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After pay cut, Kiwanuka calls NFL contracts “unfair to players”

Mathias+Kiwanuka+Dallas+Cowboys+v+New+York+q5T7R2zbLpfl Getty Images

Just because Mathias Kiwanuka agreed to the pay cut he took to stay with the Giants this year, that doesn’t mean he’s happy about it.

Kiwanuka railed against NFL contracts in general and the situation he found himself in specifically when he saw his pay for 2014 slashed from $4.375 million to $1.5 million. Kiwanuka said he went along with the Giants’ request to take a pay cut in large part because his wife had a baby in April and he didn’t want to uproot his family this offseason, but he doesn’t appreciate the fact that NFL teams can cut a player at any time.

“It’s something that is bargained collectively and for me, as an individual, you only have one action or recourse and that is to withhold your services and hold out,” Kiwanuka told Conor Orr of the Star-Ledger. “There is no market for you to shop your skills around. That is the part that is very unfair to players. We’ve come a long way, I can’t imagine playing in the league without free agency, there has been progress. It is more fair than it has been in the past but that doesn’t mean it’s fair or equal now.”

Kiwanuka believes NFL contracts should be structured more like Major League Baseball contracts, so that the whole deal is guaranteed.

“If we are going to be playing on these contracts, make them contracts,” Kiwanuka said. “Either that or everyone sign a one-year deal every year and we’ll do it that way. It’s not fair to be locked in somewhere and have that place say that we’ve decided not to honor the rest of the deal. I don’t think it is a contract by definition if one side can opt out of it at any point and the other has no recourse.”

Although he described himself as “very angry and very upset” when he first found out the Giants were going to force him to take a pay cut or get cut, he also described himself as a “team player” who will do everything the Giants ask of him. He just wishes NFL teams weren’t so often asking players to take less money.

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145 Responses to “After pay cut, Kiwanuka calls NFL contracts “unfair to players””
  1. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Jun 17, 2014 3:47 PM

    Ya know what’s even more unfair Mr Kiwanuka? $30 thousand dollar PSL’s for life long seaosn ticket holders/fans!

  2. monkeyjuice313 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:47 PM

    Supply and demand, homeboy.

  3. chc4 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:47 PM

    Would Matthias like some cheese with that whine?

  4. karlton3 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:49 PM

    Since when is an option in a contract some magical device only used in NFL contracts?

  5. jackn2482 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:49 PM

    He’s right but unfortunately football players get hurt all the time and performance can fluctuate a lot from year to year. That’s not fair to the team. If he had it his way, they would do Pujols-type contracts and then the Jets would’ve been stuck with Sanchez for ten years…wait, that would’ve been funny.

  6. blackandbluedivision says: Jun 17, 2014 3:49 PM

    Good point…but you agreed to it. Take it up with your representatives. Then again your play has to live up to your contract. Don’t want to take a pay cut…don’t slack off.

  7. lacarious says: Jun 17, 2014 3:49 PM

    duh! anyone with a brain knows this… too bad the NFL’ers are clueless during lock out negotiations.

    i’m still surprised there’s a franchise tag.

  8. jayhawk6 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:49 PM

    MLB’s guaranteed contracts are good for the players, but can hardly be considered good for the long term stability of the league.

  9. poridge1214 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:49 PM

    Indeed, totally unfair that a team can cut a player at any time. I mean, you’re only giving a college dropout $1.5 million this year? He’s almost better off leaving the NFL, and working an office job at $50K for 30 years to get that $1.5 million.

  10. jjb0811 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:49 PM

    He’s right. At team can cut you w/o recourse. Yet if you hold out, teams fine you $30,000 a day. Its a one way street.

  11. nflcflfan says: Jun 17, 2014 3:50 PM

    Players always complain when they are underpaid, however I don’t ever see them offering $ back when they don’t perform to the level of the contract. Want cake and eat it too.

  12. ananonymoussource says: Jun 17, 2014 3:50 PM

    “one side can opt out of it at any point and the other has no recourse.”

    Revis, Vernon Davis, etc. disagree.

    Bottom line: You’re not that good.

  13. herkiethehawk says: Jun 17, 2014 3:50 PM

    what is it with the Giants? It seems mandatory for their players to whine and cry all the time.

    you are making millions playing a game. shut up and enjoy a gifted life

  14. paoconno says: Jun 17, 2014 3:50 PM

    He’s got a point. A “contract” usually means the two signing parties are entering into a binding deal to exchange goods and services.
    If the team can say, “oops, we messed up, we want out”, often without owing a player anything, then is it really a contract?

  15. daysend564 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:50 PM

    It’s unfair to only make $100k a week to play a game. So unfair!!!!

  16. corky2141 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:51 PM

    Usually I’d say “he signed the contract , so live with it” but he makes a great point and it really is becoming more and more common practice for the teams to do this

  17. notthetroll says: Jun 17, 2014 3:52 PM

    ummmm, play better?

  18. iamthorny says: Jun 17, 2014 3:52 PM

    Signing bonus is the recourse.

    I do agree with him, though, that it’s sad that players are expected to live up to their end of a contract, but a team can just “at will” you at any time.

  19. packman331 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:52 PM

    Whoa— they were going to cut you. that would have been a chance to “shop your skills”. You didnt want to move, and accepted 1.5M. Stop whining

  20. butlers91 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:53 PM

    Ummmmmmmm, get your money in guaranteed form and you won’t have to worry about it. Un-guaranteed money isn’t real until it hits your bank account. Negotiate better.

  21. asimonetti88 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:54 PM

    Tough stuff Kiwanuka. At-will employment isn’t exclusive to the NFL.

  22. rolltide510 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:54 PM

    I can’t find any fault in his argument. NFL contracts aren’t “contracts” by definition, as only one party is bound by it.

  23. pologroundsvet says: Jun 17, 2014 3:54 PM

    The man makes some valid points.

  24. psly2124 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:54 PM

    Well most nfl contracts have large signing bonuses. The player has to take that into account when they sign. When there is no salary cap hit left, the player most likely will have the contract renegotiated. If the player is still performing a raise will happen. If a player is under performing a pay cut is in order .

  25. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Jun 17, 2014 3:55 PM

    I can’t stand baseball contracts. If anything, it should be the other way around.

  26. mantastic54 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:57 PM

    If all contracts were fully guaranteed then teams wouldn’t be able to restructure to create cap room to sign other free agents and that would result in smaller contracts being given out. At the end of the day, teams are only allowed to spend so much

  27. bigredgoog says: Jun 17, 2014 3:57 PM

    I hate hearing that Teams can break contracts at any time. The contract signed by the player states all the conditions and the team can only do what the contract allows. Teams are absolutely following the contractual terms when they cut players.

  28. aceakking says: Jun 17, 2014 3:58 PM

    The ticket prices are unfair to the fans.

  29. est285 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:58 PM

    Real simple. If you sign the contract, you honor it. Don’t want the paycut? Then get cut and take your services elsewhere. If you’re worth what you think you’re worth then you’ll get paid.

  30. mypercyhurts2 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:58 PM

    He had a choice…

  31. glaedrfly says: Jun 17, 2014 3:58 PM

    He’s not wrong. Yet, baseball shouldn’t be giving out guaranteed contracts. You should get paid what you’re worth. It’s never going to be perfect and there will always be contract casualties. I hope it works out for him.

  32. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 17, 2014 3:58 PM

    Yeah it’s definitely not fair or equal, and that’s a problem. It would be interesting to hear what Eric Winston thinks about his ideas, or if he can come up with a solution that works for Kiwanuka.

    So for now let’s just say congrats about the baby news!

  33. scaredhitless says: Jun 17, 2014 3:58 PM

    Really surprised he didn’t bring up Roger Goodell and his $44.2 million salary.

  34. cjnbsc says: Jun 17, 2014 3:59 PM

    He’s right. If the teams can walk away, players should be able to void anytime too

  35. boutthatactionboss says: Jun 17, 2014 3:59 PM

    He should take a job at Walmart like the rest of us. Then he could go get another one anytime he wants. Until then, quick bitching about making 1.5 million per year.

  36. mathomp3 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:59 PM

    He has a point

  37. squinn21 says: Jun 17, 2014 4:00 PM

    If its so unfair, why don’t you shut up and get a 9-5 like everyone else?

  38. briscocountyjr says: Jun 17, 2014 4:00 PM

    This is really enough to set off the average American… to have the nerve to complain about payment for something that offers little to the world other than entertainment (not including those that do great things with charity organizations), is absurd. What a joke, great wisdom and gratefulness.. some of these guys have no clue how fortunate they are.

  39. pkrjones says: Jun 17, 2014 4:00 PM

    Nobody “forced” him to reduce his contracted pay… say no. The team then must decide to honor his contract OR exercise their negotiated right to cut him, which would give him exactly what he wants ~ the right to shop himself around. He signed the original contract and could have built-in protections against a pay-restructure but he failed to do that. #Fail

  40. eaglesfan036 says: Jun 17, 2014 4:00 PM

    Football contract system is much better than baseball. Phillies are stuck with paying useless Ryan Howard over 20 million a year and can’t cut him or anything like in football where the Redskins could cut Haynesworth.

    Also poor you only making 1.5 million dollars this year

  41. nite2al says: Jun 17, 2014 4:01 PM

    I see his point; I would be on the streets if my employer cut pay by over 65 %.

  42. bitw44 says: Jun 17, 2014 4:01 PM

    Number 1: Play at a high enough level to get guaranteed money. That way, if they “can cut a player at any time” you still get checks to keep you afloat.

    Number 2: You cannot restructure contracts into a fully guaranteed MLB style. This game is much more violent than baseball. Guys will sign their “fully guaranteed rookie deals” and turn into Albert Haynesworth by 23.

    Number 3: “There is no market for you to shop your skills around.” Yes there is, its called Free Agency. If you want to test the market every year thats fine, but you can’t sign a 1 or 2 year deal and still expect to be paid your positional market value. No team would be able to stay under the cap

  43. kantnockdahustle89 says: Jun 17, 2014 4:01 PM

    Welcome to the rest of the world dude. People are fired and let go at any point just like you. They just dont have the luxury of millions of dollars to fall back on.

    I dont even care if your wife just had a kid. Pay someone to move you in one weekend. I just did it by myself in a 4 bedroom house.

    Get over it.

  44. yamchargers says: Jun 17, 2014 4:02 PM

    MLB is the best reason to argue against guaranteed contracts. How many teams are handcuffed by players who got paid and just dont perform anymore?

  45. bigredgoog says: Jun 17, 2014 4:02 PM

    There are problems with the way the contracts are structured. Since the teams are required to pay players a minimum percentage of the cap it sure would be nice if the players playing and contributing during that year received that money.

    Unfortunately, the contributing players often don’t get the full money available under the cap because it has been given to players in previous years as “roster bonuses” or to players on injured reserve or to players who negotiated a guaranteed contract and are no longer with the team.

    Lastly, too much money goes to QB’s.

  46. deltaoracle says: Jun 17, 2014 4:02 PM

    Yeah it’s weird that some business wants to pay its employees as little as possible. Haven’t heard of that before.
    Save some of your money, Mathias. Once you have the shock of being out in the real world soon, you’re going to need some medications and pain relief like you wouldn’t believe.

  47. htagsports says: Jun 17, 2014 4:03 PM

    It is a very “Sign Me Now, Cut Me Later” League in recent years.
    He brings up a great point. Non-Guaranteed deals hold a player hostage for restructuring. John Lackey for the Boston RedSox recently had a contract extension triggered by an injury that allowed the RedSoxs to pay him league minimum because of the time he missed. This would only be possible with a guaranteed deal.

  48. 1bigtex says: Jun 17, 2014 4:03 PM

    Please tell me how he will be able to support his family on a paltry $1.5 million.

  49. bornahawker says: Jun 17, 2014 4:07 PM

    Thank the NFLPA for acting like a stooge. Players can walk out and we can watch guys like tebow! NOT!

  50. lozgod says: Jun 17, 2014 4:09 PM

    I agree 100% a contract is a contract. These players shouldnt be allowed to cry when they agree to a number after they had a good season and teams should have to honor their committments as well. After all isnt that the definition of a contract?

  51. jucam1 says: Jun 17, 2014 4:11 PM

    His point is nullified by his own words. If you think you can get more money somewhere else, then MOVE your wife and your kids. We all do it sometime. However, you decided to take less to not uproot your family, THAT was youf choice bud. Don’t sign the agreement knowing the way the league is structured then complain about it too. Lastly, the quickest way to destroy the #1 sport in this country is to guarantee player contracts, the thing that makes the league awesome is that even if your team stunk last year, with a few good moves, a smart coach, and some health, your team can contend this year. Every city (except DC, they’re morons) has a shot. You guarantee contracts and you kill the sport. That is one of the many reasons why baseball is dying.

  52. goldandcrimson68 says: Jun 17, 2014 4:11 PM

    This one falls on the NFLPA. EVERY other major league sport has guaranteed contracts. The one most physically demanding does not. The league could afford this but because the NFLPA is fine with the system nothing will change. This should have been priority 1 in 2011 and it was never even debated.

  53. crazyitie says: Jun 17, 2014 4:13 PM

    Booooooohooooooooooooohoooooo if you listen carefully you can hear the smallest violin I’m playing for the poor poor players of the NFL. Players should only be allowed to make a maximum of $300,000 a year and that goes for every professional sport then you can find out who plays the respectful sports “for love of the game” or at the end of the day show that money is the only reason why try do it. The owners can then bring down the prices on tickets\merchandise\food&beverage\etc. it has almost become impossible for a lot of average citizens to afford professional sports. This doesn’t just go for the NFL but also the NHL,NBA,,EPL,SerieA,so on and so forth. Just be smart with your money. That is plenty in order to live a respectful life and over the course of your career you can save and invest properly for retirement or have enough to start business adventures of their own. You all go to college an are given an opportunity to obtain a great education for next to nothing. People like myself and thousands of others work hard went to school grinded through and are now prospering in everyday life. What professional players need to understand is they are getting paid millions upon millions of dollars to PLAY A GAME. Not working shifts like police officers\firefighters an making minimal money to put their lives on the line. Or even Doctors\Lawyers\Engineers\pilots and above all those who serve in the armed forces. So don’t mind me if my heart doesn’t bleed for professional athletes if they run out of money as like I stated they are given every opportunity to succeed both on there respectful playing fields or outside of their sports.

  54. djstat says: Jun 17, 2014 4:16 PM

    I bet he liked his upfront signing bonus.

  55. nflviewer says: Jun 17, 2014 4:18 PM

    Many of the comments show a lack of understanding of basic economics.

    The NFL Players Association freely negotiated the CBA with the league. The NFLPA doesn’t ask for contracts to be fully guaranteed because that would mean more money for lower quality players but less money for higher quality players. For example, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers can get the size contracts they do because their teams know that they can always cut lesser players to fund payments to Brees and Rodgers. If teams have to pay more to players like Mathias Kiwanuka then they will pay less to superstars.

    What many people commenting in this thread don’t understand is that the total amount paid to the players as a whole won’t change, just the amount paid to lower quality players.

  56. dvdman123 says: Jun 17, 2014 4:18 PM

    Please let’s not forget about the NBA and their guaranteed contracts.

  57. tedmurph says: Jun 17, 2014 4:20 PM

    If you produce you get paid. If you don’t or they find someone better, you get replaced. What’s unfair about that? Baseball are the ones that have it wrong, allowing the only teams with the big TV contracts to sign the big name players. If he didn’t want to take a pay cut, he could have said no, forced the Giants to cut him and shop his services to the highest bidder. But, he chose not to. That forfeits his right to complain. If, for example, Clemons got 4 yrs 18 mil from the Jags, I would think MK could’ve recouped his money and then some, but decided he didn’t want to move.

  58. mikelitoris1 says: Jun 17, 2014 4:20 PM

    I guess it isn’t easy being anyone…

  59. nygmann says: Jun 17, 2014 4:24 PM

    Considering that he is 1 of 4 NYG left from the 2007 Superbowl team, and his play has not been that great all those years, he is lucky he is even on the team! He is the last person on the team to talk about a pay cut! And this is a NYG fan talking here! I don’t understand why he is still on the team at this point!

  60. herkiethehawk says: Jun 17, 2014 4:29 PM

    How many players are sitting out mandatory camps right now? Kyle Orton is being paid millions to be a backup, refuses to show up, and is playing a game of chicken hoping his employer gets sick of his act and fires him, all so he can keep the millions in signing bonus he took with his multi-year contract. Yet the player crying in New York claims the owners hold all the cards?

    Players apparently have no idea what life is like for the other 99%. They were the star athletes in school, and as such were coddled. The same thing happens to them in college, and the pros. They don’t realize how sweet they have it.

  61. bsizemore68 says: Jun 17, 2014 4:32 PM

    I didn’t know some one had a gun to your head to play pro football. Football is first a business, and they will always try to get the best deal they can, just as you will do the same, the year I retired I got a 34% increase because they would have trouble training a new employee and wanted more time, also they didn’t realized that I was going to retired before most people do, the point being you will only get what someone is willing to pay you, fair or not, like your house, its only worth what someone will pay for it, fair or not. Be glad that you have a job that will pay you in a short time what most people take 30 or more years to match. Bill

  62. brianincbus says: Jun 17, 2014 4:33 PM

    If it’s that unfair, he could sign a 1 year contract. Oh, that means no security, so that’s not good enough for him either.

  63. hisandherpes says: Jun 17, 2014 4:33 PM

    Seems like a good time to thank all of those policemen, firemen, military servicemen, school teachers, construction workers, etc. risking life and limb every day to make America great knowing they’re unlikely to earn $1.5M in an entire lifetime. Hopefully, some of you will be able to afford tickets to an NFL game this fall to watch Mathias Kiwanuka do his thing.

  64. richie078 says: Jun 17, 2014 4:34 PM

    Is Kiwi worth more than 1.5M?

    Instead of being upset about the pay, he should be concerned about whether he is going to make the team. It’s a young man’s game, and he is no spring chicken.

  65. TheWizard says: Jun 17, 2014 4:34 PM

    Life owes you nothing, son.

  66. citizenstrange says: Jun 17, 2014 4:39 PM

    Everyone should understand that with the salary cap it is a zero sum game.

    If Kiwanuka got paid more someone else would be paid less. Is he worth it or not?

    That is also why there is always a downside to humongous quarterback contracts. Are they worth it or not?

  67. mackcarrington says: Jun 17, 2014 4:43 PM

    These comments are a perfect example of class envy, but yet they seem to favor the owner over the player. I said it before and this proves me right. Most of you love pro football but are jealous over the money they make. And you giggle and snicker when they take pay cuts because you people have Walmart jobs. It’s funny how you minimum wagers side with the owners on these kinds of things. And it’s funny when you try to compare your jobs with that of pro athletes.
    The NBA and MLB don’t have a thing to do with this. NFL players were sold down the river a long time ago by their union leaders.

  68. ketch20too says: Jun 17, 2014 4:43 PM

    Wonder if he prefer they play the whole season and at the end of the year the player’s salary will be determined based on their performance. Now that would be fair to both the player and the team.

  69. bucsorbust says: Jun 17, 2014 4:44 PM

    How unfair, has to work for just $1.5 million. I have a deal for you couisin, join the Army. You’ll never have to worry about $1 mil versus $4 mil, and the decision to come to work is already made for you. No sympathy for you Mathias. Now suit up!

  70. bengalhoel says: Jun 17, 2014 4:45 PM

    That is what makes the NFL so great! Teams can cut dead weight at anytime so they don’t get stuck owing money to players that suck. We are sorry that you are only bringing in 1.7 Million this year, but dems da breaks kid! Ah cha cha cha!

  71. jetslakersfan says: Jun 17, 2014 4:46 PM

    These people who say he gets payed to play a game needs to shut up. Yes it a game and but it a game that can have long term medical affects on them. Plus it also that game your watching every sunda. Also for the people complaining about how much ticket prices and NFL gear is also need to shut up and don’t go to the games and don’t buy the gear.

  72. mykpfsu says: Jun 17, 2014 4:46 PM

    He makes no sense. If he wants to shop his skills around, don’t take the pay cut and get cut and collect whatever is owed by the contract and shop your skills.

  73. ugadogs21 says: Jun 17, 2014 4:48 PM

    Still getting paid a lot of money and he did have a choice so why bring in the fact that his wife is expecting other than garner sympathy. On the otherhand can’t blame him for his perspective since he probably has not filled out a job application since he was 16.

  74. csuvikingengineer says: Jun 17, 2014 4:48 PM

    Looks like he’s getting a glimpse of what every other person experiences… the fact that your company can terminate your services AT ANY TIME!

    And for the people pointing out the contract obligations, the contract stipulates changes could be made based on agreement by both parties. And if a team cuts a guy early, in many cases, they still have to fulfill the balance of the contract money. So if you want to get rich playing a game supported by capitalism, you need to accept all consequences that come along with it.

    Welcome to the real world Kiwanuka.

  75. johngaltwho says: Jun 17, 2014 4:48 PM

    He does have a point in that the NFL owners have become much more comfortable with dangling big number contracts (with modest guaranteed money) where the player is “underpaid” in the first year or two and then “overpaid” later knowing they are likely to force renegotiation down the road (on the basis that they are not worth that value). Its a setup. The players unfortunately have not caught up yet with the process as their agents love these kinds of contracts. An informed player might sign a longer contract with more guaranteed money and less salary potential over the life of the contract. I think you will see this happen more frequently in the future.

  76. nite2al says: Jun 17, 2014 4:48 PM

    Why do you all hate when players complain about money? I admit, they agreed to a bad deal, but there should be some protection against a serious drop in salary.

    It’s a multi-billion dollar industry, I think there is enough to go around and they deserve it.

    Nobody complains when George Clooney gets $20 million movie.

  77. metalhead65 says: Jun 17, 2014 4:50 PM

    yeah I feel real bad for guys who get 15 million dollar signing bonuses that are fully guaranteed even if you get hurt and never play. not everyone gets one I know but whatever they get it is guaranteed so nobody wants to hear you crying about a pay cut when you will still almost 2 million a year.

  78. realfootballfan says: Jun 17, 2014 4:57 PM

    He’s 100% correct. Every young player who’s not a QB better look at Revis and take notes because he seems to be the only guy who gets it. Either do 2 or 3 year fully guaranteed contracts or let them go year to year. And oh, that money that all the vets were supposed to get transferred when they sold out the top 10 picks, poof, it seemed to disappear in a vacuum (in the owners’ pockets that is) instead of making it to the over 30 crowd. Blame that dummy that heads your union though, Mathias.

  79. JSpicoli says: Jun 17, 2014 4:57 PM

    Crybaby idiot

  80. realdealsteel says: Jun 17, 2014 5:01 PM

    If he doesn’t like it, he can always go out and get a real job like the majority of people do. Then he’ll learn what “unfair” is really like.

  81. blackbug99 says: Jun 17, 2014 5:02 PM

    You want a fully guaranteed salary…..Volunteer for the Military! Maybe it’s a pay cut, But…you won’t ever work with better teammates!!

  82. jklecko77hof says: Jun 17, 2014 5:05 PM

    He’s right. It is unfair. He should refuse to play. Take that college education and….

    and…

    uhhhmm…

    Never mind.

  83. thefiesty1 says: Jun 17, 2014 5:12 PM

    That’s too bad poor little baby. I’d take 1.5 million and smile all the way to the back. Somebody needs to get over themselves.

  84. thetooloftools says: Jun 17, 2014 5:13 PM

    If he was a stud who’s talents were in demand, this would be a non issue.

  85. draftazoid says: Jun 17, 2014 5:15 PM

    Funny how he is only worth $1.5million. That defensive line has had the biggest mouths in the NFL for years. Serves them right to whine about having to suffer for only $1.5 million.
    PS. He didn’t have to agree to the new deal. He coudl have become a free agent.

  86. themage78 says: Jun 17, 2014 5:15 PM

    Kiwi, shut up and play. You’re lucky the Giants didn’t cut you outright. We should’ve taken your salary and paid Tuck instead. The problem is, both of you expected more money for your up and down play. Play well and then you wouldn’t be taking a pay cut.

  87. ishotthesharrif says: Jun 17, 2014 5:16 PM

    My fiance and I just had a baby, also.

    Any day you wanna swap your $1.5 million annual salary for my $54,000 annual salary, I’m your guy, Mathias!

    …. Oh wait–maybe I should be happy I’m ABLE to support my spouse and new addition rather than just complaining about what I prefer. If ‘if’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts we’d all be millionaires, Kiwanuka; be proud you actually have the financial stability to take care of your family.

  88. coseybedaman says: Jun 17, 2014 5:23 PM

    I dont understand how only one party is bound by the contract? If I understand correctly dont NFL players receive some type of compensation when a team opts to cut them with remaining years left on their contract? I know the team takes a cap hit so I would imagine the player is still receiving a portion of those yearly salaries, in addition to taking his services elsewhere and getting paid by that team. I know Rian Lindell received two NFL salaries in one season.. (Bucs/Bills)

  89. myworldurjuslivinit says: Jun 17, 2014 5:33 PM

    Player Happy = highest paid for that position
    this happiness last until the next player signed.

  90. jbeagles23 says: Jun 17, 2014 5:35 PM

    The part people are missing are that his wife had a baby so he wouldn’t uproot. Good players would love to become a free agent

  91. pitch87mph says: Jun 17, 2014 5:41 PM

    He seems to ignore the fact guaranteed salaries can be negotiated. I’ll bet if a player is willing to accept a lower per annum average, they can probably get a team to guarantee the entire contract. But teams aren’t “breaking” contracts because by their very nature (i.e. the salaries generally aren’t guaranteed), the team effectively holds an option–that is implicitly part of the contract. So if football players want guaranteed contracts (so the probability of being cut and uprooted is lower), then tell the agent to negotiate per annum amounts that the team is willing to guarantee. But I’m guessing that the amounts would have to be substantially lower than otherwise and that from the player’s perspective, they’d be worse off overall. It’s a trade off. I would have thought you’d have taken a basic economics course in college. My mistake.

  92. georgeexley says: Jun 17, 2014 5:41 PM

    It’s going to be hard to find sympathy K because 99% of the people supplying your income will never see the 1.5 mil you will make this year. I would be happy to take that pay cut !

  93. pmars64 says: Jun 17, 2014 5:53 PM

    I think it’s easy to gripe about players and their salaries, but they are the cream of the crop of what they do and they should be paid like it. The new CBA was a sham and it’s too bad the players agreed to it because they shouldn’t have. They have gone on strike instead to broker a better deal. NFL teams are worth probably a couple billion or more right now and their value is increasing because they make boatloads of money. But that value is created by players because of their unique talents. If you don’t think so, go watch some XFL or UFL and you see what bad football is. It’s almost painful to watch. Watch an NFL team with bad QB play and you see bad football. Nobody wants to watch it except die-hards. And I agree, if a player can be cut at any time and not paid, he should be free to leave at any time and negotiate a better deal with another team.

    Really, players should go on strike to renegotiate the CBA. Or they should do guerrilla tactics like delay kick-off for 30 minutes for one game during the season and threaten to do it again. Or refuse to come out for the second half or the 4th quarter of a game. The owners would take notice right away because the networks would take notice and be screaming at the owners to do something to fix it. The networks would be screaming because it would threaten their advertising dollars. Too bad the players don’t have the stones to do that. Most fans would hate them for it, but, so what? Most fans hate them already because of all the money they make now.

    It’s an ugly business and the players need to get ugly to force a new CBA deal.

  94. Wineshard says: Jun 17, 2014 5:55 PM

    Make it like golf – you need to perform that week or you don’t get anything. If perform exceptionally you get a boatload. Then you would see guys giving 100% all the time.

    Hard to administer, but pay for performance is the way to go.

  95. maestro1899 says: Jun 17, 2014 6:03 PM

    He is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.

    if you don’t perform well, you get cut. no money

    if yuo outperform your contract, the team has all the leaverage as long as you have years left on your deal.

    what can a player do? holdout? then he’s at risk at not getting any money.

    and the fans?

    most fans take the team’s side and get upset when a player wants more money, labeling him as greedy.

    so contracts obviously help out one side by contractually obligating the player to the team if he maintains or outperforms the deal, but it doesn’t protect the player if he gets hurt or underperforms.

  96. tooz72 says: Jun 17, 2014 6:05 PM

    try getting by on 8.50/hr as a fry cook at BK for 30 years.. the manager said i might get to work the cash register one of these days, that’ll be a .50/hr raise, mother will be happy

  97. ravenswhat says: Jun 17, 2014 6:07 PM

    He’s right. Players gave up wayyyy too much to the owners on that last agreement. Just foolish.

  98. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jun 17, 2014 6:16 PM

    Players screwed themselves last negotiation. That said, the risks don’t match the rewards with football. If you have the skill you are better off with baseball or hoops. The injury risks and severity is much less.

    I hope this concussion settlement costs the NFL $5 billion. They screw and cheat everyone, it’s time someone gives them a taste of their own medicine.

    This is why the NFL will last 20 more years max. That’s why teams are hoarding their cash for legal liabilities and they are colluding to keep payroll costs down

  99. harrisonhits2 says: Jun 17, 2014 6:19 PM

    Players want huge up front signing bonuses. They want big increases in pay if they “overperform”.

    They don’t give back any of the bonus if they “underperform”.

    Guess what, you get paid and then don’t play up to snuff then you get a paycut or you get cut.

    Can’t have it both ways with big upfront money that you don’t have to give back. Either it stays the way it is which is perfectly fair, or you all take incentive based contracts.

  100. vikes49 says: Jun 17, 2014 6:19 PM

    According to someone who viewed the contract details, the total value of the contract is $21.75 million over four years. The “new” money is $16.5 million over three years (2013-15). Kiwanuka received a signing bonus of $8.5 million and gets $10.95 million in guarantees.

    Dont think he should be hurting for money

  101. FlashPatterson says: Jun 17, 2014 6:20 PM

    Talk to your union rep homie.

  102. bucsducksipa says: Jun 17, 2014 6:21 PM

    I find it hard to believe that the majority here would be ok with it if their employer had agreed to pay them 4.375 two years ago and then said were going to knock 2.875 off of that now and pay only 34.29% of what was agreed to. I ain’t buyin it. Same mooks that support the Washington nickname.

  103. koolaidsgonebad says: Jun 17, 2014 6:22 PM

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!! You get paid handsomely to play a game that you have physical attributes to play. It is a choice. You can choose to use the degree you earned at BC to feed your family. This is like the guy at the water cooler complaining about the commissions he earned. Don’t like it? Do something else like the rest of the world.

  104. perkjctc says: Jun 17, 2014 6:43 PM

    I like the structure how it is however, I think players should be able to opt out after every 2 years of a contract. It’s a little one sided in favor of the team right now and that would help even it up. And remember MK, YOU did agree to the restructured deal.

  105. monkeesfan says: Jun 17, 2014 6:43 PM

    Kiwanuka is wrong. Baseball contracts are hideously inflated and explain why so many teams have low payrolls. No player in any sport has a right to a guaranteed contract. NFL contracts make players accountable; baseball contracts enable players – and that’s why MLB has the worst salary system in sports.

  106. rcali says: Jun 17, 2014 6:50 PM

    I had to move to take a job to make more money for me and my family and I assure you it wasn’t for a million dollars+. He choose not to and is whining about it. Another dumb statement from a pro sports player.

  107. packerbackernj says: Jun 17, 2014 6:57 PM

    If players were able to void their contracts because the team they signed with were bad, the vikings wouldnt have a roster.

  108. mauijim3 says: Jun 17, 2014 7:06 PM

    If the contracts were fully guaranteed, the amount of the dollars in the contract would likely be substantially less. His contract possibly could have been $4.5 million for the entire term, and not just one year. So if you want those large signing bonuses, you take this on the back end of the contract. If you want it fully guaranteed, then it’s no signing bonus.

  109. bmadormo says: Jun 17, 2014 7:26 PM

    As soon as a player holds out to change his contract everyone calls the players greedy. Teams can and do cut players all the time and do not honor the contract. Players have been getting screwed forever. A player should never ever give a hometown discount. There is absolutely no loyalty in the nfl

  110. mutantman87 says: Jun 17, 2014 7:26 PM

    This is why holdouts exist. Players may be under contract, but they want a better deal when they outperform the current one. Because if they underperform or simply have bad luck with an injury, the team comes to them and says, ‘You know that amount we agreed upon in the contract? Well, forget that. You’re taking a third of what you’re owed this year or we’re letting you go.’ This can’t happen in baseball or basketball, and I don’t hear of too many people at 9-5 jobs being told to take huge pay cuts or get fired, either.

    I will admit that many baseball contracts are absurd, though. In what other sport are 30+ year old players given contracts for 5-10 years averaging over $20 million per year?

  111. rhob60 says: Jun 17, 2014 7:54 PM

    First, the money pro sports players get is ridiculous. Look how many never attain greatness, jamarcus Russell comes to mind, basically robbing the owner and fans. No player should get the kind of money they get for playing a game. Can any fan relate to them? There should be a more equitable way that would make both sides happy, to do a contract.

  112. crubenst says: Jun 17, 2014 8:23 PM

    If there’s one single reason why football dominates every other sport in america its non-guaranteed contracts. NFL teams are free every year to shape and mold a new team with new players and give hope to every fan. In baseball and basketball your stuck with guaranteed contracts of aging bad players and you have no hope for years.

  113. gbmickey says: Jun 17, 2014 8:32 PM

    Wow welcome to the real working world. He should be extremely happy anything is guaranteed. Take any other worker in America and nothing is guaranteed and they too can cut you at will but yet lets feel sorry you and the roughly 10 million you were paid? I lose more respect for this generation every day and their sense of entitlement.

  114. pittsteelers101 says: Jun 17, 2014 8:57 PM

    He didn’t have to agree to a pay cut! It’s his own fault!

  115. johnnyjagfan says: Jun 17, 2014 9:07 PM

    Ought to go to law school after football. He’s already got the gist of Contracts.

  116. luz56 says: Jun 17, 2014 9:13 PM

    I feel your pain….. Not sure you can keep the wolves away from the door like the rest of us

  117. realfootballfan says: Jun 17, 2014 9:29 PM

    For everyone mocking him because you can’t relate, there is a guy working at McDonald’s who thinks your complaints at your Wal-Mart job is asinine, and a guy at Wal-Mart who can’t relate to the complaints of the guy at his desk job, and a guy at the desk job who can’t relate to middle management complaints, and a guy in middle management who can’t relate to what the CEO is saying. Just because you can’t relate doesn’t mean he’s wrong, and he’s not on this one because a contract should be a contract, period. And for everyone saying, well just don’t sign it. That would be fine and dandy if there were options, but of course there aren’t any, just like when the conversation about how the NCAA exploits the players while they sell their rights and pay everyone around them handsomely. Where do you go when it’s the only show in town; what do you do when every team has the same standard contract that they can void after 2 years but you’re stuck in for how ever long you signed it.

  118. gt40bear says: Jun 17, 2014 9:31 PM

    Poor guy. I’d LOVE to be paid so “unfairly”!

  119. gomybirdsgo says: Jun 17, 2014 9:53 PM

    Reading some these comments and the idiot Giants comments makes me sad for America. A contract is an agree set down on paper made legal by both parties and a witness signing it. A contract can be written just about however the two parties want. In the NFL, contracts are set up so that the only thing guaranteed to the player is the bonus money they get up front. The contract is written so that team may cut said player whenever they choose owing that player only monies that were guaranteed in the contract. THAT IS A CONTRACT. RUBES.

    This system has not only been great for the NFL and its owners but it has also been great for the players. The player decided free agency was important, well they got it. They became at will employees and subject to termination at the teams desire. Both sides have gotten very rich off this. Check the numbers. Even taking into account inflation the difference between players today and players in 1992 is astronomical.

    Its not “unfair” in anyway shape or form. The deal was collectively bargained and both sides are getting richer than ever before.

    Its very disappointing when Americans who clearly half of us should be wearing a sign (you might get that joke if your over 30) can’t understand what things like contracts are. Seriously, do you really believe a contract MUST be equal to both parties to be a contract ?? Really ?? We live in scary times :(

  120. jerlee7 says: Jun 17, 2014 9:53 PM

    Come on people, he has a legit case. It is nearly impossible to take care of a new baby making less than $2 million a year. Hopefully he has some incentives in his unfair contract.

  121. colts6363 says: Jun 17, 2014 10:15 PM

    This is old news they complain about what they make join the real world where they can let you go anytime the company wants to so either play or walk away and make $30k a year see how you like that

  122. myhawks1976 says: Jun 17, 2014 10:19 PM

    So if WalMart, McDonalds, or Burger King started signing all of their employees of the month posting on here to 4,5 and 6 year contracts that provide you NO right to terminate your employment and go somewhere else, and no right to negotiate based on your performance, but allows them to terminate you at any time for no reason other than they feel like it…. you guys are all just going to grab your name tags and aprons and declare that “thats the way it goes” and smile on your way out right?

    Or when they decide they want to replace you, even though you have no ability to leave on your own, so they give you a choice of working for your 10 dollars an hour or 3.50 an hour, you’ll just take the 3.50 and say thank you….

    Right?

    And before you start comparing the value difference between your job and his… check the money difference between your job and his. Last I checked, ESPN, ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX werent lining up outside your Wendy’s restaurant offering BILLIONS to see how well you flip fries.

    Either the players make the money…. or the billionaires make even more. I’d rather see the money going to the guys I actually turn my tv on to watch!

  123. gbp4ever says: Jun 17, 2014 10:20 PM

    Most of these players should be thankful the have the talent to play and make millions because if they did not they are either working in a dead end job because they have no education or are in jail. No one is ever going to feel sorry for players or owners when they bitch about how little they make.

  124. campcouch says: Jun 17, 2014 10:46 PM

    Maybe you guys should bargain for something sensible next time. $20 mil guaranteed should set you for life,buy a house,not a palace,sign a larger contract elsewhere,rent during the season and come back for the birth. Do you think a team wants the PR hassle of not letting you tend to family matters? These guys have it nice. My uncle told me how in the 60s and 70s he used a Browns player as a lawyer because that guy needed a job in the offseason. And this guy can’t live until his last day on 8 figures?

  125. rainsarge says: Jun 17, 2014 11:19 PM

    Just ask for a deal that’s 100% guaranteed and take less money. Baseball a and Basketball injury isn’t a huge factor. Skills tend to decline at a slower pace as well. NFL play can erode fairly quickly. Even good non-QB players generally last less than 10 seasons.

  126. dphins4me says: Jun 17, 2014 11:24 PM

    To all the people who believe he is getting the short end of things. Remember football players receive a signing bonus. If they are cut, then they get paid for not playing. He may not earn his salary, but he receives unearned moneies because of his bonus.

    Plus they are free to seek a new team & a new signing bonus. Why is he not whining about that?

  127. omegalh says: Jun 17, 2014 11:38 PM

    Its hard to get sympathy for something you agreed to.

  128. videinfra78 says: Jun 17, 2014 11:51 PM

    Funny that some people are getting on this guy’s case about making $1.5 million a year and immediately disagreeing with his claim because of it when his employer’s net worth is $1.5 BILLION.

    Comments saying he shouldn’t complain because he agreed to reduce his contract? Yes, that’s what he’s complaining about, if he didn’t, he would get cut. The contract would be terminated, that’s his gripe.

    If someone just reduced your salary by 60% even though you signed a contract with your company, you probably wouldn’t like it either. He has a legitimate complaint, players can just be cut if the team doesn’t want to honor the contract. The player has to holdout and hope he has some leverage, otherwise he is just fined and has no option to play for another team. (The shop your services elsewhere part to those who didn’t understand his point.)

  129. trubroncfan07 says: Jun 17, 2014 11:58 PM

    Kiwanuka should have been an NBA player, get paid millions and then put out a half effort and lay down. This is what make the NFL the best sport hands down. The guy is way to comfortable, had he just got cut he could have signed with a bunch of other teams for more than 1.5 mil.

  130. jafernandez6891 says: Jun 18, 2014 12:08 AM

    He is right. They should be paid annually, with players having the option to go wherever they want to. Not all nfl Players are created equally, and their contracts are very team-friendly. Sure, SOME of them get paid millions of dollars to play the game, but many others don’t. And the players take all the risk with their bodies and health. It’s totally fair to demand fairer contracts when the men who never step a foot on the field are making hundreds of millions at least. They should all get paid a certain minimum with hefty bonuses depending on performance as incentive to perform better.

  131. terrellblowens says: Jun 18, 2014 2:01 AM

    I generally agree with Kiwanuka. As a comparison, if you go and get a great education and get a great job with a Fortune 500 company and then your boss 3 years in decides that you need to take a pay cut or find a new job, I would bet you’d be pretty unhappy. While teams can decide to cut the cord at any time, the players can’t look for better jobs while under contract. In the corporate world, if you want to look for a better job opportunity, you are allowed to.

    However, this brings up the question of competitive balance and fairness in sports. For example, even though having the NFL draft may be unfair to players (because they cannot choose their own employment), it is in place to maintain a competitive balance in the league. The contract issues Kiwanuka mentioned is a tough balance for the NFLPA and owners here. While not perfect, it’s probably the best all parties can hope for in order to create a sustainable structure for the league.

  132. kepickle says: Jun 18, 2014 5:58 AM

    ok His base salary dropped from $4.375 million to $1.5 million, and he picked up a new $700,000 roster bonus, with another $125,000 available in incentives.

    and he wents us to feel sorry for them

  133. djscottyb says: Jun 18, 2014 6:52 AM

    Matias,
    Over the last 5 years you got paid $21 million dollars while only producing & average of 3 sacks a year, even missing most of one year.
    Last year you raised it up to 6 sacks.

    Other starters who produced 6 sacks in 2013:
    Malik Jackson (OAK) – $390k
    Andre Branch (JAC) – $570

    $1.5 mill seems fair for that type of production

  134. dtr3e says: Jun 18, 2014 6:53 AM

    If an NFL team fires their head coach with years remaining on his contract, the team pays him for the remaining years etc. Chud from Cleveland. But if a team cuts a player they owe him nothing. That seems a little off

  135. cslaxcoach says: Jun 18, 2014 9:02 AM

    Huge Giant Fan.. Guess what… You werent worth 4.5 million a year. In fact, your barely worth 1.5. What have you done to warrant a 4.5 million salary, your getting older, you had an off year last year, and If I see you get sucked in by play action and lose the edge your supposed to set one more time, they should cut you.. suck it up and play better = better contract..

    BC

  136. harveyredman says: Jun 18, 2014 9:26 AM

    boutthatactionboss says: Jun 17, 2014 3:59 PM

    He should take a job at Walmart like the rest of us
    __________________________________

    Hold on hoss…. Speak for yourself please.

    Just because I don’t play in the NFL, doesn’t mean I haven’t maximized my earning potential.

    I will remember to say “hi” next time I go to Walmart. Then again, I would never shop at Walmart. I support small business owners.

  137. realfootballfan says: Jun 18, 2014 10:19 AM

    myhawks1976,

    Right on. At least some of us get it. People with their pro owner silliness make me sick. They act like they’d watch scab players as long as they had the uniform on, and we all know that’s not true. There is no risk involved in the NFL these days as the risk went out the door 40 years ago. The TV contracts are astronomical. It’s a matter of billionaires being too greedy to pay the people who are responsible for the popularity of their league, bottom line.

  138. elimanningup says: Jun 18, 2014 10:58 AM

    Kiwanuka was rated the worst 4-3 DE in the NFL last season. Dead last.

    This useless bum should shut his mouth. He’s worth no more than the league minimum.

  139. gashmr says: Jun 18, 2014 11:40 AM

    What will ruin the NFL? The same thing dropped MLB out of #1 way back when.

    It may not be fair to players but teams used to be identified by their stars. When I grew up the Pirates were identified by Clemente, Stargell, and long term players that you knew were on “your home team”. Nowadays the teams change so much each 2-3 years that its impossible to tell who is who and what team is what team. So cheering for the team is not about the players anymore.

    These players think people come to watch their individual skill sets. they have lost the notion of teamwork. There is no longer a commitment to teamwork. Each championship year is a defining moment but only a moment. Dynasties are dead. People hated the Yankees way back when for a reason. People in the 70’s hated the Steelers for a reason, same with the Raiders, and Cowboys. Those teams drew as many fans looking to see them get beat as they did fans looking to see them win.

    I am a Seahawks fan. But at best the Hawks may have 5-6 years of top of the league dominance. Especially in a division that has at least 2 other teams who can field consistent winners. In 5 years the Seattle team that won the Superbowl will be a memory. How many players on the 2005-2006 NFC Championship team were with the Hawks 5 years later? Not many. Some (Hutchinson) left right away and the team never recovered. Others drifted away.

    So the NFL players better find a way to address their pay needs without losing heir fan base. Because sooner or later it will happen like it did in the 80-90’s in baseball and the team doesn’t mean squat.

  140. jerseyjoehaven says: Jun 18, 2014 1:10 PM

    Its a valid point. Only in the NFL is a contract not a contract and its held against the players. All this and the NFL limits the teams in the league in how much can be spent each year. This is all ways the NFL gets around the collective bargaining. The players should strike and hold strong until massive changes are made. Look at what happened with the concussion lawsuit. Some people had to be paid off on that. Look the judge would not sign off on it because he saw it as wrong. The NFL makes more than 3 times the amount paid out to the players. Spend some of that profit on the players and give back to the fans. The fans are not only paying for the ticket to the game but are also paying a seating fee. This is to pay off the stadiums. But after its paided off its pure profit to the teams in question.

  141. mtgblue1979 says: Jun 18, 2014 2:02 PM

    Ohhhh the humanity!!! Only getting paid a million dollars to play a game. The tragedy!! How DARE the Giants not pay a second string talent big money!!! Revolt! Rebel! Protest! This is a far greater injustice than world hunger and wars combined!

  142. dphins4me says: Jun 18, 2014 8:22 PM

    Signing Bonus. He gets to keep it without earning it.

  143. simonator917 says: Jun 18, 2014 9:40 PM

    Then get a real job, you putz.

  144. Ed Bandell says: Jun 19, 2014 4:53 PM

    Watching my Baltimore Orioles getting hamstrung by huge contracts by injured players for YEARS (Albert Belle, David Segui, Scott Erickson) I can tell you that guaranteed contracts will hurt more than help.

    In MLB, a player gets signed to a 5 year contract worth $100,000,000. He can step on the field in the Spring Training, blow out a ligament, never play a single game over the next five years and he gets paid $100,000,000.

    In this case, a small market team can’t afford to take such a risk, so they never pay for premium talent and thus, always are horrible. There are some rare exceptions when a small market team hits big on a cheap free agent or two, their prospects pan out and play out of their minds, and then the rest of the league doesn’t play up to standard because of their own injuries.

    I agree that players should not be cut in the middle of a contract. There should be some sort of settlement or what a lot of baseball players do now, is get insurance on their contracts. This way if they get hurt, a team gets paid a portion of that salary back in insurance. This helps some, but it isn’t perfect.

    As far as a market place to shop your wares, well, there is the CFL, the AFL, and I think the start up USFL is still around?

  145. hrmlss says: Jun 24, 2014 8:36 AM

    OH go back to wiping your butt with $100 bills, multi millionaire playing a kids game.

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