A.J. Brown is already being called a “diva” and a “bad teammate” for trying to get a new deal

Cincinnati Bengals v Tennessee Titans
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Once again, fans line up behind the laundry.

Whenever players want more money, plenty of fans tend to side with the team. They presume the player is being greedy. Being selfish. Wanting more than he deserves, operating under the presumption that he’s already getting more than he deserves. Screwing up the salary cap, and making it harder for the team to compete.

On Friday, 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel said he’s getting death threats and racist comments due to his effort to get a new contract from the team. On Monday, Titans receiver A.J. Brown started hearing it, because he has dared to withhold services from the team’s offseason program as he tries to get the contract he has earned.

“I’m a diva and a bad teammate all of sudden, lol ok,” Brown tweeted. “Do what you have to do then and so will I.”

Folks, a player who is trying to get paid isn’t a diva, a bad teammate, or anything else that would justify a negative label. Players have limited opportunities to get paid. They need to take full advantage of those opportunities.

They have no ownership, no equity. They get one or two contracts, if they’re lucky, beyond their slotted rookie deals. There’s nothing wrong with doing whatever they have to do to get the best deals they can.

Especially in April, when the player is fully within his contractual rights to stay away from the offseason program.

So let’s lay of Brown or Samuel or any other player who is trying to get paid. They’ve earned it. They deserve it. The salary cap is moving higher than ever. The owners are making more than ever. Let’s not get worked up about the efforts of the men who play the game to get paid fairly and appropriately for doing so.

87 responses to “A.J. Brown is already being called a “diva” and a “bad teammate” for trying to get a new deal

  1. Mike is often correct, BUT not in the case of a current contract that a player wishes to abolish.

    Remember, the player signed the contract.

    It’s binding.

    So why should he be allowed to force a new, upgraded contract?

    I’m not allowed to change my 30-year fixed mortgage rate before it’s done.

    So why should a player be allowed to rip up a current contract?

  2. In most cases, I am with the players in these situations, but how can you say A.J. Brown has “earned it” or “deserve(s) it”? In his career, he as averaged 998 yards and 8 TDs per season. Last year, their were 26 players with more than 998 receiving yards and 15 players with more than 8 receiving TDs. Brown has the physical tools, but thus far he has been only slightly above average as a receiver.

  3. The NFLPA really needs to negotiate shorter contracts for rookies. Even subtracting just a year off the 4/5 year period of team control would really help the younger players.

  4. Amen. You couldn’t have said it better. With that in mind though you have to take in to account past preferences.

  5. I’m all about a player getting his money, but where is the line drawn? That’s great they only get one or two contracts, but 99.9% of people in the world will never even get a fraction of one with their entire life earnings. What can you do for your family and every generation after with $150 million that you can’t do for $130 million or $140 million? At some point, they are just as greedy as the owners, but they try to act like they aren’t. Get your money, but stop acting like you can’t be called greedy. You are.

  6. Well Folks,THE NFL bent over backwards for the players during the covid crisis so maybe the players should give a little thanks back by not acting like spoiled kids when their contracts aren’t up yet

  7. What you fail to understand is that as a fan, I want my team to win, and I want to have fun while it is happening. Reading about holdouts is not fun. AJ Brown will be a multi millionaire regardless. So will Deebo and every other star player holding out. Why should I possibly care if he gets $60M, $80M, or $100M? They are are really the same thing for him…set for life. I know it is irrational, but it bugs me that I want the team to win more than the multi-millionaire player paid to help them win. I don’t hate players who hold out or even call them diva’s, but it is 100% in my best interests for everybody to play. That is why I side with the team every time.

  8. Blah blah blah…. I need more money…. No 15 million a year is not enough, I need 25 million or my family can’t eat!!
    WHATEVER….& yes they are becoming big time Divas!!!

  9. I call any player who gets a 2nd contract in the league a successful professional. More times than not that 2nd deal is the largest one you will ever get. You want that deal as early as possible so you can be one of the few to get a 3rd deal worth something. The average fan won’t ever see it that way but that is their own problem.

  10. It’s a money league. Owners are greedy. Players are greedy. Refs are greedy. Feel good stories are few. The NFL is all about the money, everywhere you look.

  11. So these WR demanding top dollar are going to change the NFL back to playing Martyball before long. Then the RB’s will demand more money. When this happens, not only do the WR’s lose money, but the top QB’s will as well, not to mention DB’s.

  12. It’s fine if they do it when it’s time for a new contract. But it bugs me when they sign a contract, then someone else gets paid more, and then they want a new contract before the current one is up. You agreed on a price, you signed the contract, now honor your word. (I know, teams can cut players whenever they want. Well, in any job in the world, there’s the possibility of getting fired. Be worth the money and you have less chance of that.)

  13. Remember when winning mattered? The average contract sets you up for life, if you are smart.

  14. Nothing justifies harassing the players or threatening them.. However, all organizations say that the team comes before all else – including yourself. Does AJ Brown’s rookie contract not need to be honored? When you sign a contract to lease an apartment/car/etc. or buy a house, there are repercussions for not living up to your word. When these guys came out of college they were doing backflips that some team hired them, trained them and put them in a position to succeed – they repay that belief by holding out or basically calling in to work to get paid more? – is acceptable behavior? I know what my boss would say if I acted like that. Let’s all remember there are two sides to every coin and nobody gets to tell irrational fans how to feel

  15. To say players get limited opportunities to get paid makes some questionable assumptions First, they need to be set for life because they only money there ever going to earn has to come from football. Second, where is it written that they don’t need to work or be productive members in society. Brown signed a contract and he’s earned the for another one when the time comes. It doesn’t give him the right be a disruption and hold out.

  16. That’s like the co-worker that finds out you make way more money then they do. But your proformance is twice as good. Lazy people are just lazy.

  17. As a fan, it’s hard to find a good guy to root for in these situations. If a multi millionaire needs more money to play a kids game, and in doing so he can potentially make his team worse via a salary cap squeeze (and I get that lately the narrative has been that the salary cap is a mirage, but that is only a recent trend) then the fans will root for the team and should. On the other hand, the billionaires handing out the contracts and potentially trying to hang on to an extra few millions doesn’t keep us up at night either from a strictly cash perspective. But I think the perceptions around the salary cap and it’s perceived impacts to the team detrimentally, is where the fan’s opinions will fall.

  18. Rookie deals are now too cheap for the level that some guys come into this league at. The “Sam Bradfords” of league-past led this huge change in CBA negotiations. Rookie deals, if staying at low pay levels, should be short.. and get rid of the franchise tag! Stop forcing this athletes to play where they don’t want to until 4-5+ years into their career!

  19. Get what you can while you can, because it can all end in an instant in that profession. Anyone who’s upset about a guy who’s looking out for himself and his family is simply a tool, because they’d be doing the same thing if they were in that position

  20. You say that but there are lots of players that don’t holdout and push for new contracts with years left to milk every penny out of their team. In fact, its mostly just the CBs, WRs, and QBs that do. It’s not wrong to get paid, but there are lots of team friendly players in the league and fans can appreciate them having a team first attitude and be disappointed if the dollar sign is what matters most to the players they root for.

  21. Maybe one solution is to cap each position’s salary. Keep it generous but not something that will kill the teams competitiveness.
    Of course, the players association will never go for it.

  22. QBs are actually divas too, but the NFL gives them so much dough, the diva stays dormant.

  23. Finish the current contract you signed guy. Otherwise you are a diva and bad teamate.

  24. “They have no ownership, no equity. They get one or two contracts, if they’re lucky, beyond their slotted rookie deals”

    Ahh poor multi-millionaire isn’t getting paid enough.

    Fans will always side with the team because players are paid way too much as it is.. ticket prices and concession prices and team apparel prices are all astronomical.

    People who play a game cry about not getting paid enough, while firefighters and police officers risk their lives every day and get paid pennies to the dollar in comparison.

  25. This is a draft class that i super-rich in WRs and almost nothing else.

    It’s not a good time for aging, washed-out, lost-a-step, has-been receivers who have sat out entire seasons looking for unrealistic money to play “me-me-me” games.

  26. Dear Fans, if you helped your employer make millions, if not billions, would you stand pat with your paltry salary, watching rookies earn more than you, or would you ask for a hefty raise? Be mindful, that loyalty is a one-way street that owners don’t drive on.

    If Aaron Rodgers can get $50 million in a single season, I have absolutely NO SYMPATHY for owners. If they couldn’t afford it, they wouldn’t pay it. But then they turn around and whine for corporate welfare to build new stadiums that many fans are okay with.

    Why upset at another man’s wages? What if others start counting your money? And saying you are not worth the salary you get? And start inboxing you on social media treating you the same way?

    As Florio stated, their careers are short. And the long-term affects could be severe with CTE. They are risking a lot to entertain YOU and make owners RICHER. Fellas, go get paid!

  27. It’s a short lived career, players should make all they can. The owners certainly get all they can, especially when it comes to taxpayers’ money.

    When do fans dish the owner of their favourite team when they demand tax dollars for their new playpens?

  28. Its a business and and players have a right to do what they want – but if fans shouldnt be upset that a player chooses to not practice – then it what is the logic of rooting for a team?

    Media often forgets that if the game was reduced to rooting for players rather than teams – the sport would lose most of its fan base. Reporters avoid having favorite teams – but fandom is built around favorite teams.

  29. So he says. Maybe athletes should stop obsessing over their “mentions” on social media. They wouldn’t even hear this stuff.

    Yeah, fans watch the games to see their team win. There’s no other reason to do so, and that includes players clamoring to be the highest paid at their position. As salaries continue to skyrocket, the perspective between players and fans will only widen.

  30. The league falls apart if fans don’t root ‘for the laundry’. What you’re saying completely makes sense from the players point of view. Wanting best players back cheap makes the most sense from a fans point of view. I think fans understand players short timelines, they’re just more self interested in their team winning a sb, which an average fan may expect to see their team do once or twice in their life.

  31. After spending most of last season hurt with injuries (in game or game costing) of one form or another, isn’t it incumbent upon Brown to prove his availability for his employer? Shouldn’t the people paying him reasonably expect that he’s going to show up and go to the post?

  32. Football is a salary cap sport. Which means that there is a finite amount of money to go around, and the more you pay one player, the less that is available for the rest of the team. An individual players motivation is typically, get as much as they can for themselves for all the reasons you mention above. But a fan’s motivation is for the team to be positioned for success. Yes there are players that should and do receive more than their teammates. Sign too many top salaries, and you will have a roster full of a few highly paid players and many minimum roster players. Those teams tend to not be as successful.

    Or you can have players like Tom Brady or in the NBA Michael Jordon, who understood that if they take less than market salary, they can have a competitive team. Fans root for teams first, players second. Players change from year to year, teams last. Players who potentially disrupt teams – through different things – perceived greed, selfish behavior on or off the field, etc are what aggravate fans

  33. I have no problem with a 3 year player who’s been placing well and wants to get paid.

    My problem is with someone who signs a new deal and after 2 years complains that they’re not paid enough.

  34. I have NO idea why fans continually get upset with the player….

    Has anybody been paying attention to what is going on in the United States ??

    Business owners are thriving, while workers are struggling because of pay, treatment etc…

    Get rid of the stupid salary cap…pay these guys… and you won’t have to worry about crap like this.

  35. If he doesn’t have a contract already I agree he should fight for it. However if you have a contract you abide by what you signed. Period if the team decides they want to rip it up and extend it then fine. To many players think I’m year 2 of a 4 year contract they can do as they please is crazy.

  36. Then players should also give money back to the team when they under perform under that premise.

  37. Just another diva in today’s nfl the game is full of them and it’s only getting worse and worse gone are the days of this being a man’s game about glory.

  38. No one has any idea what the exact cap numbers are year to year over the life of the CBA.

    So many dumb teams spent in 2011/2012 and won jack squat. It’ll happen again.

  39. AJ Brown has hearned it and will continue to earn it once he gets paid. As will Deebo.

  40. When a guy signs a contract, he should honor it. Very simple. As to the argument that the NFL does not have to live up to their side of the contract, it is moot because everything is defined in the collective bargaining agreement and both sides agree to allow that.

  41. I think those type of comments are terrible . that being said there is a very simple solution , stay off social media . Don’t think it’s a surprise to anybody that there are plenty of toxic people that spend all their time making horrible comments .

  42. This really shouldn’t need explanation anymore. In any line of work from trashman to CEO of a Fortune 500 company. if you’ve outperformed your contract and still can add value to your company you should fight for more money!

  43. Why isn’t a contract a contract? Want to hold out for a new contract? Fine…then return guaranteed money and signing bonus when you underperform!

  44. Folks, a player who is trying to get paid isn’t a diva, a bad teammate, or anything else that would justify a negative label. Players have limited opportunities to get paid. They need to take full advantage of those opportunities.

    I agree 100%. Too many fans get emotionally invested in what players get paid. It has nothing to do with you or your income. And, yes, many racists out there get outraged when they see minority athletes making a lot of money.

  45. 100% agree Florio. These young men should chase every $. Owners will curb them as soon they can with cheaper talent.

  46. then why have contracts at all? If nobody, team or player, honor them, why not just make it an open free-for-all?

  47. Stop with the “they only have limited opportunities to get paid” stuff. They’ll make 10x more money on one contract for 4 years than my entire neighborhood will make working for 45 years and they’ll retire by 35-37 years old. They ARE currently under contract so go and honor your contract and show up, then get your new deal. If you’re good enough you have nothing to worry about.

  48. Amazing that we as fans support the ownership over the players who are closer in background than us. Most have come from nothing and have worked their but’s off their entire life. Ownership can come in tomorrow and cut a player or ask to reduce a contract but if a player asks for more money he is a diva? greedy? selfish?

    The players are not ones with the yacht’s.

  49. For the most part, I’ve always been on the side of the players (until you start saying stuff like “I can’t feed my family on just $23M a year.) Go for it… get your money because I tell you what… if ANY of us had some kind of leverage with our current employers, we ALL would do it too. Not one of us would say “well, I gave my word”

  50. If you are out-performing your contract, you should get a new contract. However, if you under-perform your contract…that’s okay and just go ahead and keep that money.

  51. 50Stars says:
    April 19, 2022 at 1:40 am
    Finish the current contract you signed guy. Otherwise you are a diva and bad teamate.


    Finish out a “contract” you’re forced to sign. You say this as if his first “contract” was a negotiated deal and not something he was forced to accept as a rookie.

    Why play for a 1/10th of what your worth? Is this not still the USA?

  52. “So let’s lay of Brown or Samuel or any other player who is trying to get paid.”
    I love the part about “trying to get paid”, as though he isn’t getting paid anything right now.

  53. No. They just cut you
    S. M. (Smacks) says:
    April 19, 2022 at 9:45 am
    If you are out-performing your contract, you should get a new contract. However, if you under-perform your contract…that’s okay and just go ahead and keep that money.

  54. Hang on a second. Did he NOT understand the contract he signed when he joined the league?

  55. I don’t understand why fans think they have a right to insult or even threaten a player. Shameful.

    This is a just pastime for fans. It’s a business for players. They have no obligation to play, they have no obligation to happily accept the terms of their contract. Whatever the consequences of holding out or fighting their current contract are, it is that player’s to bear.

    Sure, it’s disappointing to fans that a great player is not on the field, and fans are free to have opinions on what should be done to resolve the conflict, but casting judgment on a player directly is pretty sad.

  56. Amazing how many fans don’t understand the business side of the sport they love. “How about players honor contracts they sign?” – Fast fact: NFL contracts ARE NOT routinely totally guaranteed – so the “announced” signing of a contract is always what potentially what a player could make, not his guaranteed cash. “Players make more than the average fan.” True, but tell me when you were to top ten in the world at what you did for a living? I do have a name for that in the business world: billionaire. Sports entertainment is a product just like Uber. You just don’t get to see what execs do on a weekly basis to justify getting paid 300,000 x more than the average guy or Uber driver you hire for 15 mins.

  57. Finish out a “contract” you’re forced to sign.
    Funny, I’ve never seen a player ever forced to sign a contract.

  58. demboys says:
    April 19, 2022 at 8:58 am
    Stop with the “they only have limited opportunities to get paid” stuff. They’ll make 10x more money on one contract for 4 years than my entire neighborhood will make working for 45 years and they’ll retire by 35-37 years old. They ARE currently under contract so go and honor your contract and show up, then get your new deal. If you’re good enough you have nothing to worry about.

    Look up his contract numbers he has made about 4.5 million in the last 3 years, all these he has made more money than I will see in my life comments are ridiculous. He probably sees about 500k a year which is amazing money but let’s not pretend he is set for life from one contract. It’s amazing how quickly people can forget what happened to Ryan Shazier, when was the last time an owner had a life changing injury watching from their luxury box?

  59. What happened to playing out your contract? I work in the private enterprise and in the past 3 years ive outperformed my contract. My company has the choice of upping my salary and making me happy or, we wait until my contract expires and my performance will dictate my new salary… why should it be any different?

  60. I dont want to hear “oh well he signed a contract, its binding. Oh he is being greedy asking for 15mil and not taking 12mil. Every single one of you would do exactly the same thing in their positions.

    Owners can terminate contracts at any moment. Owners can fine players for just about anything. Owners withhold money from players over grudges. Owners make billions off of the players and would make nothing without them. So this “you signed a contract thing” is pure BS. But keep thinking you are righteous in some way because you wouldn’t take more money. LOL

    (And no, there are not other guys who can play at that level. If there were they would be playing in the NFL, so another argument thats BS.)

  61. I don’t feel bad for these guys at all. I will never see a 100 million dollars in my lifetime. If they only get a contract worth 80 million after their rookie deal who cares. They’re always going to want more, money and greed is the American way.

  62. Ever asked your boss for an out of cycle or out of season pay increase???? This is the same thing… get over it!

  63. There is nothing wrong with asking for a new contract. Asking for a new contract doesn’t break the current contract. The current contract has the penalties laid out for withholding services.

    The team can also cut a player at any time, and that doesn’t break the contract, either.

  64. To every person saying “he signed the contract”, understand that rookie deals give players exactly 2 options, sign or don’t. If you sign, with any team, the pay is the same.

    Jamarcus, Bradford, .etc broke the game with their record contracts and owners used these as bargaining chips for the next meeting where they made the players union concede in order to get other things more established players would want.

    Instead of flat rookie deals, they should have upside on incentives. That would completely fix the problem of overpaying for busts (which was the owners real issue) and over-performers like Mixon, AJ, Mahomes would get paid early.

    It’s a lose-win contract. 5 years of beatdowns, watching 6 year guys with less talent pull in monster deals is not how it should work. Only the team benefits. Guys like Deebo, DK, & AJ just get to sit and watch everyone else cash in while they’re the true playmakers.

  65. Has no one here ever refinanced a mortgage? That is a binding contract that you didn’t finish. You renegotiated the terms in your favor. I have no issues with players who have leverage (I.e., skill) wanting to renegotiate in their favor. The team can always say no, sometimes they say yes because it’s good for the team.

  66. The problem is that teams basically own a player they draft for up to 8 years (4 yrs rookie contract, 5th year option, plus up to 3 tags). Those players are one major injury away from never playing the game again on any given play. Shorten the length of rookie contracts. I get that the teams have been burned by the Sam Bradford and Jamarcus Russell type contracts, but there has to be some way to get these guys paid in a shorter time period. Cap the length of rookie contracts at 3 years. Do away with the option for an additional year.
    If I came out of college and was told that 1 I had to go work for a company that I had no negotiating power with, and 2 they could control my salary for up to 8 years without me having a say in it, I would probably feel exactly the same of these players.
    Now if you have already negotiated your second contract and then suddenly the contracts for your position start exploding. Play out what you agreed to and then go chase your paper.

  67. Contracts protect the Team….mostly. It also protects the player in the chances of getting injured. The only money truly guaranteed is the signing bonus and salary of that year. Any player can choose to retire whenever and any owner can choose to cut a player at anytime. However this usually never happens because the money awarded to the player stays with them. No owners ever got rich investing millions into anything and then cutting ties. So that is what it means by guaranteed. It’s not like MLB where guaranteed means guaranteed. It’s part of what’s bad and good about the nfl. It’s a motivational thing. So to everyone saying “why even sign a contract” it’s not really a contract it’s more like an agreement. And the understanding that “if I out perform this agreement I will want more money guaranteed.” And “if you don’t atleast perform to our projections we will cut ties” basically every nfl player is a mercenary or contractor. So to speak.

  68. InFact says:
    April 18, 2022 at 11:16 pm

    I’m not allowed to change my 30-year fixed mortgage rate before it’s done.

    So why should a player be allowed to rip up a current contract?

    People do this all the time. It’s called refinancing. My initial mortgage was around 4%. When rates started dropping a dew years back I refinanced at 2.75%.

  69. All of these comments about honoring the deal he signed are ridiculous. He is playing on his rookie deal that expires at the end of the upcoming season. The team was already in the process of an extension because they know they want to keep him long term. He is one of 3 WRs (AJ, Deebo, and McLaurin) getting ready to sign big deals no matter what team does it

  70. Well most of these guys already have deals (which they happily agreed to). Do you have the right to get paid what you’re worth? Yes, I suppose, if someone is willing to pay the price. But these guys who say they “need to get paid” every chance they get, seem to have no regard for the other guys on the team. Because of the salary cap, there are only so many cookies in the cookie jar. Nobody cares about the guys that are trying to grind out a modest contract. Yeah, these guys are “great teammates”…as long as everyone else on the team is willing to give there share of the money to the superstar who needs to get paid….again.

  71. I have no sympathy for any player who wants a raise just so he can be the highest paid player at his position. And we all know that the next year when he is not the highest paid player he will have a problem with his contract.

  72. Put a favored nations clause in your contract and start the trend that if someone is paid more than you, your pay is instantly matched with the new “bar”.

  73. Well he is a diva and a bad teammate. Nobody forced him to sign his deal play it out and then well talk about a new one. Just like I don’t go to my boss all the time and say I need a raise.

  74. I don’t understand why people always compare the player’s “greed” with the team’s “greed.” Because look, there’s one MASSIVE difference between a player and a team. The team is a BUSINESS that supports jobs for a TON of people who organize all the entertainment that we the fans love so much. The player represents “ME AND ME ALONE.” And while I don’t have a problem with that like most people do, you just can’t compare these two types of situations.

  75. packerfan says:
    April 19, 2022 at 7:45 am
    Then players should also give money back to the team when they under perform under that premise.

    6216Rate This
    When players under perform the contract they get cut.

  76. For normal paid folks like most of us posting here, I am all for the little guy getting paid more!
    When people are earning way more than most, then it falls on my deaf ears. When I hear players wanting to “get paid”. What? $5/10 million/year is the new minimum wage. Where do I sign up? When it gets outrageous & the “disrespect” card comes out, then I really don’t want to hear about it.
    We can trade places all day! For $5 million/year the owners can “disrespect” me all day! Make absolutely sure that everyone on the street can hear my sad tale of how I am mistreated & that I can’t take care of my family on such a “disrespectful” partially/fully guaranteed annual pay.

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