Chat with Andrew Brandt
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN's business analyst Andrew Brandt stops by to chat about the NFL as well as the NBA labor issues.
Brandt, who has over 25 years of experience in professional football, both from the management and player representation side, runs NationalFootballPost.com, where he gives fans an insider's view on the business of football. His Twitter is: @ADBrandt.
He is also a lecturer at the Wharton School of Business, teaching Sports Law, Sports Business and Negotiations. He has written for Forbes, the Huffington Post and Sports Business Journal, while also appearing across all ESPN TV, radio and online platforms. In his time in the football business, Brandt as served as a player representative, a World League GM and a VP with the Packers.
Send your questions now and join Brandt Thursday at noon ET!
Buzzmaster (12:00 PM)
We're getting Andrew!
Andrew Brandt (12:03 PM)
Welcome everyone. It seems like the business of football never takes a break. These past couple of weeks have been as busy as ever, culminating in a huge deal with Michael Vick that we reported on earlier this week. Lots of more good news to come. With that, I'm yours....
The NFL signed a long term CBA, so hopefully we shouldn't hear anything about any labor issues with the league for a long time.....however, do you see any scenario where both sides want to re-address the labor situation in the future?
Andrew Brandt (12:05 PM)
If they would like to, they can't. That was certainly one of the issues being discussed in the final negotiations. There was talk that the union wanted an out after seven years, but that request was rejected. This was a hard 10-year deal with no outs. So, each side is locked in for better or worse, for a decade. This is unlike the previous deal which was supposed to run until 2013 and the owners opted out early.
Happy September, Andrew, with Vick getting a new deal and Brees in talks, Will Aaron Rodgers play out his contract or be in line for a new contract after another solid season?
Andrew Brandt (12:06 PM)
That will be one of the next dominoes to drop after Brees. Aaron signed his deal in 2008 after being the starter for 7 games. While it was a strong committment by the Packers at the time, that deal has clearly become outdated. It is roughly a $10 million average and top QBs now are in the $16-$18 million per year average. I am not sure if that contract will be addressed this year, but I'm sure it will be a topic if discussion before the 2012 season.
You've been on the management and player rep side, so I'm wondering, how much value is put into things like the Wonderlic test? Is there anything to it?
Andrew Brandt (12:08 PM)
Certainly there is value attached to it. In my experience, it's all a part of the equation of a player. You have to take the whole package and evaluate it together. By that, I mean, Wonderlic, combine testing, tape, "football smarts" and grass roots scouting. In my experience, we would put all of those things together to create and stack our draft board according to what round players were projected.
What are the odds that something gets done between Chris Johnson and the Titans in the next 24 hours? With all the contracts signed recently, shouldn't the "market" be pretty well-established by now?
Andrew Brandt (12:10 PM)
Just as I never believed the gloom and doom about a new CBA not being in place by the start of the year, I don't believe any of the gloom and doom about Chris Johnson not being under contract by the start of the year. I sense there's been movement on both sides in the past 48 hours. I would project a deal certainly by Labor Day. The consequences of not having a deal are too great for each side.
How much of a decision on moving a team is football and how much is business? For example, what could be some issues with Jacksonville leaving? If they have a good team, would they still leave?
Andrew Brandt (12:12 PM)
Good question. I think the decision is primarily business related. And more primarily, stadium related. There's been a change in the NFL economics in the last 20 years, where broadcast income is not enough. The primary source of income beyond broadcast is stadium income. I experienced it in Green Bay when we went through our Lambeau Field renovation. Now you're seeing teams who have not been able to build new stadiums have been mentioned as possible new tennants in Los Angeles. Ultimately, it comes down to working out a deal between public and private financing. That's what's happening in places like Minnesota, San Diego and others.
Andrew Brandt (12:12 PM)
But LA beckons.
Do pro sports teams have a typical corporate set-up, i.e. a finance or accounting department? Or do they outsource these business functions?
Andrew Brandt (12:14 PM)
Teams have internal accounting and finance departments. To be clear, there is the team corporate accounting and finance departments and there is a football accounting and finance people who are responsible for player costs. I was that person in Green Bay.
Sneak peak, who you got in the superbowl this year?
Andrew Brandt (12:15 PM)
I usually avoid questions like this, because I'm not a prognosticator. But I won't cop out entirely, but I'll give you two on each side. On the NFC side, I'll go with the two teams I've been associated with, the Packers and Eagles. On the AFC side, I'll say Patriots or Chargers.
As a previous front office man, Do you even consider the option of trading Flynn to get some kind of value and roll the dice with Harrell as your back up?
Andrew Brandt (12:17 PM)
That depends entirely on how you feel about Matt Flynn as a player or any player in that situation. In my early years in Green Bay, we saw how indestructable and productive Brett Favre was and ending up trading away Matt Hasselbeck, who was also my former client and Aaron Brooks, knowing that we could get good value for players who would likely never play for us. Without the security of knowing your star QB never gets hurt, like we had with Favre, it's tough to trade away a valuable asset as a backup.
It seems the Lance Briggs contract issue is going to make others talk about this more. The new CBA made no attempt to address the fact that player contracts are not guaranteed. As a regular Joe, I'm tired of hearing players complain that they can be cut without compensation at any time to order to justify their demands, but at the same time I recognize the duality of statements made by ownership about players honoring their contract. I don't look forward to another 10 years of this argument. Is this one of the next big ticket items for the NFLPA to address in the next CBA?
Andrew Brandt (12:20 PM)
That is a great question. As you say, unfortunately, we're at least 10 years away from resolving this issue. In the priority of negotiating topics, the issue of guaranteed contracts was not front and center at all with these negotiations. Therefore, we're going to continue to have players get to the later years in their contract and watch the market pass them by and want to be adjusted. And we will continue to hear players say "I can do this, because teams can always just cut me if I didn't play well." The problem with that is nothing was done in the CBA negotiations to either forge more guaranteed contracts or protect players from getting cut and teams having no further obligation.
Andrew Brandt (12:20 PM)
So, the annual ritual will continue.
Tim ( NJ)
Do you think Desean Jackson will get a new deal before the season starts?
Andrew Brandt (12:22 PM)
Tough to say, but the Eagles may subside their spending for a while now. Part of it may depend on who the Eagles release in the next few days that can free up some cash and cap. So, stay tuned after the cut down day on Saturday.
George K (Michigan)
Does a player have to wait a period of time after a renegotiation before doing another renegotiation or can he do it as often as he wants?
Andrew Brandt (12:22 PM)
He has to wait one year. 12 months.
What about the NBA Andrew? Are you believing the doom and gloom there?
Andrew Brandt (12:24 PM)
You know me...I don't believe in those scenarios. I think the spector of economic harm always rules the day. Having said that, I'm not discounting the possibility of missing a part of the early NBA season. But I'm not believing that they would miss the entire season. I do expect these negotiations to pick up. Wednesday's session was cause for a tiny bit of optimism.
Speaking of teams moving cities, how come San Antonio is never brought up in the discussions?
Andrew Brandt (12:26 PM)
Evidently, they have not approached anyone with the kind of deal that, perhaps, L.A. might provide or previous deals that Nashville, Baltimore or St. Louis provided.
The internet chatter placing no fewer than half a dozen teams in Los Angeles in the future leads me to ask: what are your feelings towards expansion? I realize some markets may be close to being tapped out (e.g. Buffalo, Jacksonville), but no team seems to be operating in the red. Good idea, or would the higher revenue teams balk at it? Thanks!
Andrew Brandt (12:27 PM)
As you suggest, expansion means sharing the pot with another team. Obviously, you would have to talk about an even number of teams. So, expansion would likely mean two teams rather than one. I haven't heard any discussion of expansion. But I think the L.A. situation has to be resolved before that.
What to do with Arian?? What is your guess on when he is back??
Andrew Brandt (12:29 PM)
Hamstrings are always difficult to project. It really depends on the player. I've dealt with players who have been back within a week or if not given the proper care, they can haunt you all season. With Tweeting out the MRI, that's probably something that he's talking about with the Texans. We're in a new age of the NFL and the Twitter policy is being adjusted every day. Obviously, the players can't put out something that hurts the game. But the lines are hard to enforce right now. I'm not sure where the MRI Tweet falls, but it is his property. It would be hard to restrict that.
Andrew Brandt (12:31 PM)
I appreciate the questions from everybody. I'm always surprised at the sophistication level from everybody. I look forward to updating everybody. You can find me at @ADBrandt. Have a great holiday weekend.