Florio Jr. has rock camp this week, where he and several other young musicians are preparing for a July 21 concert at which they’ll rip it up to the tune of Detroit Rock City and Walk This Way, among others. (Last year, it was Frankenstein.)
So I picked him up and we went to lunch just as the news broke on the D’Brickashaw Ferguson deal. Rosenthal did the heavy lifting on the details (as if anything we ever do requires the lifting of anything heavier than our fingers). And I’m compelled to chime in, now that the hot turkey sub from Chunki’s has begun to digest.
The development raises a few questions for me.
1. Will the numbers come in as good as advertised?
Folks in the media typically get early contract numbers from the agents for the players. Though other agents and NFLPA sources eventually will have access to the information, typically it’s only the team, the player, and the player’s agent who know the financial figures when the deal is first done.
And as we’ve seen in the past, agents often pump up the numbers, and the reporters who get the scoops from the agents rarely if ever ask questions.
So we’ll believe that Ferguson got a six-year, $60 million extension with $34.8 million guaranteed once we have a chance to pick over the terms of the contract and confirm it on our own.
2. Will the rest of the “Core Four” now get new deals?
When cornerback Darrelle Revis took his contractual discontent public, he pointed out that he and three other young players — Ferguson, center Nick Mangold, and linebacker David Harris — believe they’d been promised new deals.
So now that Ferguson has gotten a new deal, could it be that Revis and the others will follow?
The decision to start the process with Ferguson is confusing. He’s got two years left on his rookie deal, and he wasn’t publicly clamoring for a new contract. Besides, Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com reported in June that, of the “Core Four,” only Revis would get a new contract before the finalization of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
In the wake of the development, one fact is clear — the money paid to Ferguson won’t make the other three guys any less inclined to look for new contracts of their own.
3. If collusion is happening, it’s not unanimous.
The manner in which the Chargers have handled receiver Vincent Jackson and left tackle Marcus McNeill have caused us to wonder whether teams expressly or implicitly have agreed to not spend big money on veteran deals until a new labor contract has been negotiated. Any such agreement would amount to collusion.
The Jets’ decision to give so much money (supposedly) to a guy who has two years left on his rookie deal shows that, if there’s collusion, the Jets didn’t get the memo.
It’s possible that the Jets opted to disregard the subtle — or otherwise — messages, if any, aimed at getting owners to keep their millions in their pockets and out of the players’ hands with a possible lockout approaching. Indeed, the Jets have become a renegade of sorts over the past year, with Rex Ryan’s loquaciousness coaxing owner Woody Johnson to become a showman, of sorts.
4. What does Tom Brady think of this?
Ferguson’s agent is Don Yee. Don Yee represents Tom Brady.
If the reports of $34.8 million in guaranteed money are accurate, Ferguson’s deal significantly exceeds the contract that Brady will complete in the 2010 season. And that could make him even more determined to get top dollar from the Pats come 2011.
Which could make it even more likely that Brady will be getting top dollar from some other team instead.
UPDATE: A league source points out that Ferguson fired Yee last month and hired Brad Blank. We relied on the list distributed at the Super Bowl and didn’t check the NFLPA website. We apologize for the error. And we still wonder what Tom Brady thinks of the fact that a team in his division isn’t bashful about making a long-term commitment with a key player who has two years left under contract notwithstanding the labor uncertainty behind which multiple teams are hiding.