Jan 4, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs guard Geoff Schwartz (74) and Indianapolis Colts safety LaRon Landry argue after a Chiefs first quarter touchdown during the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs Guard Geoff Schwartz All About The Money?


I absolutely love Twitter. Never in the history of media have “common people” been closer to people who were once unreachable. To be able to send a message to a celebrity, sports star, musician or political figure and have them potentially respond is a fantastic tool. However, the problem is, speaking your mind 140 characters at a time can have its downfalls. Sometimes, I think, people say things too quickly without thinking about them they tend to mis-speak. Especially when they get fired up about an issue.

Take the Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Branden Albert, for instance. Last year during the off season amid contract talks that turned into trade talks, Albert lashed out against his team and fanbase on Twitter. Realizing his mistake, he quickly deleted the offending “tweets” and then deactivated his account altogether. In fact, it wasn’t until the end of the season that Albert graced the Twitter pages once again.

Still, sometimes athletes can use Twitter to try and help the fanbase at large understand the inner workings of a business they know little about. That happend earlier this morning with Chiefs soon-to-be free agent guard Geoff Schwartz. Schwartz answered a tweet from a — presumed — fan, asking him to take a pay cut and stay in Kansas City. This was Schwart’s response:

 

Schwartz kind of has a point. He’s trying to get the best value and the biggest contract he can. Of course this tweet was quickly followed up with another tweet by somebody else, saying that because Schwartz makes a lot of money, he could stand to take a pay cut.

 

And here’s the big mistake that a lot of “common people” make when thinking about professional athletes and the pay scale.

Unlike many workplaces in the private sector where contract negotiations and compensation are kept private — and even secret — in professional sports everyone knows what you make. Once details of the contract are released, it’s common knowledge. If you don’t think that bothers some players, you’re crazy.

I’ll give you an example.

Everybody on the Kansas City Chiefs knows that wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is the highest paid player on the team right now. How do you think that makes a guy like Jamaal Charles — who barely cracks the top 10 in pay, but was over 35 percent of the entire offense last season — feel? I would think it would make him feel pretty under valued. In fact, I think Chiefs fans should thank their lucky stars — or arrowheads…whatever — that Charles doesn’t seem to be the money-hungry player that others in his position could be. He could easily hold out for more money based on his 2013 performance.

The issue of Geoff Schwartz and all the players heading into free agency is exactly the same. In fact, Seattle Seahawks free agent defensive end Michael Bennet — who I wouldn’t mind the Chiefs looking at, but I digress — said it best in regards to free agency.

“There is no such thing as discount,” Bennett said on NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” Tuesday night. “This isn’t Costco, this isn’t Walmart; this is real life.

There is no discount really because you go out there and you don’t give a discount on effort,” he said. “You go out there and you give the best effort every day and you fight for your teammates, and you want to be compensated for the way that you perform and the kind of teammate you are.”

That’s the truth right there. While we wish that players would show some loyalty to teams who they have played for, it’s just not practical in the NFL today. It’s not how it works and it’s not fair to expect it to. I know that trying to understand what it’s like to make $850,000 in one year would be like. I’m not going to sit here and insult your intelligence and act like I know. What I do know is that players don’t even see half of what they make. After taxes and the 12 percent or so that their agent takes, plus whatever other people they have on the payroll — financial advisors, lawyers, etc. — that $850,000 goes quick. Still, to try to understand it for us who will likely never see that kind of money is impossible. Still, Schwartz tried to explain.

 

 

In the case of Schwartz, he’s the top rated player at his position heading into the off season. Why shouldn’t he be paid like it? I want Chiefs general manager John Dorsey to do his magic in free agency and stretch the money as far as it will go. Like most of you, I covet Schwartz as probably the top player scheduled to hit the open market next week. But to expect Schwartz to give the Chiefs the “home town” discount is ludicrous.

The Chiefs signed Schwartz to a one-year “show me” contract last year, not giving him the big bucks until he proved that he could play. I would say he proved it.

He showed the Chiefs, now it’s time for the team to reciprocate.

Tags: Geoff Schwartz Kansas City Chiefs

  • CrispySBC

    My initial response was … that’s too bad he’s just about the money. But after thinking about it I’ve changed my mind. He’s worked all his life for this payday and it’s now or never to cash in on all the hours of work he’s put into learning his craft. Pay the man and get him on the roster. He’s a great player and a great locker room guy. He’s proved he’s worth every penny and he deserves it. Put yourself in his place and be honest … I think you’d feel the exact same way. I know I would …

    • Justin R Groth

      I agree about him wanting money I stood up for Albert last year for the same reason. howeve I personally want asamoah back more

      • CrispySBC

        With him and Stephenson on the right side our O-line was significantly improved. I think they move Fish to LT and if they sign Asamoah he moves to the left side. Allen was disappointing at best so if we can sign Geoff and Jon then do it. I see nothing coming from Geoff that implies he wants to be the highest paid RG in the league. He wants to be a starter and paid like a starter … imo he’s earned that right.

  • Justin R Groth

    Rather have asamoah (spelling?) back. He is younger and better at pass pro not as good in run block. Also he is younger plus the whole being hurt last year gives kc a chance at the negotiation table.

    • Jason Seibel

      I’ve got to disagree with you about Asamoah. Though I was high on him at the beginning of the season, he was clearly the inferior player to Schwartz by the end of the season. That was evidenced by the fact that he was sitting on the bench even after he was healthy.

      • Troy Utt

        I have to agree! The offense was clearly better over the last half moving the ball both on the ground & in the air, scoring in excess of 35 points in 5 of the last 7 games. Reid plainly said “the best five will play,” that is telling in itself that Asamoah was left on the sidline…
        Let’s hope they can get a deal worked as it’s in the best interest of the team!

        • Justin R Groth

          How much of the improved offense had to do with opening up the play book? Also unless Asamoah was still struggling with his injury he is probably the best lineman we had under contract last year, Albert being the best case for an argument otherwise. The fact that Shwartz came out and made a statement about how he was a starter and not versatile depth in my mind indicates his role never changed and that Asamoah just never got back to 100%

          • KCMikeG

            I agree with all of you. The opening of the play book definitely had an impact. But there is also no denying that the OL contributed just as much if not more than the expanded play book. That happened with Schwartz at RG and if we let Albert go we would be fools to let Schwartz go too. Fruit basket upset isn’t the key to success on an OL. If Albert is let go they really should sign Schwarttz and Asamoah to avoid a sluggish start next year. With our 2014 schedule we won’t have the warm up time we did in 2013.

          • Troy Utt

            I am right in line with Mike… I believe it’s in our best interest to resign both Schwartz & Asamoah… Assuming that is no deal will be reached with Albert & the continuity w/the line is essemtial for the success of the offense. I believe Asamoah will develop into a good OG, but early last season he played looking lost in the new offense, & I mean struggled with it! That more than anything lead to Schwartz staying in the line-up. Both excel in different aspects of the game, so in year 2 it could wind up being a huge pay-off if KC makes a committment to one or both!

      • Justin R Groth

        I disagree, he could of had lingering issues with his injury, And remember Schwartz had a shot at the starting role in the beginning, and against a fully healthy Asamoah he lost.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Schwartz should get the deal he’s looking for, but it doesn’t necessarily have to come from Kansas City. He’s the best guard on the team and the best one available in free agency, but Asamoah’s still the better pass protector and that’s primarily what this offense does. If his demands are unreasonable, let him walk and re-sign Asamoah.

  • berttheclock

    In the pros, any player’s career can end in an instant. Suffer a serious injury and that money comes to an end, except, for the guaranteed portion which is paid up front. Large extension contracts make huge splashes in the media and those large numbers are stamped into the brains of most fans. However, there have been very few players ever to receive the gross amount of those numbers. Look at this FAcy coming up. Want to know why so many players are being released by teams? Payouts coming due next week is the primary reason for said cuts by teams. Fans may not really want to believe this, but, Pro Sports is an entertainment field which is run as a business. For players, their mantra should become obtain every possible cent you can because any organization is going to view you as a product. If they can make money off you, so be it, but, if they feel they can get a better and cheaper deal somewhere else, you will be cut. This so-called “Bleeding Dodger Blue” or even “Arrowhead Red” is nonsense. I saw Steve Garvey of the Dodgers stand by his six year commitment with the Dodgers while other players, including Dusty Baker and Ron Cey, were renegotiating their respective contracts. When, it was time for Garvey to receive his due, management told him he had grown long in the tooth and should take a pay cut. So, he jumped to the Padres and was loudly booed by LA fans whenever he played at Chavez Ravine because he no longer “Bled Dodger Blue”.

    • KCMikeG

      Good point, which is always over looked, about the pushing of money out into infinity. I agree that the sport has been commercialized. Sad how that effects our concept of the team. I have always been of the school of following of the team over the player. Luckily there are still some players that actually are in it for more than the money. Charles and DJ both could have gotten much more money but stayed. Jackson even took a pay cut to stay. The aura of Arrowhead is changing and players are taking notice. As much as players are in it for the money though being a part of a winning franchise with the opportunity of playoff paydays and potentially a career crowning Super Bowl ring is worth more than a bigger pay day on a chaotic cluster exercise in futility like the faiders, Browns or Skins.

  • jeffromac23

    The Chiefs need to step up and pay the man. He signed a show me contract last year and boy did he show them he was one of our best offensive linemen. This is the NFL any player can be hurt at anytime all they have left is the guarantied money so pay the man he’s worth it.

  • thabear04

    If Schwartz wants more than pay the man look what he done in the last few games. He did way better job then Asamoah and he could not even hold his side down.

  • Zachary Barry

    For many years the Chiefs had arguably the best set of lineman in the NFL. Schwartz proved he can play and he stepped in to fill different positions on the line as well. He gets the job done period. Keeping a flexible quality o-lineman will help depth. He played like a starter he deserves starters pay, great attitude and nothing bad from the locker room unlike some reports out of Miami. If we can only resign one of our free agents it should be him.

  • KCMikeG

    Couldn’t agree more Jason! Pay the man.

  • Stan Colbert

    I say Schwartz handled that very well! The avg. playing time is what three yrs. He has been under appreciated because of circumstances, now shoe on other foot! How anyone can blame him for taking advantage of opportunity is beyond me!

  • bill w

    Keeping Asamoah over Schwartz is something Pioli would do and lead me to believe we aren’t headed in the right direction. Schwartz is way better….no comparison. Just like when they couldn’t decide who was better between Cassel and Orton. Blind people who were deaf knew Orton was better, but the Chiefs didn’t. Hopefully this new regime sees this

  • sidibeke

    These guys’ careers can end on any given play. They have to make as much as they can when they can.