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After Trent Williams' tiny information after he returned to the Redskins locker room a week ago, the roadblock broke in silence this week as Trent revealed his situation to two different journalists.
I read the comments that followed these articles, I am well aware that the membership of Hogs Haven is not unified in its opinion about what happened and what happens.
Since the beginning of all this, I largely avoided having a final opinion before having the opportunity to hear both sides. I've now heard Trent's side in detail, and I think I've heard most of what the team wants to say in pieces, in recent months, and I've formed my own opinion about who is on the side of the angels. . My opinions on this issue, however, are for a different article on another day.
I've also read the comments that have unfolded over the months on what the Redskins should do (or should have done at all times). There were debates and disputes. My opinions on these issues have been fluid, changing with time, circumstances and sometimes, depending on the most recent argument to which I have been subjected. Again, my goal in this article is not to re-explain how the situation has evolved or to decide on what should have been done.
Instead, I would like to start with the most recent decision to list Trent Williams on the NFI list – a decision that has eliminated many other options and leaves us with only a limited number of possible paths. in 2019, and that could open new perspectives. … interesting … choice in 2020.
In this article, my goal is to examine the wording of the ABC and its possible application to the situation between Trent Williams and the Washington Redskins.
I have to throw a few caveats here.
First, I am not a lawyer and I have no legal education, although I have a lot of experience in my professional life reading contracts and other legal documents and working with lawyers to draft them at the law office. name of various companies. I am just a fan of the Redskins who is more interested in football than usual.
I am also not an expert in managing ABC or NFL staff. I have a downloaded copy of the collective bargaining agreement that I consult from time to time when I ask myself questions about a question whose answer is likely to reside in the document. It has familiarized me with its content, but it is 316 pages of legal jargon, to which I address myself two or three times a year for a specific purpose.
In my experience, it is not at all unusual to think that I found the answer to a question in one part of the document, only to realize, in the course of a thorough inquiry, that a different aspect of the situation is covered in another part of the document. the CBA, 127 pages apart. In other words, the answers are not always easy to find, and even when I think I've found one, I may have missed something.
D & # 39; agreement. End of warnings.
I had anticipated earlier in the season that the Redskins might want to register Trent Williams on the NFI roster on his return to the team. They had already used the NFI list with players like Junior Galette, Su'a Cravens and Montae Nicholson.
I was aware that one of the advantages for the NFI team is that the franchise is not obliged to pay a player on the NFI list (although nothing in the ABC does not prevent it from paying it voluntarily). I've always thought that the Redskins had been a little tough in choosing not to pay the Junior Galette when he was injured while working alone (that is, away from the team facilities) in low season. I thought that parking Trent on the IFN would have a clear advantage: the team could avoid paying its contract in 2019, with all savings credited to the 2020 wage cap. This may seem unreasonable or a little hard to refuse to pay a guy who is recovering from a cancer operation, but this fits with Bruce's earlier rulings when he did not pay Galette in an Achilles rehab torn and that Cravens did not recover for his recovery. of a concussion. I'm sure people will disagree on whether the Redskins were justified in any of these situations.
What was unclear to me was the potentially more important question of whether the Redskins could "impose" Trent's contract if it was entrusted to NFI – something that could be of paramount importance for the future. .
Just in case someone does not already know it, toll a contract with the NFL refers to a situation in which a year passes, but the player does not accumulate a year of service and the team does not lose a year of control over that player. It's a bit like offsetting penalties in a game. The penalties have occurred, but we do not apply them; we just get a "do over". If the contract of a player is paying, its status does not change. The contract at the end of the year is the same as at the beginning of the year. Think of it as a kind of "redo".
A few years ago, the Vikings and Teddy Bridgewater had to make a critical judgment. In the end, the Vikings did not attempt to cancel Bridgewater's contract at the end of his fourth season and he became a free agent.
What does the ABC say about the list of NFIs regarding the payment of wages and the pricing of the contract?
I wanted to know for myself what the possibilities were, then, about 3 or 4 weeks ago, I sat one day while I had a little time and I started scanning the # 39; ABC.
The first thing I found was rather passionate. On page 34, in a section called Calculation of accumulated seasons, I found the following:
(A) The player will receive a cumulative season for each season in which he would have played or should have been in full pay status for a total of six games or more in the regular season, but regardless of the player's status , must not include games for which the player was on(i) the list of exemptions of the exempt Commissioner, (ii) the PUP reserve list as a result of a non-football related injury, or (iii) a club practice team.
The problem was that this clause did not apply to Trent William because it appears as a subsection of section 8, which applies to Veterans with less than three seasons.
I continued my search for an answer.
I finally found myself in Article 20, which begins on page 143 of the CBA.
Section 3 applies to the NFI list (non-football related injuries). It has two subsections.
Subsection A deals with the remuneration and status of the contract:
A player who is placed on a list of non-football related injuries or illnesses ("N-F / I") will not be entitled to any compensation under his contract as long as he is on this list But, unless otherwise provided below, his contract will continue to run as long as he is in that status.
- This tells us that the team does not have to pay a player on the NFI list. As Trent did not report and did so very quickly on the NFI list, the Redskins avoided any (or almost all) obligation to pay for 2019, which should result in a huge salary ceiling.
- He also tells us that a player's contract is not paid while he or she is on the list of non-food items – unless there is an exception.
Subsection B tells us about the exceptions that apply:
A player in N-F / I who is in the last year of his contract (including one option year) will have his contract underwritten.. However, if the player is physically able to perform his football services no later than the sixth match of the regular season, the club must pay the player his salary negotiated in paragraph 5 (pro rata) for the remainder of the season, to determine the contract of that player. . If this player is removed from N-F / I during the period that such action is permitted by the league rules, his / her contract will not be remunerated.
This paragraph has three parts, but the only one we are interested in right now is the first part I put in bold:
A player on NFI who is in the last year of his contract will see his contract billed.
Trent is not in the last year of his contract in 2019, so his contract will be do not to be paid. If the Redskins tried to weigh him, a grievance would be filed and the Redskins could not count on Trent's presence on the list of non-denominational items to win his case.
It hardly seems to me that the time that I took to write this article or the time it took you to read it allows me to make these remarks. They could have been done simply with a short paragraph of two or three sentences.
But I wonder what Bruce Allen intends to do after the end of the 2019 season, which – let's face it – is no more than a matter of weeks.
I think that he has a limited number of options:
1. Bruce could try to force Trent to play for the Redskins in 2020 ("honor" his contract).
It sounds like hope for world peace and the end of racism and poverty in 2020.
2. Bruce could cut Trent, just free him from his contract and make him a free agent.
The problem here is that if the Redskins wanted to let him go, they already had six months to do it and they have not done it yet. They did not go all that way to simply surrender.
This leaves a limited number of other The options; In fact, I can only think of two practical possibilities that are under the control of the Redskins. Which of the two options you choose depends on Bruce Allen's ultimate goal:
- Is Bruce interested in getting value for Trent William?
- Is Bruce more interested in being "fair" with Trent Williams?
3 Bruce can trade Trent Williams in low season
Bruce Allen said a few weeks ago that his refusal to trade Trent was a decision made in 2019 and that he would be willing to trade Trent before the 2020 draft. Of course, he also repeatedly stated that Trent would play for the Redskins in 19, that he would not be traded at all and that the team would attempt to trade him before the regular season trading deadline. Sharing it with him in January, February or March is the plan of action that seems most likely at this point, and I will leave it to others to debate whether Trent should have been traded or not. when that should have happened.
4 Bruce may try to keep Trent Williams, placing him on the PUP list at the start of the training camp and keeping him on the INP list throughout the 2020 season..
Why would Bruce Allen make this decision? Because 2020 is the last year of the Trent Williams contract and, as we have seen, Section 20 of the CBA, Section B, states that if Trent remains on the PUP / NFI's list throughout the season, his contract is paid and the Redskins (a) do not have to pay for it, and (b) retain control over him in 2021.
Normally, that would not even be an option, but, as we've been reminded so often recently, the Redskins franchise does not have a normal front office.
Bruce Allen has shown himself modest and vindictive, engaging in personal battles against power and territory that put his feelings of importance above the team. Is it really impossible to imagine that Bruce avoids rational behavior by refusing to exchange Trent Williams, and listing him on the NFI just so that he, Bruce, can show that he has "won"?
If Bruce refuses to cut it or exchange it in the offseason, Trent remains a Redskin and Bruce could attempt to impose one of two choices in 2020 (the same choices as those reported by Trent last week): play if you are healthy or keep going. the NFI if you are not. Honor your contract.
After all I've seen (and I'm embarrassed to say it), I think Bruce Allen is the kind of guy who would see it as a brilliant gesture. He can checkmate Trent. Play for Washington or spend your potential career stuck in limbo, unable to play and be paid.
Any attempt in this direction would undoubtedly result in a grievance, but if Trent refuses to play for the Redskins, I am not sure that he will win. That would certainly make a lot of headlines.
I think it's hard to believe that the situation between Trent Williams and the Washington Redskins has been well managed. There seems to have been a lot of missed opportunities and it is unlikely that the situation will result in a better team from the Washington Redskins.
For now, the only questions I'm concerned about are how the player and the team can get out of this situation and if it is possible that Trent will resume his playing career and that the Redskins will be transformed into a functional organization. able to compete for championships.
For the moment, I am not optimistic for any of these things.
What will happen with Trent Williams?
Trent will eventually play for the Redskins in 2020
Trent will be cut by the Redskins in low season
Trent will be traded to another team in low season
Trent will end his playing career by retiring
Bruce will put Trent in limbo by placing him on the PUP / NFI list in 2020 and paying his contract without paying him.
Something else will happen
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