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The Future of NFL Free Agency

The Chiefs May Have Made a Bad Move

Stephen Serda
June 16, 2017 - 1:24 pm

So I think there is something to be learned from the way the Kansas City Chiefs released Jeremy Maclin and it's probably not a good look for the Chiefs. We've talked plenty about the nature of the NFL and specifically when it comes to contracts and free agency. Unlike baseball as many of you probably know the NFL doesn't guarantee it's contracts thus ensuring that most players will never see out the entirety of those deals. Most guys get to a point where it's either restructure the contract that your team agreed to or be released. I hate that idea but most the time I'm just accused of being an athlete apologist for guys who need to get over it because they already make millions of dollars. The harsh reality is that most of these guys put their bodies through more punishment than any average human will ever know and in my mind they deserve to be compensated for this. There is a truth in the way the Chiefs released Jeremy Maclin though and it could come back to hurt this team at some point. We discussed it last night on The Show

The Show on Jmac.mp3

We are going to see a significant change in the NFL in the coming future and I'm not sure the way the Chiefs handled Jeremy Maclin shows they are ready for it. Ron Hughley and myself have gone in depth on how we see a legitimate case for the NFLPA to go on strike come the next Collective Bargaining Agreement which will come up after the 2020 season. NFL free agency isn't like baseball in the fact that the biggest markets don't always have the upper hand to sign the top free agents because of the NFL salary cap. The NBA generally attracts players to the biggest markets even with the cap because the players have taken control of free agency thanks in large part to Lebron James. Lebron was a pioneer in this sense, prior to him a few guys over the years had left their team to move on to contenders but never a player of his caliber at the peak of their career. Kevin Durant never considers making the move to the Warriors if Lebron James hadn't paved the way for him. The NFL while be confined by the cap doesn't generally work that way because unless your a quarterback one guy doesn't generally turn an entire organization around. 

Kirk Cousins is changing the game in the NFL before our eyes and it's not about his on field performance. I'm a big Cousins fan love the way he plays but I'm not dumb enough to believe he's in the upper tier of NFL QB's. He's a good player but he's proving to other guys that there is no reason for you to just except what the team offers you. He's taken control of an entire franchise in the way Lebron did. His refusal to accept a long term deal is fairly unprecedented in the modern day NFL and the Redskins for some insane reason seem content with dishing out nearly $44 million to him in two seasons of fully guaranteed money. I would assume Cousins is trying to do what no other player has ever done and that's demand a fully guaranteed contract. He's not Tom Brady but he's changing the game for players across the league in a way Tom Brady couldn't even have imagined. 

© Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

This brings us back to the way the Chiefs handled the release of Jeremy Maclin. I understand the move from the aspect of building for the future and you hope you have your young QB to build around. Jeremy Maclin probably wasn't apart of that future. The problem with the report out right now that the Chiefs specifically John Dorsey just left Maclin a voicemail to let him know he would be released is something that is worrisome for this franchise. The NFL is changing and Kirk Cousins of all people is at the helm pushing buttons and pissing off the higher ups. The way the Chiefs chose to let Jeremy Maclin go isn't something he's going to forget and it isn't something other players will forget. They TALK they remember things like this. For the guys just looking to make it in the league they probably don't care but the guys who know this is their career, well they might think twice about taking a look at the Chiefs. Sure winning can solve all of this. The Patriots have done things like this for years but players still flock to New England with the promise of a Super Bowl. The Chiefs don't have that leverage quite yet and they as well as all NFL franchises need to consider that the time to adapt is near.


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