How did we get here? Now No. 31 wants even more money - he has to do what is right for his family. A written contract apparently means nothing anymore. It isn't like we aren't paying him well for his effort in Green Bay (and appreciating it) but that isn't enough anymore. I am 100% for incentives in the contract, BUT they have to work both ways. IF Al makes the Pro Bowl, give him another $1.5 million, but if he gives up more than five touchdowns, make him give back some $$ too. It should be that way for everyone. If they want a chance to make more cash, they have to be willing to get what they deserve, not whatever their agent can squeeze out of the organization.
Don't get me wrong, I like Al Harris, and I even understand why he is trying to get more dough (because we gave monster bank to C. Woodson - still waiting to see how that pans out - so far....) This is out of hand. I know to have a competitive team we have to spend money, but everyone is wanting more and more.
Incentive-filled contracts are the way to go, but it has to be a change to total offensive ranking = more $$ rather than positional money. This way if Al wants more money, and they don't throw at him because he is so good, it doesn't count against him. It can work for every position too. Cut back guaranteed money, but incentives, some formula where each position starts at some number devised off of snaps they play and times they are near the ball (?), and add incentives after how they rank compared to the rest of the league. This COULD force the players to start working as a team once again: a running back would gain from not only his line working hard, but his receivers running good routes dropping the safety as well. It would reward the outstanding receiver, not because he is getting triple coverage, but because it would open up the No. 2 and/or No. 3 receivers as well. I think this could work.
It would take a total revamping of the payment system, and it would result in the loss of a lot of players, I know, but something has to change. The trail we are heading down is a bleak one. Let's let players be more accountable: if they want more $$ they have to earn it through more than an agent. Let's make this a team sport once again.
Jason Eckes, firstname.lastname@example.org, Middleton, WI
E-mail your thoughts on the Green Bay Packers to PackerReport.com managing editor Todd Korth at email@example.com. Please include your name, e-mail address and city/state at the end of each letter.