It happens all the time? I don't know what you're talking about.
Can you cite some examples of guys who rewrote their existing contracts to take less money. I can't think of any, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
"Rewrote." You mean like Tyrod came to the Bills and said, "Listen, I know you're thrilled to pay the $30.5 mill guarantee if I'm on the roster in March 2017 and the $40 mill guarantee if I'm on the roster in March 2018, I know you guys are champing at the bit to pay that, but I've re-written my contract as I just feel you'd be paying me too much." Like that?
He didn't re-write his contract, he re-negotiated with the Bills.
The Bills went to him, nobody says differently. And a ton of people re-negotiate their salary down in that kind of situation, especially if there isn't an obvious better option.
Who took a pay cut? Off the top of my head, Kyle Williams. This year. He agreed to take money that was already on his contract and turn it into incentives for snaps. He didn’t do that because it was his most ardent desire. He did it because the Bills wanted it and likely insisted.
As I just cruise through google, I find Shane Vereen taking a pay cut and getting incentives instead. Brent Celek. Brian Robison, Justin Bethel.
Lessee, Peyton Manning took a pay cut in 2015, was reported to be “irked” but accepted it, apparently negotiating for some or all of that to be able to be made up in incentives.
Amendola’s accepting a cut from around $6 mill in 2017 to around $1.6 mill. And that’s after the huge pay cut he took last year.
Connor Barwin said he’d be willing to take a pay cut to stay in Philly. Ended up being cut instead, apparently because he and the Eagles disagreed on how large the cut should be.
I could go on.
There are free agents whose teams tell them to take what's offered or move on to some team that will pay him more, but that's different.
Who does that?
That's not different. That's what happened. Now, Tyrod's guys may have negotiated for a few things in exchange for taking that big pay cut and the big cut in guarantee, and the way the Bills now have an extremely easy way to cut him after the 2017 season where it would have been massively difficult to do so in the original deal.
That happens all the time that the team gives a little something back, incentives or whatever. May well have happened here. And Tyrod's side may have asked for a shorter term. Most likely the Bills would rather have kept him on the hook for the later non-guaranteed part of the contract to maintain control and more flexibility, but giving the later years of the contract up probably wasn't a major problem for the Bills at all.
A much more plausible explanation is that you sign the best guy available to you and keep looking. That's what you do at EVERY position, and AB is no different. The Bills are in no hurry to turn the team over to Peterman. You play the best player you have until you find a better one, doing that always with the knowledge that the best player you have may improve or drop off. What you don't do is decide today that the guy who is your starter next year has to go. That's not how you think about any personnel decision, unless you have a criminal or total non-performer who HAS to go.
Sure, sign the guy - if he agrees to reasonable payment terms - and keep looking. Agreed.
A bridge QB, in other words.
And sure, with every bridge QB, you hope he improves, even if you know it's very unlikely. Hell, you hope every guy on your team becomes All-Pro but you don't expect it.
But no, you certainly do decide your starter this year has to go if he won't accept reasonable compensation. Most likely it happened in SF with Kaepernick. He's probably the best QB they've had on that team since Alex Smith, but his contract was insane for the performance he gives. Adrian Peterson would be the best RB on the Vikings this year but he's not there because of the money. Mangold's the best center the Jets have but he wasn't worth $9 mill so he's gone. The Bills clearly thought Jairus Byrd was their best option at safety, as they offered him around $8 mill per year to stay. But they didn't think he was worth what he wanted so even though he was the best guy they had he was gone.
Like guys taking pay cuts when their other option is being cut, this happens all the time, that teams cut guys who are their starter when they aren't worth the money they're going to get. Unless that guy accepts a salary cut, of course.
Edited by Thurman#1, 19 May 2017 - 10:15 AM.