As Cardinals fans, we love it when Kurt Warner speaks. We also hope he says a certain combination of words, ones that put "play," "come," "back," "Cardinals" and "2011" all in the same sentence. As an NFL Network analyst now, he provides good insight into the game we love. However, his recent words may not be so pleasing for the current players in the NFL, as he told USA Today about his thoughts on what it will take for the NFL to play the 2011 without interruption.
Warner seems sure that there will be football in 2011 (no, he is not referring to the NCAA), noting that it will take concessions from the players that they, in Warner's opinion, they will have to make.
"The players have too much to lose. And as much as I hate to say it, at some point, the players have to give in. And, hopefully, they can gain some other things on their side.
"But ultimately, they have too much to lose."
Warner made millions of dollars and even left over $10 million on the table to retire a year before his contract was up. Even still, I think he has the right idea.
He recognizes that the players got a really good financial deal in the last agreement and says the players need to realize that "the salaries went crazy." He goes on to explain that, "As a player, you have to say, 'It's OK for us to pull back a little bit and make less.'"
He is not saying that the players should just cave in to the owners, but that on the issue of revenue percentage, they need to back down, to then "they can gain some other things on their side."
What are some of those things? Perhaps it is greater retirement pension benefits or post-career health care. Maybe it is in less required workouts or more roster spots, or even a higher salary floor.
Perhaps it is a little self-serving that he would suggest that players back down on the financials, as he might personally benefit from it, but the point is that all players are "retired players" far longer than they are actual players.
In my full-time job, I have a required roughly 10 percent of my paycheck that goes to fund my state retirement. It stinks, especially since I wish I made more to begin with for the work that I do. However, once I do retire, I will be very happy that the state retirement system is set up the way it is because I will (unless things change) be able to be secure after my career is done.
After what Drew Brees came out and said about the NFL and negotiations, I like hearing a guy like Warner with a more reasonable view. It comes down to this, something else Warner also said in the interview:
"I always hope, 'Let's get something that's good for everybody,' " Warner said. "(But) just because we have leverage doesn't mean we just screw the people we have leverage on."
Is there any chance we can get Warner in on this? Get him in the room and rally the players to get to the negotiation table, where they have not been. A deal will not happen before then.