Players who are passing on contract offers should know the risks

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Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Tuesday’s news that 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman has signed a long-term deal is that few players have signed long-term deals this season.

Perhaps more should.

As we understand it, teams are making offers to their guys who are due to become free agents.  Players (or perhaps more accurately their agents) are balking, hoping to cash in even bigger on the opening day of free agency.

That’s fine, but some players are turning up their noses at solid contract offers in the hopes of a windfall that may not come.  Agents and the NFLPA continue to believe the salary cap will go up higher than the league believes it will.  Even if the cap spikes, only a small handful get overpaid.

There’s another important reason to get a deal done now, before the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2013.  With the Bush tax cuts potentially getting scuttled next year, the highest bracket could push from 35 percent back to 39.6 percent.

On a $10 million signing bonus, that’s $460,000.

Regardless of what happens, players need to realize that they may not get the brass ring they covet — and that by reaching for it they may squander something close to it.  Especially if they end up with an injury that necessarily disqualifies them from the first-day lottery prize that won’t go to very many players, and that may not be big enough to justify passing on the offer that’s on the table.

We’re not saying players should blindly accept the money they’re being offered.  Instead, they should know the pros and the cons and make a decision fully aware of the risks.

Which starts with the risk that Uncle Sam will get an extra 4.6 percent of money that changes hands after the local radio station quits playing that Dan Fogelberg song.

14 responses to “Players who are passing on contract offers should know the risks

  1. Higher tax rates are only the beginning. There’s the loss of exemptions, the new Obamacare taxes, the expiration of the payroll tax holiday, etc. In spite of what you hear in the media, the tax code really socks it to the rich. And don’t forget about state income taxes. Why do you think so many multi-millionaires live in Isleworth (Orlando)? No state income tax in Florida.

  2. Too bad most agents have the financial acumen of a drunk hamster. And sadder that too many players rely on such people because they are more knowledgeable than players.

  3. 49ers 3rd round pick ( 91st overall ) was an awesome selection …
    In fact their 2010 was pretty stellar as it also included other important building blocks :
    O-Linemen Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati .

    PS
    For those scratchin’ their heads at Mike’s Dan Folgelberg song reference :
    It’s “Same Old Lang Syne” .

  4. At least the government is trying to pay its bills.
    Don’t worry though, you can just leave it to my generation to pay it off. Everything seems to be our fault anyways.

  5. Yeah – last year at this time the Giants were offering Mario Manningham $5M a year and he thought he strike it rich as a FA. What happened, $8M over two years as a #3 for the 49ers.

    Steven Smith after his great year with the Giants was offer over $35M but he wanted more and endup making $4M last year in Philly and $1.5M this year with the Rams, it looks like he’ll never see anything like that pre-injury offer.

  6. I agree, but it’s their agents’ fault for not getting opt-out clauses or shorter lengths for nearby free agency years!!!

    If players are only given lengthy years the agents should at least try to get opt-out clauses. It’s not banned (unlike Adderall) and agents like Joel Segal and Tom Condon have gotten guarantees for players if they’re released so let the players do something that’s actually favorable to owners; be free agents without costs.

    Nnamdi and Santonio can be free agents, but teams will have to pay them while they’re off Eagles and Jets’ rosters respectively.

    MLB and NBA players have this option and many of their players cashed more after opting out. Maybe the NFL players should try the same thing.

  7. Sorry about the last comment. I see now the the $460,000 was the difference in rates after January 1, 2013. Doesn’t the federal government stealing $3.96 million out of $10 million you earned enrage you? What people don’t know is the so called middle class is going to be hit too. By Obama’s and the Democrat’s definition of rich anyone making $60k or more is rich. An ignorant population is the Democrat’s best resource.

  8. Where are you getting $60k from? Obama’s been talking about households above $250k. Please provide link that references taxes going up on those making at least $60k.

  9. @ foo,

    The reason 60 k is getting put out there is because the pending loss of current tax cuts involve among other things the marriage penalty returning, child credits lowering (as in the amount you can deduct for each dependent child) and payroll tax, employee side going back to 6.2%. That affects all working people.

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