With the MLB’s collective bargaining agreement expiring Wednesday night at 11:59 PM ET, teams were handing out large, guaranteed contracts left and right over the past 72 hours. Jeff Passan tweeted on Monday, the total number of dollars doled out in free agency was already over $1 billion.
So, how do players in other professional sports leagues view the contracts that MLB players are getting? Well, on the latest episode of Swagu & Perk, Marcus Spears (former NFL player) and Kendrick Perkins (former NBA player) dove right into that topic during the early portion of the episode.
Spears wanted to make the point that while people talk about the big money that NFL players get, there are not many players on rosters that make that life-changing money we think they do.
“In the NFL, it’s not about if you are going to get injured, it’s about how bad or severe will the injury be. It’s Week 12. Everybody is hurt. This is what people don’t realize on TV when we are talking about these guys. You got 5 or 6 guys that are making life-changing, generational money on each roster. But, because we talk about those particular individuals, especially the quarterbacks a lot, we’ve got this misconception that if you play in the NFL, you’re rich.
“Now I know in the grand scheme of things, people would go crazy to make six figures. But, when we start talking about the professional leagues, relativity is important as we have this conversation.”
Perkins told Spears that the one thing NFL players can blame for not getting those guaranteed contract is the NFLPA.
“Everybody that I talk to when it comes down to NFL players and I’m like these dudes should be on guaranteed contracts. It’s not fair. I blame the Players Association. Y’all Players Association has to get stronger. I don’t know when, but it has to get stronger.”
While neither of them are necessarily ripping the NFL for not having baseball-type deals, you can understand the frustration that can come from Spears, especially when he looks at the comparisons between the NFL and the NBA/MLB.
“When it comes to the NFL, it’s 32 owners, the majority of them who haven’t played football. The NBA is player-driven. Ain’t nobody coming to watch the owners. If you don’t have a face of the NBA, you suffer. The ability for players in the NBA to say things when stuff happens like Donald Sterling. We know you are an owner, but you got to go…In the NFL, the money is generated from networks. They don’t have a real respect for what players are going through. That’s why a lot of former athletes show up on people’s TV screens working for ESPN because we’ve been through it.”
Mason & Ireland Ink Contract Extensions with ESPN Los Angeles
The pair signed a multi-year contract and that will ensure they continue to be the longest-running duo in L.A.
The long-running West Coast sounds of Mason & Ireland will continue. The pair signed a multi-year contract and that will ensure they continue to be the longest-running duo for ESPN Los Angeles.
Steve Mason and John Ireland have been on-and-off partners in radio since 1992.
Mason said of the extension, “I love L.A. sports and I can’t imagine working anywhere else. I really appreciate ESPN and our new owner Good Karm Brands. We’ve got a really good team on Mason & Ireland with producer Greg Bergman and associate producer Jorge Briones. And I especially love doing the show every day with John Ireland, my friend of 30 years.”
Ireland also has a statement that read, “It’s both an honor and a privilege to continue this ride with ESPN. During the course of our last deal, the Lakers, Rams and Dodgers all won titles. Obviously, we were able to mistakenly convince our bosses that we had something to do with that, so they’re letting us continue. Please, nobody tell them.”
Mason & Ireland airs weekdays from 1-4p PT on 710 ESPN in Los Angeles.
Mike Francesa and Phil Mushnick Lock Horns Over Golf Bets
That led to a Mushnick article lambasting the “soothsayer of colossal doom”. Mushnick continued to attack Francesa and claiming his legacy was as a “self-deluded, boastful blowhard”.
Phil Mushnick of The New York Post, is no fan of Mike Francesa. The latest bout between the two was triggered by a series of erroneous golf bets that Francesa has given out in each of the last three majors.
Francesa, on his podcast with BetRivers Network, told folks that the best bet to win the Masters was Brooks Koepka. The best bet to win the PGA Championship was Scottie Scheffler. He also said the best bet to win The U.S. Open was Cameron Smith. Neither won. Neither even made the cut.
That led to a Mushnick article lambasting the “soothsayer of colossal doom”. Mushnick continued to attack Francesa and claimed his legacy was as a “self-deluded, boastful blowhard”.
Francesa heard about, or read, the piece and responded on Twitter, calling Mushnick “sad, pathetic” and said that Mushnick’s writings make him look “like the jealous old man that he is”.
Moments later, Francesa tweeted again, “Ask him to add up how much the horses I own have won the past two years. What a complete, obsessed fool.”
As AMNY points out, these two have rammed horns before.
Mushnick once said he had alleged tapes of Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo demanding loyalty oaths from Jews after 9/11.
The writer would also accuse Francesa of fighting with his then-boss Mark Chernoff, after losing to ESPN New York’s Michael Kay in ratings, an accusation Francesa denies.
Luke Kuechly Joins the Carolina Panthers Radio Broadcast
“I just love the Panthers; I love being around it,” Kuechly told Panthers.com. “I love the people. I think I want to be attached to the team, and the game, and the organization somehow.”
The Carolina Panthers radio booth just added another piece to their crew for the 2022 season. Luke Kuechly, the retired linebacker who spent his entire eight-year career with the Panthers, will be an analyst this season.
“I just love the Panthers; I love being around it,” Kuechly told Panthers.com. “I love the people. I think I want to be attached to the team, and the game, and the organization somehow. I think it could be a lot of fun. I think that’s the biggest reason, to do something around the game on game day that’s fun. You still get the atmosphere, and all the good memories I have here in Carolina.”
Kuechly will join the three-man Panthers radio broadcast with play-by-play announcer Anish Shroff and two other former Panthers who call some but not all of their games, Jordan Gross and Jake Delhomme. Kuechly will be a part of the broadcast team for seven of the team’s games. Jim Szoke is the third man in the booth for the games Kuechly doesn’t call.
The Panthers have already announced which games Kuechly will broadcast. He will call Week 1 at home vs. Cleveland, Week 4 vs. Arizona, Week 5 vs. San Francisco, Week 7 vs. Tampa Bay, Week 9 on the road at Cincinnati, Week 12 vs. Denver and Week 15 vs. Pittsburgh.
The Panthers have made several broadcast changes this offseason. It includes a new flagship television partner and a new flagship radio partner as well.