO home from training camp after a "heated conversation" over TO's 'milking' of an injury.

I know the Eagle haters will come out over this, but remember, even without TO, we are still better than the rest of the NFC.

Anonymous said...

without TO and without Pinkston and with a disgruntled Westbrook, who will Mcnabb throw to?

Anonymous said...

No TO, Pinkston, and a digruntled Westbrook?

We're doomed, utterly doomed... And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I'd like to remind the other teams in the NFC East that I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves

Seriously if it is to be a long year do you think we can get our old jail cell back from the Vet and put it in the Linc?

Al said...

without TO and without Pinkston and with a disgruntled Westbrook, who will Mcnabb throw to?

Maybe McNabb will throw to himself? He'd probably still throw it into the ground.

Also, no Corey Simon on defense. Sorry, but Iggles are not going to win the NFC this year; heck, they are not even going to win the NFC East.

Go Giants!

Airborne Eagle said...

If you believe Corey Simon is so important, you're reading too much espn.com. He's a talented guy, but maddeningly inconsistant. Last year, he showed up overwieght and didn't come around til the end of the year. This, he did, during a "contract year."

I'd like for them to keep him, but I think the espnis types value him more than the teams do. Even as a "starter," he rotates more than most DTs.

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