Lorenzo Alexander: Players good with shorter contracts if it means more guarantees

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Kirk Cousins‘ fully guaranteed $84 million contract, the first of its kind in the NFL, is for only three years. Florio did a good job on a slow day of spelling out how the adoption of fully guaranteed contracts for all NFL players would lead to shorter contracts for most players.

Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, a member of the NFLPA’s executive committee, is ready for that.

Alexander spoke to SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday, agreeing with Chargers offensive tackle Russell Okung that the NFLPA does need to make guaranteed contracts a priority when it negotiates a new collective bargaining agreement. (The current one expires after the 2020 season.)

“I think we’ve always tried to make those strides and gains, and tried to get as much money in guys’ pockets as possible,” Alexander said on the SiriusXM Blitz Thursday. “I mean, obviously, when you are negotiating with an opposing side that’s also fighting for those dollars and that power and control, they want something totally different. So, obviously, we are with Russ and what he’s saying and the tone of the tweets that he was putting out [Wednesday].

“As players, of course, you want some guarantees and some type of certainty when you sign a deal. They have it, from their perspective, as the ownership, but players would also like to add that same type of comfort level, knowing that I’m going to make x-amount of dollars over the next two or three years, even if that means that our deals are [shorter].”

Alexander, in the second year of a two-year, $5.95 million contract that has $3.4 million guaranteed, used Cousins’ deal as an example of what NFL players should seek instead of longer-term contracts with more total money.

“I’d much rather have like a Kirk Cousins deal where I know that I’m going to get all $84 million versus, let’s say, $150 [million] over six [years], and I’m not sure if I’m going to get that our not,” Alexander said. “And, obviously, we’re talking crazy numbers and I understand it’s a lot of money, but relative to sports, I think having guaranteed contracts is something that players are going to always want and always try to fight for. And that’s the key, trying to create that same type of reality that the MLB and the NBA have created and their stars have leveraged their power and it made that the norm in those leagues because there’s nothing in their CBA that mandates guaranteed contracts and that’s something that we have to try to do as far as the NFL.”

51 responses to “Lorenzo Alexander: Players good with shorter contracts if it means more guarantees

  1. But would the players be okay with shorter, guaranteed contracts if they ALSO came with lower overall salaries? Because in order to avoid too much money going to declining players, that is precisely what would have to happen. It isn’t just about getting 3/$84M guaranteed instead of 6/$150M, but really about 3/$50M or so instead. Wouldn’t be quite so appealing at that point.

  2. NFL has the best system for salaries and the closest to realities. Pay for performance. In the real world, if an employee doesn’t do their job they are fired. There is a wrongful sense of entitlement for athletes.

    Look at other sports like baseball. Those long guaranteed contracts absolutely demolish a team (look at the LA Angels, Dodgers etc.). The NFL salary system is the best in all of sports.

  3. Fine, but realize that the total value of those contracts will be smaller than they would be if the whole thing weren’t guaranteed. Right now, a lot of the non-guaranteed portion of the contract is essentially guaranteed because the salary cap repercussions of cutting a player with time left on his deal makes it unlikely he will be cut. Also, contracts are extended so signing bonuses can be prorated across the length of the deal, lessening the salary cap hit. If everything is guaranteed, the cap hit is harder to manage so the contracts have to be smaller.

  4. I think it makes sense for both sides. Players could be up for a new contract and more money every 2 or 3 years. Teams can move on more quickly from declining players. And your favorite player can switch teams more often and eliminate potential dynasties.

    Imagine Aaron Rodgers getting 35, 40, 45 million a year until he’s 47 years old.

  5. Yeah, the players say that until they find out they aren’t going to get as much in their next contract. Then they’ll whine about wanting longer contracts.

    Frankly I’d be fine if they capped the length of contracts to three years, even two. It would solve the problem of those guys who only give 50% effort until it’s a contract year. I’d also be fine if the only guarantee was in the form of a roster bonus. Again, that would ensure that players actually produce instead (unlike Albert Haynesworth). There are way too many guys like that in the league. Shorter contracts mean those players would find themselves out on their ear.

  6. nhpats says:
    July 5, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    $84M for a three year deal for Kirk Cousins! Somebody should be fired
    _______

    People get hung up on that guaranteed money but it’s a better value for the team than Matthew Stafford’s 5-year $135 million contract with $92 million guaranteed. Stafford will make $87.5 million the next three years with larger cap hits than Cousins each year. The Lions can get out of the contract in 2021 but would have a $10 million dead cap hit. They aren’t going to cut him, so he gets another $30 million essentially guaranteed. What has Matthew Stafford ever done that should get him a bigger contract than Kirk Cousins when he wasn’t even a free agent?

  7. I think players have no shot at getting this done. The players want to abolish Goodell’s power. They want to have guaranteed contracts. They want a larger piece of the pie. What are they going to give up? Other than agreeing to an 18 game season they have absolutely nothing to give, and that’s why the owners will win the next round

  8. nhpats says:
    July 5, 2018 at 5:58 pm
    $84M for a three year deal for Kirk Cousins! Somebody should be fired

    /////////////////////

    When the pats finish 9-7 this year and Brady retires, you will wish you had a talent like Cousins. Now go stare at your Brady poster little one.

  9. The NBA is dead for a reason, I prefer the NFL method any day. If you want it to be like the NBA method, then maybe you should have thought about basketball first before football…

  10. The NFL has a firm salary cap. It doesn’t matter WHICH players get paid, but the overall team salary is still $178m.

    However, guaranteed salaries hurt players like Lorenzo Alexander, who toiled on special teams/practice squads as an undrafted free agent for 5/6 years. If team is fully invested on a OLB with 5 years guaranteed, he would not have gotten a chance to start.

  11. flankerright says:
    July 5, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    Stick it to the Rich guys and gals, all for guaranteed money, by the time you get to the NFL you’ve earned that right…
    ——————

    Actually it’s the opposite. This is what would happen.

    The players already making the most, would sign shorter deals, thereby having more bites at the apple, and thus eating more of the apple.

    Lower rung players, like the bottom 80 percent or so, would get less money.

    None of this impacts how much the owners dole out, which by most sane estimates, will be lower regardless if there is a change to this or not, based on cord cutting and networks inability to even come close to breaking even on television rights. I.E. If you make back in advertising 40 cents on the dollar, something has to give.

    Looks like the big wig players want rob Peter to pay Paul.

  12. NFL has the best system for salaries and the closest to realities. Pay for performance. In the real world, if an employee doesn’t do their job they are fired. There is a wrongful sense of entitlement for athletes.

    Wrong, Tennis and Golf are truly Pay for Performance!

  13. “Rate This
    Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    July 5, 2018 at 6:12 pm
    Fine, but realize that the total value of those contracts will be smaller than they would be if the whole thing weren’t guaranteed. Right now, a lot of the non-guaranteed portion of the contract is essentially guaranteed because the salary cap repercussions of cutting a player with time left on his deal makes it unlikely he will be cut. Also, contracts are extended so signing bonuses can be prorated across the length of the deal, lessening the salary cap hit. If everything is guaranteed, the cap hit is harder to manage so the contracts have to be smaller.”

    Here is a man who has no idea how NFL contracts work in relation to salary cap.

  14. i will never understand why people here are so anti player. wait, could it have something to do with the fact that most of them are black? no. from football fans? couldnt be.

  15. “It isn’t just about getting 3/$84M guaranteed instead of 6/$150M, but really about 3/$50M or so instead. Wouldn’t be quite so appealing at that point.”

    That point doesn’t make much sense as out of the 6 year 150 million, they’re not getting all of that money, the player isn’t even going to see that full contract. We’ve seen it time and time again; traded or cut if they don’t renegotiate once they’re near the end of that deal which also just happens to have more money on the backend. So even in the chacne that the teams try to lower the overall money, which would be hard because the players would control the leverage, they’re still making the full amount.

    That matters a lot.

  16. the players can get the shorter guaranteed contracts if they are also willing to go without the up-front signing bonuses. the only reason the signing bonuses work for the teams is because they can be averaged out over the life of the contract (guaranteed portion AND non-guaranteed portion). Without the longer term salary cap average hit, the teams have almost
    ZERO motivation to offer them.

  17. “Dillon Pauls says:
    July 5, 2018 at 7:03 pm
    The NBA is dead for a reason”

    The NBA is a 5v5 game which means that individual players can take over the game more often that not, which is part of the issue with the NBA, along with about half of the league being ran by terrible owners who have no reason to improve thanks to revenue sharing, those have nothing to do with player contracts so that’s a terrible comparison made by people who make dishonest arguments. Also the MLB has full contracts; it’s basically the polar opposite of the NFL in everyway, and has higher parity.

  18. This goes to show how ignorant some of these players are. They’re signing bonus and their upfront guarantee dollars is the same money they would get with shorter guaranteed contracts. Cousins got the same money fully guaranteed that he would’ve had had he signed a six-year contract. Cousins chose to gamble on himself. He did not make any additional money

  19. What has Matthew Stafford ever done that should get him a bigger contract than Kirk Cousins when he wasn’t even a free agent?
    +++++

    Neither QB did anything to deserve what they got…. teams starved for playoff success will pay top dollar for adequate qb’s with strong arms.

  20. What has Matthew Stafford ever done that should get him a bigger contract than Kirk Cousins when he wasn’t even a free agent?
    +++++

    Neither QB did anything to deserve what they got…. teams starved for playoff success will pay top dollar for adequate qb’s with strong arms.

  21. What is needed is a salary cap in baseball. When all teams have a shot at being competitive – the league, overall, benefits. I think it’s pathetic that small market MLB teams have to advertise the talent of the visiting competition to sell tickets to home games. Plus, to be honest, I’m tired of seeing the Yankees dominate almost every year because they can simply replace a bad player, regardless of the money that is owed them, with another player – whereas small market teams have to live with their mistake.

  22. “NFL has the best system for salaries and the closest to realities. Pay for performance. In the real world, if an employee doesn’t do their job they are fired. There is a wrongful sense of entitlement for athletes.”

    —————

    Hmmm, I think Aaron Donald might disagree with your belief that it’s a “pay for performance” system. The reigning defensive mvp made just over $3 million last year.

  23. It will start with shorter terms, but then teams will be forced to go longer in order to beat out other teams to sign stars.

  24. The owners need to realize these guys are like Liberals….you give them what they want then they will find something else to complain about and want.

  25. Guaranteed money even though a player may get injured, play poorly, have off-the-field issues? No way the owners would go for that or should they. Would players repay money when they fail a team? Do they in the NBA or MLB? Hell no. Those teams have to bear the miserable pain. What the league should do though is invest more in the retired players association to help men with crippled bodies due to the game.

  26. Its funny this is being brought up now I have always said years ago that If I played in the NFL I would only sign 3 year deals that way I can guarantee to maximize the full wording of the contract!!! My son has a chance to make it so I Have made sure this will be his plan When He Makes It in a year or 2!! #WagnerSeahawks #Sessions #57

  27. In the other professional where there are fully guaranteed contracts, it’s NOT collectively bargained. There is nothing stated in there. It just started to happen based on the market of players available and competition. Drives me crazy when these guys speak with such strong opinions when they haven’t taken the time to research anything. Oh, and by the way…those leagues are not as popular as the NFL and play far more games.

  28. flviking says:

    July 5, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    nhpats says:
    July 5, 2018 at 5:58 pm
    $84M for a three year deal for Kirk Cousins! Somebody should be fired

    /////////////////////

    When the pats finish 9-7 this year and Brady retires, you will wish you had a talent like Cousins. Now go stare at your Brady poster little one.
    ——————————
    Viking fan is being irrational. lol

  29. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    July 5, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    nhpats says:
    July 5, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    $84M for a three year deal for Kirk Cousins! Somebody should be fired
    _______

    People get hung up on that guaranteed money but it’s a better value for the team than Matthew Stafford’s 5-year $135 million contract with $92 million guaranteed. Stafford will make $87.5 million the next three years with larger cap hits than Cousins each year. The Lions can get out of the contract in 2021 but would have a $10 million dead cap hit. They aren’t going to cut him, so he gets another $30 million essentially guaranteed. What has Matthew Stafford ever done that should get him a bigger contract than Kirk Cousins when he wasn’t even a free agent?

    ————-

    You’re right in regards to Kirk’s cap hits being smaller, but he’s not as good of a player as Stafford. Stafford’s talent and ceiling is miles above Cousins’. I’d ask the inverse your question–what did Cousins do to merit a larger contract than Stafford? Cousins is a pretty good player, but he and the Redskins went 9-7, 8-8, and 7-9, with no playoff wins.

  30. Joe Bocc says:
    July 5, 2018 at 7:24 pm
    “Rate This
    Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    July 5, 2018 at 6:12 pm
    Fine, but realize that the total value of those contracts will be smaller than they would be if the whole thing weren’t guaranteed. Right now, a lot of the non-guaranteed portion of the contract is essentially guaranteed because the salary cap repercussions of cutting a player with time left on his deal makes it unlikely he will be cut. Also, contracts are extended so signing bonuses can be prorated across the length of the deal, lessening the salary cap hit. If everything is guaranteed, the cap hit is harder to manage so the contracts have to be smaller.”

    Here is a man who has no idea how NFL contracts work in relation to salary cap.

    ***

    I think you accidentally deleted the part of your statement where you were going to make a point, counter argument, or any sort of meaningful insight…

  31. Cousins is getting big-time guaranteed coin for “guaranteed” success. If he doesn’t at least take the Vikings to the SuperBowl, it’s a failure. I mean, look how close Keenum took them before their defense quit! If Cousins doesn’t do better than that, it’s a failure.

    I’m not picking on anybody. It’s the truth, and their fans know it.

    Good luck with that.

  32. stellarperformance says:
    July 6, 2018 at 12:30 pm
    Cousins is getting big-time guaranteed coin for “guaranteed” success. If he doesn’t at least take the Vikings to the SuperBowl, it’s a failure. I mean, look how close Keenum took them before their defense quit! If Cousins doesn’t do better than that, it’s a failure.

    I’m not picking on anybody. It’s the truth, and their fans know it.

    Good luck with that

    /////////////////////

    Isn’t this the exact thing you said last year? Only about our defense? How about this…… pack fan has always said get rid of Capers and we will make Super Bowl. Well you have your wish. Anything less than Super Bowl is failure. Pack fan knows it, you know it.
    Good luck with all that

  33. The thing is, most players who sign 5 or 6 year deals already have the first 2 or 3 guaranteed. So really, other than the over all length of the deal being shorter and the player having the ability to walk away sooner I don’t see where the players really would gain anything. If anything, I see a lot of players who’s careers will be much shorter.

  34. A note to players…keep demanding more & more, for less & less. You will soon find that the tit is dried up, and the owners go belly up, or trade you. This league is fast working it’s way into non-existence.

  35. flviking says:
    July 6, 2018 at 3:07 pm
    Isn’t this the exact thing you said last year? Only about our defense? How about this…… pack fan has always said get rid of Capers and we will make Super Bowl. Well you have your wish. Anything less than Super Bowl is failure. Pack fan knows it, you know it.
    Good luck with all that
    /////////////////////////

    No, I never said anything similar last year. Cousins hadn’t become your savior yet, how could I?

    And “Pack Fan has always said?………”

    Fake News. You can’t just lie! Who do you think you are, Comrade Trump?

  36. stellarperformance says:
    July 6, 2018 at 12:30 pm
    Cousins is getting big-time guaranteed coin for “guaranteed” success. If he doesn’t at least take the Vikings to the SuperBowl, it’s a failure. I mean, look how close Keenum took them before their defense quit! If Cousins doesn’t do better than that, it’s a failure.

    I’m not picking on anybody. It’s the truth, and their fans know it.

    Good luck with that.

    ***

    I’m lost. You said you’re a reactive poster only. Defending the integrity of the Packers against Vikings trolls is your MO. What are you reacting to on this one?

    Second question, why do you think Cousins is going to have guaranteed success?

  37. najacoo22 says:
    July 6, 2018 at 10:20 am
    Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    July 5, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    nhpats says:
    July 5, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    $84M for a three year deal for Kirk Cousins! Somebody should be fired
    _______

    People get hung up on that guaranteed money but it’s a better value for the team than Matthew Stafford’s 5-year $135 million contract with $92 million guaranteed. Stafford will make $87.5 million the next three years with larger cap hits than Cousins each year. The Lions can get out of the contract in 2021 but would have a $10 million dead cap hit. They aren’t going to cut him, so he gets another $30 million essentially guaranteed. What has Matthew Stafford ever done that should get him a bigger contract than Kirk Cousins when he wasn’t even a free agent?

    ————-

    You’re right in regards to Kirk’s cap hits being smaller, but he’s not as good of a player as Stafford. Stafford’s talent and ceiling is miles above Cousins’. I’d ask the inverse your question–what did Cousins do to merit a larger contract than Stafford? Cousins is a pretty good player, but he and the Redskins went 9-7, 8-8, and 7-9, with no playoff wins.
    _________

    If you compare Cousins’ record and stats for the last three years to Stafford’s, you’ll see that they’re nearly identical. Stafford has no playoff wins in a much longer career. Shouldn’t he have reached that ceiling by this time?

  38. stellarperformance says:

    July 6, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Cousins is getting big-time guaranteed coin for “guaranteed” success. If he doesn’t at least take the Vikings to the SuperBowl, it’s a failure. I mean, look how close Keenum took them before their defense quit! If Cousins doesn’t do better than that, it’s a failure.

    I’m not picking on anybody. It’s the truth, and their fans know it.

    Good luck with that.

    ——————————–

    lol. The Vikings could not make the Superbowl for many reasons and many could have nothing to do with Kirk Cousin’s performance.

    The Vikings could lose Diggs, Theilan, and Cook in injuries. Or lose their whole Offensive Line like 2016, or Kirk could break his leg in practice like it seems to happen to all our QB’s. In a sport that is soo unpredictable..it’s a terrible take to just say one player is a failure because the didn’t make a Super Bowl, when many variables could de-rail it.

    If we don’t lose anyone to major injuries and we don’t make a deep playoff run, yes I agree it’s a failure, but it’s possible also that we could lose players to injury and lose key members, and Kirk could play really well, and they still don’t make the Superbowl. Also the level of opponents is unknown…the Vikings could be a good team….but it could be that other teams in the NFC are just way better…I think the Saints are the best team in the NFC if you ask me. Would getting Kirk be a mistake? No. Getting Kirk is just increasing your odds of consistent production at the QB position for the next 3 or more years. Your increasing the odds due to his consistent past years played…but nothing is a given.

  39. nhpats says:
    July 5, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    $84M for a three year deal for Kirk Cousins! Somebody should be fired
    _______

    People get hung up on that guaranteed money but it’s a better value for the team than Matthew Stafford’s 5-year $135 million contract with $92 million guaranteed. Stafford will make $87.5 million the next three years with larger cap hits than Cousins each year. The Lions can get out of the contract in 2021 but would have a $10 million dead cap hit. They aren’t going to cut him, so he gets another $30 million essentially guaranteed. What has Matthew Stafford ever done that should get him a bigger contract than Kirk Cousins when he wasn’t even a free agent?

    ————-

    You’re right in regards to Kirk’s cap hits being smaller, but he’s not as good of a player as Stafford. Stafford’s talent and ceiling is miles above Cousins’. I’d ask the inverse your question–what did Cousins do to merit a larger contract than Stafford? Cousins is a pretty good player, but he and the Redskins went 9-7, 8-8, and 7-9, with no playoff wins.

    ———————–

    How is Stafford better? He has zero playoff wins just like Kirk Cousin’s. Also Stafford has played longer and has done nothing longer. Also Kirk Cousin’s has had way less talented teams in DC than Stafford has had and has still produced decent numbers. Stafford is a great QB, don’t get me wrong. He possesses a slightly stronger arm than Kirk’s, but he hasn’t been more successful. Weren’t you the one that said all that matter’s is wins? Stafford hardly ever beats better teams.

  40. 13worldchampioinships says:
    July 9, 2018 at 9:28 am
    stellarperformance says:
    July 6, 2018 at 12:30 pm
    Cousins is getting big-time guaranteed coin for “guaranteed” success. If he doesn’t at least take the Vikings to the SuperBowl, it’s a failure. I mean, look how close Keenum took them before their defense quit! If Cousins doesn’t do better than that, it’s a failure.

    I’m not picking on anybody. It’s the truth, and their fans know it.

    Good luck with that.

    ***

    I’m lost. You said you’re a reactive poster only. Defending the integrity of the Packers against Vikings trolls is your MO. What are you reacting to on this one?

    Second question, why do you think Cousins is going to have guaranteed success

    /////////////////////////////////

    He won’t respond. He knows you’re right

  41. 13worldchampioinships says:
    July 9, 2018 at 9:28 am
    I’m lost. You said you’re a reactive poster only. Defending the integrity of the Packers against Vikings trolls is your MO. What are you reacting to on this one?

    Second question, why do you think Cousins is going to have guaranteed success?
    ///////////////////////////////

    It’s a football site, and mine is a football-related opinion. I didn’t call you fat and stupid, I didn’t call your kids idiots, I couldn’t care less how many lakes or tall buildings you have and I didn’t say anything about grown men having feminine sounding nicknames.

    1) My response was a reaction to a questionable guaranteed contract and the reasons it was done.
    2) I don’t. Keenum was good enough to get you the same results.

    Next question?

  42. stellarperformance says:

    July 10, 2018 at 11:37 am

    13worldchampioinships says:
    July 9, 2018 at 9:28 am
    I’m lost. You said you’re a reactive poster only. Defending the integrity of the Packers against Vikings trolls is your MO. What are you reacting to on this one?

    Second question, why do you think Cousins is going to have guaranteed success?
    ///////////////////////////////

    It’s a football site, and mine is a football-related opinion. I didn’t call you fat and stupid, I didn’t call your kids idiots, I couldn’t care less how many lakes or tall buildings you have and I didn’t say anything about grown men having feminine sounding nicknames.

    1) My response was a reaction to a questionable guaranteed contract and the reasons it was done.
    2) I don’t. Keenum was good enough to get you the same results.

    Next question?

    ———————-

    Keenum has been in the league longer and has had one good year. Kirk even thou he has a losing record has more productive years.

    Keenum has known limitations……Cousin’s limitations are unknown due to playing on several below average Redskins teams.

    Saying Keenum is better at this stage is a total prisoner of the moment take. The fact is we just don’t know.

  43. Cousins 3 year guaranteed contract isn’t a huge issue. The Vikings aren’t going to cut him. He is going get paid for 3 years anyway guaranteed or not. I also do not see it as a trend setting contract either. QB’s in the NFL are a different animal. The QB’s might start seeing some guaranteed contracts but you won’t find a RB with one.

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