Part of the process of the offseason in the NFL is hearing about players who have demands — sometimes big demands — when it comes to their contracts.
But, these demands are only good when that specific player has some sense of leverage to work with. Case in point: Bears defensive back Danieal Manning. The Chicago safety/nickel was one of those RFAs who refused to sign his one-year tender offered to him by the club.
That changed today when reports surfaced that Manning signed his one-year tender, valued at $1.176 million. What happened to those demands, the new contract and the idea that the Bears front office would cave into the player?
Essentially, Manning — and his value — was reflected by the Bears’ acquisitions of safeties Major Wright (through the draft) and Chris Harris (via trade). It’s hard as a player to go back to the front office and ask for more money — or a long-term deal — when the team brings in two players at your position — two players that are expected to start.
I do see Manning as a solid contributor to the Bears this season because of what he can do from a special teams aspect in the kicking game, and he could find himself once again competing for that nickel role in Lovie Smith’s defense. But, the issue with Manning has always been that he isn’t a starter at safety, won’t win a job playing corner and is best suited playing as an extra defender in the Chicago sub packages (nickel, dime).
Even with his ability as a kick returner, his value was always a tough sell to the Bears in terms of more money.
I wouldn’t say that by Manning signing his tender today that he lost in negotiations with the Bears, because they were never going to give into his demands in the first place. Instead, it is just another example of a player valuing his own talents higher than that of the club.
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