It’s the annual NBA free-agency frenzy, featuring B-level players getting more money than A-list NFL stars. Among other things, the money handed out to basketball players renews calls for fully-guaranteed NFL contracts.
This year, Chargers left tackle and NFLPA executive committee member Russell Okung took to Twitter to push the issue in an extended thread. While much of what he says is accurate, some of his arguments are unrealistic — including the notion that an “overhaul” of the Collective Bargaining Agreement is possible, given that the players likely won’t go without game checks for a year in order to apply maximum pressure to ownership.
The real question is whether NFL players can secure fully-guaranteed contracts, individually or via the CBA. It’s possible, with one important caveat: The contracts necessarily would be shorter, like the three-year deal Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins signed in March.
That would actually be a good thing for players. Look at the current contract squabble between the Falcons and receiver Julio Jones. With three years of his contract over and three non-guaranteed seasons to come, Jones has to hope the team will rip up the rest of the deal. If it had been a three-year contract, he would have been in the driver’s seat. As he embarks on the back end of a six-year deal, he has few options and limited leverage.