This is a fan shout out to you. I appreciate your game! You were marvalous against Texas. Let's face it....you MADE Grahem Harrell! You made Texas Tech! Then, you scored a HUGE COUP in landing with the 49'ers instead of those weaklings in Oakland. You'll see.....you are exactly what you say you are. 10 x's better than that guy who Al Davis overpaid for! And you haven't EVEN caught an NFL TD yet! So why shouldn't you demand to be paid more than the gross national product of 3 small South American nations? I'll give you 4 reasons why.
1) The T.O. Factor: It's not YOUR FAULT, but, this is territory that your team IS NOT unfamiliar with. Before you were even a frosh player in Texas, there was a guy who was a GREAT receiver, (your position I might add). During his stay in the Bay Area, he set the All time record for receptions in 1 GAME! He accounted for at least 30% of his teams offensive production. Yet, with all of his greatness, his ATTITUDE led the team to part ways with him QUICKLY! SInce then, he has bounced around the league, from team to team and NEVER found a permanent home. Is this the legacy that you want out of what COULD very well be a SHORT career? Don't believe me....ask the likes of Charles Rogers, Micheal Westbrook, Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Marshell and a nittany of others who had WONDERFUL careers in college, only to flame out in the pros. The NFL isn't like playing on Sat. Attitude is taken VERY SERIOUSLY at this level. There are just TOO MANY hungry young players who give everything they have, just to get on the field. So, pump those brakes a smige. Speaking of pumping, that leads me to reason #2...
2) "Mad" Mike: Ohhhhh bless you, for having been fortunate enough to play for a cuddly, warm, sensative coach like Mike Leach. He understood that you held all the power and swag on TX. Techs' campus. He was MORE than willing to acquiese to your demands. Now you face a TRUE BULLDOG of a Man. Here is a guy who played in Illinois....in the winter....for 2 coaches who in any other profession would've been HEAVILY medicated. AND HE LOVED IT! Through pain, wind, cold, and mental breakdowns....he played with reckless abandon. Giving NO THOUGHT to his own personal safety. Do you really think he has that much concern for your PERSONAL safety, or the bank account of your agent? HE WANTS WINNERS! If he'll kick a 1st rd drafted tight end out of a game, what makes you think you're safe? I would hate to watch the scene of his Bobby Knight "re-positioning" imitation if you cross him.
3) Your "TRUE" value: As of now, you are still considered a 1st Rd draft choice. A product that has mass "upside" and is only a few tinkers away from being a possible Hall of Fame candidate. Therein lies your problem. The team you are dealing with sees you as a great commodity, even IF you don't sign with them. Their team is looking for a few GOOD cogs and your demands are making you out to be a loose cannon. They already own 2 1st Rd draft picks for 2010. They could easily get another one for your services. Hands down. Sure, you could re-enter the draft next year.....however; your time away from the field makes you a bigger liabilty. Which means you will have given the next team to draft you more incentive to pick you in a later rd. Which unfortunately equals you making less money. Go figure. Even IF you go to another team, San Fran would come away with 1 first rd pick, or at the least a 2nd rd and a 4th rd pick for you. They would then make BIG additions by subtractions. Laughing as you flounder in Detroit, St. Louis, or (god have mercy on you) OAKLAND! Is a few million dollars worth that? Hmmmmmmmm.......
4) The new "CBA": In 2010, the entity in the NFL; affectionately known as the "Collective Bargaining Agreement", will cease to exist. That means that all the teams will no longer be equal. Money Ball will ensue again, and the players union won't be able to help you when that happens. Yes, you could EASILY go to the highest bidder. I'm sure Dan Snyder, Jerry Jones, or Al Davis will give you the keys to the city in order to play for them. But, I wouldnt count on it. Recent history has shown that it's the best over all TEAMS that win titles. In the end, that's what all great players are measured by. If that weren't enough, because of this, the Players association and The owners are looking at a lock out. Which means even MORE time away from the field for you. Once again, Less money, lower draft position. Sitting out for 2 years doesn't bode well for your attempts at a big payoff. So sad. Oh well.....it's only money....right?
In closing, I realize that NFL players have short shelf lives. They stand the risk of serious bodily harm, numerous surgeries and even permanent paralysis. Leave me not take these issues lightly. Players need to make as much money as possible before the wear and tear of NFL employment sets in. Yet, let me give you some advice that I'm certain that high priced lawyer who calls himself your "Agent" hasn't told you. He makes more money as you do. His interest is more self serving than you might like to think. Sure he wants you to "Get Paid". Simply because that means HE "GETS PAID". Once the ink is dried, you'll find him cheering you on from the comfort of HIS new Mabach, as you sweat and toil in the broiling sun. Or freeze off your 3 best friends in training camp.
Another reason to loosen up is competition. If you sign with a team and show that you are worth it, teams won't have a choice but to pay you more than even YOU may think you're worth. Kurt Warner has been through this on 2 seperate occassions. For a former bag boy, I don't think he'll have to borrow money to add chesse to his Whopper anytime soon. Yet, make no mistake, he had to prove his worth before he earned that respect.
Finally, remember the fans. giving your all to THEM is the bottom line. In reality, they possess ALL THE POWER! Without them, even the owners go belly up. If they are for you, you have MORE POWER than the owners are openly willing to admit. If it's you that puts butts in the seats, they will have no other alternative than to open their wallets wide to keep you. Besides, the fans can make you a God among men or throw you under the foundation of the next guy that comes along and spills his guts to their approval. They can see you through some of the roughest times due to a large mistake (see: Micheal Vick), or they can they step on your head as you drown for a small infraction.(refer again to the latter).
At the end of the day....YOU ultimately have the choice. But, what do I know......I'm just a fan