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The Almighty Dollar

by Tyson Rauch
Senior Columnist

There is only one common denominator when it comes to player movement within professional sports these days and that is the almighty dollar. It does not matter how bad the team is, how good the organization is, who the coach is or the type of surface the team plays on. It comes down to one thing: cash…cold, hard cash.

Player Marketing/Representation Rule #1: Always tell your potential suitor and media following that you would love to play for that particular organization. Rule #2: If ANY New York team is mentioned put on your best smile, act sincere and explain how it was your life long dream to play in NY.

Why am I telling you this? Well, with free agency soon approaching as well as the NFL draft, several articles and rumors will now start circulating regarding player movement. With the Jets having the #4 pick in the draft I can guarantee every one of the top 6 NCAA prospects will have an article printed about how they want to play in NY for the Jets. They were a fan when they grew up, love the colors green and white, blah, blah, blah. The bottom line is that all the players and their representation care about is money and endorsements. Playing in NY means plenty of marketing opportunities, appearances, status and money. Nothing more, nothing less. These will be the same players that after their five year contract is up, will then move to the next organization willing to open the bank as at this point the NY bubble has already been burst or drained out. Don’t get me wrong, I do not blame the player; I just blame the fans for feeding into the frenzy and going berserk when the true colors come out in the end. It is very rare these days that a player will actually take less to stay with an organization or provide cap relief.

So the question is, what would you do if you were Chad Pennington? Explain to the Jets that you gave your shoulder to the organization and deserve the money? What would you do if you were Curtis Martin? Tell the Jets to pay up or cut me and have fun with the cap hit? What about Kevin Mawae? Tell the Jets you are the anchor of the offensive line and a pro bowler and demand the high salary?

It will be interesting to see how these scenarios work out, as in most cases it just comes down to the money. My bet is on Curtis Martin as being the only man willing to take less and even a lesser role to stay with his New York Jets. This is his team. This is the team that he is willing to abuse his body for all summer long in order to bring back the pride that it once had. This is his team that he believes can again be successful and get back to a championship level. This is his team that he will not abandon or hold hostage.

Hopefully, other players on the Jets can follow his lead and maybe success will not be so far away.

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