NFL players have the worst deal in all of sports, yet the league is the most profitable in all of sports. Something doesn't add up here.
The average career of an NFL player is three years and their contracts aren't guarenteed. Many have life long health problems as a result of their playing careers. Many others have sacrificed other aspects of their life to make it as a pro, while all the while being exploited by the NCAA during, what could be the first four years of their professional careers. They deserve guarenteed contracts.
A contract is a contract.... expect when it is in the owners best interests to rip up that contract without penalty. If this relationship was even remotely fair, players would have the same right as owners, the right to rip up their contract whenever they saw fit.
But of course, what happens if there is a lockout/strike? Well, its just like any other strike, the owners have all the power, because they have no need for money, no sense of urgency, no reason to negotiate. Many of the players can't afford not to play, they have mortgages, families. Many are first or second year players that haven't made much money. Many are practice squad players or special teamers. This is not the NBA, where everyone makes 6 million dollars a year. So this is the reason for one side being able to void contracts as they see fit, and the other, unable to do so.
I agree that in sports where contracts are guarenteed, the player should commit to the duration of the contract. There is a risk on both sides: if the player under performs, the team still has to pay him. If the player over performs, tough beans, he has the security of a guarenteed contract, which is part of the risk/reward.
In the NFL, the risk is all on the players side.
[ Edited by northvan49erman on Aug 21, 2012 at 8:29 PM ]