Whenever the major sports leagues collective bargaining agreement expires there is one thing they should really look at. The thing they should consider revising is the amount of years they can offer on a contract. Signing a star athlete to a ten year contract is way too much of a commitment to that specific player. In the beginning the owner and general managers feel great about giving out these types of contracts. The only thing to feel great about is keeping that player from signing with another team.
Recently the Yankees have had to deal with Alex Rodriguez’s steroid allegations. Back in 2007 A-Rod signed a ten year 275 million dollar contract to stay with the Yankees.Although it worked out for a little while, A-Rod’s stats slowly started to decline. Also, injuries started to increase and his production started to lower. With professional athletes you can’t predict when they will lose their talent and neither can the front office. No matter what they do on the field there will come a time when they won’t be able to perform at the highest level anymore.
There is a lot of risk of signing a player to a ten year contract. Some of the risks include injuries and their production declines. From what I know everybody is human and starts to decline eventually and that injuries are part of professional sports. There is much more risk than reward with these type of long term contracts.
If the contract doesn’t work out bad things happen. One being the team is stuck with that athlete and their contract. Typically that contract asks for over 100 million dollars because no other team will trade for an athlete with a large price tag and declining skill set. Even if the team offers to pay most of the contract the other team will not want declining production. With money tied up in long term deals most teams find it hard to retain young talent and build around a fading star.
The best solution is to put an end to these types of contracts. The contracts should be limited to five to six years. This will make it easier for teams to trade or release the player down the stretch so a team is not stuck with a declining player for a decade. Although job security is not as secure as it was before the athlete is getting a favor done for them.