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Holdout Boy....tee hee hee

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Holdout Boy....tee hee hee

Postby slowkidz » Mon Aug 09, 2004 2:11 pm

It's all about the bucks for Holdout Boy

Doug Clarke
The Chronicle-Telegram.
Why do we get the nagging notion that we won't be
seeing Holdout Boy, Kellen Winslow Jr., any time
soon?
When a club offers a player the exact same
contract as the player drafted above him - the
offer being the highest ever for a player at that
position - and the player and his agent(s)
ridicule the offer as not being even in the
ballpark, you can probably figure you'll see snow
in September before you do the whites of that
player's eyes.
While Winslow flexes in Houston with the band of
other Poston Brothers holdouts, the Postons flex
their negotiating muscles across a table from
Browns coach Butch Davis. Or, at least, one
imagines it is Davis doing the haggling, inasmuch
as The Man is in charge of everything except
spooning out the mashed potatoes at the training
table.
So if I'm Butch, here's what I do: I make the
Postons another offer. The offer is exactly the
same as the first offer, except for one small
difference. It's shy, say, $500,000.
In other words, the contract would call for the
Browns to pay Winslow $500,000 less than the
first offer would have paid.
The Postons, irate, huff and puff and say
something like, "You cannot be serious!"
Except the Browns are. Serious, that is. Very
serious.
And I, as Butch, say, "Well, I told you right
back at the beginning of these negotiations that
we were coming out with our best offer. And we
did. But you didn't like that one so I thought,
'What the heck?' maybe they'll like my
second-best offer instead. So that's what we
did.'"
All of this, of course, sends the Postons into a
lather.
Everyone then pushes their chair back from the
negotiating table and makes a beeline for the
waiting reporters so they can put their spin on
what has just transpired.
Meanwhile, back in Houston, Holdout Boy is
beginning to flex less and sweat more. Kellen
Winslow Jr. begins to bark back into the phone at
The Postons.
Probably says something like, "It wasn't supposed
to go like this, dammit. You told me it
wouldn't."
The Postons tell Winslow to sit tight. Trust us,
they say. And, of course, Junior does.
And why not? The Postons are to football players
what Scott Boros is to baseball players. They're
all top-dollar guys. They accept nothing less.
Not even logic or fair-market value. Just top
dollar or forget it.
Junior Winslow, they say, is a chip off the ol'
block: a premier tight end. Can block, can catch,
can run, can make the Big Play.
A "franchise-type player," is how everyone puts
it.
The thing is, the franchise player has yet to
catch a pass in the pros, which puts him a few
caught balls behind, say, his dad, the great
Kellen Winslow (or, The One and Only to have
played in the NFL), Shannon Sharpe, Tony
Gonzalez, Ozzie Newsome, Dave Casper or any other
Hall of Fame tight end you'd care to name.
Incidentally, the third round of negotiations
wouldn't go real smooth, either.
Why? Because I . as Master and Commander Butch .
drop my next offer by another $500,000. Would put
Winslow an even one million under what he would
have made had he signed the initial contract.
Let Holdout Boy hassle that one out with the
Brothers Poston.
But Doug, you scream, this would only drive the
negotiations further apart and we'd never be able
to sign Winslow.
And I say, fine 'n dandy. Let Kellen Winslow
stare into a mirror in a hotel room in Houston
and think about sitting out a season and going
through the draft again. Going through it after
being inactive for a whole season. See what that
does for his market value.
Look in the mirror, Kid. Choose wisely.
As for the Browns, well, whoever said you start
the rebuilding process (and believe you me the
Browns are deep in the throes of rebuilding this
chaotic mess they've thrown together) with a
tight end, anyway?
Wait, let me answer that question. You don't.
I remember being pretty excited when the Browns
drafted Winslow. He is, after all, a stud player.
A tight end with great potential in the NFL. He
was probably the most talented player on the
board when the Browns picked him in the No. 6
spot.
This excitement, however - an excitement and
expectation I shared with most of you - was based
on the assumption that the talented player coming
out of college would want to sign a contract and
sign it fast so he could get started on his pro
career.
Catch some balls and have folks using his name in
the same sentence with his dad and Shannon Sharpe
and Gonzalez and Newsome and Casper. That he
would show some eagerness and enthusiasm about
being a Cleveland Brown.
We always assume that, don't we? That the young
player coming out of college would eagerly move
his chair closer to the table, pick up the pen
with the team logo on it and scribble his name on
the dotted line. That he'd then push his chair
back, stand up, hitch his pants up and say,
"Well, that's that. Now what's the fastest way to
the locker room from here?"
After that, it's all seashells and balloons.
Well, almost.
First come the wind sprints, the dreaded grass
drills, the blocking sleds and the gosh-awful
sound of that damn boat horn. Doing all those
things when the temperature and the humidity are
both pushing 92.
Welcome to the NFL, kid.
Here, let me help you up . and maybe getting a
polite knee in the groin.
That's the life. It's a short one, though. The
average pro career is, what . 3.7 years? Even a
long career in the NFL, say . 10-12 years or so .
is a short one.
Guy retires and he's anywhere from 31 to 33 or
34. Guy gets hurt and has to leave the game after
seven years and he's all of 28.
So what you want to do is to get yourself started
on this incredibly short career. You play it hard
and you play it fast and you play it for more
money than you ever dreamed of - having it all,
both the football and the money, before the age
of 30.
Because just like that, it's over. You wake up
one day and you know you can't go through another
training camp again. So you retire and you either
go into coaching, or the broadcasting booth, or
the whiskey or automobile business. Or maybe,
like Joe Namath, you don't do much of anything.
The only thing for sure is that you are out of
the game that you once played for the sheer joy
of it and wound up getting paid millions of
dollars for playing it.
Eventually, I . as Master and Commander Butch .
up my offer to this Holdout Boy. I come back to
the very first offer I put on the table - but not
a penny more.
But in the meantime, I let Holdout Boy think
about it. Let him think about taking yet another
course in whatever it is University of Miami
football players take, maybe throw the football
around some on the beach while Bikini Girl
watches.
The way I figure it, Kellen Winslow Jr. needs the
Browns more than the Browns need him.
If he signs, fine. If not, no biggie. Save the
money for next year's first-round pick.
Hopefully, it'll be a kid who likes the football
part of the business well enough that he doesn't
mind actually playing it.

Doug Clarke is a columnist for The Chronicle-Telegram.
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slowkidz
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