The Steve Hutchinson signing sure did the hair on the backs of some NFL executives. The Pioneer Press‘ Don Seeholzer reports that the rhetorical temperature got hot enough for Vikings owner Zygi Wilf to defend the signing and his vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski.
Seeholzer’s excellent companion piece quotes NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue saying he thinks the Hutchinson and Burleson offer sheets’ "poison pill" provisions are a loophole that he’ll address with the player’s association.
But it was a piece in, of all places, Viking Update, that carried quotes from some disgruntled NFL heavies. They quoted ESPN quoting Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren, saying "I think the poison pill business stinks. That’s too bad in our opinion. I think something has to
be done about it. To my way of thinking, you compete like crazy on the
field and the rules are in place contractually. I don’t like the idea
of agents dictating to us what they are going to do."
They quotes Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeff Lurie saying "I don’t think it’s good for football. The Seahawks lose a terrific young player like Steve Hutchinson.
That was not the spirit of restricted free agency at all and wasn’t in
the spirit of the designations. It’s a shame. The whole idea of the
designation system in a salary cap with unfettered free agency, you at
least know there are one or two players internally that you will have."
All this huffing sounds sooooo Old Guard. It’s just not done!!
If Mike Holmgren had thought of it first, you think he wouldn’t of done it? He just wasn’t creative enough and, as Wilf points out, the Hutchinson offer was entire within the rules.
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