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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

Rewarding Bad Behavior - The Master Plan!  The agents playbook to get released from a franchise that is treading water!
DeAngelo Hall, the latest bad boy of the NFL, now squarely in the sites of NFL media machine has become the norm of today's high priced talent.  We are all left to wonder why, but the root cause, or its foundation, is based on the axiom ... follow the money.

The high-priced athlete actually has becomes faceless.  It is the modus operandi that is, and should be, the true focal point.  

Randy Moss, Chris Carter, Daute Culpepper, Fred Smoot, etc, etc. rise to the level of becoming the highest paid athletes on the field.  Don't get me wrong, the athlete sees a good portion of their last contract as compensation for past performance, which in my opinion is deserved, except of course if they were signed as a free agent.  So owners, what this tells us is, if you understand nothing else, pay your own people unless your 100% certain your punching your ticket to the big game.  

Today, the high priced athlete consumes the lions share of the salary cap.  Once the resources are tied up and is firmly in that athletes control, there is little in the form of maneuvering that a franchise can do.  Over time their fellow athletes either leave by free agency, or are replaced by lower cost inexperience athletes.  As Chris Carter once said back in 2000, "our 98 team was picked apart pretty well by the league", primarily because the Vikings couldn't compete to pay and keep their own athletes or these players went searching for the bigger and better deal.

So the high priced athlete now has secured a significant portion of the teams available revenue in the ever increasing form of guaranteed money.  Problem is, they are great athletes, and are focused on their own immortality, which cannot be realized without a solid supporting cast.  Thus the dilemma.  I have the money but now I need to abandon the sinking ship and need to get out of Dodge as quickly as possible.      

Open stage left.  The master plan!  In a league of copy cats, the answer to this dilemma has now become very apparent ... just a little inexcusable poor behavior, and you'll get your wish.  Athletes aren't stupid, and even if they're maybe a little slower than most, their agents certainly aren't stupid.  There's money to be made, and allot of it.  Now understand that the plan has no chance of success and doesn't work unless the high-priced athlete has a team's guaranteed money tied up, just in case everything goes terribly wrong, at least you'll have your money to keep you warm.  

The athletes preference is to secure their outright release so that you can choose which team they'd like to play for and also to be able to negotiate a new contract with very favorable terms.  Teams actually allow players to walk away from their contracts because, "if they don't want to be here, we don't want them here".  Hello, Randy Moss, weren't you just released from your Minnesota Viking contract that was transferred to the Oakland Raiders.  Note to Raider's, "I'll play when I want to play."  The precedent is obvious and it's nothing more than rewarding Randy's bad behavior.  He doesn't play ... pay me.  He doesn't play ... release me.  Sucker!    Note to Patriots:  "In your face physical coverage equals bad back equals disappearing-second-half-Randy-Moss"  

As a fan, I absolutely love Randy Moss unconditionally for what he has done for the Viking franchise, and to be fair to him, we all know that he didn't invent the plan.  Years ago, we used to laugh at watching athletes like Prime Time, etc., but now its come home to roost throughout the league.  So Randy, when you finally do return to the Minnesota ... take pity on us fans that still love you, and moon our owner for me as a message to Red.  He'll get the message.  The reality however is that if there is a breath left in your body, we are going to be crucified for out acts.           

So a player is notified that he's not going to get his outright release.  The only option left is to request a trade, or for a franchise to trade away their prized problem child.  Both Randy Moss and Daute Culpepper were jettisoned in this manner.  Unfortunately for both of them neither was in the control of their own professional rights (contract) and I wouldn't call either case a golden parachute as neither landed well.

Now Michael Vick corrupted the whole world, which was Atlanta franchise, and has pushed its program back by years.  DeAngelo Hall's whole world in crumbling before him.  No problem!  You need to get out of Atlanta!  Open this Master Plan Playbook, and embarrass what's left of the now downtrodden Atlanta franchise and you'll be out of here as soon as the season's over when we'll have the chance to trade you.      

The prediction is obvious.  DeAngelo will get his wish, but he'll be traded to the team offering the best available draft pick for him.  He won't be given his outright release as just too many teams will be blinded by his athletic skill.  To which I say now, Sucker!         

There's only one problem with this whole tangled mess.  Someday these playas' are going to be wondering why you are not universally loved and embraced like a Sir Francis, or a Johnny U. or a Frank Gifford or even the lovable Art Donovan.  Hello!  Character-lost cannot be bought at any price.  

Owner's need to focus less on their large stack of coin and would be better served in concentrating on finding a genius that can stem this gruesome tied.  Players are selling their souls ... and the foundation which is the NFL is crumbling.          

The Viking Ghost Writer
September 28, 2007

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