The NFL Depot
by Dave Mest
Player’s Contract Stipulations
Welcome back to the NFL Depot! As always I’m your host Dave Mest! This column, I want to ask how much control an NFL team should have over its players under contract.
When is it too much, or too little? We will start off with a list of players that have hurt them self’s in the off season over the years. These are topics of conversations over the years, I’ve had with many of my friends. So let’s get to it!
Let me start off asking, how many players do you hear about each year that hurt them self’s doing something dumb? Then only to hear said person hurt them self’s doing something they shouldn’t have been doing, because it was in their contract. This list of players has some pretty high profile names, added to it over the years.
Let’s take a look at some of those players, and how they hurt them self’s.
The first honor goes to, the one and only, Terrell Suggs. Suggs, went out and torn his Achilles tendon in a pick-up basketball game. Even though people in Suggs camp are saying otherwise. They are saying Suggs hurt himself during running drills. Why, you say such conflict? Because Suggs, has a clause in his contract prohibiting him from playing basketball. Said clause, was supposed to take away a portion of his contract. I said “supposed” because The Ravens owner stepped in and said “no such fine would occur”. Suggs got off very lucky. Suggs is still saying he will play in 2012.
The second of our unsung heroes goes to one, Big Ben Roethlisberger. In 2006,Big Ben in all his glory, crashed his motorcycle into the side of a car. Big Ben, had several fractures in his face, because Ben wasn’t wearing a helmet. Ben required several hours of surgery, and got off very lucky. After being released from the hospital, Ben had a very stern talking to, by then Steelers coach Bill Cowher, and the rest of the Steelers Brass. It also came out Ben didn’t even have a license to ride the bike, he only had a permit. Ben was not so lucky on the field when he returned, the Steelers went 8-8 and missed the playoffs, a year after winning Super Bowl XL.
The next award goes to Plaxico Burress. Everyone knows the Burress story. Burress goes to a club, has a hand gun on him, said gun slides down his pant leg, Burress shots himself in the leg trying to pull the gun back into place. Several Giants players and a trainer tried to cover it up, by the time it was said and done the state of New York threw the book at Burress. After almost two years in jail Burress returned to the NFL last year with the Jets.
We can add Joey Porter and Terrance Knighton to the list. Porter, of Steelers fame, who last played for Arizona, was shot in the butt in 2003 and missed 2 games. The worst part about the Porter shooting was, the person wasn’t even shooting at him. Porter, was just a bystander. The thing that ties Porter and Knighton together is both players were hurt in bars. Knighton wasn’t shot though, he was hit in the head with a vodka bottle while in a fight at a night club.
To end things on the lighter side, we have Brandon Marshall. Mr. Marshall, clammed he slipped on a McDonald’s wrapper, but what really happened was Marshall was wrestling with a family member, and severed an artery, a vain, and a nerve in his forearm along with tendons to five muscles.
Now onto the debate. When is there too much say by a team? When is there not enough? In what cases is there too much control? Is it limited to certain players? These are questions to be asked.
I think it should come down to the player. What is said player’s hobbies? Is it a dangerous hobby? Maybe the fact some players thrive on danger and others don’t? Is it fair for some players to be penalized by other player’s actions?
There are just so many questions and hazards that teams could come up with. What might be alright by some teams, might not be fine by others. Let’s face it, these teams lay millions of dollars a year for these players. I think the teams should have some say what a player does in the off season, or the player’s free time. If you notice I said some. I think you could throw to many petty things into a contract, and make a valid point in doing so for each said item. Let’s also face it dumb things do happen by accident to the best of us. But in the end, responsibility and simply knowing better should play a major part in a player’s decision making ability. I think if these guys would use better judgment ,the owners would take it a little easier on them with what they could or could not do.
I think for the most part, all these guys do have a good head on their shoulders, they just need to show it more.
Well that wraps it up for this week, for me. As always till next time See Ya!
You can hit me up on Facebook at Dave Mest Jr or on Twitter @blitzburgh6