As most anyone who reads my commentary on here knows, I'm a huge fan of Dallas spending the $3.25 million dollars it's likely to cost to sign Brian Waters to be right guard this year. The $3.25 million is based on the contract Waters played for in 2011, when he logged 1,340 snaps for New England, the second most of any guard in that year.
One of the recurring arguments against Waters is that he just doesn't want to play, because he wouldn't play for New England in 2012, and he won't sign Dallas's low ball $2 million offer that we got Brandon Moore to verbally agree to before he had second thoughts and decided to retire.
THIS VIEW JUST OFFENDS ME.
First of all, why would someone conclude a football player "doesn't want to play" if he doesn't want to play for the low ball offer that Dallas has extended to him? Brian Waters played 12 seasons in the NFL. He was voted to the Pro Bowl six times, including the last two years he played, and was All Pro twice. In 2010, he helped the KC Chiefs to a 10-6 record and the AFC West crown. In 2011, he helped the New England Patriots reach the Super Bowl. Both years he was rated by PFF as one of the best guards in the game, and the best pass protection guard in the NFL in 2011.
In other words, Brian Waters has earned the right to set his own price. If you don't meet it, that's your problem, not his problem.
Second, think about the concussion lawsuit and settlement. NFL football players are not just out there for our personal enjoyment. They put their bodies on the line, and then often carry the consequences of playing in the NFL with them for the rest of their lives. It has caused some guys to commit suicide -- Junior Seau, for example. It has caused countless others to walk around as hobbled wrecks.
There is a very rational reason why a 36-year old lineman might "want to play" only if you pay him enough to make it worth his while. But that doesn't make him any less of a man or any less of a player.
Because, when Brian Waters steps on a football field, it's obvious he gives his team 100% of his effort, all the time. You don't accumulate the accolades he has unless that is true.
Meanwhile, all of the guys who are so petty that they trash the guy wouldn't last one second in the trenches of the NFL.
I would strongly suggest that anyone who wants to criticize Brian Waters (or players like him) for seeking their due, and wanting to play on their own terms, should reconsider their opinions. Put yourself in Waters' shoes and treat the man with a little respect. He's played 179 games, starting 165.
I know I could never do that. I tip my cap to him, and honor and respect everything he's given the game over his stellar career.
I just wish that the Dallas front office would see his value and meet his price.