Why do players sometimes become upset only a couple of years after agreeing to long-term contracts? I’m asked about this scenario a lot and, in the interests of full disclosure, I’m presently consulting with the Eagles and spent several hours listening to the concerns of Sheldon Brown and his agents. Although unwilling to alter Brown’s contract with four seasons still remaining, we respectfully listened and allowed the agents to vent their position.
In a more global sense, this situation occurs throughout the NFL every year; no team is immune. Players commit to long-term contracts with bonus money and/or future guarantees in an amount relative to the length of such contracts. As with any negotiation, there are risks involved. In exchange for financial security, the player takes the risk that the contract may look outdated in a matter of years in the event his performance ascends to higher levels. In exchange for making an early bet on a player, the team takes the risk that the player may become injured and/or not perform to the level at which he’s being compensated. With these shared risks comes a meeting of the minds in which the player gives up years of service to the team in exchange for an extension prior to hitting the fully leveraged position of free agency.