Yes, Bill Polian is an amazing football operations guy. Probably the best in football. Hall of Fame executive, no doubt. He's also entertaining to listen to on the radio. I chuckle every time he says the word "Patriots" because it comes out sounding like PAY-TREE-OTS.
But if there is on thing about Polian that annoys the absolute piss out of me it is how he signs draft picks. The man literally waits until the last minute to sign them.
Now, this is not an unusual practice. Most of the first round picks are not signed, including 2nd overall pick Chris Long. But other teams, like Chicago, have signed their second round picks. And, I'm sorry, but if you are in picks 3-7 and you are haggling over money, you're just petty. So, it is somewhat maddening the, less than two weeks from training camp, that all of the Colts rookies are as yet unsigned.
Maybe some deals were made and the Colts haven't announced them yet. Maybe players like Pollak and Wheeler know they have a shot at winning a starting job, and want starter-like money. Who knows. But, it is the not knowing that is maddening. Make no mistake though, Pollak and Wheeler must sign their contracts ASAP and be in camp on the first day. If they don't, then they will likely lose any chance of starting this season, aside from someone getting hurt, and fans will boo the utter piss out of them for putting greed ahead of the team. Like many fans, I'm fine with veterans asking for more money. They earned it.
Rookies haven't done jack squat, and rookie holdouts are about the closest thing to NFL scum this side of Chris Henry. Sign the contracts, come to camp, and prove something.
Shut up and sign your contract, Philip. I want to see you smash the PAY-TREE-OTS.
From jdb in the comments:
Actually, this year it may be related to the failure to extend the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Heard John Clayton on the radio a couple days ago saying that the because there’s basically a situation with an uncapped year coming up at the end of the current CBA that it throws bonus math completely out of whack. Found a short article about that by Clayton on ESPN.comUnder the rookie pool, base salaries can only increase 25 percent per year, but agents found a loophole in which a draft choice can receive a one-time bonus and guarantee it in the final year of the contract. This particularly affects second-round choices because they sign four-year deals. The problem in this summer’s negotiations is that there is no collective bargaining agreement in 2011 so the fourth year of the contract can’t be involved in any kind of guarantees.
So while Polian may have a thing with taking awhile to get rookies signed, if it seems to drag on longer this year it might not be totally his fault. And as for booing rookies who take awhile to get signed, I hate that and think it’s pretty classless. They are trying to get the best deal possible to play a game that will take a big physical toll on them and in a sport where the contracts aren’t guaranteed. I can’t blame them one bit for it.