I had a pretty good debate on Twitter regarding the Washington Redskins release of their 2018 leading tackler, team captain, and former Buccaneer, linebacker Mason Foster. The question was posed as to whether it was in bad taste that the team would wait until the day before players report for camp to inform the nine-year veteran to cancel all the plans for camp in Richmond, Virginia and enjoy unlimited career opportunities in looking for a new job.
A Football Life
The life of a football player, coach, and by extension their families can be of nomadic nature. The fact that any player or coach can be looking for a new job from season to season is not that uncommon.
The NFL, after all, is a business and business is good. Television revenue, attendance trending up. The sleepy NFL of the 70s and 80s that would disappear after the Super Bowl, show up for a cup of coffee around draft time, and not be seen again until training camp is now a year-round cycle that still leaves fans wanting more.
To Hold Out or Not Hold Out
Some players are going to hold out if they feel their current contract is not the value they deserve. Teams are going to hold, dissolve, or tear up and re-work contracts whenever the financial incentive is there. Both sides are going to do what’s best for their respective bottom lines.
When it comes to players and coaches families, they are going to have to do what is best for that dynamic. You hope that teams wouldn’t maliciously wait far beyond the time they decide that a player will not be on the roster that season. But all sides know this side of the business. So when a player like Foster or former Packer defensive tackle Michael Daniels gets released suddenly, there is a lot to digest. But to say the team acted in bad faith or waited to inform them for any other reason than what’s good for the business would be exaggerated.
It’s Just Business
Let the fans cheer. Let the players play. But if there should come a time that a player should have to dip into that deep bank account and fund a move; it is what it is. Suck it up, buttercup. It’s part of the business.