New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski reportedly agreed to restructure his contract, and the new deal could earn him as much as $10.75 million if he meets performance goals.
On Wednesday's episode of "The Herd", Colin Cowherd argued that a performance-based contract is problematic for health reasons, but Cris Carter explained why teams won't simply give all players fully guaranteed deals.
Rob Gronkowski's new contract is dangerous
“Gronk’s got a new contract, and it’s performance-based. [Play] 90 percent of games, get this, 80 percent of games, get this. And my takeaway is: This ain’t good.
"You know what’s going to happen? He’s going to lie about concussions.”
Cris Carter: “Yes. He was going to do that anyway. Now he’s incentivized to lie. Absolutely.”
Kevin JairajKevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Contracts based on performance encourage players to lie about injuries
“So, to me… in the NBA, you make a decision. I like Cris Carter? I’m going to pay Cris Carter.
"The NFL is saying 'We like Gronk… we’ll give you more if you can make the field.’ That’s begging players to lie about concussions. Why don’t you just make a decision like baseball? I’m in? $12 million. Go play.”
Mark J. RebilasMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Fully guaranteed contracts aren't realistic in the NFL
“Well, the reason why we can’t [have all guaranteed contracts] is it would hurt the business model. People always talk about ‘Well why is the NFL the most physical, why don’t they have things like the NHL, NBA or MLB have?'And it would ruin our model, because the overall toughness of a football player, the limited number of years they can play, and the limited number of games.
"It would change the psyche of players. You wouldn’t play when you were nicked up, and you only have so many… you’re only dressing 47 players. If you get four or five guys that decide not to play, it’s hard to play an NFL game. Also, we never look at the number.
"How many guys are in the NFL now? 1,600 to 1,800. We pretty much have the same number as [the NBA, MLB and NHL] combined. So when you look at the roster, and the economics of it, then like.. ‘Wow, our business model keeps working, why [should we change]?’”
Stew MilneStew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
The current business model is working for the NFL. It's not going to change
“Of course we’d like guaranteed contracts, but it would ruin the business… you would get to a game and you might only have 35 players that play.”
Colin Cowherd: “You are rare; you’re a player that is on the owners’ side on that.”
Cris Carter: “Well the business model’s working. Football’s the most popular sport. That’s what’s more important than what the players want.
"…. I wish we could still get more guarantees, but having the whole contract guaranteed when the career span is 3.4 years, and it’s been that way for the last 30 years? No sir. That will hurt the overall business that the NFL has now.”