As I sat watching the Pro Bowl (I kinda have to), I was tortured by the whole interview process. Is it me or have the onfield interviews become even more vapid and annoying than just a few years ago? How often can you ask a free agent what he's going to do in 2009, get the same stupid answer, and continue to ask the same question again? I most likely would've grabbed one of those burning torches the firebreathers use and stuck it in my eye to keep from swinging at someone and, ultimately, end up in the hospital as a 300 pound linemen drops me to the ground and does a hula on my lifeless, limp body. Moving on...
In today's world of "get what you can while you can", we hear precious few good stories about players putting their teams ahead of themselves. When Arizona's ridiculously amazing wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, was interviewed, he said he wanted to re-negotiate his contract. That was all I caught. Ready to get all "mad blogger" on the dude, I decided to get my facts straight, so I Googled it this morning. Here's what I came up with:
Just as Fitzgerald accepted a four-year, $40 million deal from Arizona last year when he could have made considerably more on the open market so he could leave the Cardinals cap space, Fitzgerald would like to help the Cardinals again.
Fitzgerald is willing to restructure his contract so that the Cardinals can redo Boldin's and keep him in Arizona long-term. Boldin wants his deal redone and said during the season that he never would re-sign with Arizona again, but many around the league believe that as long as the Cardinals make a sufficient offer, then Boldin will agree to stay.
I was ready to get all wigged out because I've seen too many sports stars become big, idiotic morons and want to re-negotiate a contract they SIGNED simply because they think they're worth more after a good spell. What happens when a player has a bad spell? Will they give money back? And then there's Larry.
Not only did he take less than he was worth on the open market to remain loyal to his team and provide enough cap space, he is now willing to re-negotiate AGAIN to keep a valued team member on the squad. Attitudes like this make teams champions, not a bunch of highly paid jocks with egos and cribs the size of Manhattan. Attitudes like this are why the Cardinals will become the NFC team to reckon with in the coming years. I already liked Larry for his amazing onfield play and graciousness during interviews, but I like him even more now. Class act all the way.
What the heck does this have to do with the Patriots? Rumors of re-negotiated contracts during the Super Bowl days of '01-'04 are rampant; the desire to keep a successful team together had these guys at their very best. Teams win championships, not a collection of millionaires. Maybe Dallas can learn a thing or two from that.