Dear Anti-L.J. Crowd,
I know that many of you are of the opinion that when a man (or woman) signs a contract they should honor said contract. While I’m all for people honoring their word, this situation is something different.
How is it any different?
When it comes to one’s career, that person has to look out for themselves and their family first. Some loyalty to their employer is great, but only if that loyalty is reciprocated. To me, right now the Kansas City Chiefs aren’t reciprocating after Larry Johnson used 416 carries to battering ram us into the ’06 postseason.
Take pro football out of the equation. Let’s say we have a highly regarded recent college graduate with great grades. This person shines during the interview process, and gets hired right away by a good company at the entry level. The employer believes they’ve found a new employee who will blossom down the road. The employee believes that there will be opportunities aplenty at some point an time. Neither party would have agreed to the arrangement if this wasn’t the case. Additionally, both parties know that if the new employee performs well that a new role with a corresponding pay raise will be in order.
Three years later, this employee has gone from entry-level worker to the company’s most valuable asset. If the employee was still being paid an entry-level salary, would you fault them for saying pay me what I’m worth or I’ll be forced to find someone who will? No, of course you wouldn’t? How is L.J.’s dilemma any different? Well, probably because people tend to get jealous of pro athletes because they make millions of dollars.
Being an NFL running back is no different than anything else. Yes, they are rich. The NFL makes an assload of money, and guess why? That’s right; because we buy game tickets, merchandise, watch telecasts, etc. If you really think players are greedy, then stop being a hypocrite and leave the game alone. NFL fans, the fanatics that we are, set the market for NFL players salary wise with our support. The players are just playing the market and trying to be compensated appropriately. L.J. also has more motivation than either any of us or other NFL players, too, and that’s because NFL running backs have short shelf lives.
L.J. is just trying to get the money he’s earned. He’s worked his whole life to get to this point, and now it’s time for him to reap the benefits. It happens in all of our lives, we all just happen to care about L.J.’s payday because it’s the Chiefs who will be anteing up.
Here’s another example. There’s you and then there’s your neighbor Bob. Both you and Bob are two great employees working for two rival companies, but pretty much everyone that knows you both recognizes you as the finer employee. Now, you’re asking for a raise, and your company’s playing hardball. How would you feel if Bob not only got a raise, but got more money than you were even asking for? You’d be pissed, right?
Well, “you” are L.J., and “Bob” is St. Louis Rams QB Marc Bulger. Johnson has asked for $25 million in guaranteed money. Granted, that’s a ton of jack, but there are inferior players who have seen bigger paydays this summer (Dwight Freeney, Troy Polumalu). Even if you don’t feel that they are inferior, it’s difficult to argue that they are as vital to their respective teams as L.J. is to the Chiefs. Now, just today, Bulger got $26 million in guaranteed money. Hell, rookie tackle Joe Thomas just signed a contract that nets him $22 million in guaranteed money.
Here’s my point — you cannot fault a guy for trying to get what the market says he’s worth. Honestly, I’m not even sure L.J. is trying to do that. I just think he wants something remotely close, and right now King Carl and lots of Chiefs fans are being jackasses about it.
Pay the man. That’s the new Arrowhead Addict (well, except Banky) slogan when it comes to the Chiefs, and I’ll be dropping it constantly until Peterson does pay him. Pay the man. Pay the man. PAY THE MAN.
The Arrowhead Addict Staff