LeBron drama will likely never happen in NFL

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The NBA currently should be paying LeBron James to not make a decision, because the incessant speculation and rumors and premature reports have kept the NBA at the top of the nation’s stack of sports news.

For that reason, the NFL should be watching the drama and plotting for a way to create the same kind of one-man offseason frenzy.  For plenty of other reasons, the NFL never wants anything like this to ever happen.

LeBron currently represents the one thing NFL owners wouldn’t tolerate — a superstar with full and complete control of his destiny.  In the past 20 years, the NFL has seen something close to that only twice.  In 2012, the Colts opted for a young and healthy and inexpensive Andrew Luck over an old and injured and costly Peyton Manning.  That put a franchise quarterback on the market, albeit with a red flag sprouting from his neck.  At the time, no one knew whether Peyton Manning would once again become Peyton F. Manning.  And yet there was still a land rush for his services.

A generation before that, defensive end Reggie White became the first high-profile free agent, able to hit the market unfettered by the franchise tag, since the settlement of the antitrust lawsuit filed by White and others allowed the named plaintiffs to become free agents without limitation.

The franchise tag continues to be the thing that keeps a healthy star from becoming a free agent.  No NFL owner will let a LeBron James type leave, and the only way a superstar player could secure his freedom would be to take a year-to-year approach after the first application of the tag.  Eventually, that one-year salary will become so high that the team can’t keep the player and put a team around him.

Before that ever happens, the player will inevitably sign a long-term deal — unless he’s so committed to getting out of town that he’s willing to bear the injury risk.  That has yet to happen in the 20-plus years since the arrival of the current system, and it’s unlikely to happen any time soon.

Unless LeBron ultimately decides that he’s going to play football.

57 responses to “LeBron drama will likely never happen in NFL

  1. the colts could have had a QB playing indoors at least 9 games a season (8 in Indy and 1 in Houston) and 3 first round picks. As good as Luck will be in 5 years the colts made the wrong decision. Luck is good but he isnt the once in a generation talent that he was billed to be.. Very similar player to Cam Newton, Ryan Tannenhill and RGIII
    somewhat inferior to Russell Wilson

  2. Ummm? You can only get tagged twice? Is that in the contract, so he wouldn’t forever be locked into the team, 4 or 5 year rookie deal plus 2 years then that is it.

  3. Also, basketbal is much different than football. With only ten players on the floor at any time in the NBA, and the specialization of positions in the NFL, one player, except maybe the quarterback (and he can only do so much since he is off the field for half the plays) doesn’t have as much impact on the game in the NFL as they do un the NBA.

  4. The difference in NBA vs NFL Players:

    NBA – lazy, guaranteed contracts
    NFL – non, guaranteed and (usually) hungry

    NBA – want to play with their friends and would rather be on superstar teams
    NFL – Want to win and be the best

    You don’t see too many guys in the NFL trying to team up. You don’t see AP and McCoy trying to be best buddies on the same team. They’re both Alphas who want to win and be the best.

    ^^^One of like, a million, reasons I cant stand the NBA

  5. As much as I dislike the business side of professional sports, I do think that it would make it interesting if the franchise tag could only be used on a player once in their career.

  6. They Lebron drama would be even more fascinating if the NBA was like the NFL but with no franchise tag meaning that there is no ceiling a team can offer an individual player so long as the team is collectively under a hard salary cap. Now that would be fun. All these confusing rules in the NBA make it difficult to follow, understand, makes these decisions much less interesting.

  7. LeBron can’t take a light brushing of a forearm or elbow in a non-contact sport. Why do people insist on talking about LeBron playing in the NFL? Sure, he played some high school football, but his soft self can’t transition to the NFL where he would be getting hammered by 300 pound slabs of muscle, not to mention the added fuel of them wanting to lay him out to prove a point.

    It also helps that the NFL has as many players on one team as the NBA has in a division. It’s more of a team game. Sure, you have your MVPs and superstars, but it’s not a circus where three clowns conspire to join up to try and take a shortcut to a championship because there are too many outside team factors.

  8. 53 players vs 12 players on a team. With the salary cap, NBA teams have the ability to pay their players (on average) twice as much. Plus NBA teams have 5 starters vs. NFL’s 22 starters. The money just isn’t as big.

  9. Yeah this never happened three years ago when Peyton was a Free Agent.

    No one ever hyped that by creating photoshoped images of him in different jerseys, gave updates on his travel plans, or speculated constantly by the twitter feeds of various friends and former teammates.

    Nope. Never happened in the NFL.

  10. One player can’t dominate the NFL like the NBA. For this very same reason the NFL doesn’t need to a lottery system as been suggested by PFT before. Players careers are shorter without the guaranteed money NBA players get so they aren’t going to tank in a game putting out bad film of themselves.

    There is always hype around a pending free agent but in this league if you put big money into a free agent your team tends to take a step back more than not.

  11. Can we get the footage that goes with that throw he is about to make? Just curious, and hey the Power Quarterback position could be just for him, that’s just a fancy way of saying the positional playbook is designed to give him a higher share of ball possession time and a higher monetary rate per play.

  12. The NFL did have Favre I and Favre II. Endless, breathless coverage of his non-retirement and free agency. The LBJ story is two weeks old. The Favre story went on for weeks. Twice. I think there are people who still cringe at the thought he might unretire again.

  13. The fact that the NFL isn’t like this is a GOOD thing. It allows all teams in the league (minus the Jags) a chance to compete and house good players that people will pay to see.

    Say what you will about “free will” for the player, but a higher percentage of teams in the NFL are relevant and have passionate fanbases than any other major sport.

    I live in Minnesota and up here, it’s 90% Vikings because their last trip to the playoffs was much more recent than the Wolves or Twins and neither of those teams has a shot in hell of making the playoffs in the next 2-3 years.

    Their system has built a balanced league and THAT’S why they are #1.

  14. The NFL doesn’t want one player controlling not only his destiny, but other players fate as well. Peyton, Reggie, Brett all moved, but the entire league wasn’t frozen waiting for their decisions. Carmelo, Bosh, and lesser free agents are all awaiting “The Decision 2”.

  15. I like in the NBA how a player will play in a playoff game with a sore throat and he is deemed a warrior by the fawning NBA media.

    NBA = soft and pampered

  16. Give the guy credit. He’s taking control of his career. Telling the world that the NBA owners don’t completely own him. There’s no loyalty in sports, he lived up to his end of the bargain on his contract and is free to do as he pleases.

  17. anybody who says that basketball isnt a contact sport never played..no not as physical as football, but play the post or drive to the basket and see whats up..

    NFL maybe more popular than NBA..but i think globally basketball is more popular than (American Football)

  18. The most ridiculous is the talk “The world is waiting”. Get real. The world doesn’t care, check any European newspaper and you find zip, nada of LeBron.

  19. Hate the NBA all you want, but guys like Lebron, Kobe, etc are far bigger superstars then anyone in the NFL will ever be. And they are paid as such.

  20. All I know is he would be hated and scrutinized more than he already is because he would undoubtably come play for my Dallas Cowboys.

  21. The players call the shots in the nba. You can bet that the owners will figure out how to stop that at some point.

    And they better or the small market teams will never win.

  22. Just another reason why football players are suckers. They make way less money than baseball and basketball players. And the franchise tag doesn’t allow them to leave.

  23. I used to love basketball in the 80s. Now I can’t stand the sight of it because players run things. And the day I see a headline about how “X star player is deciding who the coach of his team is”, I’m done with the NFL too. I love the game of football and my team first, not any one player first. I mean if people like the NBA because it’s more of an individual thing, that’s fine, I just hate it. It’s a shame it’s such an individual thing because about 99% of NBA players are fantastic athletes.

  24. mshawn75 says: Jul 10, 2014 12:16 PM

    The NFL doesn’t want one player controlling not only his destiny, but other players fate as well. Peyton, Reggie, Brett all moved, but the entire league wasn’t frozen waiting for their decisions. Carmelo, Bosh, and lesser free agents are all awaiting “The Decision 2″.


    While not to the same degree, the Manning frenzy definitely impacted other Free Agents that year. For example, the Titans needed a pass rusher in the worst way that year. The GM was planning to go hard after Mario Williams. Then when Manning was cut, the owner Bud Adams basically told the GM to put all resources into signing Manning. Then Manning chose Denver, & by then Williams had already went to Buffalo, & the Titans wound up with crappy Kam Wimbley as a consolation prize.

    But I would have loved to get Manning so I can’t fault the owner on this one.

  25. ESPN is unwatchable now with the constant LeBron discussion you would think they would have learned with the stupid “Decision” episode.

    Who can forget Reggie White and Mike Holmgren saying this is God he wants you to go to Green Bay. The rest is history with his dominating performance in the Super Bowl.

  26. The difference is Peyton Manning was quick, quiet, decisive and classy during his free-agency tour and didn’t require a prime-time TV timeslot for it.

    The Favre circus was much more comparable to Lebron

  27. Brett favre could come back this year and still be a top 10 or 11 QB the guy is a legend and to this day is still better than at least 70 percent of QB’s in the league i mean u wouldnt take ryan fitzpatrick over brett favre even though he is in his 40’s

  28. Lebron wouldn’t last one practice with contact. I’m tired of the Lebron can play on the nfl talk. He barely can get hand checked without crying bloody murderro the refs. Who would he cry to when a lb like James Harrison lays the wood on him going over the middle. One practice that’s it

  29. There was literally a helicopter with a live feed hovering over the Escalade bringing Favre to Winter Park from the airport for the first time.

  30. radiofriendly420 says:Jul 10, 2014 11:38 AM

    At 6’8″, 250 lbs what position would Lebron play in the NFL?

    WR? TE?

    Probably has too good of ball skills to put at DE…


    TE seems like it would be the most natural fit for a NBA star.

    Not sure how he could learn to block.

  31. Well, I still haven’t heard of a team owner sending players to LeBron’s house by private jet to talk him into coming out of retirement and then having him chauffeured from the airport by the head coach.

  32. htown995 says:Jul 10, 2014 1:47 PM

    Brett favre could come back this year and still be a top 10 or 11 QB the guy is a legend and to this day is still better than at least 70 percent of QB’s in the league i mean u wouldnt take ryan fitzpatrick over brett favre even though he is in his 40′s


    Favre was a great player, but there is absolutely no chance he could come back and be better then 70% of the QBs. The last time he played was 4 years ago.

    I wouldn’t take Fitzpatrick or Favre, however Fitzpatrick currently would be better then a 44 year old Favre after not playing for 4 years.

  33. Manning is the closest thing but there is not one single player that can take a team from worst to 1st like lebron could do with the cavs. Obviously a sport with only 5 players per team is different than one with 22 plus special teams.

  34. Since we’re going down memory lane, remember when Favre came back for the second time? The cameras caught him stepping out of the Escalade at Winter Park and his luggage consisted of a cardboard box and a pail. Classic.

  35. So this LeBrona guy supposedly is an NBA player that magically “can control his own destiny.”

    I have no idea who he is since I haven’t seen a worthless NBA game in decades.

    But it is always good to know that the NFL is smarter and better run than some indoor group that prance back and forth in shorts.

    Really slow news period in the NFL is used to confirm football is supreme.

    Thank goodness the CFL is underway and that there is some PRO FOOTBALL to discuss.

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