Op-Ed: Holding Out For Money

David Miller

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Should NFL Superstars be ridiculed for holding out until they get a new contract? Some NFL players are not reporting for team workouts, meetings, practices, and even games and have good reason for doing so.

Some of the elite and most proven players in the league have not gotten their big contract. For the past two years, Le’veon Bell has been playing under the franchise tag and has not been given a contract. Every team has one franchise tag per year and the player they use it on is forced to a one year contract earning the average salary of all the other players in their position. For Bell, that means he is making less money and is not guaranteed more than one year on a contract.

Due to this, Bell has purposely sat out the first six weeks of the NFL season until he is traded or given a new contract. The reason he is doing so, is because he is not willing to risk getting injured which will affect his chances at getting the long term contract he wants Although he has faced an absurd amount of scrutiny by the media, his teammates, and from fans, Bell has stuck to his decision and continues to sit out.

These NFL players go out on the field for 16 weeks a year and play a sport that takes significant tolls on their bodies. Every game every player risks tearing an ACL or getting a concussion which will likely lead to CTE in the future. The players do not know which game will be their last and deserve to know they will be financially stable if they are not able to play again. The greedy team owners need to give the players, who make them money, the contracts they deserve. By sitting out, Bell is making a wise decision because eventually, he will either be given a contract or traded to a team who will pay him.

The sports reporters and angry fans need to stop blaming the players and look at what is at stake for these players when they step on the field. An example is Earl Thomas, an elite Safety who ended his holdout after not getting an extension, who broke his leg and will most likely never make the money he was once in line to earn. These players deserve to be paid for their hard work and have the right to sit out if they are unhappy.

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Op-Ed: Holding Out For Money