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Old 06-07-2010   #1
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Default AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

They make some good points and kind of slam his Uncle -

Quote:
HOUSTON – An adage in the legal profession is that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.

Sadly, Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson(notes) is learning the NFL version of that saying the hard way. Even after he recently hired agent Kennard McGuire to represent him, the lesson will likely cost him around $20 million over the course of his career.

Until hiring McGuire, Johnson essentially represented himself, using uncle Andre Melton as an advisor. The result of that decision has been a costly mistake for a player who is perfect in so many other ways. Aside from being a great player, Johnson is extremely classy and is roundly praised as a helpful and generous teammate.

Those would be wonderful points to make in a contract negotiation … if Johnson didn’t have five years left on his current deal. He could even use those points to counter the negativity of a holdout if Johnson was playing serious hardball with the Texans by not showing up for offseason work at all. However, Johnson has been far from disruptive. Instead, he missed three days of workouts this offseason, showed up to tell management he wasn’t happy and then went back to work with his teammates.

He did that even after Melton hinted to the media that Johnson was going to play rough with the Texans.

“My uncle may have said some things about what he thought I should do, but that didn’t come from me,” said Johnson, who led the league with 1,569 receiving yards last season.

Johnson’s body language demonstrated that he was clearly uncomfortable with the idea of holding out. The idea goes against his very nature. But Johnson, 28, is also frustrated with his contract, a deal which likely will cover the rest of his most productive seasons. By the time it expires after the 2014 season, Johnson will likely be playing out the string of his career if he’s even able to do that.

“When I missed the first days [of offseason work], everybody has their own opinion like, ‘He’s greedy and this and that.’ They don’t know the whole story, they haven’t been here, so it’s something you just have to understand,” said Johnson, the third overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft. “The crazy thing about it – and this is why I say people don’t know what was going on – when I signed the contract [extension in 2007], all you heard is, ‘He’s a great guy, he’s a team player, he restructured his deal to bring other people in.’

“But now, when I ask for a restructured contract, ‘He’s greedy, he’s a diva, he’s this.’ Everybody flips on me.”

For the Texans, this is clearly an uncomfortable subject. They have a great player who is dissatisfied. Criticizing Johnson in any way would come off as bad PR.

“I want to make something clear, this is not me against Andre Johnson,” Houston general manager Rick Smith said. “Andre is a great player and person in every way.”

But …

“We didn’t give Andre a new contract [in 2007] to create cap space so we could sign free agents. We did it because he wanted more money,” Smith said.

OK, the problem is that Johnson didn’t really get a lot more than if he had played out the old deal – certainly not enough to make up for the risk of playing out his first contract.

Here’s the breakdown: As a rookie, Johnson signed a six-year, $39 million deal, which was pretty much in line with the market at the time. Then again, most rookie contracts are essentially slotted deals and the Texans were aggressive about giving Johnson a deal to get him signed on time for camp.

Where things went wrong was after the first four years of that deal in the 2007 offseason. By that time, according to NFL Players Association figures, Johnson had earned $21.71 million and had two years left on his rookie deal. He would have made $8.35 million in 2007 and again in 2008 for a total of $38.41 million over the first six years of his contract.

That also would have made Johnson a free agent or franchise player in the 2009 offseason. By then, fellow wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald(notes) (four years, $40 million) and Roy Williams (six years, $54 million) had already signed lucrative extensions.

But instead of playing out the final two years and getting leverage that comes with being a free agent or franchise player, Johnson signed a new deal in March 2007, adding six years to his original contract.

The result was basically an eight-year deal worth $60 million. If all goes well, Johnson, who is the only other receiver under 30 who ranks with Fitzgerald, will earn a total of $81.71 million over 12 years, which is basically his whole career.

Now, there’s nothing terribly wrong with that sum, but here’s the problem: Based on what Fitzgerald and Williams signed for, it’s not absurd to believe that Johnson easily could have made more than $10 million per year if he had waited. A six-year, $66 million contract, including $32 million or so guaranteed, could easily have been had.

“Andre Johnson is the one guy who could have [gotten more per year] than Larry Fitzgerald at that point,” a prominent agent said, referring to what could have happened if Johnson had waited. “The funny part is we actually had his contract used against us in one negotiation. The team said, ‘Your guy isn’t as good as Andre Johnson and look at his contract.’ ”

The bottom line is this, if Johnson had been patient, he could have hauled in more than $104 million over the same 12 years where he stands to make $81.71 million. And that’s if he stays healthy all the way through. Under the more patient scenario, nearly $70 million of that would have been guaranteed.

Some people might argue that Johnson needed to take the new deal for more security. After all, the Texans gave him $16 million in March 2007 and he has made more than $23 million total over the past three years.

OK, but Johnson was going to get at least $8.35 million in 2007 no matter and he could have easily purchased an insurance policy to cover the other $15 million he made with that extension.

And don’t expect McGuire, a talented and experienced agent, to have much luck getting a lot out of the Texans unless Johnson is willing to really play tough and hold out. Although McGuire is friendly with Smith, the Texans likely won’t do much more than add some incentives to the contract.

In other words, it would have paid for Johnson to wait.

If only he had someone who could have explained that to him

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Old 06-07-2010   #2
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

Pay him. He took the pay cut so that there would be cap space for Kubiak to bring in new blood but now, with no cap, he should be compensated fairly, not only for what he will do this year or over the next 4 years, but for what he has brought to the team from when the time he re-structured his deal (back to back 1500 yard seasons).

He should be the highest paid player other than some of the top tier quarterbacks in the league.
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Old 06-07-2010   #3
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

Here's the most important sentence of the story:

Quote:
If only he had someone who could have explained that to him.
The Texans are also to blame. In my opinion, they took that deal and ran with it because they knew full well that it was a huge bargain for the Texans.

Yeah, AJ didn't have proper representation. I "get" that. I really do. But there's also the cold, hard truth that nobody in the Texans organization said "Wait a second, slow down. The numbers on this deal look decent TODAY. But what about a few years down the road. We know the numbers game. We know what salaries are going to potentially look like down the road." Then someone else in the room says, "Yeah, but we can't pay Andre what the numbers would dictate 3 or 4 years from now. It would throw the other teams into a huge mess and we'd be the root of it. We are going to do the deal that AJ wants, and we'll find ways to deal with the fallout when the fallout hits the media. Probably several years down the road. This is a huge blessing in disguise, actually. He should have played out his contract and gone from there. If he signs off on it, then it's his mess as far as I am concerned."

Face it folks, this is just how things are done. This is not a kid getting screwed at his birthday party by opening up boxes and boxes full of socks and underwear when he really expected lots of toys. Andre Johnson is the best overall receiver plaing in the NFL, and his uncle worked in conjunction with Andre to essentially hose themselves in the end. And the Texans obliged them the whole way.

Takes two to dance the Texans Two-Step, IMO. Fault on both sides. And really who cares? He's going to get a better deal. The P.R. hit would be hard to take for the Texans, so they will deal with the fallout like they had probably planned back when the deal was done. [/thread]
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Old 06-07-2010   #4
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

Lets not forget that Johnson had injury issues during both the 2005 and 2007 seasons. He had big problems in the 2007, right after signing that extension.

Football in unpredictable.

Receiving a frontloaded contract in 2007 probably seemed an excellend decision after he suffered that knee injury and has only become a problem now that he's regained his health.

If he had never played again, would he have returned the money to McNair?
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Old 06-07-2010   #5
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GP View Post
Here's the most important sentence of the story:



The Texans are also to blame. In my opinion, they took that deal and ran with it because they knew full well that it was a huge bargain for the Texans.

Yeah, AJ didn't have proper representation. I "get" that. I really do. But there's also the cold, hard truth that nobody in the Texans organization said "Wait a second, slow down. The numbers on this deal look decent TODAY. But what about a few years down the road. We know the numbers game. We know what salaries are going to potentially look like down the road." Then someone else in the room says, "Yeah, but we can't pay Andre what the numbers would dictate 3 or 4 years from now. It would throw the other teams into a huge mess and we'd be the root of it. We are going to do the deal that AJ wants, and we'll find ways to deal with the fallout when the fallout hits the media. Probably several years down the road. This is a huge blessing in disguise, actually. He should have played out his contract and gone from there. If he signs off on it, then it's his mess as far as I am concerned."

Face it folks, this is just how things are done. This is not a kid getting screwed at his birthday party by opening up boxes and boxes full of socks and underwear when he really expected lots of toys. Andre Johnson is the best overall receiver plaing in the NFL, and his uncle worked in conjunction with Andre to essentially hose themselves in the end. And the Texans obliged them the whole way.

Takes two to dance the Texans Two-Step, IMO. Fault on both sides. And really who cares? He's going to get a better deal. The P.R. hit would be hard to take for the Texans, so they will deal with the fallout like they had probably planned back when the deal was done. [/thread]
Yup. Andre was also trying to save himself a 3% agent fee. Melton apparently did this for free or MUCH less than 3%. Andre was trying to be cheap with his money. Takes 2 to tango... unless the Texans recommended or encouraged the hire of Unca Melton.
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Old 06-07-2010   #6
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

Whether he's "worth" the $$$ is not the question. Nobody made him sign that contract. In another two years, when there's say THREE years remaining on the contract, it would be in the Texans' best interest to redo his deal.

At the FIVE year remaining mark, the Texans don't need to be setting a precedent.
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Old 06-07-2010   #7
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtexan02 View Post
Lets not forget that Johnson had injury issues during both the 2005 and 2007 seasons. He had big problems in the 2007, right after signing that extension.

Football in unpredictable.

Receiving a frontloaded contract in 2007 probably seemed an excellend decision after he suffered that knee injury and has only become a problem now that he's regained his health.

If he had never played again, would he have returned the money to McNair?
Boring and tired attempt at trying to swing the ball back into his endzone. It's pretty easy to negotitate a discounted price but once money changes hands, it becomes a legal issue. I recently had a mechanic who repaired the WRONG thing on my car which did not get fixed. Best he offered me was half off the next job. He claimed that since he did the labor. Kind of like how we don't know if Andre's going to play next season. It is what it is... NFL contracts are pretty ironclad and advantageous if Uncy know what he's doing.
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Old 06-07-2010   #8
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

I'm just an AJ homer. I think he deserves to get paid, especially with how he has handled this getting back into camp. I wish I could meet the guy someday. Seems like a real class act.
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Old 06-07-2010   #9
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

Sigh, if only we could look into the future to see how our decisions come out....

I wonder if anyone has tried to interview the uncle?
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Old 06-07-2010   #10
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

20 million dollars is a lot of money. But Andre isn't hurting for cash. In my opinion, the fact that he doesn't have an insane contract only adds to his legend. It means that football, the team, and championships are more important to him than over-the-top wealth. You ask for gigantic contracts when you are going to play for a team that you don't have any chemistry with, that you don't have much of a shot at the playoffs or championships with. If AJ went to the Bills, I would expect him to try to get $12M a year.

Bottom line is I'm glad he is here, I don't feel guilty or bad about the money he is making, and his handling of his career on the business side is an admirable example that more NFL players should try to emulate.
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Old 06-07-2010   #11
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonhed View Post
20 million dollars is a lot of money. But Andre isn't hurting for cash. In my opinion, the fact that he doesn't have an insane contract only adds to his legend. It means that football, the team, and championships are more important to him than over-the-top wealth. You ask for gigantic contracts when you are going to play for a team that you don't have any chemistry with, that you don't have much of a shot at the playoffs or championships with. If AJ went to the Bills, I would expect him to try to get $12M a year.

Bottom line is I'm glad he is here, I don't feel guilty or bad about the money he is making, and his handling of his career on the business side is an admiral example that more NFL players should try to emulate.
rep. well said.
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Old 06-07-2010   #12
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

Bah frigging humbug on his missing 20 million.

It is apparent our society deems football players and rock stars more important than school teachers, policemen and military servicemen.
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Old 06-07-2010   #13
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GP View Post
Here's the most important sentence of the story:



The Texans are also to blame. In my opinion, they took that deal and ran with it because they knew full well that it was a huge bargain for the Texans.

Yeah, AJ didn't have proper representation. I "get" that. I really do. But there's also the cold, hard truth that nobody in the Texans organization said "Wait a second, slow down. The numbers on this deal look decent TODAY. But what about a few years down the road. We know the numbers game. We know what salaries are going to potentially look like down the road." Then someone else in the room says, "Yeah, but we can't pay Andre what the numbers would dictate 3 or 4 years from now. It would throw the other teams into a huge mess and we'd be the root of it. We are going to do the deal that AJ wants, and we'll find ways to deal with the fallout when the fallout hits the media. Probably several years down the road. This is a huge blessing in disguise, actually. He should have played out his contract and gone from there. If he signs off on it, then it's his mess as far as I am concerned."

Face it folks, this is just how things are done. This is not a kid getting screwed at his birthday party by opening up boxes and boxes full of socks and underwear when he really expected lots of toys. Andre Johnson is the best overall receiver plaing in the NFL, and his uncle worked in conjunction with Andre to essentially hose themselves in the end. And the Texans obliged them the whole way.

Takes two to dance the Texans Two-Step, IMO. Fault on both sides. And really who cares? He's going to get a better deal. The P.R. hit would be hard to take for the Texans, so they will deal with the fallout like they had probably planned back when the deal was done. [/thread]
I don't think the Texans FO is the blame.

That's all on AJ for having his uncle as an advisor. Do I think AJ deserves a raise? Certainly.

But, he's not going to get it with 5 years left on his current deal.
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Old 06-07-2010   #14
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

You get to a certain point and the money is really more about respect than $$$.

I'd feel comfortable with the front office sticking to the contract, but I think there's a value beyond the extra cost to do something. Show the next guy in-line for more money how you get it in Houston. Let the T.O.'s of the world shop somewhere else.
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Old 06-07-2010   #15
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

I think hes also just tired of losing
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Old 06-07-2010   #16
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldensilence View Post
I don't think the Texans FO is the blame.

That's all on AJ for having his uncle as an advisor. Do I think AJ deserves a raise? Certainly.

But, he's not going to get it with 5 years left on his current deal.
Yes, it's on AJ.

But it's also funny how nobody seems to think the Texans are guilty of a portion of this situation, as well.

You seriously don't think it ever crossed McNair's Front Office number-crunchers that the Texans were going to end up getting a super-sweet deal a few years down the road?

This is like someone saying "I'll give you two quarters for your dollar," and the person thinks "Man, I'm getting TWO quarters for ONE dollar!"...I know that's probably extreme, but I'm trying to show that AJ messed up and the Texans gladly allowed him to.
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Old 06-07-2010   #17
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GP View Post
This is like someone saying "I'll give you two quarters for your dollar," and the person thinks "Man, I'm getting TWO quarters for ONE dollar!"...I know that's probably extreme, but I'm trying to show that AJ messed up and the Texans gladly allowed him to.
"Business is business" is not a motto I run my firm by, but I can't really fault the front office for it. It's how the bulk of the world operates.
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Old 06-07-2010   #18
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GP View Post
Yes, it's on AJ.

But it's also funny how nobody seems to think the Texans are guilty of a portion of this situation, as well.

You seriously don't think it ever crossed McNair's Front Office number-crunchers that the Texans were going to end up getting a super-sweet deal a few years down the road?

This is like someone saying "I'll give you two quarters for your dollar," and the person thinks "Man, I'm getting TWO quarters for ONE dollar!"...I know that's probably extreme, but I'm trying to show that AJ messed up and the Texans gladly allowed him to.
The man is making quite a bit of money. HE hired Unca' for (I've heard reported 1%) less $$ than a legit agent. He's nowhere NEAR a poor house, nor even the lower echelon at his position. He's not the first player to outperform his contract and he won't be the last. The Texans are guilty of NOTHING in this case. They negotiated in good faith and Andre signed on the dotted line. I absolutely LOVE the guy as a player and a person, but HE put himself in this situation. Nobody FORCED him to use his Uncle OR to sign the offer from the Texans.

As I said before, in another two years, the Texans should try to ensure that AJ (if still healthy) is among the highest paid WRs in the game. Until then, the Texans don't need to break new ground by re-working a very young deal.
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Old 06-07-2010   #19
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

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Originally Posted by Thorn View Post
Bah frigging humbug on his missing 20 million.

It is apparent our society deems football players and rock stars more important than school teachers, policemen and military servicemen.
Can you add a NURSE to that list Thorn? From Jan to May I have to work every stinking overtime hour I can to pay those outragous prices for season tickets, just so I can see my fav team play ball. I'm not complaining, I do it because I love the team, and the game of football. BUT, that 4000+ bucks I plunk down every Spring is chicken scratch to football players, and they still want to complain because someone else might be making MORE millions than they are!! So sorry if I don't feel SORRY for any of them! They make more in a year than I'd see in 10 lifetimes!!
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Old 06-07-2010   #20
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Default Re: AJs 20Million $$ Mistake?

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You get to a certain point and the money is really more about respect than $$$.

I'd feel comfortable with the front office sticking to the contract, but I think there's a value beyond the extra cost to do something. Show the next guy in-line for more money how you get it in Houston. Let the T.O.'s of the world shop somewhere else.
This.

It isn't about the money; it is about the respect. When you are the best at what you do, you deserve to be compensated like the best.

I agree completely that athletes, actors, and the like make far too much money, and our society certainly is in need of reevaluating our stance on celebrity salaries, but it is what it is. We don't need an angry, upset, or disrespected Andre on this team. I'm surprised so many of you don't see that. I understand this does not need to become a precedent, but AJ is no ordinary player. A guy like him comes along once a decade. Pay him what the market says he deserves.
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