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Friday, August 22, 2008 3:18:03 PM(UTC)
In the monumental trade of Brett Favre from the Packers to the Jets, there appears to be a twist in the contract that has not been previously reported.
The Jets admirably did not renegotiate Favres 12M salary this year to fit the contract under their Cap, resisting temptation to gain some short-term Cap relief in exchange for added Cap charges from this contract next year and the year after.
We have learned that the contract was renegotiated, however. The terms on the back side of the deal have been altered to the benefit of Favre.
When I negotiated this 10-year, 101M contract in 2001, it required, as all Packer contracts do, a number of appearances on behalf of the club, some workers compensation guidelines, and bonus recovery provisions in case of immoral behavior or retirement. Those clauses are standard boilerplate in the industry. Now in year eight of ten, that contract was assigned to the Jets in the recent trade.
The contract, however, no longer contains those terms. According to multiple sources, there is no backside to the existing contract between Favre and the Jets. Favres agent, Bus Cook, and the Jets have renegotiated the contract to consist of the identical financial terms from the Packers contract 12M this year, 13M next and 14M in 2010 and nothing more. The language concerning appearances for the club and recovery of bonus due to retirement is no longer part of the deal.
Favre, if willing, is free to make appearances on behalf of the Jets to promote the team as it starts to play in a new stadium next season, but he has no contractual obligation to do so. Favre can also retire from the Jets at any time and have no obligation to forfeit any of the bonus monies he has received (Tampa Bay recovered 3.5M from Jake Plummer after trading for a contract that required recovery upon retirement).
A renegotiation such as this could present a dangerous precedent for players who are traded and make certain non-economic demands, as well as for star players who want concessions outside of salary and bonus provisions.
However, it is understandable that Mike Tannenbaum and the Jets made some concessions to bring this iconic brand to their franchise. With Favres tepid interest in playing for the Jets an issue prior to the trade, the renegotiation of his marketing and bonus recovery rights made the trade more palatable to the Favre camp at the time.
Another nugget from the Favre-Packers-Jets biopic; more to come in weeks ahead.
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