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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Big contracts buy zero rings for NFL teams

By Flickr user WEBN-TV

The NFL free agent frenzy has delivered some big dollar signs to deserving players. But, the problem is, those players realize they will not win a Super Bowl.

A selection of successful athletes have earned big money contracts in years past. Those players include: Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco, Drew Brees, J.J. Watt, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, Calvin Johnson, Ben Roethlisberger, Colin Kaepernick, Tyron Smith, Patrick Peterson, Joe Haden, Clay Matthews, and Adrian Peterson.

What do they have in common? All have zero Super Bowl titles after signing their contracts.

The surprising fact is all of those players have six rings all together before they signed their maximum deals, meaning their contracts hurt their respective team in the pursuit to earn more Super Bowl titles because they dismantle their organization’s salary cap.

Reporters, analysts, and fans are already calling teams who have made the latest expensive signings “playoff contenders.”

The reigning champions, the New England Patriots, have lost Darrelle Revis to the New York Jets in a huge contract worth $70 million, with $39 million guaranteed, according to multiple sources.

Other opposing teams in the AFC East signed big contracts as well. Buffalo Bills signed running back LeSean McCoy and the Miami Dolphins agreed to terms to sign defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

In the eyes of many, now all these teams are looked at like they have a shot to dethrone the Patriots.

The pricey signings will help their teams in the short-term, but their contracts will stump the team’s progress for future signings. This will prevent the franchises from being able to retain contracts of other key players.

People criticize the Patriots for being “cheap” when it comes to re-signing players and signing free agents, even though they have more winning seasons than any other team in more than a decade, plus four titles. But let us continue to complement the teams who have made similar big money signings in the past and have imploded the organization leaving them in a losing state and inconsistent seasons.

Only six NFL organizations currently have an active playoff appearance streak of two years or more. This shows that getting the right tools for one successful season is not enough to maintain consistency for the franchise’s future.

It is nice seeing all these talented players get paid big bucks, but history has shown it never actually makes the squad a winning team.

The New Orleans Saints quarterback, Brees, is the best example of a maximum contract destroying a potential dynasty. He signed the biggest NFL contract when he helped the Saints win the Super Bowl in 2009, making him the highest paid quarterback at the time.

The Saints shocked fans Tuesday when they traded Pro-Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham to the Seattle Seahawks. The move was obviously to save money and cap space.

People are saying the Saints don’t have the cap room, but no one is mentioning it is Brees’ contract costing teammates their job.

Brees’ reacted to the Graham trade and told NFL reporter Alex Flanagan “I’m as shocked as everyone else.” The top comment on NBC Sports by a fan is “Drew [Brees] needs an explanation,” implying Brees deserves better from the organization.

If Brees took a pay-cut, the Saints would be able to afford to keep players like Graham and other key players the Saints lost in the past five years like Reggie Bush and key defensive players.

Big contract players can’t complain about the lack of talent around them when they are the ones who prevent the team from getting better depth.

Teams, whether good or bad, do not get better by signing a player to a max-contract unless the contract itself is short-term. This false idea of “spreading money” throughout multiple years has only hurt teams down the road because they are still stuck with a relatively expensive contract annually.

These players are beyond talented and deserve a lot of money, but people are so afraid to use the word “greed” during the free agency period or when players hold-out for more money.

The average American makes about $27,000 a year according to the U.S. Census. Former players turned analysts preach how these players are trying to “put food on the table for their families” is a sound reason for these players to reach for the stars with money. But the majority of starters in the NFL make more money in a year than the average American makes in a lifetime.

These players need to not complain about losing games on a bad team and just play for the fat check they pushed for.

Players who want to break the bank with a monumental contract need to accept they’ll never win a ring in the process.

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Jeremy Hayes, Sports Editor

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Big contracts buy zero rings for NFL teams