It’s still amazing how much players don’t understand players.
Fans often react harshly to players skipping workouts of any kind, whether they’re taking place in the middle of April, or it’s training camp. That’s fine, because fans are allowed to be fans, and as emotionally charged beasts it’s in their nature to disregard logic, and the average NFL career’s lack of longevity.
Some holdouts or skipped OTAs are motivated by selfishness, but far more often they’re the product of a player using the little leverage he has to get fair market value for his services during a career that’s incredibly short, and could end with one hit. Owners and GMs may not exactly enjoy this reality, but they certainly understand it. And most of all, players should definitely understand the need for security too.
Meet Willie McGinest, the retired former Patriot who doesn’t get it. McGinest doesn’t understand why Wes Welker will likely skip the Patriots’ mandatory offseason workouts that start on June 12 if he still hasn’t been given a long-term deal. Welker is already skipping the voluntary workouts after he signed his franchise tender, and is set to make roughly $9 million next year on a one-year deal.
Welker doesn’t enjoy the idea that he may have to sit out, but he knows it’s his only option as a 30-year-old wide receiver who’s pursuing his last long-term commitment. He’s reluctantly accepted that reality, while curmudgeons like McGinest are still blindly trumpeting team loyalty.
Tell us what you think of your former teammate, Willie…
“This $9 million-plus that they’re offering is half of his last contract. That’s a lot of money. Let’s not forget that they signed Brandon Lloyd, they signed [Anthony Gonzalez], they signed [Deion] Branch back, they got the two tight ends, they have weapons on that offense,” McGinest continued. “So, look, Wes, it’s time to take off the leopard-printed cowboy boots, get off the party tour and get back to work.”
“Of my 12 years, of my tenure in New England, no matter how big you were or who you were, nobody said they weren’t coming to a mandatory minicamp. If you know anything about New England, understand that you’re expendable. Unless you’re Bill Belichick or Tom Brady, you’re expendable.”
McGinest also said that he doesn’t like Welker’s “diva attitude.”
His point about being expendable is valid given the Patriots’ offseason moves, but we’re not discussing Welker missing training camp, or any regular season time. This is minicamp in June, and it’s the only shred of leverage Welker can reasonably use to show his displeasure, and gain the required contract security to ensure that he retires as a Patriot.
There’s always a balance between loyalty, and personal needs as a player in the NFL. If the Patriots won’t show Welker any loyalty because he’s expendable as McGinest suggests, then why does he owe them that same respect?
And now you want to know the rest of the story…
- If you could bring Mel Kiper Jr. to the bar to break down your prospective female companion at the end of a long drunken stumble deep into the night, the results would be incredible. [KSK]
- Joe Philbin is quite busy downplaying Mike Sherman’s role in the Dolphins’ draft prep, and he’s therefore also downplaying the notion that Miami will draft Ryan Tannehill. [Palm Beach Post]
- Andre Carter hasn’t heard from the Patriots yet. [CSN New England]
- Jeremy Kerley has now had a chance to catch passes from Tim Tebow, and the former Bronco is far more accurate than expected. [Newark Star-Ledger]
- There’s been a rumor bouncing around that Steven Jackson wants a new contract, and the Rams could be motivated to trade him based on both that demand, and an opportunity to draft Trent Richardson. At least two team sources haven’t heard anything about that transaction actually happening. [St. Louis Post Dispatch]
- Matt Light has officially been placed on the injured/retired list. Expect Nate Solder, New England’s first-round pick in last year’s draft, to step in to replace him. [ESPN Boston]
- Five hilariously wrong scouting reports of future NFL draft busts. [Sports Pickle]
- And we end with an update on the ongoing love affair between Troy Aikman and Tony Romo. [Todd Archer]