Eric Dickerson puts plenty of energy into a fight that has no clear end game

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Two years ago, Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson became determined to get Rams coach Jeff Fisher fired. And Dickerson, either directly or indirectly, contributed to the movement that eventually saw Fisher moved out of the job.

Now, Dickerson is taking on an operation that typically generates far better results than 7-9.

Dickerson has decided to tilt at the cash-windfall windmill operating out of 345 Park Avenue in Manhattan. He wants, generally, more — for all former players. Specifically, he has suggested that he wants $300,000 per year for Hall of Famers, a stance he has since tried to back away from in a Twitter exchange with Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com.

And Dickerson is motivated. He’s tweeting more than the Commander in Chief, and he’s appearing on pretty much every radio and TV show that issues an invitation. Dickerson recently spoke at length with Dom Cosentino of Deadspin.com. The discussion included an exchange regarding an effort by the league to gather survey information from former players that crystallizes the views of many former players against the NFL.

‘We want to ask you: How do you feel about the NFL?'” Dickerson said regarding the question he was asked. “I started laughing. I said, ‘I’ll say this much here: The NFL was good to me; I’ve been able to do things for my mother that I never would have been able to do.’ But as far as the NFL, I said, ‘I hate them f–kers. I hate them. I loved the game so much and they made me hate it at the end.’

“She was, like, ‘Really?’ I said, ‘Most players feel like this.’ I said, ‘They say this ‘We’re family’ crap and I say that’s bullsh-t. We’re not no family.’

“I said, ‘The family are the players; now we’re family.’ That’s the real talk. I said, ‘We’re not family to them; they’re a bunch of suits.’ So Lawrence Taylor was coming by. I said, ‘Ask him the same question.’ He’s always, like, ‘What?!’ I said, ‘She has a question to ask you?’ He said, ‘What’s the question?’ ‘How do you feel about the NFL?’ He said, ‘F–k the NFL. I hate them bastards.'”

While Dickerson’s motivation is clear and his energy and commitment are admirable, his end game isn’t. He has no leverage, other than to attempt to persuade other Hall of Famers not to show up for the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony. Appearing Friday on CNBC, Dickerson said former players need a seat at the table for the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

But there’s a reason they don’t have one. They’re former players. They get whatever they negotiate for themselves while they have the seat at the table. After that, the current players take over. And if the current players are willing to take less than they could get in order to give former players more, then former players get more.

From the league’s perspective, all that matters is the total dollars paid out for labor costs. Every dollar diverted to former players is one less dollar available to current players, and current players always have been wired to get as much as they can for themselves, even if those current players later lament the absence of revenue when they become former players.

From Dickerson’s perspective, none of that seems to matter. He’s prepared to flail at the league and at anyone whom be believes to be aligned with the league. He has repeatedly called out PFT and Michael David Smith for writing about an item pointing out a UPI article reporting that Dickerson crossed the picket line during the 1987 strike. Dickerson has insisted that the PFT story should be taken down because Dickerson now claims that he didn’t cross the picket line, and he presumes that anyone who would dare to point out the plain terms of a 31-year-old article must be in the pocket of the NFL.

He can think what he wants. Anyone who regularly reads this site knows that PFT is among the first (and at times only) national publication to call BS on the league office’s heavy-handed ways. From the Saints bounty scandal to the salary cap penalties imposed on Dallas and Washington for treating the uncapped year as uncapped to #Deflategate to Ray Rice to Ezekiel Elliott to various other topics, we’ve strongly disputed the league’s agenda when we believe the agenda doesn’t reflect basic fairness, truth, or common sense.

In this case, the truth is that there’s not much Dickerson can do other than make noise. The league has no legal obligation to give former players more money. The league has no business necessity to do so, either, because there’s nothing that former players can do, beyond attempting to organize a boycott of Hall of Fame weekend. And as to whether the league has a moral obligation to take care of former players, well, when was the last time that any for-profit business worried about moral obligations that didn’t also present a potential P.R. problem if ignored? (So far, there has been no negative P.R. for the NFL arising from Dickerson’s scattershot effort to clamor for more.)

Dickerson’s only hope is to persuade the NFL Players Association to take less for current players and in turn give more to former players the next time the labor deal is negotiated. Which is precisely what didn’t happen when Dickerson and his peers were the ones with the seat at the table. If they had, Dickerson wouldn’t be trying to get more for himself and his peers now.

29 responses to “Eric Dickerson puts plenty of energy into a fight that has no clear end game

  1. There is no reason the $Billion Industry known as the NFL can’t help the retirees that helped build their product. The least they can do is help with medical costs endured, very much do their time working for “The Company”. The problem is more with the entitled nitwits that make up the Players Union today, and their lack of gratitude for those that paved the way to their instant wealth.

    That being said, some people just don’t have the intellect to be the point man for specific purposes. Eric Dickerson, that would be you. Your time is permanently on the sidelines, please realize it sooner rather than later.

  2. Maybe he can wait until the next hurricane/typhoon/flood/tornado to try and raise money for millionaire athletes.

  3. Can we see a Nike sponsorship/ deal for Eric in the near future? A case of who cares what this clown is saying. Except if Nike can turn a profit by casting E.D. as a misfit or misunderstood how Phil Knight will run with it.

  4. NFL and the Hall of Fame are not the same entities first of all.

    Second, given the absolute watering down of whom gets into the hall (Bettis cough cough) – the idea of being in there means less and less to the fans as well. Does anyone really care that Dutch Clark is in the HOF?

  5. NFL average salaries jumped up to over $800,000 per year in the 1980’s after the player strike negotiated tv revenue shares.

    The players from the 1970’s are the ones who truly deserve the biggest piece of the pie. The average salary in the 1970’s was in the $20,000 plus range. That $20,000 plus would be worth somewhere around $115,000 today. Which is still only around 1/8th what the players earned just 10 years later in the 1980’s.

    The 1970’s are what made the NFL and football the #1 sport. And the players from that era never really did benefit for what they created.

  6. This is just like Black Lives Matter. I support the cause but the leadership is so bad that they just make problems worse.

  7. Great RB, horrible team member, worst human being. This guy has been a blow hard, self centered, greedy tool since he held the Rams hostage back in the early 80’s.

    These HOF players were the elite of their time and were paid more then the other 95% of the players playing with them. Yet, he feels THEY should be paid, not the other average players. He still (well used to) have value in Endorsements and speaking gigs. Yet, he wants more? I think the NFL should cover medical bills for players that have injuries stemming from PLAYING TIME ONLY but, it’s the NFLPA responsibility for any other benefit. This is not on the HOF, they are NOT part of the NFL. So ED, shut up.

  8. The real problem is when he crosses over with the plan to try to get the fans behind them. You know the fans / consumers who fuel this entire league. The thing is the fans don’t give Jack crap about owners problems , players problems or anything else. They only care if their team wins on Sunday. So if any of you and I mean any of you really thinks the “FANS” should back anything why should they. Everyone is fighting over their money. So the group that has the most impact on all of this has absolutely no seat at any of these table. The only seat they have or want is the one in their home stadium or in their house.

  9. “Which is precisely what didn’t happen when Dickerson and his peers were the ones with the seat at the table. If they had, Dickerson wouldn’t be trying to get more for himself and his peers now”

    I don’t believe that for a minute.

  10. Eric made your millions playing. If your broke now, that’s just too damn bad. No sympathy! No shake down.

  11. Just as a side note I seem to remember one NY City sports writer calling Lawrence Taylor the greatest football player he had ever seen. He also said he was the most disgusting human being he had ever met. By his own admission drugs, alcohol, filing a false tax return, bad investments, prostitutes and all other kinds of off field mayhem. He may not be the ideal voice to back this argument.

  12. His grudge should be with the NFLPA, not the NFL. However, as Florio articulated, the NFLPA, going back many decades, has mainly concentrated on current player over the well-being of retired players. Asking current players to sacrifice for current & future players, is always an uphill battle.

  13. His grudge should be with the NFLPA, not the NFL. However, as Florio articulated, the NFLPA, going back many decades, has mainly concentrated on current player over the well-being of retired players. Asking current players to sacrifice for current & future players, is always an uphill battle.
    _____________________

    That should have been “current & future retired players”.

  14. He hates the NFL so much, he broadcast games for a living, until two years ago. And he owns a company that sells replica NFL jerseys. And he whined and cried about not being included in the Rams’ family, under Fisher’s watch.

    Done nothing but made money off of this thing he hates. Just a pathetic, money grabbing loser.

  15. I’ve lost all respect for Eric. He’s nothing but a greedy and lazy man who is obviously going for something larger than just being on the front edge of salary extortion.

    I think the NFL should disband the HOF and just publish a list of winners – get rid of the busts and the odds and ends of the game and put them in a warehouse.

    Then send Eric a coupon for a free McDonald’s breakfast sammich.

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