Ken Hamlin has dealt with different aspects of free agency the past two years and he gives ESPN the Magazine his thoughts on the process. It's a short piece that gives a little insight into free agency from a player's point of view. He talks about teams making a big show of bringing him in for a visit and even about how one player flat out told him not to come to a certain team. One quote that stood out to me was Hamlin's view on how a contract is not the only deciding factor in the NFL:
- IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS. "You want your family to be set, but you don't want to be rich and unhappy. We consider everything: whether the team can win, who you'll be playing with, how you'll fit in, even the other teams in the division."
Obviously Hamlin's views are not shared by everyone in the NFL (ahem, everyone on the Oakland Raiders) and it's good to think that he would not sell himself out for just a big payday. Hamlin is more interested in long term stability and says just that.
- FRANCHISING SNEAKS UP ON YOU. "I've never heard anyone say he wants to be franchised. You just have to hope it leads to a long-term deal."
The franchise tag is very limiting for the player but I think the Cowboys just did not have a choice, knowing that they were desperate to sign both Flozell Adams and Hamlin. Franchising Hamlin was just the right decision financially for the team.
Terrell Suggs has filed a grievance against the Baltimore Ravens regarding the franchise tag he was given; Suggs was franchised as a linebacker. The issue at hand is the Ravens play a 3-4 defense and Suggs essentially has the duties of a defensive end in the 4-3. I am sure that the Dallas Cowboys are keeping an eye on this right along with DeMarcus Ware. If Suggs wins it would directly affect contract negotiations between Ware and the Cowboys. The price difference between top defensive ends and linebackers is not that far apart but it is not that close either. The Cowboys are heading into the 2008 season looking to work on the contracts for Ware, Terrell Owens and Ken Hamlin among others; every penny will count.
Julius Jones visits with the Seahawks. Is this the end of Shaun Alexander?