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Dwight Freeney accuses owners of collusion during free agency

Dwight Freeney AP

This year’s free agency period saw a very soft market across the board with players generally struggling to find the big-money deals that had been common in prior seasons.

The defensive end and cornerback markets especially saw a lack of big commitments from teams. Cliff Avril – PFT’s top ranked defensive free agent – signed just a two-year, $15 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks a year after being the Detroit Lions franchise player. Elvis Dumervil received just $12 million guaranteed from the Baltimore Ravens after compiling 63.5 sacks in six season with Denver. John Abraham remains unsigned and Dwight Freeney had to wait until after the draft before electing to sign with the San Diego Chargers.

Freeney believes there is a reason for that. According to Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com, Freeney believes the owners deliberately tried to lower the bar for free agents across the board. It’s an outright accusation of collusion by Freeney.

“I basically think the owners got together and decided not to spend the cash on free agents,” Freeney said. “I definitely think that’s part of it. I think the owners made a pact. There’s only 32 of them and none of them broke ranks. I think they all decided not to spend money.”

Freeney expressed confusion at how the free agent process played out. He wasn’t the only one. Freeman also quoted an anonymous agent stating how unusual the process was this year.

“I’ve been in this business for several decades and there was never an offseason like this. Never,” the agent said.

Whether the owners were indeed colluding to keep the market low may be difficult – if not impossible – to ever prove. The league has denied it and trying to get a person in-the-know to admit it if it was occurring seems to be highly unlikely. However, it is still a bold statement for Freeney to accuse the owners directly.

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117 Responses to “Dwight Freeney accuses owners of collusion during free agency”
  1. rapcine262 says: May 30, 2013 10:47 PM

    You’re right, there’s no way ANYONE could have looked at you as over the hill or past your prime… someone cut this man a check for 10 mill guaranteed…. smfh

  2. elwaysagenius says: May 30, 2013 10:48 PM

    Bitter because nobody wants this washed up old man

  3. rickshaw48 says: May 30, 2013 10:49 PM

    I could be wrong, but I believe collusion is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era.

  4. wwwfella says: May 30, 2013 10:49 PM

    30 owners 2 were punished for not going along with the first collusion. HTTR

  5. prosb4hos says: May 30, 2013 10:50 PM

    He’ll fit in perfectly on the Chargers.

  6. tampabucks05 says: May 30, 2013 10:52 PM

    The Bucs disagree with you Dwight.

  7. mattjay0101 says: May 30, 2013 10:53 PM

    DF needs to quit jackin “the league”.

  8. oppydlt says: May 30, 2013 10:53 PM

    I am sure it was colusion and not the fact that ALL NFL teams used the salary cap rising from year to year to have money to spend on free agents.

  9. cwill99 says: May 30, 2013 10:53 PM

    I agree with him. I understand owners not wanting to overpay for a guy past his prime or what not, but I thought the point of lowering the rookie salaries was to reward the veteran players that had proven themselves? Isn’t that what they said during that last CBA meetings?

  10. cardmagnet says: May 30, 2013 10:54 PM

    From this moment on, I shall refer to Freeney as Rodney Ruxin.

  11. dirtmcgirt24 says: May 30, 2013 10:55 PM

    Man if it wasn’t for that damn pact, owners would have been scratching each others eyes out to have a chance at this 33-year old pass rusher.

  12. Stiller43 says: May 30, 2013 10:55 PM

    Maybe it was a combination of some teams that would have had cap room (skins and boys) not having it, as well as a flat cap the last few years combined with rising salaries on their team already?

    I could see his point if he said “the last 5 years, the cap % spending was X%, and that dropped by Y (a meaningful amount) this year.” If cap % spending hasnt gone down, he doesnt really have a leg to stand on.

  13. justintuckrule says: May 30, 2013 10:55 PM

    As much as this years free agency period reeks of collusion, I can’t believe it for the simple reason that if it were true, jones and Snyder would have thrown Mara under the bus in a second.

  14. hutch119 says: May 30, 2013 10:56 PM

    Or maybe teams saw how awful the Charles Johnson, Mario Williams, Ray Edwards etc. contracts look now and smartened up.

    Plus does Paul Kruger getting 40 million for 3/4′s of a season worth of solid play sound like collusion? Or did the other owners just leave the Browns out of their secrete meetings?

  15. hutch119 says: May 30, 2013 10:58 PM

    secrete meetings ewwww…

    SECRET*** meetings

  16. recyclecode6 says: May 30, 2013 10:59 PM

    First time I’ve ever heard Freeney pipe up to the media. Sad. Indy will miss you but you’ve been hurt, production down. Total career earnings north of 70 mil and he’s bitching. Sad

  17. pmars64 says: May 30, 2013 10:59 PM

    Cue the idiot fans who blame the player, blah, blah, blah. I mean there’s ABSOLUTELY NO WAY Freeney could be right. The owners were so truthful when they cried poverty during the lockout. Of course, they were, I mean why would they share their books because we should simply believe them. They’ve never yanked teams from fans. They’ve never held cities hostage to get sweetheart stadium deals. They never, never, ever bilked truckers out of millions…

  18. recyclecode6 says: May 30, 2013 11:01 PM

    Oh, and you can thank D Smith for rookie wage scale. That more than anything capped veterans too. Prime example, you are cut and the German takes over in Indy.

  19. kingbuccaneer says: May 30, 2013 11:01 PM

    Hey Dwight, Mark Dom and the Bucs (of all teams) proved your point invalid. Still, I wish we would have ponied up the money to sign you. Woulda been a perfect match.

  20. thesteelers says: May 30, 2013 11:03 PM

    This is why we didn’t sign him.

  21. mackcarrington says: May 30, 2013 11:05 PM

    How very interesting that most casual observer fans don’t think there is something unusual going on this year. Not only was the free agent market strangely slow, just look at how many players were faced with taking pay cuts or losing their jobs. Urlacher retired. Not saying some of these guys weren’t past their prime but this year the “market corrections” were difficult to ignore.

  22. baselman1974 says: May 30, 2013 11:05 PM

    Then what do you call Joe Flacco’s contract? How about Revis? The NFL is a young man’s league and if you are wrong side of 30, then don’t expect big payday unless you are a QB.

  23. davetexansfan says: May 30, 2013 11:05 PM

    Hmmm lets see here….

    Cliff Avril is 27 years old
    Elvis Dumervil is 29

    Dwight Freeney is 33
    John Abraham is 35

    But I’m sure that had NOTHING to do with it. The owners MUST be holding secret meetings and agreeing on not spending money.

  24. charge1 says: May 30, 2013 11:07 PM

    He is right the owners colluded in the uncapped year two years ago and then penalized the only two teams who spend money on free agents. The cowboys and Skins could not sign anyone in 2013 so he is totally right.

  25. mullman76 says: May 30, 2013 11:07 PM

    This is what happened: Rooney, Mara and Kraft instructed the other 29 owners to not spend money on free agents.

    If they refused then their lap dog Goodell would steal cap space or draft picks or money or all of the above.

    The league is run by three owners and it’s transparent.

    Go Raiders

  26. logicalvoicesisnotlogical says: May 30, 2013 11:11 PM

    There’s two wr’s out there that silently differ. Cough Harvin cough Wallace cough. Dude your old and so were several other free agents wake up smell the prune juice.

  27. avr29 says: May 30, 2013 11:12 PM

    Maybe this year’s free agents aren’t that good. We saw only a couple “blockbuster” type deals, and they were for young players with big upside. Guys like Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett had either 1 good year, or were inconsistent on a year-to-year basis, while guys like Abraham, Freeney, and Woodson provided risk due to their age. The free agents this year just aren’t that good compared to other years. Outside of Mike Wallace and Dashon Goldson, no one got big money, and they were the only guys considered to be “premiere” FAs.

  28. ambitoos says: May 30, 2013 11:13 PM

    Somebody has to control the paydays that these guys get. Look what the big paydays have done to baseball and basketball. Some of these pitchers aren’t worth a damned and are getting paid tens of millions. They kill the game for the small markets.

  29. johnnyb1976 says: May 30, 2013 11:14 PM

    Maybe it’s because freeney is 35 and in decline… Just putting that out there.

  30. harrisonhits2 says: May 30, 2013 11:15 PM

    The Chargers must have wanted him to show off his whine to make sure he fit into their scheme.

  31. yetimonster says: May 30, 2013 11:16 PM

    He’s probably right, considering the NFL is pretty close to a monopoly or oligopoly, legal or not. It’s probably closest to a private club in which the owners are “members” who keep secrets from the schlubs (players) who bring in the money.

    But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this private club model. Extreme wealth does funny things to people (owners) – see Al Davis.

  32. djstat says: May 30, 2013 11:16 PM

    The player is wrong because:

    Paul Krueger – 5 yrs, 40 mill
    Danell Ellerbe 5 yrs 35 mill
    Joe Flacco 7 yrs, 120 mill.
    The owners spent money Dwight, just not on you

  33. skoobyfl says: May 30, 2013 11:18 PM

    Carrubba owns that place.

  34. bertyboz says: May 30, 2013 11:19 PM

    This is what happens when you don’t let the Redskins, and to a lesser degree the Cowboys, participate in free agency.

  35. ppdoc13 says: May 30, 2013 11:20 PM

    Paul Kruger and danelle ellerbe of the ravens got WAY overpaid. Joe Flacco and Aaron Rodgers each got over 100 million dollar contracts as did tony romo. Doesn’t sound line collusion to me. Sounds like owners have gotten smarter about paying older players in the back half of their careers. Also sounds like sour grapes.

  36. evilglazers666 says: May 30, 2013 11:24 PM

    The Bucs overpaid for injured Revis!

  37. coachpaulee says: May 30, 2013 11:26 PM

    Could be a natural market correction, but I doubt it. That is not how the 1 Percent operate. The NFL is a cartel.

  38. atwatercrushesokoye says: May 30, 2013 11:29 PM

    It’s called supply and demand Dwight, did you not notice that you and John Abraham followed each other to every stop on the free agency tour? The teams had leverage, when you priced yourself too high they went with plan B. Add to that, you, Abraham and Dummervil aren’t exactly known for being stout against the run, maybe teams don’t want to pay $8 million for an over the hill 3rd down specialist?

  39. piis314 says: May 30, 2013 11:29 PM

    Aaron Rodgers and Joe Flacco each received a contract that proves the owners are out to screw the players. I mean… with spending so little on one position, they are flush with cash to spread out on free agents.

    Clearly any current contracts with escalators, rising cap costs to a relatively flat cap, and re-signing priority players has absolutely nothing to do with the free agent contracts and the money available to them. And of course, any savings related to the rookie cap is only supposed to be used on free agents – none of the other contracts.

    At least we can all take solace that DF will at the top of every owner’s list to hire as their GM when he retires. He has an unbiased, global view of the NFL financial picture.

  40. tinbender2000 says: May 30, 2013 11:32 PM

    I’ve thought the same thing, I’d be willing to bet a paycheck he’s right.

  41. basexc9 says: May 30, 2013 11:32 PM

    Didn’t my Fins spend over $200 million this offseason? Sounds like someone’s sore

  42. thewarrenmoon says: May 30, 2013 11:34 PM

    The guy is a piece of crap. A whopping 14 tackles in a season.

  43. ncbengalmike says: May 30, 2013 11:34 PM

    Mr. Freeny is misinformed it was only 31 teams that colluded to not spend money………………………………………….. Mike Brown has been doing this for 30 years

  44. SAV says: May 30, 2013 11:38 PM

    In what way did your comments benefit you? Bitter millionaires make me wanna hurl, PS-thanks for putting no pressure on Flacco in the playoffs homie :)

  45. jsrdc says: May 30, 2013 11:41 PM

    It was a bargain offseason for premier pass rushers. The $ just wasn’t offered.

    I am all for listening to conspiracy theories, but after what happened to the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins, I doubt certain owners would try to engage in collusin with the league yet again. Regardless of the valid case the two teams had, they couldn’t get the judge to agree with their collusion case the first time. The results would be no different the second time around.

    Freeney, I believe collusion was a real thing in last year’s cap penalties, but not this year’s bargain basement FA signings.

    Be happy you are on a team, and play hard. Your career is on the decline, so go out with some monster stats and further state your case for the HOF (107.5 career sacks is a pretty nice # for 11 years). A few more solid seasons may get you in, but you have to stay healthy, bro.

  46. iced107 says: May 30, 2013 11:41 PM

    Freeney might wanna take a look at the contracts for the first few days -

    of hand I’ll go ahead and name some high $ free agents -

    Kruger to Cleveland (i think overpaid but we’ll see)
    Jake Long and Jared Cook to St.Louis

    not even gonna name all the players they got – Miami.

  47. brownsfanincali says: May 30, 2013 11:44 PM

    No worries, Dwight …. the NFL is working on a rebate system for free agents who feel they were cheated by the market. Jimmy Haslam is in charge of it, and you should see your check in the mail any day now.

  48. der6495 says: May 30, 2013 11:51 PM

    Maybe the fact that most people posting on this page could amass your staggering total of 12 tackles last year has something to do with it.

  49. mikeknaj says: May 30, 2013 11:54 PM

    > If cap % spending hasnt gone down, he doesnt really have a leg to stand on.

    That’s the key. Are teams actually spending less money this year? I don’t think they are. It’s just that certain bigger contracts have eaten up a larger chunk of the cash, leaving less for older veterans at non-key positions to earn, even with a rookie scale. Most teams are bumping up against their cap at this point, or very close to it. They’re spending the money – there’s just not enough left for older vets like Freeney in this day and age.

  50. bchapman2011 says: May 30, 2013 11:58 PM

    His comments are so stupid that it is hard to know where to start. First off almost every team is right at their cap limit which means they must be spending their money somewhere. Also, do you really believe that 32 of the worlds most competitive
    people would all agree to reduce their chances of winning a ring just to save a few bucks?

  51. fearthehoody says: May 31, 2013 12:00 AM

    woe-is-me

  52. truthfactory says: May 31, 2013 12:04 AM

    You can blame the owners, but the fact of the matter is that rarely does a team spend big money on free agents and then feel great about it the following year.

    You should be pointing the finger at guys like Mario Williams for ruining it for the rest of you guys…

  53. dawglb says: May 31, 2013 12:05 AM

    So classic. 5,…7,…9 years ago, when he was raking in the money, did he ever once stand up for the other guys who were in the situation he finds himself in, now.

  54. xpensivewinos says: May 31, 2013 12:38 AM

    Mike Wallace is 60 million percent sure Dwight Freeney is wrong.

  55. thewarrenmoon says: May 31, 2013 12:42 AM

    Truly the most over-rated player in NFL history.

  56. maatopdogg32 says: May 31, 2013 12:48 AM

    Freeney’s right. The market for players was extremely low this offseason with very few long term deals or 1-2 year deals. Handicap the big spenders redskins and cowboys while the other owners collude. That’s what the penalties where really about. Keep teams that actually spend money from setting the market. The players really got hosed on the collective bargaining deal.

  57. watchfullhose says: May 31, 2013 12:56 AM

    The owners ARE colluding to keep salaries down.

  58. sb34champs says: May 31, 2013 12:57 AM

    Why not blame the South East for injecting their middle school student athletes with horse urine during P.E. class?

    Reality Check Maybe….

  59. vikesfansteve says: May 31, 2013 12:57 AM

    He’s right. Reminds me of baseball in 87.

  60. robertjamis says: May 31, 2013 1:01 AM

    I found the total lack of offer sheets strange, but otherwise, he’s prob wrong

  61. cliffordc05 says: May 31, 2013 1:06 AM

    The Dolphins made deals worth nearly $150m and the Colts were not far behind. Freeney might remember the Colts as the team that didn’t give him what he was seeking. It didn’t take collusion for the Colts to decide that Freeney was not worth what Freeney thought he was worth.

  62. goawayeverybody says: May 31, 2013 1:17 AM

    Isn’t this the first off-season under the new salary cap?

  63. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: May 31, 2013 1:28 AM

    So what? The owners should be able to collude together and dictate the money they shell out…the players are way overpaid anyway.

  64. rajbais says: May 31, 2013 1:34 AM

    It’s a shame that none of the players had advanced attorneys to warn them about this.

    They may not have been of the caliber of Jeffrey Kessler, but at least they’re not as clownish as De Smith.

  65. lambeauwade says: May 31, 2013 1:35 AM

    Or….. maybe people have looked at the success that has escaped teams that have spent disproportionate amounts of cap space on last contracts for players who have or will soon, pass their prime. In my opinion, more teams have found success finding pass rushing skill in the draft or even udas and street/cfl free agents than spending big on names.
    Best I can think of are Reggie White, John Abraham, Jared Alen and Kyle Vanderbush. For every player that has worked I can think of three Kearse’s, Pepper’s or Kampman’s.

    Like the rb position has proven, some positions are the result of philosophy, (not ness scheme,) wherein teams scheme their pass rush around the skills of their players not contending with guys who fight to pick up or put down their fist in grass.

  66. 11thstreetmafia says: May 31, 2013 1:49 AM

    No Dwight, you are just a washed up one trick pony.

  67. stung4ever1983 says: May 31, 2013 1:52 AM

    Hey Dwight, it might not be the smartest thing to call your new boss a cheater.

  68. jeremycrowhurst says: May 31, 2013 1:53 AM

    Baltimore broke the bank for a free-agent QB. That’s part of the problem, Dwight — teams have to pay big money for the important positions (to guys still in their 20′s), and it just doesn’t leave as much room for those unbelievably stupid contracts we’re used to seeing.

  69. j4man1 says: May 31, 2013 1:57 AM

    I don’t know much about this guy, but maybe he just isn’t worth much. Maybe he and Urlacher can get together.

  70. Dave H says: May 31, 2013 3:09 AM

    Every aging vet has to find some reason for their diminished value – never that the player isn’t worth the money anymore. He actually got a damn good deal! As a Chargers fan, I hope he’s worth it.

  71. onbucky96 says: May 31, 2013 3:37 AM

    Hey Dwight, do you have any evidence other than supposition ti support your allegation of Shennanagin? Or are you and the NFLPA going to go whine to Judge Doty, again? Even though he’s twice ruled against allegations of collusion by the NFL against the NFLPA.

  72. dcapettini says: May 31, 2013 5:16 AM

    It used to be that when you accused your employer of illegal labor practices you had to have some proof. Does Dwight have some of that? I thought not. The Union signed the CBA and this is the result. Next time get a negotiator that knows what he is doing. In the meantime, enjoy your millions while the rest of us haven’t gotten a raise since 2007.

  73. spideysdog says: May 31, 2013 5:32 AM

    I don’t blame Dwight. the owners fleeced the players. BAD. the fact that D Smith wasn’t immediately fired at the end of the lockout shows just how good of a job the owners did.
    Simply put, they sold the players and union on a flat rookie wage scale that reduced some top of the first round contracts by 70-80%. they did this by selling the players on the fact that that would free up more money for veterans already in the league. the union bought it.

    it’s no different than ticket prices. supply and demand.

    why am I going to give a 30-34 year old veteran with miles under the hood, 4 years and 50 million when I can pick up a second rounder, and control his rights for four years, for about 4-6 million. total.

    there is money out there, bit the only guys who are going to see it are the mid 20 something game changers or perceived game changers. Mike Wallace, Revis, Harvin. the guys that have years left on the engine.

    it’s a whole new era in the NFL. I don’t know whether there was collusion during free agency this year or not, but I do know one thing. the players got fleeced at the bargaining table.

  74. mempusa says: May 31, 2013 6:24 AM

    Sorry Dwight, you’re older and there happened to be some pretty strong OLB/DE Free Agents as well as a pretty decent draft class. State your case on the field, not in the media.

  75. razzlejag says: May 31, 2013 6:49 AM

    Collusion is fun to believe but is it even possible? Details of “secret” meetings, texts, emails, would have to leak out, the participants’ egos are just too big and there are too many of them.

    I just can’t believe/accept that there would be a tacit agreement of collusion between 32 owners that could stay secret.

    More likely, the players got jobbed big-time in the CBA negotiations- the rookies got hosed, the cap was set firmly in place and there just isn’t any big money for 33 year old DE’s on the downside of their careers.

  76. titansbro says: May 31, 2013 7:05 AM

    I don’t know man, the Titans & Bucs sure spent a lot of money this offseason. The DE & CB markets had some talented players but they all had some issue such as age/injury or checkered pasts.

  77. ebr362 says: May 31, 2013 7:15 AM

    Excuse me, Mr Freeney, this registered letter just arrived for you from the the commish’s office.

  78. brassknuckles47 says: May 31, 2013 7:31 AM

    Yes, I’d be complaining, too if I was only making $4.5mm a yr. for playing a GAME!

  79. unicron3 says: May 31, 2013 7:34 AM

    If this were true, wouldn’t multiple teams be offering the same “max colluded amount” for each free agent? Were there multiple teams after Freeney and he had to choose?

  80. toybkshr says: May 31, 2013 7:40 AM

    What were this 34 yr old’s sack totals in 2012?
    And while Abraham had a decent total, he had zero in the last 8 games. I wouldn’t have offered either of these guys significant $$ with a relatively flat cap.

  81. jnbnet says: May 31, 2013 7:45 AM

    cwill99 says:
    May 30, 2013 10:53 PM
    I agree with him. I understand owners not wanting to overpay for a guy past his prime or what not, but I thought the point of lowering the rookie salaries was to reward the veteran players that had proven themselves? Isn’t that what they said during that last CBA meetings?

    =============================
    There is more money for the vets. There are over fifty players on a team. Most of them don’t make crazy money, so they are thrilled to be able to get an extra million. But it adds up fast. Freeny still got more money than most other “regular” players.

  82. bluepike says: May 31, 2013 7:46 AM

    It’s amazing how easily these players forget about the salary cap – an integral part of the recent CBA that they agreed to – and how it affects team spending. They only want to address the parts of the CBA that benefit them, while choosing to ignore and rail against parts that don’t suit them – such as the franchise tag. Freeney, like most pro athletes hasn’t made enough money in his life playing a game – he wants more. Just like Edward G. Robinson’s character (Johnny Rocco) in “Key Largo” – he wants more. At his age and declining ability he should be grateful that any team showed an interest.

    Still, the biggest crybabies in the world – pro athletes.

  83. mancave001 says: May 31, 2013 7:47 AM

    Right, there is no collusion. Just like there’s no tampering. And you know what? I don’t care about either. You’ll never stop it.

  84. bcgreg says: May 31, 2013 7:55 AM

    All you have to do is check each team’s salary cap situation once the season starts. If most are close to the cap, then this accusation has no merit. Then, if you compare the cap situation with other years, you could MAYBE have a point. Freeney is ignorant to the fact that new CBA’s take a couple years for its impact to show. The CBA signed a year ago is completely different than the one he’s played under his whole career. So, the numbers will be different. Plus, teams have wisened up. They don’t pay old guys whose skills aren’t what they once were big money anymore when they can get similar production from younger, cheaper options, who have potential to get better. Freeney simply sounds a little bitter.

  85. joemontanawasthegreatest says: May 31, 2013 8:01 AM

    The Dolphins must have missed the memo…..

  86. flutener333 says: May 31, 2013 8:03 AM

    I don’t believe it takes a lot of collusion to not sign a 33 year old who averaged $1M per tackle last year. $17M for 17 tackles.

  87. nananatman says: May 31, 2013 8:06 AM

    Reading about it day after day I’d say he was probably right.

  88. wiley16350 says: May 31, 2013 8:15 AM

    Well, the NFL is one business made up of 32 franchises. So the question would be, is it illegal collusion. Illegal collusion would be for the NFL and CFL to agree to keep wages down. They are separate businesses. If Freeny doesn’t like the wages the NFL pays he is free to play for the CFL, AFL or any other football league. Unfortunately for him, the NFL already pays the most for players. Put in that light, what does he have to complain about?

  89. skarfacci says: May 31, 2013 8:16 AM

    BS. I could see if they were making minimum wage. The avg sal in the NFL is 2 mil. Hey Dwight waah waah waah waah waah!!!!

  90. timtheenchanter1 says: May 31, 2013 8:18 AM

    The lockout collusion penalties killed free agency by cap-tying WAS and DAL.

    Without Dannyboy and Jerruh to bid against themselves on washed up free agents, there were no ridiculous price wars to drive up the contracts beyond the first few young, entering-their-prime players.

  91. dbfan4ever says: May 31, 2013 8:21 AM

    Smart idea for Freeney to be publicly accusing his new employer of malfeasance! Brilliant move!

  92. eaglesnoles05 says: May 31, 2013 8:27 AM

    Fact: No one wanted to pay Freeney or Abraham or any of these older guys as much as they wanted
    Fiction: All the teams got together and decided they were going to screw over Dwight Freeney.

  93. mamasaidknockuout37 says: May 31, 2013 8:29 AM

    He will be miserable with the rest of the chargers lord of no rings aj screwed things up for many years to come

  94. starfan79 says: May 31, 2013 8:51 AM

    This is also the first season that rookies had a salary cap. Why would you break the bank on an older player? You can either over pay an older good player or you can pay a fair value for many older players. Besides qb’s, and certain top tier players… I think those days are coming to an end. Blame your quarterbacks, not the owners

  95. mcwest1 says: May 31, 2013 9:05 AM

    Look no further than the rookie wage scale as the reason for the lack of interest in paying for high-priced veterans.

    While paying a ridiculous amount of money to a player who hadn’t yet played an NFL down, those top ten draft picks set the floor for veteran contracts. It’s why Upshaw was adamant about not having a rookie wage scale.

    The NFL’s argument for a rookie wage scale (other than the obvious “it’s insane to pay a rookie that kind of money) was that there would be more money to pay to the veterans.

    Rookie pay scale = Owners win. Players lose.

  96. officialgame says: May 31, 2013 9:10 AM

    Didn’t some of the younger, healthier free agents get paid?

  97. mcwest1 says: May 31, 2013 9:15 AM

    NFLPA should have insisted on a higher salary cap floor to insure the money saved by having rookie pay scale would be paid to the veterans.

  98. dolphins512 says: May 31, 2013 9:18 AM

    Rumor has it my Dolphins signed some high cost free agents this off season. Also, the draft was deep with defensive tackles.

    Looking at the overall league, the players in their prime seemed to go pretty quickly. The aging, at the end of their career players, are mostly the ones who are left.

  99. fatsolio says: May 31, 2013 9:23 AM

    Freeney has and always will be a moron. In his view, he should be paid about 2 trillion dollars to spin himself out of position on most plays and keep being the one dimensional guy he always has been.

    I like that he (like most moron athletes and well, humans) has no concept of simple economics. You have a salary cap and players who need to be paid. The salary cap is not rising these days so that clearly means overall salaries can’t keep rising and old ass past their prime guys like him will be the first casualties for lowered salaries. It’s like he thinks every year everyone should be paid monster dollars and it’ll some how work under a cap not increasing.

    Wasn’t Freeney the same idiot that got taken by some financial advisor for over a mil? Expect to see this chump filing for bankruptcy about 5 years after he retires. It’s clear he is too stupid to understand the concept of money and the concept of budgets.

    I am so sick of this guy and will be happy when he retires.

  100. illiniftw says: May 31, 2013 9:29 AM

    The rookie wage scale seems to have transferred the money from rookies to a few highly paid superstars on most teams instead of it spreading around to all veterans like they probably thought it would. With the cap not increasing as much as teams thought it would, restructured contracts are also starting to catch up with teams.

  101. granadafan says: May 31, 2013 9:38 AM

    Will no one of think of the poor multibillionaire owners? They’re falling on hard times these days and have to cut back on the new cars from once a month to once per year. Things are getting so bad, they NEED our taxpayer money to re-build stadiums built a whole 20 years ago with lavish amenities. Stop being so selfish and think of the poor owners!

  102. ridingwithnohandlebars says: May 31, 2013 9:48 AM

    Players need to get used to the fact that the market has changed so that younger players are even cheaper so that most players will only get one big money making deal after their rookie contract is up.

  103. jchuber says: May 31, 2013 9:50 AM

    Dah, isn’t that called a cap, done by the nfl, to limit each teams spending. And if most teams follow the girls example, and give their worthless QB 100 million, that doesn’t leave much for other folks.
    In America, them that’s got the gold makes the rules. Justice can be bought by the rich, and only the poor have to obey the law.

  104. jprcox says: May 31, 2013 10:47 AM

    These players are nuts. I hope owners do more of this type of “collusion”, as things were getting out of control for a while. Good to see rookies don’t hold-out any more, and next the VETS won’t get crazy deals they end up coasting through and playing 1/2 speed on.

    What these players need is some training on KEEPING their wealth. The problem isn’t not getting paid enough, the problem is how most players spend and blow through their money. Fix that and everyone will be happy.

  105. lurkerkerker says: May 31, 2013 10:49 AM

    It’s a copycat league. The teams in the best position to win aren’t the ones that overspent in free-agency – they patiently built through the draft. Are the vets getting hosed by the owners? Maybe, but if you can gather the scratch to do it, an NFL frnchise is a pretty good way to make a buck. Go make a few billion and buy your own team if you think it’s unfair.

  106. cappa662 says: May 31, 2013 10:49 AM

    The union signed a very bad deal. There’s no incentive for paying veterans now when you can get the same production from a rookie drafted in the 4th round. And then have the ability to franchise him for 2 years after that. Unless you are a QB… when you are 28 and in the NFL, you are on the downside of your career.

  107. gospitfires says: May 31, 2013 10:56 AM

    its not collusion when your an old player coming off a bad season looking to get paid like a 25 year old pro bowler. you and charles woodson needs to realize your not the first “old” players forced out the door by new young talent.

    i mean who wants to overpay for an old declining player who will be there for 1-2 years when you can go with a cheap young guy who you might have for 5+ years.

  108. tennesseetitan78 says: May 31, 2013 10:58 AM

    I guess Bud Adams and the Titans didn’t get the memo….but overall I’m glad that it went down this way because have of these bums get payed and never play to their potential.

  109. NOLA in Focus says: May 31, 2013 11:12 AM

    Aren’t the Packers a non-profit with the public owning the team, so technically wouldn’t it be 31 owners conspiring?

    Or do you count the public, and make it 363,031 owners conspiring? Just wondering…

  110. bearclaw69 says: May 31, 2013 11:21 AM

    Cliff Avril signed “just” a two-year, $15 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks a year after being the Detroit Lions franchise player. Elvis Dumervil received “just” $12 million guaranteed from the Baltimore Ravens….
    Really? Really? I’d sure as hell like to get “just” a million dollars for working !) YEARS. And I’d be GRATEFUL, not complaining about it. The players are guilty every day of collusion, as the union presses them never to take less money than the last guy at their position took. I say if the owners got together and decided to end this insanity, GOOD FOR THEM. If these idiot players don’t like being paid “just” millions of dollars, they can go dig ditches and see if they like that any better.

  111. radrntn says: May 31, 2013 11:34 AM

    oh oh, he is already regretting signing with the choo choo dumbolt super bowl express out of juice chargers.

    I think this is the same thing Chad Bratzke said a few years back as well….Hey Dwight it’s called karma…young bucks will replace the old guys….it’s just the way it is.

  112. ColtsWinColtsWin!! says: May 31, 2013 11:40 AM

    wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    I aint gettin paid
    wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  113. rcali says: May 31, 2013 5:14 PM

    There is a reason owners are not going broke like NFL players. It’s called money management.

  114. chuckchillout says: May 31, 2013 5:22 PM

    This discussion will always be clouded by the bitterness and jealousy some people express towards millionaire players, but somehow those feelings don’t extend to the billionaire owners. I’ve never understood that.

    Now that I’ve won you all over, I’d just like to say that I think Freeney’s got a point. He’s not the best guy to say it, but it doesn’t make it less true that the FA market this year was suspiciously quiet, and most every team is still SEVERAL million dollars under the cap.

    And the cap figures can be misleading, as some of that money is “dead” money, tied up in players that aren’t even with the team, and that they won’t actually be paying.

    Also, it’s getting harder and harder for some non-QB marquee players to get paid. ex: Victor Cruz.

    And it’s taking players longer, as in “more seasons played”, to get paid.

    spideysdog made some great points: the players signed a TERRIBLE deal, and the lack of money………….comparatively speaking………………being thrown around this off-season is a direct result of that.

    I think the owners hoodwinked the players by basically saying “let us lock you up longer/more strictly in the beginning, and we’ll make it up to you later, on the back end of things”.

    Good luck with that!

    To give you an idea of where things are going/how bad a deal the players agreed to…………..when Jason Peters tore his Achilles’ last off-season, the Eagles paid for his replacement out of his salary.

    In almost any other profession in any civilized country that would be flat-out illegal.

  115. shawnc16 says: Jun 1, 2013 9:16 AM

    If what Dwight is saying is true then there is no reason why a team would not have offered him at least what the Ravens gave Elvis or what the browns paid Kruger, since that wouldn’t have broke ranks.

  116. laserw says: Jun 1, 2013 9:31 AM

    Let’s see – the NFL with the union negotiated a rookie salary restriction – that cascaded in chilling the outrageous trajectory of salaries overall that was in effect. And with salary increases more likely for the top players with huge upsides still left in their career, those has been, oft-injured veterans are getting the crumbs they deserve.

    If the NFL did not collude in their treatment of the non-capped year, then there is no collusion in overall salaries.

    Now if Freeney can prove the collusion in the case against Washington and Dallas, then he might have a case for his own pathetic situation. I doubt he’ll put much effort into this – whining is so much easier than building a case for what your big pie hole contends.

    Freeney also misses the boat that is the current business environment – in an economy dictated by leftists, why would owners add to their costs? For all these guys know, some leftist jerk will sue the league about the game being too violent, causing a wholesale change in the game that will make it unsavory for people to pay tickets to see, and the new NFL powderpuff league will move to MSNBC where the audience of 10 people (8 of them dead), 2 chimpmunks, and a french poodle named “75% tax” will be watching.

  117. pemory says: Jun 1, 2013 3:47 PM

    Easy folks. It’s not like this kind of thing hasn’t happened before.

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