As the Brady Quinn holdout continues the public opinion of Quinn has continued to plummet. So is Brady the villain in this game? A week ago I wrote an analysis of what Quinn and his agent Tom Condon should be looking for from the Browns based on the rookie contracts of similar players such as Aaron Rodgers. Here is what I wrote at the time;
"First off, he (Quinn) should get higher base compensation so move that $7.7 million to something more like $8.5 million. Then take the guaranteed money and move it from $5.4 million to the $7 million range. Next take the total possible value of the contract after incentives and escalators and move it from $24.52 million to about $28 million."
Up until now I had assumed that a large part of the delay in Quinn's contract negotiations was due to his camp asking for a contract worth substantially more than the deal outlined above. Today news has finally leaked of the parameters asked for by the Quinn camp, and they really aren't that outrageous;
"Under the plan proposed by the Quinn camp, the five-year contract would have a maximum value of about $30 million. If Quinn were to achieve the lowest-level escalators, the deal would be worth $20.25 million. Factoring in the lowest-level escalator values of all the other 2007 first-round choices over a five-year period, the Quinn model would rate as the ninth most valuable."
The hold-up on the Browns end seems to be over what amount of playing time will trigger the escalators in Quinn's contract. Condon's proposal is for Quinn to get an extra $5 million in the final two years of the deal if he plays at least 55% of the snaps in any two of the first three seasons of the deal or 70% of the snaps in any one season. The Browns want the escalators to be more difficult to achieve. The Browns are also looking to decrease the guaranteed money money in the deal from the $8 million proposed by Condon to $7.5 million.
So let me get this straight; Phil Savage is trash talking Quinn on the radio and painting him as the bad guy when he won't give up an extra $500 K in guarantees and wants the escalators to be harder to reach? Give me a break. Either he is going to be the starter or he isn't. If he becomes the starter within the first three years he will play well over 70% of the snaps, and if he doesn't become the starter he'll play well under 55%. What would be a more difficult escalator? And why tick off your future starter over just $500 K?
As far as the triggers for the escalators, All Headline News has this tidbit on what the Browns might be looking for instead of the triggers proposed by Condon:
"Quinn's agent, Tom Condon, wants the No. 22 selection rewarded with incentives based on playing time, while the Browns want a more statistical-based package, including perhaps honors and awards."
So Brady wouldn't just have to be the starter to get paid like a starter, he'd have to be a Pro Bowler within three years? That is more than a bit unreasonable from the Brown's side considering the fact that most young QBs sit out their first season and that Cleveland doesn't exactly have the best weapons on offense to help Quinn succeed right away.
The Browns should make this deal happen. The escalators as proposed above are in line with most young QB's contracts, and the total value proposed really isn't that high for Quinn considering his pedigree and the fact that he plays the game's most important position. For once the player holding out might not be the real villain here; it may well be Browns GM Phil Savage.
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