Tiki: Guaranteed Contracts Will Never Happen In NFL

As players negotiate the next CBA, Tiki Barber explains why guaranteed contracts are a pipe dream

Tiki and Tierney
February 26, 2020 - 8:52 pm

While the NFL tries to convince its players to sign off on an expanded regular season and playoffs, Brandon Tierney wants to know why the players aren’t arguing for guaranteed contracts.

Tiki Barber, who played in the NFL from 1997 to 2006, says the answer is simple: because guaranteed contracts are a pipe dream.

“Guaranteed contracts are never coming into the National Football League,” Barber said on Tiki & Tierney. “It’s too risky. If you guarantee someone’s contract who gets hurt the next week or the next year even, it fully hampers you for three or four years.”

But what if the league adjusts its salary cap to account for that?

“It just becomes so complicated,” Barber said.

But the NBA guarantees contracts. Why can’t the NFL?

“In the NBA, you can shortsightedly go above your cap,” Barber said. “So the guaranteed contracts are a big deal, but they’re not crippling. In the NFL, because you can’t exceed the cap, you’re crippled if you get hung up with dead money. Unless you’re going to change that side of it.”

That’s exactly what Tierney wants to have happen.

“Why can’t you just reframe the entire way you do business?” he asked. “Why is that so nutty to suggest?”

“Because it’s a much, much, much, much, much longer conversation,” Barber said.

“But it’s much, much, much, much, much more money out of the owners’ pockets, which is why that conversation never even reaches the table,” Tierney said. “That’s the fault of the players. The worst thing they can do is say no. But you got to attack it aggressively.”

Said Barber, “But how do we know they didn’t?”