The Tulane Sports Law Society is currently accepting applications to compete in their fifth annual pro football negotiation competition. The competition is open to any current law students and is an event that I highly recommend for anyone who may be interested in pursuing a career in sports law (more…)
Recent Posts by Jason
With the season more than half way complete and many teams already fading out of the playoff picture this is the time of year where we begin to get questions about cap space for next season. Of course such cap space estimates include players who will likely no longer be on the team. To go team by team and make those predictions is impossible so rather than do that each year I like to identify the absolute maximum cap space that can be created by each team next year. While the maximum cap space is not realistic (i.e. the Saints are not cutting Drew Brees) it does give you an idea as to how much a team can really create if they hit the emergency resent button in any given season. (more…)
So I guess it is now decision time in Tampa Bay. When Jameis Winston began his career things looked great for him and the Buccaneers organization. He finished his rookie year with over 4,000 yards and 22 touchdowns. His sophomore campaign was similar and the team was in the playoff hunt finishing with a 9-7 record. The last two years have been a disaster. In 2017 Winston struggled with an injury, tried to play through it and finished the year with a more pedestrian 3,500 yards and 19 touchdowns. He didn’t mesh at all with hired gun DeSean Jackson and the Bucs finished with a disappointing three wins. He missed three games this year due to suspension and was benched mid game after his fourth interception. Now the Bucs have a big decision to make. (more…)
We read so many things about rebuilding in the NFL these days and I think my definition and expectation of a rebuild is different than others. The other day when Odell Beckham gave a controversial interview focusing on the Giants lack of performance I mentioned that this was ultimately the Giants fault for not embracing a rebuilding opportunity. That was met with many comments about how stupid it was for me to suggest they not keep Beckham, which was not something I ever said. So I figured why not have a small discussion as to the way I look at a rebuilding effort in the NFL and how it maybe should have pertained to the Giants. (more…)
Injuries are always a killer in the NFL. Some are predictable but most you just don’t see coming and they can derail a season. With four weeks in the book we look at the teams with the most and least money sitting on reserve lists thus far in 2018. (more…)
There was some odd news in Seattle this week that indicated Earl Thomas was out for personal reasons. His contract dispute with Seattle was well known so some thought it had to do with that while others thought this was a deactivation to keep him healthy for a trade. Chris Mortensen of ESPN shed more light on the situation Sunday morning.
The Seahawks are considering a significant fine to Earl Thomas for conduct detrimental for twice missing practice. No final decision made. He’s expected to play vs. Cowboys AND the Chiefs have emerged as a possible trade partner if Thomas is dealt this year, per sources.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) September 23, 2018
Conduct detrimental in the CBA is a pretty powerful weapon for teams. A team is allowed to fine a player up to one weeks salary under the conduct rules which for Thomas is $500,000. That is a big chunk of change. Teams also have the right to suspend players up to four games without pay if the player’s conduct is considered detrimental to the club.
Thomas’ situation with the Seahawks has gotten ugly and if it gets that bad Seattle has a lot of financial leverage here. While I dont know if any agreement was made after his summer holdout he could have gotten significant fines for that time as well as triggering a $475,000 bonus forfeiture/repayment obligation. If Thomas fails to report for practice that could (or maybe did) trigger a second forfeitable breach of his contract. That would increase that forfeiture from $475,000 to $1.9 million as a 2nd breach in the same year can lead to the maximum forfeiture. Combine that with a conduct fine and potential suspension and you are looking at over half his salary being lost for the year in an ugly dispute. I would also imagine he has lost his termination pay protection for the year after this, though the only thing that prevents is a double dip as he would likely get a decent salary as a free agent. Things rarely would get this ugly but it is worth noting the options that Seattle has here. The most famous case of in season conduct violations came in the Terrell Owens/Eagles dispute back in 2005 which was responsible for shaping the current conduct rules as they relate to suspensions.
A team trading for Thomas would be required to take on the balance of his salary for the season. That is $7 million right now. There are probably 20 teams that could afford him depending on how tight they want to be on their salary cap. The Chiefs would be very tight barring restructures but would fall into the tail end of that category. Dallas would have no problem.
Seattle has asked for too much in return for Thomas based on reports but it would seem that this may be like the Duane Brown situation from last season where he held out on the Texans for some time before being traded to Seattle. It is less likely that Thomas will get the extension he wants at this stage similar to Brown last year. That said he may find it better to play with another team that will likely extend him in 2019 than continue with Seattle who has shown little interest in keeping him as part of the team. The Seahawks traded a 3rd and a future 2nd round pick for the rights to Brown and a 5th round pick. Offensive linemen are usually better investments as they age so my guess is they can bump those by a round (4th and future 3rd) and get a deal done.