Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Since I'm already being accused by his colleagues of wanting Peter King's job (duh!), I thought I might as well ring in with my thoughts on the NFL's supposedly wayward wide receivers, Terrell Owens and Hines Ward. In both cases, I'm with the player.

What no one seems to bring up about T.O. is last year's fiasco where his former agent screwed his chance at free agency. With his contract renewed by the Niners, he was then traded to the Ravens and then again the the Eagles. Now, he was able to engineer a trade to a team he wanted and subsequently signed a solid long-term deal, admittedly. But he missed out on a chance to truly test his value on the open market at the prime of his career. Now he's sitting on a contract that will be terminated by the other party in 1 to 3 years, and everyone is yelling at him to honor that deal. Under those circumstances, I say fight for what you can get.

The Hines Ward situation is even more of a slam dunk for me. Here's what Steeler fans (at least the few who are against Hines--most seem to be on his side) are missing: if this were just about money, Ward would play out this year and go on the open market for 2006. This is about Ward wanting good money to play for the Steelers. Given that, I don't see how any fans can be against him here. He's a four-time Pro Bowler, he's two years younger than Owens, he's the only Steeler who has consistently played well in recent years in the playoffs, and he's the absolute heart and soul of his team. He should be paid like it, and shame on the Steelers for drawing this out and jeopardizing a potential championship season.

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