Yahoo! Sports' NFL analyst Cris Carter puts six points on the board on the contact demands of some of the league's top wide receivers – who just happen to have the same agent.
1. Agent Drew Rosenhaus
One thing you have to understand about Drew is that he's always been very aggressive in contract negotiations. He gets a lot of second-time-around clients and in doing so, he tries to put those clients, while they're hot, in the best position to get the maximum amount of dollars. So I don't think it's a coincidence that his new clients are holding out for more money in the middle of their current contracts. Drew is very demanding but he knows the business – and he's very, very good.
Of course, you better be a very good football player if you decide to hold out. You're the one taking the huge risk, not Drew. He isn't playing in the NFL. He doesn't care about your reputation and he doesn't care about the fans. Once the deal is done, though, there are never any lingering effects on either side. Teams know that it's just the nature of the business.
So which wide receivers really deserve a raise in pay? Let's take a look.
2. Terrell Owens
He will probably never be in a stronger position than he is in right now. The thing that T.O. is underestimating is the stance that the Philadelphia Eagles' organization is taking. The Eagles' track record has been pretty consistent as far as dealing with the contract demands of players in their 30s. Plus, Andy Reid is not the kind of guy who gets pushed into giving more money.
I wouldn't give T.O. a raise, but I would give him more guaranteed money. I would give him another signing bonus to make that situation go away because of what he means not only to the team but also to the city and the team's overall morale.
I'm very concerned about this situation – and the rest of the NFL is, too. If you were to choose a favorite to go to the Super Bowl, it would be Philadelphia. That's why the whole league is watching to see what Reid and the Eagles' front office will do. I would be surprised if they balked at T.O.'s demands.
3. Javon Walker
It's hard for the average fan to understand the purpose of a holdout when you look at the type of money these guys are making. But that's the business. I can understand why a player would want to maximize the ability to get a contract or a contract extension instead of letting his current deal run out. But Walker is in a totally different spot than T.O.
T.O. signed his contract after being a Pro Bowler. Walker is just now making the Pro Bowl. He's just now getting into the limelight and wants to take advantage of his success. But what if he doesn't make the Pro Bowl next year? He's only had one really outstanding season. He's in the fourth year of a five-year contract, but I would not extend it. And I don't think the Green Bay Packers will, either.
4. Anquan Boldin
Given that the Arizona Cardinals drafted Larry Fitzgerald last year and that Boldin has only been in the league two years, I wouldn't extend his contract. Ultimately, where is he going to go? Only a few players in NFL history have ever held out the whole season. Some players sit the entire year, but most of them don't.
5. Santana Moss
He ended his holdout on Thursday – after getting a fair contract from the Washington Redskins. He's basically getting $5 million a year and that's what it's going to take to get a quality starter in today's NFL. I think it's a good deal not only for him but also for the Redskins because they have their featured receiver locked up for six years. Plus, Moss had a tremendous amount of leverage because they traded for him.
6. Hines Ward
He wants Marvin Harrison money, but unlike the aforementioned receivers, he isn't a Rosenhaus client and has decided to take part in workouts while the Pittsburgh Steelers and his agent Eugene Parker negotiate a new contract. Ward definitely deserves a raise, but does he deserve the same deal as Harrison? Of course not. Marvin Harrison is one of a kind. Should Ward be one of the highest-paid receivers? Yes. In my mind, he ranks just below Torry Holt, so he should be around the fifth to eighth highest-paid receiver.
- Drew Rosenhaus