This is For The Win’s daily newsletter, The Morning Win. Did a friend recommend or forward this to you? If so, subscribe here. Have feedback? Leave your questions, comments and concerns through this brief reader survey! Now, here’s Mike Sykes.
What’s up, Winners? Chances are you probably missed the report from the Washington Post about the NFL’s grievance against the NFLPA while all the football was going on on Monday night.
Here’s the skinny on it: The league is accusing the player’s association of encouraging its players — specifically, the running backs — to “consider feigning or exaggerating injuries” to gain leverage in contract negotiations.
It filed a grievance which will be reviewed by an arbiter who will come up with solutions that they deem “appropriate” for the situation. The arbiter hasn’t been selected yet.
The league isn’t necessarily wrong with this grievance. This is something that NFLPA President JC Tretter has, at the very least, alluded to players using injuries as leverage before on the Ross Tucker podcast when talking about the running back problem.
Basically, the NFL got a hold of that running back Zoom call we were all talking about for a few weeks there and wants to nip it in the bud. After all, there’s nothing scarier to the NFL than organized players with a little bit of power.
I guess the league isn’t technically wrong about this. Using an injury to withhold as leverage would — technically — be a violation of the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
But it just feels so gross that the NFL is attacking this, doesn’t it?
Around the same time news broke about this memo, we also saw Nick Chubb’s season likely end because of a horrific knee injury he suffered while playing Monday Night Football. And in that moment we saw exactly why a running back might use a minor injury as leverage to secure a payday. Because the big one — like the one Chubb suffered — might be waiting around the corner.
Thankfully for Chubb, he’d already gotten a solid contract after signing a 3-year, $36 million deal back in 2021. But let’s be honest. He’s a 28-year-old running back who just suffered another major knee injury. His dead cap hit is only $4 million in 2024 and he’s probably out for this season. We probably just watched him play his last moment as a Cleveland Brown. If he does hit the free agent market, there’s not some lucrative contract out there waiting for him.
That’s it. That right there is the thing. Playing in the NFL obviously brings inherent risk, but no position is more riskier than running back. They always take the beating and never dishing it out. That’s why their primes are so short.
But they’re still required to do more than any other position. Run the ball, catch the ball, protect the quarterback. They play such integral roles on their teams. Yet, teams take the risk involved and weaponize it against them in negotiations. Teams use them up and spit them out whenever they feel like it. It’s unfair. Chubb has actually talked about it himself before.
This wasn’t something worth filing a grievance over. The truth is everybody plays these games when it comes time to negotiate the next contract. It’s not really a problem and it rarely ever actually happens. Players want to play. That’s how they get paid.
The NFL is just trying to take another tool out of the toolbox for the players. The league isn’t playing fair here. When it comes time for the players to renegotiate this collective bargaining agreement in 2030, I hope they remember this.
Patrick Mahomes is signing NBA deals
Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, quarterbacks have no problems getting paid. See one Patrick Mahomes.
The Chiefs’ star signed a four-year contract extension for absolutely historic amounts of money. The guarantees in the contract are like NBA All-Star money.
The details, per The Athletic.
- The Chiefs restructured Mahomes’ agreement to give him $210.6 million guaranteed between the 2023 and 2026 seasons.
- That’s the most money ever dished out to a player in league history over a four-year span.
- Plus, Mahomes can bump that number up to $218.6 million through contract incentives.
He’s somehow still not the highest-paid player in the league after this restructured deal. The Cheifs get a bit of cap relief here, too, which should help them keep Chris Jones around next summer when he’s up for an extension again. This is a huge win for Kansas City.
Travis Hunter ain’t trippin’
Travis Hunter is going to be out for a few weeks now with a lacerated kidney after taking a late hit from Colorado State safety Henry Blackburn.
He was having a fantastic season and had some Heisman buzz behind his name. That’s probably over now. Plus, he’ll miss the two biggest games of Colorado’s season against Oregon and USC coming up over the next few weeks.
One might think that, naturally, this would be upsetting for Hunter. But he seems at peace with it, honestly. He simply brushed it off and said “it’s football” during one of his streams with his fans.
“It’s football at the end of the day. Stuff like that is going to happen,” Hunter said. Yes, by the way, that is a giraffe onesie he’s wearing. “He did what he was supposed to do. It’s football. Something bad is going to happen eventually.”
Travis Hunter opens up on his injury after Saturday’s game pic.twitter.com/XD3JNxxYv9
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 18, 2023
Shoutout to that, man. The people sending Blackburn death threats could learn a few things from Hunter here.
Quick hits: Deshaun Watson’s contract is officially an albatross … NFL power rankings heading into Week 3 … and more
— Deshaun Watson is so bad at football. He’s a terrible person, too. Christian D’Andrea has more.
— Robert Zeglinski and Christian D’Andrea have your weekly fix of power rankings heading into Week 3.
— Adam Schefter is getting roasted by fans for his terrible phrasing surrounding Nick Chubb’s injury. Cory Woodruff has more.
— Cory also has the 5 best trade destinations for Cam Akers here. The dude is on a roll.
— Colorado is a HUGE underdog to Oregon this weekend. This is going to be fun. Prince Grimes has more.
— Charles Curtis has you covered on how to navigate the wavier wire this week.
That’s all, folks! Thanks so much for rocking with us today. Hope you have a fantastic week ahead. Let’s chat again tomorrow.