NFL Players Association JC Tretter recently said the quiet thing out loud about players who sometimes pretend to be injured as a way to express their displeasure with their contracts. The players Tretter is trying to help would be wise to ignore his advice.
Discuss the back market on Ross Tucker’s podcast, and As MDS noted on WednesdayTretter urged players to create leverage by faking injuries. This is what “holding out” originally meant, before the practice of showing up to training camp and not practicing due to an unresolved contract dispute became a common alternative to not showing up at all. Prior to the 2020 collective bargaining agreement making it too expensive to stay away, “holding on” referred to players who were present but claimed they were injured when they weren’t – or who refused to train or play with an actual injury when, if they were happy with their contracts, they would have practiced and played.
Tritter said: “I don’t think anyone would say they’re faking injuries, but we’ve seen players who don’t want to be where they are, have injuries that have made them unable to train and play, but you can’t get a fine, you can’t punish them for not reporting. So there are issues like that. I don’t think I’m allowed to recommend that, at least publicly, but I think every player needs to find a way to build leverage to try to get a fair deal. And that’s really what all these people are looking for, is to be fairly compensated.” “.
This approach can work in high surplus value locations, where there is a huge gap between the newbie and the next guy. At the running back position, if players trying to get a new contract say they can’t practice or play because of the injury that they’re going to practice and play for, the backup player gets a chance to show what he can do. Given that the supply of qualifying runs far exceeds the demand, it’s very likely that a novice who pretends not to fake an injury will miss out.
For players like Giants running back Saquon Barkley and Raiders running back Josh Jacobs, there’s just the possibility that they’ll gladly accept their $10.1 million franchise bids, but then, it may increase the likelihood that their franchise bids will be canceled before they’re accepted. For example, if the invaders are currently thinking about Jacobs franchise withdrawal possibility, the probability that Jacobs will: (1) take the money; and (2) not training or playing could tip the scales in favor of being allowed to try to get $10.1 million from elsewhere.
It’s also a bad strategy for Barkley and Jacobs because the leverage they would create by not practicing or playing (after they accept their franchise bids) can’t get them the long-term deals they want. and the CBA approved by the Tretter Association bans it after mid-July. Also, if/when Barkley and Jacobs show up in 2023 and don’t train or play consistently, it will hurt their value for 2024.
There are occasions for a major player who has an unresolved contract situation and has an injury that he refuses to play for because he lacks financial security. If that’s why Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson won’t play in the 2022 postseason (and he denies it), I have no problem with that. Why risk destroying your post-season value when there is no post-season protection from playing with injury?
Tartar’s advice spreads much more widely. and recklessness. Although his notes were accurate, it wasn’t something he should have said. His words may be used against him, the association, or specific players if/when a complaint or other proceeding (such as an unfair labor practice charge) arises regarding the issue of players faking injuries.
As it relates to your running position backwards, this advice should be ignored. Once the next man performs, the player who cannot or will not practice or play consistently may be the next man.
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