There are 85 users in the forums

Remember
Not a member? Register Now!

Brown's contract laughable

Originally posted by English:
Originally posted by theduke85:
Originally posted by English:
Originally posted by theduke85:
I have a question. I'm sure this has been brought up and answered many times, but maybe I'm glazing over it.

Could the 49ers legally (i.e. within the confines of NFL rules) have given Brown the $2M he missed out on? I assume they couldn't, because allowing teams to do things like that would probably open up a lot of loopholes and under-the-table payments and things like that. But it seems like the whole thing was an honest mistake; it's not like Brown is some lazy slob that just skipped workouts completely. Just a miscommunication or ignorance.

Throughout the process, it seemed like the 49ers were helpful -- like they were trying to get the issue resolved (iirc, they even gave him a nice bonus at the end of the year). But why would they not just give him the $2M? Was something preventing them from doing so?

You give him the $2 million
What's the point of a response like this when I'm asking a legitimate question?

You got a legitimate answer. You just had to think about it.

Why should the team or it's owners throw away $2 million? No reason. Neither people nor companies act that way.
Seriously? "Throw away" $2 million dollars? It's easy to sit there and scoff at the notion when you're deliberately mischaracterizing the situation with loaded language like that.

We don't live in a black-and-white world; there are shades of grey, and this situation is an example of that. I mean, that's indisputable -- even by the 49ers own admission, because they gave him this $300,000K bonus at the end of the year. I guess that constitutes as "throwing away" money too, then? If the 49ers give Brown 300K, that's okay, because we're an infallible and generous organization, but if we pay up the full $2M we're negligent and catering to an ignoramus who can't be bothered to read a contract. Huh, I guess this is a pretty fine line that we walk.

All I asked if it was within their right/ability to give him the full $2M if they decided it was the right thing to do, if they deemed that Brown was essentially fleeced by an incompetent agent. I fail to see how this is such a cringe-worthy question. As I alluded to earlier, awarding bonuses outside of explicit contract language is probably frowned upon by the league, because it's the type of thing that could potentially be exploited, or could lead to under-the-table payments.
The $2M was a workout BONUS which Brown failed to earn.
It is not the team's responsibility to babysit each player to make sure they hit all their bonus incentive points.

Brown failed to stay on top of HIS OWN business, as did his agent.
Brown was good but replaceable.
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Originally posted by AB81Rules:
I'm Sorry but I don't feel bad for him. He should know his deal, and not need to be reminded of it. Workouts are technically voluntary, but in reality they are mandatory. Show up and get paid. Don't show up and guess what, you dont get paid. Can't show up either for 50% and expect the money, need at least 90% of participation to get the full amount due. It's his fault IMO. Don't blame the agent, or the team, READ YOUR DAMN CONTRACT, you're not a teenager or rookie, you're nearly 30, I am nearly 30 and know to read and re-read documents to be 100% correct. I hate people feeling sorry for him.

He messed up, and he paid the price.

He's making more in a year than I will make in twenty, so no...I don't feel sorry for him. He is obviously not able or willing to understand the nuances of his contract and that is just a part of life. Kareem Abdul Jabbar was ripped off by his expert advisor(s) and lost most of his life savings. It happens and demonstrates that life is not always fair...however fair is defined. But does he have a remedy in the law? That is my question, not whether we should feel sorry for him. I enjoy these types of questions because they seem rather straight forward but in our legal system nothing is simple!

AB and dtg, I am operating under the assumption that T Brown is the typical athlete that just goes out and plays ball. They figure that if I am paying the agent the agent will do his/her job. Some athletes are incompetent at reading a legally binding contract but their agents are and they have a license to do so and they are paid very well to boot. AB you say it is on Brown and I can agree but the majority I put on his bumbling agent. It is the agent's job!! If his agent did his job T Brown would be $2 million wealthier!
Originally posted by Pillbusta:
AB and dtg, I am operating under the assumption that T Brown is the typical athlete that just goes out and plays ball. They figure that if I am paying the agent the agent will do his/her job. Some athletes are incompetent at reading a legally binding contract but their agents are and they have a license to do so and they are paid very well to boot. AB you say it is on Brown and I can agree but the majority I put on his bumbling agent. It is the agent's job!! If his agent did his job T Brown would be $2 million wealthier!

It's the agents job and no player should hire this agent...ever. That's what should happen when someone makes a two million dollar mistake...he pays with his credibility. Brown may have been let down by his agent, but he should not blame the 49ers for his over sight. I've lost money at times due to my lack of diligence, but I blamed myself, not a realtor, agent, accountant or any other expert advisor. It's one thing to be ripped off, another to make a mistake.

Once again--agent should never be trusted again, player has learned a very expensive lesson, and the niners paid what they owed plus $300 K to be nice about the situation and not look like jerks. Regarding the notion that Brown isn't capable...legally, he needs to be declared incompetent in order to escape responsibility for his loss...which he hasn't as far as I know.

The positive side of this whole deal is that he is still good enough to make a really good living playing football and may be able to recoup his losses if he is as good as he thinks he is. I don't think he's that good but who knows...maybe he'll be the next Revis!


Edit: This all presumes there is nothing in the contract requiring the niners to remind players when they are doing something stupid!
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Mar 22, 2014 at 7:12 PM ]
  • buck
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 10,055
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
In my experience...yes! Of course...you've caught me in one of my absolute beliefs in never using absolutes!

I've been on both sides of union issues most of my life and for the past twenty years as a negotiator for and officer of a union. I have had to battle the parent union many times in order to help a member in just this type of situation--a disagreement between federal and/or state labor laws, state and local policies, and past practice. A great deal comes down to interpretation and who in the room knows more and is a better advocate.

My greatest anger has come when my "union expert" from the state level comes in and openly takes an opposing view to the local without knowing the facts of the case. In some cases there have been conflicts of interest such as one member benefiting from an interpretation that hurts other members...which may be similar to the Brown case. In the most recent case the "state expert" has apologized for interfering and may be replaced due to negligence...but I digress.

If you work in a union shop where everyone is in agreement all the time you have my sincere envy!

Everything in agreement in a union shop?? Not in my union experience in the US or in Chile.

I have been in the laborers, carpenters, communication workers, SEIU, and teachers union in the states and a teachers union in Chile.

I had many battles with the union higher ups in my local and from the international. I won some and lost more.
  • buck
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 10,055
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
It's the agents job and no player should hire this agent...ever. That's what should happen when someone makes a two million dollar mistake...he pays with his credibility. Brown may have been let down by his agent, but he should not blame the 49ers for his over sight. I've lost money at times due to my lack of diligence, but I blamed myself, not a realtor, agent, accountant or any other expert advisor. It's one thing to be ripped off, another to make a mistake.

Once again--agent should never be trusted again, player has learned a very expensive lesson, and the niners paid what they owed plus $300 K to be nice about the situation and not look like jerks. Regarding the notion that Brown isn't capable...legally, he needs to be declared incompetent in order to escape responsibility for his loss...which he hasn't as far as I know.

I believe that the agent can be, and should be, decertified by NFLPA for being grossly incompetent. If what Brown says is true his agent was grossly incompetent. At a minimum, the agent should be required to make Brown whole.
Originally posted by OKC49erFan:
The $2M was a workout BONUS which Brown failed to earn.
It is not the team's responsibility to babysit each player to make sure they hit all their bonus incentive points.

Brown failed to stay on top of HIS OWN business, as did his agent.

This.

/thread
Originally posted by buck:
Everything in agreement in a union shop?? Not in my union experience in the US or in Chile.

I have been in the laborers, carpenters, communication workers, SEIU, and teachers union in the states and a teachers union in Chile.

I had many battles with the union higher ups in my local and from the international. I won some and lost more.

Isn't horrible to be battling your own side to support a coworker? I understand the other side, and have sat on the end of the table, but when politics are more important than individuals...grrr!

But it's the good fight that keeps my nose to the grindstone!
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Mar 22, 2014 at 8:23 PM ]
Originally posted by Pillbusta:
AB and dtg, I am operating under the assumption that T Brown is the typical athlete that just goes out and plays ball. They figure that if I am paying the agent the agent will do his/her job. Some athletes are incompetent at reading a legally binding contract but their agents are and they have a license to do so and they are paid very well to boot. AB you say it is on Brown and I can agree but the majority I put on his bumbling agent. It is the agent's job!! If his agent did his job T Brown would be $2 million wealthier!

C'mon man. It's not all his agent's fault. Dude is a grown ass man, read the damn contract. Know what you need to do to achieve the money. This is a rare case where a player doesn't show up for workout and doesn't realize he losses money. Manny Lawson, Nate Clements, and someone else did it in 2008 I think. But they knew. Workouts aren't mandatory, but if you want the full money, you go, and participate 90% at least. This isn't a new thing in the NFL. All teams put workout bonuses in deals, all tied to between 80 and 90 % participation, some 95%, which I believe Crabs is, as his holdout did nothing good for him. He got locked in for 6 years, when all those picks signed 6yr deals with voided 6th yr, Crabs didn't get it. Brown needs to take some responsibility. The team and agents shouldn't have to babysit the players. Agents have 100's of clients to deal with, they can't tell everyone what to do.
Originally posted by AB81Rules:
C'mon man. It's not all his agent's fault. Dude is a grown ass man, read the damn contract. Know what you need to do to achieve the money. This is a rare case where a player doesn't show up for workout and doesn't realize he losses money. Manny Lawson, Nate Clements, and someone else did it in 2008 I think. But they knew. Workouts aren't mandatory, but if you want the full money, you go, and participate 90% at least. This isn't a new thing in the NFL. All teams put workout bonuses in deals, all tied to between 80 and 90 % participation, some 95%, which I believe Crabs is, as his holdout did nothing good for him. He got locked in for 6 years, when all those picks signed 6yr deals with voided 6th yr, Crabs didn't get it. Brown needs to take some responsibility. The team and agents shouldn't have to babysit the players. Agents have 100's of clients to deal with, they can't tell everyone what to do.
Well we have a difference of opinion then. Maybe because I haven't seen an NFL player contract but I have gathered that some legal documents contain jargon that a trained eye must decipher. Now perhaps his was spelled out pretty clearly to where if he simply read it he should have known what he was forfieting. Then again who knows if this guy is some dumb jock or not? I know if I paid an agent to handle my finances and contract and I pay them then that guy better do his job or else he would be fired and sued! There is no excuse for a paid agent not doing his/her job! Both the agent and the team conspired conceived and agreed to the contract and they were both supposed to know what was in it before it reached T Brown. I agree Brown needed to read it for himself and he obviously skimmed it. I remember when he signed it years ago he said his agent told him he should take the money so he signed it. It sounded like he was totally on board with the advice he received. Most athletes are like him at least in years past. They trust the agent to see what they either can't or just don't desire to do for themselves. Now we all know you are a numbers guy and I can't imagine you not reading your contracts. You seen to be very meticulous about this but you have to allow that the average Joe or the dumb jock is just not like someone like you. It is hard to be exceptional at something then be able to see through the eyes of someone less capable. It would be like a NASA physicist trying to teach third grade math. It would be a total mismatch!

OK bro! I've given one of my favorite posters a hard enough time but you might have been hard on Brown because of who you are. I just think players trust their agents and they pay them to at a minimum be competent
Originally posted by Pillbusta:
Well we have a difference of opinion then. Maybe because I haven't seen an NFL player contract but I have gathered that some legal documents contain jargon that a trained eye must decipher. Now perhaps his was spelled out pretty clearly to where if he simply read it he should have known what he was forfieting. Then again who knows if this guy is some dumb jock or not? I know if I paid an agent to handle my finances and contract and I pay them then that guy better do his job or else he would be fired and sued! There is no excuse for a paid agent not doing his/her job! Both the agent and the team conspired conceived and agreed to the contract and they were both supposed to know what was in it before it reached T Brown. I agree Brown needed to read it for himself and he obviously skimmed it. I remember when he signed it years ago he said his agent told him he should take the money so he signed it. It sounded like he was totally on board with the advice he received. Most athletes are like him at least in years past. They trust the agent to see what they either can't or just don't desire to do for themselves. Now we all know you are a numbers guy and I can't imagine you not reading your contracts. You seen to be very meticulous about this but you have to allow that the average Joe or the dumb jock is just not like someone like you. It is hard to be exceptional at something then be able to see through the eyes of someone less capable. It would be like a NASA physicist trying to teach third grade math. It would be a total mismatch!

OK bro! I've given one of my favorite posters a hard enough time but you might have been hard on Brown because of who you are. I just think players trust their agents and they pay them to at a minimum be competent

+1 That's what the agents get paid for. To read, understand and explain the "contract" the team is offering to his client.As for T.Brown i liked him. Wish the 49ers had kept him but it is what it is.
Originally posted by AB81Rules:
Originally posted by Pillbusta:
AB and dtg, I am operating under the assumption that T Brown is the typical athlete that just goes out and plays ball. They figure that if I am paying the agent the agent will do his/her job. Some athletes are incompetent at reading a legally binding contract but their agents are and they have a license to do so and they are paid very well to boot. AB you say it is on Brown and I can agree but the majority I put on his bumbling agent. It is the agent's job!! If his agent did his job T Brown would be $2 million wealthier!

C'mon man. It's not all his agent's fault. Dude is a grown ass man, read the damn contract. Know what you need to do to achieve the money. This is a rare case where a player doesn't show up for workout and doesn't realize he losses money. Manny Lawson, Nate Clements, and someone else did it in 2008 I think. But they knew. Workouts aren't mandatory, but if you want the full money, you go, and participate 90% at least. This isn't a new thing in the NFL. All teams put workout bonuses in deals, all tied to between 80 and 90 % participation, some 95%, which I believe Crabs is, as his holdout did nothing good for him. He got locked in for 6 years, when all those picks signed 6yr deals with voided 6th yr, Crabs didn't get it. Brown needs to take some responsibility. The team and agents shouldn't have to babysit the players. Agents have 100's of clients to deal with, they can't tell everyone what to do.
So you're telling me the average person could sit down and decipher a 20-25 page NFL contract and understand what's going on? Especially something like an escalator clause, which is undoubtedly filled with complicated language, considering all of the stipulations and technicalities that go along with it? I'm not buying it. One of the agent's primary jobs is to articulate these contracts into terms their client (client as in 'professional athlete', not 'contract expert') can understand.

Ultimately, we don't know the exact details of how this all went down, so it's hard to really know what happened.
Maybe his agent said something like, "okay, you have voluntary workouts in the Spring and mandatory workouts in the summer". (conveniently leaving out that he loses the bonus if he skips the "voluntary" workout)
Maybe his agent said something like, "congratulations! You've triggered an escalator in your contract", but failed to mention that it was contingent upon attending the camp.
Maybe he and his agent hardly have discussions at all.
Maybe he informed Brown, but Brown simply forgot (extremely unlikely, because the agent never publicly stuck up for himself)
[ Edited by theduke85 on Mar 22, 2014 at 10:23 PM ]
Originally posted by theduke85:
Originally posted by AB81Rules:
Originally posted by Pillbusta:
AB and dtg, I am operating under the assumption that T Brown is the typical athlete that just goes out and plays ball. They figure that if I am paying the agent the agent will do his/her job. Some athletes are incompetent at reading a legally binding contract but their agents are and they have a license to do so and they are paid very well to boot. AB you say it is on Brown and I can agree but the majority I put on his bumbling agent. It is the agent's job!! If his agent did his job T Brown would be $2 million wealthier!

C'mon man. It's not all his agent's fault. Dude is a grown ass man, read the damn contract. Know what you need to do to achieve the money. This is a rare case where a player doesn't show up for workout and doesn't realize he losses money. Manny Lawson, Nate Clements, and someone else did it in 2008 I think. But they knew. Workouts aren't mandatory, but if you want the full money, you go, and participate 90% at least. This isn't a new thing in the NFL. All teams put workout bonuses in deals, all tied to between 80 and 90 % participation, some 95%, which I believe Crabs is, as his holdout did nothing good for him. He got locked in for 6 years, when all those picks signed 6yr deals with voided 6th yr, Crabs didn't get it. Brown needs to take some responsibility. The team and agents shouldn't have to babysit the players. Agents have 100's of clients to deal with, they can't tell everyone what to do.
So you're telling me the average person could sit down and decipher a 20-25 page NFL contract and understand what's going on? Especially something like an escalator clause, which is undoubtedly filled with complicated language, considering all of the stipulations and technicalities that go along with it? I'm not buying it. One of the agent's primary jobs is to articulate these contracts into terms their client (client as in 'professional athlete', not 'contract expert') can understand.

Ultimately, we don't know the exact details of how this all went down, so it's hard to really know what happened.
Maybe his agent said something like, "okay, you have voluntary workouts in the Spring and mandatory workouts in the summer". (conveniently leaving out that he loses the bonus if he skips the "voluntary" workout)
Maybe his agent said something like, "congratulations! You've triggered an escalator in your contract", but failed to mention that it was contingent upon attending the camp.
Maybe he and his agent hardly have discussions at all.
Maybe he informed Brown, but Brown simply forgot (extremely unlikely, because the agent never publicly stuck up for himself)

An NFL contract isn't that hard to decifer. The Player must have the brains to read it over before signing something, if he doesn't, he gets most of the blame. Yes a contract contains a lot of mumbo jumbo, but it's not that hard. But he shouldn't blame the agent 100%, if anything it's 50/50.

Plus I think agents only get 3% of the contract(Or signing bonus, I could be wrong), that's what I read from one of the talking heads from ESPN or NFLN that a few players negotiated their deals by themselves, saving 3%.
  • buck
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 10,055
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
But it's the good fight that keeps my nose to the grindstone!

I am semi-retired, so I am pretty much out of it.

But, it is well worth the effort.