What if the NFL Played by Teachers’ Rules?
by Fran Tarkenton @ the Wall Street Journal
Imagine the National Football League in an alternate reality. Each player’s salary is based on how long he’s been in the league. It’s about tenure, not talent. The same scale is used for every player, no matter whether he’s an All-Pro quarterback or the last man on the roster. For every year a player’s been in this NFL, he gets a bump in pay. The only difference between Tom Brady and the worst player in the league is a few years of step increases. And if a player makes it through his third season, he can never be cut from the roster until he chooses to retire, except in the most extreme cases of misconduct.
Let’s face the truth about this alternate reality: The on-field product would steadily decline. Why bother playing harder or better and risk getting hurt?
Also, if you’re a supremely talented quarterback who’s only been playing for one season, you may be dumped from the roster during a budget crisis so that your team can keep crappy players who happen to have tenure.
The War on the Young is real, folks.