Thursday, March 10, 2016

Seller's market

I've never been one to go all get-off-my-lawn about the salaries professional athletes make. They're entertainers. The team owners, for the most part, are obscenely rich, and it's the entertainers who made them that way. So they earn every dime -- especially in pro football, where the window of opportunity is sometimes appallingly tiny.

My attitude is, get it as much of it as you can for as long as you can. Isn't that how capitalism is supposed to work?

Heaven knows that's how it's working right now in the NFL, where the free agent market hugely favors the players. In an economy so slanted these days against the working class, that's kind of refreshing.

The working class won a big one yesterday, even if it made you gasp a little. Brock Osweiler, a career backup quarterback, leveraged the Houston Texans for $37 million guaranteed and north of $70 mill total. Those are numbers based not on performance, but almost entirely on a potential not yet fully realized.

After all, he's only started seven games in his career. He's thrown 305 passes and completed 61.3 percent of them for 2,126 yards. His lifetime touchdown/interception ratio is 11/6.

And still: $37 mill. Guaranteed.

Somewhere Johnny Unitas must be shaking his head. And -- also guaranteed -- applauding.

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