Passing-game role makes Ezekiel Elliott even more valuable

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To the chagrin of Cowboys fans and fantasy owners who simply want Ezekiel Elliott to continue to show up and play without hesitation, I’ve got more to say about a guy who should consider taking a stand for a second contract before his current employer physically chews him up and spits him out.

Beyond Elliott’s value in the running game, where he gained 1,434 yards on 304 attempts, Elliott added a whopping 77 receptions last year, for another 567 yards. That’s 381 touches, and 2,001 yards from scrimmage.

Elliott had 58 total receptions in his first two NFL seasons. His 77 catches put him in a tie for 22nd in the league last year, with Odell Beckham Jr.

There’s significant value in that kind of production in the running and passing game; indeed, he accounted for 36.3 percent of the team’s entire offensive output. So if he’s going to take 380-plus touches, he needs to get paid accordingly. And if the team isn’t going to pay him accordingly voluntarily, Elliott needs to force the issue.

Complain all you want, when your objective is to ensure that he helps your favorite team, boosts your fantasy performance, or otherwise adequately entertains you. But he’s the one taking the poundings that will affect his quality of life in the long run, and he’s the one that keeps America’s Team currently relevant to a nation. If the team isn’t going to get him properly paid not that he’s eligible for a new deal, Elliott needs to use the devices available to him.

Don’t give me the “he signed a contract” routine, Old School Football Guy. It was a contract of adhesion (look it up), with no opportunity to negotiate more dollars than his draft slot dictated. The current system, which protects teams from draft busts who would suck away millions, fails to properly reward the men who should have gotten the big contracts that, due to fear that some of those big contracts won’t be earned, currently go to no one.

Also, there are two contracts that control the relationship: The contract between the player and the team, and the contract between the union and the league. Elliott has rights under the broader contract that are independent of his individual contract, and that allow him to technically violate the terms of his own deal. By taking advantage of those rights, he can try to leverage the Cowboys into doing the right thing, before he ends up being the next guy who finally makes it to free agency with bald tires and far less money in the bank than he deserves.

23 responses to “Passing-game role makes Ezekiel Elliott even more valuable

  1. Thanks for trying to make Ann NFL ticket, already not affordable for the average family of four, even more expensive Florio

    Leave your lawyer hat st home more often.

  2. Why do we even sign contracts if we cannot forecast through our crystal balls what is going to happen?

    The problem here is not that the Bearded Woman Beater can catch balls and can run; the problem here is that the QB is a fake one and continually underwhelms because he checks down to the BWB?

    We may or may not like the terms of our employment contracts, but we are bound to them. Some contracts are more prohibitive than others. But that is life. He’s a grown adult who should have read the fine print instead of grabbing a woman’s breasts without her consent in public.

    You see, Yellow Journalist, there are also negating factors that must be considered in all the glory you’ve given this bearded threat to women. And his kind is not a welcome one – a man who has a history of abusing women.

    Re-read that, Yellow Journalist.

    Given what he can do on the field, we also have the fact that he cost his team games – that should immediately make him suspect for not caving to his wonderful resume of work to this point.

  3. “It was a contract of adhesion (look it up), with no opportunity to negotiate more dollars than his draft slot dictated.”

    Then blame the NFLPA for negotiating the CBA that way. It was also his fellow union members that voted for that compensation agreement.

  4. “The current system, which protects teams from draft busts who would suck away millions, fails to properly reward the men who should have gotten the big contracts that, due to fear that some of those big contracts won’t be earned, currently go to no one.”

    This makes zero sense. The NFL has a hard salary cap with a floor, which means if Elliott is on a rookie deal, a veteran is getting paid to bring the total up to $188m. This will benefit Elliott as he transitions from rookie contract to a veteran contract.

  5. Teams are not honoring the contract…Great players are honoring their contracts, then getting an extra 2 years added on because their teams are franchise tagging them twice now…so casually too!!! If teams wanna extend a contract by 2 years…Players should be allowed to reduce the contract by 2 years…Fair is Fair!

  6. I agree with your point, even though I vehemently disagree with your tone and aggression toward the customers of your website who might have different opinions from yourself.

    He did sign a contract, but you’re right that the rules dictate that a player of his caliber is allowed to demand a new contract after three seasons. I agree with you that he should be demanding his money immediately and not taking another year of wear-and-tear without at least attempting to force a contract extension this off-season.

    Although you have been proven categorically wrong (at least so far) in your past contention that LeVeon Bell did his career a favor by sitting out all of 2018. We won’t have the final verdict on that until the end of Bell’s career but as of right now, he missed out on $14 million and ended up with a contract smaller than what his former team was offering him last year.

    Zeke should hold out, but extreme measures like you typically suggest on this site are often not in the player’s best interest.

  7. This argument is bogus. Elliot is not the kind of game-breaking talent who can make defenders miss or explode for a huge play ALL ON HIS OWN. He relies on being given holes in order to “make” big plays, unlike, for example, Saquon Barkely. THIS IS A TEAM SPORT, and without the help of his teammates Elliot would look a lot more like he is: a good, but far from elite, GRINDER.

    But his ability to grind a volume of touches is one of his MAIN traits. If try to BS your way into making Dallas (or anyone else) pay for the volume AND the big plays THAT HE DID NOT CREATE, then you’re going to force the team into PAYING ELLIOT FOR VALUE HE DID NOT CONTRIBUTE. Meaning he would be overpaid. Meaning that Dallas would be losing salary cap value, meaning it would lose.

    Yeah, great argument. If Elliot were to hold out, Dallas should let him go to a team with worse blocking, and he would see how much less fun football is when you are given ordinary blocking (Elliot had top-level blocking in college too).

    All PFT cares about is players getting even more rich than they already would be. Beg pardon, but football fans want their TEAMS to be good, and overpaying individual players does the opposite.

  8. These are the things Le’Veon Bell stud up to against the Steelers except Bell was a 2nd rd pick so his rookie deal was 4 years 4 million. Pitt played his whole whole rookie deal out then franchised him and tried to franchise him a second time gettin 300-400 touches a year using a whole career worth of touches outta ur RB before they ever get ur second contract. Good for Bell he fought the system and won just by getting his first long term contract at a position where one injury can change ur entire career outcome.

  9. “The current system, which protects teams from draft busts who would suck away millions, fails to properly reward the men who should have gotten the big contracts that, due to fear that some of those big contracts won’t be earned, currently go to no one.”

    Those dollars go to veterans – perhaps you should look up the history Mike – otherwise all teams would be comfortably under the cap

  10. It’s all relative. There is a cap in a team sport. What is the individual value vs the team? If you max the individual(s) to a gross extent, the teams overall effectiveness will most likely suffer.

    NE is the model.

    As a Cowboys fan, I would trade some of these “max” pieces, and reload. It’s not worth the end result, unless you get a chance of being on the cusp and adding a piece.

  11. He already got a 24 million dollar rookie deal and he gets merchandising and endorsements.

    He does not get those dollars without being an NFL player.
    He also got paid for 3 playoff games.

    The players are the ones who went for capping rookie earnings so the vets could make more and practice less.

  12. Good job Mike for speaking up for the players, not used to that from the media. Excellent point too. From reading some of the comments, it is true that the inmates police themselves.

  13. If he sits, he ha sto give back his signoing bonus for 2019 and doesn’t get paid = 7.9MM

    On teh other hand, Dallas may want to negotiate now, rather than in 1-2 years. Maybe they can reach a reasonable deal.

  14. If the head of the NFLPA isn’t working for the owners he’s one of the most incompetent negotiators ever. Shame on the agents of the players for not understanding the CBA and telling them they should not agree to it. Shame on the players for not reading and understanding it themselves.

    Controlling a draft picks rights for 7 years is preposterous. Rookie deals at the least need to be reduced to 3-4 years and tags gone or reduced to 1 year max.

    If owners can cut players at any time, players should be able to opt out at any time.

    If players have received a signing bonus with the understanding that it is for the duration of the contract then they have to pay back the prorated amount to pay for their freedom, just as teams are on the hook for guaranteed money if they cut a player.

    The union should be having all players implement these opt out or buy out clauses in all contracts.

  15. thought, silly me, that football was a team sport, not a one man show…but if it is a one man show, ban multi year contracts and make every player a free agent at the end of the season…think of all the fun you’ll have speculating…

  16. Patrick says: “If owners can cut players at any time, players should be able to opt out at any time.”

    They can – it’s called retirement. Then they can apply for work at any business in America, just not the NFL again unless they go back to their old contract. Simple.

  17. Must be a slow day to pull this one out. Trying to give Zeke the same advice you gave Bell? How did that work out? Put away the lawyer stuff and stop trying to force a wealth redistribution from the owners. It’s called capitalism and works pretty darn well.

  18. A couple points. 1) The CBA is really the key here – unless you get a lot of RB’s on the executive council, I don’t see this situation fundamentally changing for RB’s. All players take a pounding, but RB’s are certainly more prone to short careers. This is largely the only reason the RB’s are being taken in the first round again, as owners and GM’s are seeing the value in having a pick that can give them 5-6 years of production without putting huge guaranteed dollars on the line, and largely during the prime years of their career, as Florio himself pointed out recently. 2) While Elliott could try to force the issue of extending him early, and the Dallas does have some history of doing so with their top 1st round pick offensive linemen in Tyron Smith, Travis Fredrick and Zach Martin, there is another key difference between those offensive linemen and Elliott aside from the position they play and the presumed longevity at their respective positions – off the field issues – those the OL’s have essentially zero off the field problems, but Elliott clearly has. From the ream perspective, why give into contract pressure from a RB who has had off the field issues, and presents far greater risk, while he simultaneously came into the situation with a shorter projected career to begin with. As another commenter noted, Elliott has certainly benefited from the up-front play of the Cowboys OL, so from the team’s perspective, given that under the current CBA, they essentially hold all the cards, why should they make a move to extend him early? His only real leverage is to hold out, and that inherently runs the risk of another RB ascending ala James Conner, BUT with the downside risk for Elliott that he’s not at the 2nd/3rd franchise tag point yet, so Dallas is really not forced into cutting him loose.

  19. LOL. Another problem with you, the fake news media. My comments were not disrespectful, nor did they have any foul language in them. Yet you moderated them and blocked them from being posted (I have a screenshot). This is not a news blog. In fact it’s no different than Fox News. It’s just another media site with an agenda and curated content to reflect that agenda. Not an open forum for folks to discuss.

  20. Trying to cause some discourse in Cowboys land huh? I guess we will see. I know I have had my share of comments blocked too for no fair reason IMO. Am I wrong, I thought you guys were responsible for reporting the NFL news not trying to dictate it.

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