Football can be a cold, cruel sport. Teams cut players who are old or underperforming and refuse to pay those who are over-performing. I’m looking at you, LeVeon. It’s a business and if ownership has you locked in at a team friendly deal, tough. Well, that is unless you are the Minnesota Vikings who just gave star wide receiver Adam Thielen a four year, $64 million extension (could balloon to $73 million with performance escalators) even though he had two years remaining on his ridiculously team friendly contract. Of course, with NFL contracts the only number that matters is what’s guaranteed, in this case, a cool $35 mil. Basically, one of the best wideouts in the game was set to make $8 million a year and will now make $16 million a year. Not bad.
Full disclosure, I am unfortunately a Vikings fan. I hate and love this team equally. I will live and die with their mediocrity year after year and loathe myself and them when it inevitably ends in heartbreak. I accepted this long ago. Do I think something like this extension will be that missing piece, that unattainable little extra that finally pushes them over the top? Ha, no, I do not. But I still love it. I love it for the obvious reason that a great player who seems like a decent dude is getting what he has earned while playing the most violent game in town, one that can leave him and his family out in the cold at any given moment. I also love it because it’s flat out the right thing to do. I believe very strongly in a meritocracy, you show up and perform better than your peers, you should be rewarded as such. The last reason I love this is because it shows other players around the league that if you do your job, and do it well, you will be shown the respect that you deserve when you are part of this particular organization. I cannot think of any better selling point to potential future free agents than that. God knows if I was some super star stud athlete picking between San Francisco and Minneapolis, it wouldn’t even be close. Give me that cable car and some sourdough and let’s rock all the way down Market to the bay. I would eat so much House of Prime Rib and In-N-Out they would cut me the second my guaranteed money ran out and that’s just a fact. I mean with the alternative being subzero temperatures and the most passive aggressive, faux nice people on the planet, it shouldn’t even be a choice. With deals like this, it is.
Really, I am just delighted to see a billion-dollar organization do the right thing. It doesn’t happen very often and it restores a little faith in humanity. And even though I said this will have zero impact on the upcoming season so I shouldn’t care, I do, I’m pumped. I can’t wait for him to blow his knee out during the second preseason game because there is really no other possible outcome for doing a good deed with this team and I wouldn’t trade them for all the Patriots in the world. I am a masochist and that’s just the way it is.