As the start of the NFL season has come and gone, there are undoubtedly many headlines depending on who is your favorite team.
But a sad reality is the situation of New England guard Logan Mankins and San Diego wide receiver Vincent Jackson. Both Mankins and Jackson have refused to sign one year offers of just over $3.25 million, though the Chargers cut Jackson's offer significantly - just under $600,000 - when he didn't show up to training camp.
Both are seeking longer contracts with more significant money.
I understand the argument that NFL contracts are not guaranteed - if a player signs a five year, $50 million contract and is released after year two, he does not receive the remaining value of his contract. Because of that, I don't fault a player who tries to rework a deal in the off-season - especially when you feel you are a valuable part of the team. Mankins is a two time Pro Bowler and Jackson is arguably the Chargers' best receiver.
I realize that the typical football player's career is shorter than most other sports and there is a chance of a career threatening injury on every play. Without getting into specifics, I know that there are implications of the collective bargaining agreement that have also contributed to the situation.
The cliche "professional sports is a business" is true. But the games aren't going to stop because a player or two are unhappy with their contract.
Maybe it is because I only played minor league baseball and would have done anything to play at the highest level, but I don't understand how a player can simply sit out and watch his team play. Players are supposed to play and should take pride in the fact they are professionals and are getting paid a lot of money to do so.
Without Mankins, who apparently had a deal that fell apart because he was asked to apologize for comments he made about the Patriots' owner, New England rolled over Cincinnati. They gained 118 yards rushing and they didn't allow a quarterback sack.
Without Vincent Jackson, the Chargers fell to the Chiefs, 21-14. San Diego quarterback Phillip Rivers threw for 298 yards and two touchdowns. And while it looked like the Chargers could have used Vincent Jackson, other players - Legedu Naanee in particular - were ready to step in and take his place.