Drifting About…

Last week, Chase Daniel signed on to be the backup QB for the Lions; reports said that the deal was 3 years for $13M.  Given the numbers associated with QB signings these days, that dollar figure is not eye-popping.  What made me stop and think for a moment was that the deal was for 3 years.  In the back of my mind, I had Chase Daniel in a mental slot where I didn’t think he had 3 years left in him.  So, I went looking…

Chase Daniel will be 34 years old in October; I thought he was at least 4 years older than that; I was wrong.  In the process of checking up on his age – and his stats – I came to the conclusion that Chase Daniel could very well be part of the NFL for several more decades.

  • Daniel played his college football at Missouri and his senior year stats (in 2008) were more than respectable.  Nonetheless, he was an undrafted free agent who signed on with the Skins – – but never made it out of training camp.
  • The Saints picked him up and he spent 3 seasons there.  He has a Super Bowl ring from that part of his career.
  • He then meandered around the league – Chiefs, Eagles, Saints (again), Bears – before signing this deal with the Lions.
  • Daniel has started only 5 games in 10 years in the NFL; his record in those starts is 2-3.
  • Counting this current contract, it appears that he has earned between $30M and $35M as a backup QB and as a placekick holder.

I said above that Daniel may be around the NFL for decades.  Obviously, he will not do that as a player but given the “reviews” he gets as a backup QB who quickly learns new systems and given the wide range of contacts he has established in his meanderings, it looks to me as if Chase Daniel has set himself up to become a QB coach when his playing days are over.  If he plays out his current deal, Daniel will be 36 years old the next time he has to “find a new job” …

Sticking with the NFL, the new CBA provides for the NFL to play a 17-game regular season starting as early as the 2021 season.  Since this was a major issue for the owners, one should assume that they will implement that change as soon as the logistics and legalities can be ironed out.  The obvious benefit for the owners is that they can sell an extra weekend of “activity” to their “network partners” and that means increased revenue.  For many players, the 17-game season was a bad idea for health and injury reasons.  The players received a fairly significant increase in their share of the revenue in exchange for their agreement to the 17-game season, and there’s more.

I am not here to say which side got the better part of this last negotiation; I am not nearly qualified to do that.  However, in exchange for the 17-game season and the expanded playoff format:

  • The roster of active players for each game will increase from 46 to 48 players.  [Aside: I have never quite understood why there was a 53-man roster but only some of the players on that roster were eligible to play on “any given Sunday”.]
  • The 53-man roster will become a 55-man roster because two players on the practice squad can be assigned to the main roster every week.  [Aside:  No; I do not understand the cosmic significance of this one either.]
  • The practice squad itself will increase from 10 players now to 12 players under the new CBA.  Moreover, practice squad players will get a raise; under the old CBA they made $8K for every week they were on the practice squad; as of 2022 they will be making $11.5K per week for every week they are on the practice squad.  That means there are more players – and more union members.

The biggest concession won by the players in this last negotiation was the increased share of the national revenue contained in the new CBA.  It was 47% in the old CBA; it will go to 48% immediately in the new CBA and could go as high as 48.8% depending on the outcome of the league’s negotiations for new broadcast rights deals.  An increase of 1.8% may not sound like a lot until you recognize that the current league revenues are about $16B.  That seemingly small increase here translates to an extra $288M for players as the basis for salary cap calculations.  Moreover, that revenue number is likely to increase significantly when new TV deals take effect.

Two players – who obviously do not like the new CBA and surely voted against its ratification – have now filed suit to nullify the deal and its ratification.  Russell Okung is the plaintiff in one suit and Eric Reid is the plaintiff in the second one.  I have tried to understand the basis for Okung’s complaint to the National Labor Relations Board, but it is over my head.  He says at one point that the NFLPA – the union representing the players – used illegal means to prevent debate regarding the new CBA.  Believe me, it is not nearly as simple as that might sound.  Eric Reid’s suit alleges that the CBA that was ratified is not the one that was signed and agreed to because there were changes after the ratification vote.  You may be certain that I am not going to go and try to “prove” or “disprove” those sorts of things.

Switching gears …  This may be a sign of the apocalypse but there are online proposition bets tied to Wrestlemania this year.  The show will take place this weekend and according to an offshore Internet sportsbook, here is one option that does not have anything to do with the outcome of the ‘rasslin’ matches themselves:

  • Will Donald Trump Tweet about Wrestlemania?  Yes = +600  No = -1500

Finally, here is an entry from The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm:

Decaf:  Coffee that doesn’t work.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………