Roquan Smith isn’t the bad guy in this hold out, the Bears organization is and fans need to realize that.
Let me tell you how this article and now me writing about the Bears (I also write about the Bulls). It started with an average tweet.
The fellow Chicago Sports Nation member started a nice discussion. Notice I said discussion not argument which is a nice change of pace considering most back and forths on Twitter normally don’t go that way.
It started off with me commenting saying that this is the Bears front office’s fault not Roquans. Josh Liles @joshliles28 politely disagree with me making the point that he’s a rookie who’s contacts are pre-determined and are on a scale and he shouldn’t be looking to hit a home run with this contract. If you want to see the rest of the conversation follow me on Twitter (@RussDeYoung) and read the rest of it.
This conversation got me thinking about the bigger picture and how fans of the same team can respond to contract disputes differently. There basically two sides, the organization or the player.
When a fan sides with the organization in this example, the Bears, it’s understandable. You as a fan have been the team your whole life and you will continue to be with the team when the player leaves in this case Roquan Smith. So it’s natural to want to side with “your” team. Should that be the case though? The player is the one who normally doesn’t come from a rich family. The player is the one who is the one who worked his butt off to improve his god given abilities. The player is the one who has a very limited window of opportunity to make his money before his body gives out on him. In the NFL when careers are shorter then ever, the player has to look out for his best interest. Let alone the piles of evidence of CTE that most of these players are shortening their lives to play this game.
Especially in this case, Roquan Smith isn’t holding out because he wants more money that could hurt your teams chances of winning by affecting the salary cap. He’s holding out so the Bears don’t cheat him out of guaranteed money if he gets suspended for this new helmet penalty. Who knows how that will be enforced. See the catch rule the last few years or how the worst commissioner in all of sports (Roger Goodell, sorry Gary Bettman he took your belt a couple years ago) will determine how many games to hand out for these suspensions.
All I’m trying to say is the next time a player holds out try to look at it from their perspective. Maybe you will come to the same conclusion but it will be worth thinking about either way.
Photo from the Sun times