This has been some week for the NFL. The season kicked off for season number 100 and here we are talking about two players. Antonio Brown and Ezekiel Elliot have garnered most of the headlines for different reasons, Elliot holding out for a new contract and Antonio Brown for getting into loud confrontations with Raiders GM Mike Mayock.
Brown, since being acquired by the Raiders has had his fair share of newsworthy items. From frostbitten feet, to helmet problems, to sharing fines on social media and now getting into it with one of his bosses. This week, the wide receiver was handed a fine by Mayock for missing team walk throughs and part of training camp. After sharing it on social media, Brown went to practice on Wednesday and started talking with the Raiders GM. Eventually what started out as a discussion turned into a yelling match with Antonio yelling a plethora of cuss words. After being “suspended” for a few hours, Brown returned to practice and apologized to his teammates and will play on Monday night against the Denver Broncos. You may have your own opinion of Antonio Brown since his rough exit from Pittsburgh, but this situation may need to be monitored as the season continues.
After a receiver that is making $30 million guaranteed yells at his boss after throwing essentially a temper tantrum over his helmet, his new team basically says nothing to look at over here. With players that have had their own problems including Richie Incognito and Vontaze Burfict, the Raiders by not suspending Antonio Brown for one game has set a precedent. As long as you help us win, you can run carte blanche anytime. For a new GM and coach making $10 million a year, the goal needs to be to make this a winning product when the Raiders move to Las Vegas at the end of the season. Many coaches and GM’s try to put a team on the field that replicates what the Patriots have. What they have is discipline. Bill Belichick would not deal with what Antonio Brown has been doing and if Jon Gruden is going to be the coach of the Raiders, he needs to be a firm coach and not everyone’s friend.
Although this makes me wish Hard Knocks was on during the regular season.
To Mr. Elliot, who signed a 6 year/$90 million extension with the Cowboys after holding out. I tweeted that he has shown that pouting and running away until you get what you want actually works. His contract gives him the most guaranteed money for a running back ($50 million). Now that the Running back’s contract is set, the Cowboys now have to find a way to have the highest paid offensive line ($59 million) in 2020 and the 6th highest payroll next season for running backs and still have money to pay key players?
Dak Prescott is set to make a hair over $2 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent during this upcoming offseason. WR Amari Cooper is set to make $13.9 million this season and will also be an unrestricted free agent next year.
Understanding that players are like all of us and want the most money they can get, perhaps the Cowboys could have talked Elliot down a few million. With a smaller contract, the Cowboys could have the financial flexibility to sign Elliot, Prescott, and Cooper for years to come and relive the glory days from the 90’s. Jerry Jones has the money, but does he have the guts to go all-in with this offensive trifecta?
-John Luck (@jluck_89)