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KIRO Radio's Tom and Curley don't think Seahawks fans should be hard on players looking to capitalize on their opportunities in the NFL. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Seahawks fans shouldn't hate on players for going after best contract

With a Super Bowl win, Seattle Seahawks players' stock has gone up. Players considering better offers from other teams in free agency are getting some flack from Seahawks fans for not being loyal to their team.

"I was listening to John Clayton Show's on the weekend on 710 ESPN and the first caller, right off the bat, said 'Michael Bennett, what a selfish player. I used to like that guy and now I think he's just a jerk,'" says KIRO Radio's Tom Tangney.

Multiple reports last week stated Bennett, considered one of the best available defensive linemen, didn't intend to re-sign with the Seahawks before free agency began March 11. While it didn't come to that, as the Seahawks came to a deal with Bennett on Monday, Tom and Curley co-host John Curley says we shouldn't be harsh on the guys that don't.

"Now is the opportunity for those guys to reap what they have sown," says Curley.

Curley says Seahawks fans are assigning much more power to their relationship with players than actually exists.

"This is all based on a false relationship," says Curley. "This is very similar to the guy sitting there in front of a Bud Light at a strip club. The girl dances back and forth across the bar and she happens to stop in front of him because he's got a bunch of dollar bills there."

The girl dancing before the man at the strip club is of course dancing for his dollars, but the guy might read the situation differently.

"She's making eye contact and she's shaking her money-maker right in front of him. Then the guy is looking up he's thinking I've got this real connection with this woman, she really enjoys my balding head and my gigantic Dunlop stomach," says Curley.

"Then he watches her dance with somebody else. Then he watches her leave with her gigantic thick-neck boyfriend and he realizes [...] it's just about the money."

Curley won't deny that Seahawks fans are unique in how the 12th Man can manipulate games via sound and players might appreciate that, but he understands ultimately for the players, it's a business.

"She [the dancer] is getting what she can. These guys [Seahawks players] are going to get what they can. And if you think, as a fan, that they love you or love Seattle, or love playing in Seattle, they don't," says Curley. "It doesn't go any further than the dollar."

Seahawks player Doug Baldwin tried to explain to fans in a guest commentary for Q13 that these players have to capitalize on their opportunities in what is typically a very short NFL career.

"The average lifespan of the NFL career is only three and a half years. The majority of those careers end not on the player's terms, but are a result of being cut or are from injury. Many fans also have an inflated view of the average player's salary. You have to realize the league average of $1.5 million a year is boosted by the enormously expensive contracts of players like Joe Flacco, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. All of which make over around $20 million a year."

Baldwin says that in his three years in the NFL, he's made around $1.4 million, and that's not per year, but total.

"Again many fans will not get the bigger picture. They'll continue to argue that players make enough money and shouldn't be greedy. But with the NFL having such a high turnover rate, for example, cutting players left and right, as well as having 100 percent injury rate - is it truly greedy to want to get the most out of all the hard work you put into your craft? Is it that hard to fathom? Or is emotion crowding your mind's ability to critically think with logic? If that's the case, then who is really thinking selfish?"

Tom thought Baldwin did a great job flipping the script on fans.

"The attack from the fan's point of view is that all these player's are selfish," says Tom. "But he [Baldwin] points out, no, maybe we the fans are the ones that are being selfish because we are not allowing them to actually make a living. If the average (career) is three and half years, he's at that limit right now."

"I don't think we should begrudge these players much," says Tom.

Jamie Skorheim, MyNorthwest.com Editor
Whether it's floating on Green Lake, eating shrimp tacos at Agua Verde, or taking weekend drives out to the Cascades, she loves to enjoy the Pacific Northwest lifestyle as much as humanly possible.
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