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TheOak 05-29-2012 09:41 AM

Sean Gilbert not sorry he sat out, backs Drew Brees' stand
 
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A unique perspective from someone who was once in the position that Brees is in now.

"Sean Gilbert is the last player to sit out an entire season to protest being slapped with the franchise tag. That makes him perhaps the only person who can understand the issues swimming around in the head of Saints quarterback Drew Brees -- or any player held hostage by his own greatness.
It's been 15 seasons since Gilbert's epic standoff with the league, the Washington Redskins and the franchise tag. After a trade took the former No. 3 overall pick from the Rams to the Redskins, Gilbert starred in Washington and was hit with a franchise tag of $2.8 million. Gilbert sat out the 1997 season instead, which made him a pariah in Washington and led to an all-day court battle between the NFLPA and the NFL. Eventually, the Pro Bowl defensive tackle was traded to the Panthers for two first-rounders, signing a seven-year, $46.5 million contract.
"I didn't ask to be the highest paid, but I wasn't going to be the lowest paid," Gilbert said. "Not doing the work of two-and-a-half men. I said, 'I'm a man and the decision I'm making, I can live with.' And I took the chance to never play again. I was ostracized from that point. But guess what? I was still running down running backs, making plays."
Gilbert became animated as soon as Brees' situation came up in a 30-minute conversation with NFL.com.
"He's well overdue as far as being compensated for what he brings to the table. ... You just have to scratch your head.
"You have to take a stand for what's right for you and what's right for your future," Gilbert said. "You know your worth, then why aren't you getting your worth? There should be some common ground between him and the management. This is not rocket science. We're not in the basement splitting atoms. We're not trying to figure out how to live on Mars. You're dealing with a guy who's been highly, highly productive. He has turned the franchise completely around. The epitome of the franchise player, he is that."
Brees hasn't shown up for organized team activities. He may not show up for mandatory minicamp unless he gets a new deal (for a player hit with the one-year, $16.3 million exclusive franchise tag, the deadline to hammer out a long-term contract is July 16).
Could Brees sit out 2012? Could he be the first since Gilbert to play the strongest card possible? If anyone is a candidate to do so, it's Brees, a union hard-liner.


In a recent interview with WWL Radio, Brees called negotiations "extremely frustrating for me." (Unlike players under contract, Brees could actually show up on Friday of Week 1 and not lose a dime. That only increases his leverage.) Brees noted that he played his entire six-year Saints contract without saying a word. Perhaps he would have given New Orleans a discount had the team renegotiated a year or two early, but they made him play it out instead.
The Saints want it noted that they signed Brees coming off shoulder when other teams were leery. General manager Mickey Loomis and owner Tom Benson have maintained confidence that a deal will get done. At the event to commemorate Benson's induction into the Saints' Hall of Fame, he said, "I assure you that Drew Brees will be playing here."
Loomis was more measured. "We're not done yet," Loomis told reporters. "That's how I would characterize it. Negotiations are hard sometimes. ... It's a common part of our business."
Gilbert says Brees should weigh his options, and one of those is spending the summer and fall of 2012 on his couch.
"The decision I made, I was comfortable with it because I didn't do anything wrong," Gilbert said. "I worked my butt off for the opportunity. It's not a negative thing for a man to stand up for what's right and not let an organization tell him that he's worth less than he actually is. There are a lot of players who say, 'This is all I can get.' (Brees') situation is not like that. He's an elite player who has played at a high level, made tickets worth buying. My suggestion is, you say, 'If I'm not worth it, then count your sales from the time I got here and how much money you've generated.' ... Nobody should tell him that he's made enough money."
Gilbert was involved with Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis' 35-day holdout two years ago, which allowed Revis to earn $32.5 million the last two years. Gilbert, who is Revis' uncle, sees similarities between the two situations.
"I can take Drew Brees out and put Darrelle in and the whole conversation would be the same," Gilbert said. "It would be different if you have a guy who was a problem. But when you get good players, ... my goodness! What is the problem? What's wrong today that that's not good? Having a good player is not good? Having a guy that's worth his weight in gold is not good for your business?"
Gilbert wondered why more of Brees' teammates aren't calling for a fair deal for their quarterback. He called it "unfortunate" that the union Brees so proudly represented during the lockout is simply "sitting back watching a situation like this unfold."
NFL Network analyst and former NFL fullback Heath Evans has been more outspoken.
"Half the wins there, they owe to No. 9," Evans said. "Just look at what the guy did. He deserves everything he gets. (Tom) Brady got paid. Peyton (Manning) got paid twice. (Michael) Vick got paid two times. I love Mickey, but they have some extreme circumstances there, they have to get this done.""



Sean Gilbert not sorry he sat out, backs Drew Brees' stand - NFL.com

NOS2SB 05-29-2012 09:50 AM

Of course he's happy. But if he didn't get picked up after that year he sat out I bet he'd be encouraging Brees to play.

Supertek 05-29-2012 10:00 AM

Well thats not going to happen either the Saints come through or Brees will take his chances and there will be someone waiting to pay Brees and steal him from the Saints and if they match it will cost them a lot more later.

TheOak 05-29-2012 10:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NOS2SB (Post 408587)
Of course he's happy. But if he didn't get picked up after that year he sat out I bet he'd be encouraging Brees to play.

He was prepared for that... He understood his market value and knew someone would pick him up.... Same as with Brees. If Brees hit the market in 2013 how long do you think he would stay unemployed?

If Brees hit the market tomorrow someones starter would be sitting the bench, you can count on that.

Beastmode 05-29-2012 11:20 AM

Gilbert was 27 when the Panthers got him. If Brees was that age then yeah, sitting out would likely be a good finacial move but trying to get paid at 34...I don't see him getting much more than what he's been offered.

Rugby Saint II 05-29-2012 12:25 PM

Drew is 33 I believe. I don't know how old Gilbert was but he wasn't looking at his golden years.

lumm0x 05-29-2012 02:11 PM

A 33 year old QB and a 27 year old DT are prime career times for each position. You can't just look at the age and think they are world's apart. A 33 yo QB probably has more total years left than the DT.

QBREES9 05-29-2012 07:41 PM

Tired of all of this

WhoDat!656 05-29-2012 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by x626xBlack (Post 408593)
He was prepared for that... He understood his market value and knew someone would pick him up.... Same as with Brees. If Brees hit the market in 2013 how long do you think he would stay unemployed?

If Brees hit the market tomorrow someones starter would be sitting the bench, you can count on that.

There are only about 5 or six teams that wouldn't sign Brees if he became a free agent.

New England
Green Bay
Detroit
New York Giants
Denver
San Diego (maybe a stretch)

The Dude 05-29-2012 10:35 PM

Drew will sit out. I don't see a contract getting done, and he won't sign the tag. He can afford to sit out a year with all the uncertainty and Payton being out and all. Him and Payton are joined at the hip. I think if he is going to sit out this is a good a year as any.


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