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NFL analysis: Does caving to stars work?

It certainly didn't for the Tennessee Titans.

Most of us aren’t in
the position where we can tell our employer that we want a completely
new contract, and state that we won’t work if we don’t get one. Not without seriously being in jeopardy of getting fired, that is.

However, NFL stars do so, and if you aren’t already jealous of them, they usually get their way.

Is this really the best way for NFL teams?

Tennessee’s Chris
Johnson is Exhibit A of the dangers of caving to a star’s demands.
Before this season, Johnson was a thrilling player who rewrote the NFL
record books and was a threat to score whenever he touched
the ball. In the offseason, Johnson demanded a new contract and held out
for the entire preseason. Scared at the prospect of angering one of the
most dynamic players in the NFL, the Titans gave him an enormous new

Johnson has rewarded the Titans by rushing for a grand total of 302 yards in seven games this season.

In contrast, giving
cornerback Darrelle Revis a restructured contract after his holdout in
2010 has been a fantastic move for the Jets. Ensuring that Revis is
happy has played a vital role in allowing the Jets
to continue to play the blitzing defense that has helped them reach two
consecutive AFC championship games.

This offseason, many
players will again threaten to hold out if they don’t get a new
contract. If you were a general manager, would you give them a new
contract? Just something to ponder.

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