I understand why he did what he did, the upfront money/ guaranteed money will be more than the 14m this year and the reported 17m over the 5 years the Steelers supposedly offered. With the contracts of other RBs signed this year, yeah.. fuck ‘em would have been my answer too. He’s the best in the business and should be getting ~35m guaranteed.
We all sit here and judge, we all would love 14m, it’s hard to relate. The difference is, we (generally speaking, get a “ guaranteed” salary for as many years as we want/ can produce mentally. Which should be ~ 40 years of work. The average NFL player is ~3 years. So condense your expectations to 3 years, your willingness to work for too little vs your skill is limited. His skill set should yield at least 11m a year, but he is also elite at catching the ball, so he thinks 15m is the number. I don’t have to agree or disagree to say, if that’s the number, why risk one year for less than that vs another 3-6 years at 15m?
I think the contract he gets will be right around 12m average, but he’ll collect about 40m in the first 2 years. I think the risk of blowing out a knee was probably over hyped in his mind, it would have taken that very rare career ending injury for him to make more in the next contract vs taking the 14m this year and getting a similar deal this offseason. But had he played and got hurt late in the season, he could be struggling to find a job and would look dumb for NOT holding out.
If I valued my skills at 1M a year for the next 5 years, I could see turning down 900k and no guarantees past this year, so yeah, I get it. I respect his position and I don’t understand why people think the Steelers are hero’s in this situation, but The Walton’s are assholes when they hire a cashier for less than the person wants.