Guaranteed payments for unrestricted NFin Fragen & Antworten 18.05.2019 09:00
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NEW YORK (AP) —L free-agent contracts this month make up just over half of the total money to be paid Kyle Lauletta Color Rush Jersey , down a bit from 2018, when Kirk Cousins signed a fully guaranteed $84-million deal.For the first 148 deals reached in March, the players’ union says $1.116 billion is guaranteed. That’s 50.15 percent of the nearly $2.227 billion in total values. Take out Cousins’ three-year deal, the 2018 total drops from 52.56 percent to 48 percent.Teams also have spent far more so far in free agency this year. There were 120 contracts worth $1.836 billion at this point in 2018. Total guarantees in 2018 were $965,479,118.The average amount per contract in this free agency period has been $15.04 million, of which the guaranteed dollars reached $7.54 million; the larger monetary agreements, such as quarterback Nick Foles‘ deal with Jacksonville for $88 million over four years, $50.125 million guaranteed, skew the average somewhat.Eighteen veterans signed contract extensions that totaled $226.725 million, of which 41 percent ($93.17 million) was guaranteed.Contracts in Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NHL are fully guaranteed for the length of the deal.“Obviously we are trying to figure how to improve that to 100 percent,” says Giants safety Michael Thomas, a member of the NFLPA’s executive committee. “We know it won’t happen overnight, but with best practices from the players, the agents and the agents of the union working together, we can get closer to the 100 percent.”The current 10-year labor agreement expires in March 2021. All player contracts are negotiated individually and the CBA does not specifically address them, so other mechanisms are needed to boost the guarantees.The fact the salary cap has risen substantially each year of this CBA since 2014 has helped the players get higher pay overall. There also are regulations requiring the 32 teams to spend at least a certain amount of their cap space each season.And, of course, there is (or should be) the competitive desire of each club.When Cousins received that megadeal from Minnesota last year, the NFL lagged far behind in guarantees. It still does.“No other league has that mandate,” 12-year veteran linebacker Lorenzo Alexander of Buffalo said. “It comes down to making that a norm. Whether in the CBA maybe we move toward it, or what the NBA has done where the select stars go out there and are demanding certain structure of their contracts. We need to look to our elite players, our quarterbacks who have that type of leverage. As they create that culture, they can make it a norm within the structure of football.“We have to collaborate as players,” added Alexander, also a member of the NFLPA’s executive committee. “Owners always will fight tooth and nail” to avoid guarantees.Both players make salient points about how the current CBA — which often, particularly in the early years of the deal Alec Ogletree Color Rush Jersey , was perceived as a loss for the union — has helped them and their peers.Alexander notes the health and retirement benefits in the agreement. Thomas cites the elimination of two-a-days in training camps and the curtailed hitting allowed in practices.“The biggest difference in CBAs, and you notice as a player, is from the safety area, because I have been able to elongate my career and get more earning power and playing multiple years,” Alexander said.Most annoying to any player you ask is the perception that pro athletes negotiate a guaranteed paycheck and then become too comfortable to fully apply themselves. Both Alexander and Thomas get riled up when they hear any of that.“It is an excuse … a terrible excuse,” Thomas said. “A player getting guaranteed money would not change who he is as a competitor, and he will go out there and be the best he can be and try to be the best player ever. I do not think that will ever change.“If (an owner) feels like you got the right person, then invest in him,” he added. Amari Cooper, Savior of America’s Team? Who knew?Well, apparently Jerry Jones did. (We’re all equally surprised.)Speaking of saviors, Nick Foles may once again come off the bench for Philadelphia as a sore back has put the rest of Carson Wentz’s season in doubt.That’s a pretty good metaphor for how the NFC East has played out in 2018.While Cooper’s profile has risen suddenly (and maybe to the point of inflation), there is no doubting the impact he has made on the Dallas Cowboys. Before Amari? 3-4. With him? 5-1. The NFC Offensive Player of the Week has 40 receptions for 642 yards and six touchdowns in those six games. But more importantly, he has elevated the entire offense by becoming a deep threat in the passing game and opening opportunities for others.Dak Prescott has produced a passer rating above 99.0 in five of those games and a rating of 104.9 or better the past three. And Ezekiel Elliott has rushed for at least 113 yards in four of his past five games. Not many expected this in October when the Cowboys traded a 2019 first-round pick for Cooper. And now they possess a stranglehold on the NFC East: a two-game lead with three weeks remaining.The question becomes: How far can they go? In all likelihood, they will host a rising Seattle Seahawks (8-5) at AT&T Stadium on wild card weekend. Can the Cowboys’ fourth-ranked defense (313.4) stop Russell Wilson? Can Cooper, Elliott and Prescott produce enough points to win in January?Meanwhile, somehow the Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) are still alive in the NFC wild card chase despite the loss to Dallas last weekend. The Vikings’ loss to Seattle on Monday night kept them only a half-game ahead at 6-6-1 while they transition on offense following the firing of coordinator John DeFilippo. But facing the Rams (11-2) possibly without Wentz is not a recipe for success for Philadelphia (more on that below). The Washington Redskins (6-7) are also technically still alive. But ... well, don’t make us say it.And the Giants (5-8) are still mathematically alive! Eli is back! Saquon Barkley is the favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Hey, why not?Here are some of the other big stories around the NFC East this week:Dallas CowboysPrescott may not be Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes. But he does come up big in big moments, writes Blogging the Boys’ Cole Patterson. For instance, Prescott completed 17-of-20 passes Sunday for 234 yards and three touchdowns against the Eagles in the game’s final 17:00. Cole will tell you more.And on defense, get to know dominant rookie LB Leighton Vander Esch a little better — and in his own words. He chronicled the team’s mindset following the gut-wrenching loss to Washington, when the season seemed to be slipping away, and why Dallas is where he always wanted to be.This could be the week LB Sean Lee returns. He has not played since Nov. 5. But keep an eye on Elliott, who suffered a stinger Sunday. Philadelphia EaglesAs if the Eagles don’t have enough problems, then came Wednesday. NFL Network reported that Wentz might not play this week and could be shut down the final three weeks due to back soreness and tightness. Brandon Lee Gowton went in depth, explaining how the young quarterback hasn’t been the same player this season, and maybe these struggles can be attributed to his back — which might stem from his ACL tear a year ago. That would mean the return of Foles Jonathan Stewart Color Rush Jersey , the Super Bowl LII MVP.Almost a year ago to the day, Philadelphia was a rising power when it entered the L.A. Coliseum on Dec. 10, 2017 and left with an eye-opening 43-35 victory — their 11th in 13 games — over the Rams, but also lost Wentz to that torn ACL.The Eagles enter their rematch a double-digit underdog. The Rams have plenty of incentive beyond just avenging the loss, after the Bears forced four Jared Goff interceptions, held the Rams to only six points and limited Todd Gurley to just 28 rushing yards. Matt Harkenreader, for one, doesn’t have faith in the Eagles’ playoff hopes, no matter what the numbers say. As Matt put it, “With the season effectively over, and the Rams being a team that is good at football, I will keep this short.” But it’s still worth the read, brief or not.And don’t expect the return of DeFilippo to save the day, at least not “at this time,” Doug Pederson said.And oh yeah 鈥?even more bad news. As expected, RB Corey Clement and DE Josh Sweat were placed on injured reserve after getting hurt in the loss to Dallas, Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Lee Gowton says. They signed RB Boston Scott and DE Daeshon Hall to help replace them. With the moves, the Eagles have 14 players on injured reserve.Washington RedskinsWhat is there left to say?The bottom has fallen out. Josh Johnson is their starting quarterback. And worse, this is how it ends?Captain Mason Foster called out both Redskins fans and teammates in an Instagram direct message that was made public, Hogs Haven’s Scott Jennings tells us. Meanwhile, LB Zach Brown told reporters he sees the “writing on the wall” for him in Washington after being benched.Despite being just a half-game out of the second wild card spot, Mark Tyler takes a look at the off-season and what Redskins might become cap casualties. With Alex Smith’s future in doubt, could Washington be considering a rebuild? If so, the cut candidates could include CB Josh Norman (an potential $8.5 million in savings), TE Vernon Davis ($5 million) and RB Chris Thompson ($3 million).In other forward-looking news, it’s never too early for a mock draft! ESPN guru Todd McShay’s early prediction has Washington seeking help on the offensive line, selecting Oklahoma T Cody Ford.
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