A while ago Ryan Feder, who contributes to the site and is a law student at Tulane, made an interesting suggestion to me about trying to potentially incorporate some mock negotiations into the site. With the NFL season near the mid-way point and some fanbases already turning towards 2015’s free agent class I wanted to see if anyone was interested in signing up to participate with other readers of the site in trying that out?
For the purposes of this we would be using the scenario that the team is trying to extend a specific player who is either slated to be a free agent or entering the option year of his rookie contract.
While I do not have a set format in mind I would think the best thing to do would be to indicate if you would prefer the role of the team side or player side, though you could be assigned either role depending on if we have enough for both sides. From there Ill probably randomly assign a player.
Everything would be sent via email between the two sides in an attempt to strike a deal and then we could publish the messages or parts from them to share the negotiation if you guys were agreeable to have them published. If not and you just wanted some feedback when trying it that would be fine as well. Id say we could limit it to three sets of offers and counters so its not overdone. Of course some might just get done after one offer. I also think that before you begin it would be good to jot down a few key things that you are trying to accomplish in the contract so thats its easier to distinguish why a deal could or could not be reached, rather than saying it after the fact.
Each offer should include not just a general number but a pretty detailed breakdown of the contract struture, which would include signing bonus, guarantees, guaranteed structure, roster bonuses, and base salaries. Incentives can also be included. A teams salary cap position should be taken into account (i.e. it would not be realistic for the Saints to extend Mark Ingram on a contract that includes a $9 million cap hit in 2015), but you would not need to adhere to the team philosophies (i.e. Green Bay demanding per game bonuses, Steelers not guaranteeing base salary). Contract structures can simply be done in Excel and pasted to a word file with some notes outlining dates and bonuses.
The only requirements for a participant would be that they can commit the time to put in a reasonable effort and are willing to do some research to argue and justify the points they are making in their offers. I dont think it benefits anyone if they dont have the time or they just throw out a crazy number because it sounds good.
Anyway Im not sure if there is any interest in doing this but if you think you might be interested please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.