Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay: Fully guaranteed player contracts would make NFL worse
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay shared a stance many NFL owners hold with regards to fully guaranteeing contracts for NFL players.
“I do not believe in fully guaranteed contracts,” Irsay told reporters during NFL owners meetings in Phoenix this week.
“What I’ve seen in the NBA and Major League Baseball, I don’t see it as a positive competitively. I don’t see it as a positive element at all.”
Fully guaranteed contracts have become a discussion point for NFL players, agents and the NFL Player Association, because such deals are the norm in other sports leagues Irsay mentioned.
The notion is not entirely unprecedented in the NFL.
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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson signed a five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract last year, while Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins signed a three-year, $84 million deal that was fully guaranteed in 2018.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson remains at a standstill in his long-term contract negotiations, after the team placed him under the non-exclusive franchise tag that will pay him $32.41 million in 2023 if he signs.
Jackson posted on Twitter Monday that he has requested a trade from the Ravens since March 2. The Ravens announced on March 7 they were tagging Jackson.
Irsay was not speaking directly about Jackson, instead speaking on the idea guaranteed contracts in general.
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Irsay, who has owned the Colts since 1997, said there is room for exceptions to his stance.
“Each situation’s different, because the more valuable the player, the more valuable the situation, the more the likelihood of a guarantee is going to come into play,” Irsay said.
Still, Irsay believes fully guaranteed deals could put teams as a disadvantage competitively.
“I don’t think guaranteed contracts make our game greater,” Irsay said. “I think it makes it worse.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Colts owner Jim Irsay says fully guaranteed contracts make NFL worse