Slot receivers have seen a disappointing free-agent market this offseason, and some agents suggest that collusion among NFL owners may be in play to suppress the salaries of that specific class of receivers.
Whereas outside receivers such as Mike Wallace landed a five-year, $60 million contract that includes $30 million in guarantees and Greg Jennings landed a five-year, $45 million contract with $17.8 million guaranteed, including a $10 million signing bonus, the slot guys have come up way short comparatively.
Wes Welker got $12 million guaranteed. His replacement with the Patriots, Danny Amendola, got $10 million guaranteed. And Anquan Boldin — who is set to make a base salary of $6 million in 2013 — got dealt to the Niners rather than accept a reduced contract less than two months after proving his worth as Baltimore’s best postseason receiver.
Some agents suggested to WEEI.com’s Christopher Price that the disparity is driven by more than supply and demand.
“In my opinion, it’s 100 percent collusion to reset the market and values,” said one high-profile agent. “Remember Carolina owner Jerry Richardson during the lockout saying the owners were going to take back the league? They used the worst collective bargaining agreement ever negotiated by the absolutely atrocious and corrupt NFLPA as an excuse, and decided to reset certain spots, including offensive tackle, cornerback, defensive end, defensive tackle and slot receiver.”
“The league has resolved itself to bring all salaries under control — the NFL would live to have more options in terms of markets, positions, franchise tenders and the like, but mainly they are just trying to lower all the bars to get salaries back to where they should be across the market,” added another agent. “The feeling around the league is ‘No more players who aren’t elite should be paid as elite just because they got to free agency,’ and all the teams know what everyone is willing to pay. They talk more than ever, and if you price your guy out of the market, you’re screwed.”
For more on the strange market for slot receivers this offseason, click here to read Price’s column.
Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.
Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.
Jeff Goodman calls Mike and Rob to drop a ton of knowledge on the upcoming NBA Draft and some of the names available. Sorry fans - he doesn't see Kevin Durant or any big-named free agents coming to Boston and thinks they'll end up making the third pick this season. He also says that there is NO WAY he would trade next year's Brooklyn pick because the draft will be very deep. He discusses the chances of trading with Philly for Okafor, why he like Kris Dunn so much and much more.
Brad Stevens makes his first appearance on the Dale and Holley with Thornton show. We discuss the Atlanta series and what went wrong, and where the Celtics go from here.
Ian Thomsen of NBA.com joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss to discuss the next moves for Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics with the NBA Draft Lottery rapidly approaching. They discussed the crazy ending to Game 2 of Thunder vs Spurs and picked the player they would build their pretend new franchise around.
Mut recaps the Sox 8-2 loss to the Rockies.
Joe and Tim are joined by the man of the hour, Wade Boggs, on the night where the Red Sox retired his number 26. Wade talks about his career in baseball and how it feels to have his number retired.
Joe and Tim are joined by Red Sox legend and baseball Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski about his time with the Red Sox and his thoughts on the 2016 team.
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.
The guys go to battle with a caller who claims to be a Worcester attorney that would like to defend the role judge Andrew Mandell had in letting Jorge Zambrano back on the streets shortly before he killed a police officer.
Gary Tanguay, Gerry Callahan, and Kirk Minihane discuss the intel from TurtleBoySports.com which describes awkward judicial relationships between an Uxbridge judge, his daughter Ashley Losapio, and Losapio's boyfriend Giancarlo Zambrano, twin brother of cop killer Jorge Zambrano
A report says that late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle exaggerated his accomplishments during the Iraq War. Does it affect hero status for one of Gerry's all-time favorite people?
The guys discuss the absolute thrashing the Cleveland Cavaliers handed the Toronto Raptors last night.
Ted Olson, joins the guys to talk about how he and Tom Brady plan to attack the latest court ruling.
Glenn, Lou and Christian start the show by talking about the Red Sox retiring Wade Boggs' number. They also touch on the brief filed by the Patriots yesterday.
We discuss Wade Boggs, his attitude, legacy and decision to wear his NY Yankees ring on the night the Red Sox honored the 1986 team.
We discuss OMF"s interview with Ted Olson, the Amicus brief filed by the Patriots, and whether or not fans are sick of this fight and just want it to end, or if fighting to the bitter end is the right choice.
Inspired by Wade Boggs, we look at him and four other guys who's value wasn't realized until they were long gone.
Jerry is joined by Graig Murphy to talk stand up comedy. Until Graig pretty much hijacks the podcast to tell his side of the "Big Show Unfiltered" story.
Ben and Russ preview the Champions League Final between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. Who we want to win, who we think will win, and why. We also talk about our wishes for the USMNT.
The Dennis and Callahan malcontent is joined by former WEEI personality Pete Sheppard to talk about his past involvement with the station and his current gig in New Hampshire. You'll be glad to hear Pete hasn't changed one bit.
Ken Laird and Paul Chartier are officially the new producers of the Dennis and Callahan Show as Lucy Burdge bails out of the race, perhaps due to money concerns.More from this show
The producer search is over now that Paul and Ken have accepted the job. With their new found job security, they are free to bitch about working three A-holes, the Lucy charade, and the process behind getting the gig.More from this show