Saquon Barkley, Todd Gurley got the language Roquan Smith wants

AP

Bears coach Matt Nagy explained on Saturday that “very few” contracts protect players against having their future guarantees voided by a suspension arising from on-field misconduct. He may be right, but other players definitely have that protection, and it’s smart for more and more to try to do the same.

It’s also smart for more and more teams to provide that protection.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Roc Nation has secured this term in the contracts recently signed by Giants running back Saquon Barkley and Rams running back Todd Gurley. Given the position they play, a real possibility exists of being flagged, fined, ejected, and/or suspended for dropping their helmets and initiating contact while running between the tackles, or for using any portion of their helmets to butt, spear, or ram an opponent who is trying to tackle them. Especially since no one knows how aggressively the new helmet rules will or won’t be enforced.

Given that Smith’s four-year contract is fully guaranteed, and given that he plays linebacker, why shouldn’t he want that protection? It’s one thing to have guarantees wiped out due to off-field misbehavior. It’s quite another to risk forfeiting guarantees for simply doing what the coaching staff wants him to do.

So the Bears should budge on this one. Given that the Giants and Rams (wisely) already have, the Bears and all other teams should follow suit.

23 responses to “Saquon Barkley, Todd Gurley got the language Roquan Smith wants

  1. Do NOT give this protection to Vontaze Burfict.

    Hilarious! Burfict would be suspended all year and get paid with the protection language in his contract!

  2. Contracts constructed to insulate players against an officials judgement. Clearly the rule as its written today is subjective and open to interpretation.

    Does the NFL need more proof that it needs more definition?

  3. If people do their job at my work incorrectly they get suspended or fired…. But…. I guess…

  4. With the random and inconsistent way that NFL penalties are called and rules enforced every player should have this protection.

    We have a bad, ill defined rule that no one knows how its going to be enforced. You can talk all you want about proper tackling and ball carrying techniques, but we currently have no idea if the NFL will call this on every slight dip of the helmet or only blatant examples of it. Its human nature to dip your head into or to avoid contact for that matter, whether its smart to do so or not.

    Until the way the rule is going to be called is well defined for the players, every one of them should want this sort of protection in their contracts.

  5. If a player is suspended they don’t get paid.
    Thats NOT what Roquan Smith is against.
    He is against that on top of not getting paid his gurantees would be voided.
    Players DO WANT to get paid and DO NOT want to get suspended.
    So giving him this clause is unlikely to harm the team, unless he’s a bust. But if he’s a bust, he won’t be getting any playing time in order to get suspended.

  6. The NFL or the officials their selves don’t even know exactly how the rule will be officiated, so it would be foolish for players especially LB to not have some type of protections. Guarantees in contracts for usually voided for when players are suspended for PEDs, or arrested for off the field trouble; stuff that they have control over. But inadvertented helmet to helmet contact is bound to happen in football, so it would be stupid to lose your guarantee money because the officials and NFL suspends you for misinterpreting of the rule ala the catch rule.

  7. This site always agrees with the the players re contracts.I suppose that comes with the desire of being a players agent.

  8. This protection does NOT protect their game day checks. Game day checks are automatically withheld when suspended by the NFL. It does protect signing/ roster bonuses that can retroactively be deducted or even worse them asking a player for a chunk of signing bonus back.
    Signing bonus’, even though paid out in full (usually) at signing, does not make them fully guaranteed. Guys who retire early or get off field suspensions get teams to ask/ sue for a chunk back & they’ve won in the past.
    Smith wants to make sure those payments are protected. To make sure the team doesn’t come back down the line & say “you’ve been suspended 4 games in 2 years, we want 1/16th of your signing bonus paid back!”

  9. I’ve changed my mind. Smith definitely doesn’t want to play football, especially not the Bears.

  10. There are only a few teams stupid enough to make this into an issue and let a player with defensive rookie of the year potential to miss two weeks of camp…

    The Bears (obviously)
    The Chargers (as previous seen with Joey Bosa)
    The Bengals, just because they’ve been the cheapest team in the league for 40+ years.

    This holdout is on the team, not the player.

  11. The language contains key phrases like “free ticket”, “do whatever you wanna do”, “no curfew, double allowance”, “use the car whenever you want”, “no examinations, no grades, no attendance requirements”….

  12. Matt Nagy’s stance on this makes me question him as a Head Coach, because his claim is either not well thought out or being presented dishonestly. OF COURSE “very few” contracts have this language, because 1) it is a brand new consideration from this offseason, and so not a single contract signed before 2018 would contain the clause, and 2) even then, many players/agents hadn’t thought to ask for it, most likely. Now that words is spreading, this can be expected to become pretty standard, at least until this new rule is better understood. Either Nagy knows all this, and his fibbing through his teeth, or he has overlooked all this – which would make me question what else he is overlooking about this sport. Not good.

  13. Solution is to not dip your helmet. If everyone had the guarantee, players would still get speared. The players are so phony; they complain about GETTING injured, not injuring other players. You CAN change the way you play, they just don’t want to.

  14. The other fix is to give the opposing team an automatic TD. That will cure coaches of telling players to tackle that way.

  15. Ryan, 2015 called: it wants least favorite phrase back.
    ____________________
    Ryan says:
    July 29, 2018 at 6:49 pm
    I have a feeling the Bears are staring at a 0-16 season. They are a complete dumpster fire.

  16. indiapalealeblog says:

    July 29, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    If a player is suspended they don’t get paid.
    Thats NOT what Roquan Smith is against.
    He is against that on top of not getting paid his gurantees would be voided.
    Players DO WANT to get paid and DO NOT want to get suspended.
    So giving him this clause is unlikely to harm the team, unless he’s a bust. But if he’s a bust, he won’t be getting any playing time in order to get suspended.
    ————————————————–

    The Bears are protecting themselves and their right to have leverage. The Bears for example could have taken this action against Trevathan last year for the hit he put on Green Bay WR and was subsequently suspended by the NFL. The Bears did not move to punitively punish the player beyond the NFL suspension. It does however, give them the right to do so if this becomes a repeated issue with a player.

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