Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The McNair Thing

It has been news for last couple of days that the Titans closed the door on Steve McNair at the training facility until his contract was worked out. There have been a lot of things said on both sides. He's not worth the $9 million owed for what he can contribute. This is a bad way to treat a guy who has given his soul to the organization.

I'm one of those who is on McNair's side, as I would believe many would be. But really, what is again getting a pass, hiding in the shadows, and isn't being criticized as it should, is the salary cap.

There are many reasons the salary cap has been good for the NFL. The "any given Sunday" mantra rings truer, owners are really happy because they only have to pay a certain amount per year in a league that is far and away the most popular in the country and earns ungodly revenues.

But many teams have been through this absolutely necessary aspect of the cap--to treat people like dirt come contract time. The Titans could easily afford the money McNair needs--but the salary cap gives them a reason not to pay it. I wonder what players feel like when they put on that Titan uniform, realizing the system can treat a guy like McNair that way. If he can be treated poorly, then everyone else can. Why should you go balls out for this organization? Really, it's just to keep your job, and that's not enough effort to win a lot of games. I don't think anyone on the Titans is ever going to buy in to that contract restructuring thing again. Everyone who has done it has been kicked out. Eddie George, anyone?

This isn't just a Titans thing, I know. But they do seem to conduct business in a way that leaves bitter feelings. And it's not entirely their fault. The salary cap, as wondrous as it is, needs to be changed. I've always proposed that you should be able to keep people you drafted if you want. There should be no cap on a player who you've had on your team since day one. Then, you have a cap on free agents--get all the mathematicians in the world on it, come up with a figure, and go with it. You would still have competitive balance, and you'd get to keep your franchise guys. I don't see why this is so hard. There's got to be a way towards goodwill somewhere.


At 4/05/2006 04:14:00 PM, Blogger Amy said...

I remember when the Eddie George debacle happened. I think all he wanted was a fair dollar amount and stay with the Titans until he retired-which was, what, maybe three years?

Yes, McNair has been hurt more than healthy the past couple of years but he is a good player and hasn't gotten into too much trouble. He also would like to have a solid contract that will take him into retirement.

I like your take on the salary cap. Who knows what will happen with McNair. I would bet that this will drag on until the draft, the Titans get the third pick, they may get a new QB (Young, Cutler or Leinhart) and push McNair out.

Do I agree with their tactics? No. Allen & I were talking about loyalty (within the NFL) a few weeks ago. There are very few players out there that make it point when reupping their contracts to stay with their team, the one that gave them a chance when they were a nobody.

At 4/05/2006 04:55:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I more or less agree. You should be able to keep players that you already have and pay them over the salary cap. Fans want it, and you can still show some class when making business decisions that don't hurt your team.


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