May 6, 2005
sharper Speaks Out
In a telephone interview on Thursday, darren sharper condemned Brett Favre for his comments on the current javon walker hold-out situation. The former Packers strong safety was overtly critical of the 14-year veteran and future Hall-of-Famer. Not only did sharper question Brett’s right to voice his opinion on the hold-out matter, but also went on to accuse him of conspiring with Packer’s management against his teammate. sharper claims that Favre’s disapproving comments on walker’s hold-out “rubbed him the wrong way. In fact, they rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.” While sharper did not (or could not) name names as far as people who were “rubbed the wrong way,” he did assert that many of those offended by Brett’s comments were current Packer players.
“My reaction is, it’s none of his business,” stated sharper. “javon’s a grown man … besides, it’s not like Brett’s ever been in that position, so he can’t say what he would or wouldn’t do. He’s never been undervalued – so how is it his place to say what javon should be doing?”
It seems to me that there are a couple of mistakes with those forthright comments. First of all, darren sharper is no longer a member of the Packers organization. So it seems rather hypocritical to refer to the situation as “none of (Favre’s) business.” If sharper really thinks (as he stated) that this hold-out situation is “between the player and the team,” then it should be obvious to him that his comments were unwarranted and tactless. Considering walker is one of Brett’s most productive receivers, the hold-out is clearly an issue of concern for Brett and his team. Aside from being the Packer’s leader on the field, Favre has a responsibility to lead his young team off the field as well. It is not only Brett’s business to make his opinion heard, but also his duty to set an example for the rest of the players on the team. sharper is once again mistaken in his assertion that Favre has never been undervalued, considering the year that Chris Miller started over him in Atlanta. This shows a situation in which Favre was clearly undervalued, as Miller couldn't quite manage twenty thousand passing yards or one hundred starts in his illustrious ten year career.
"Players" like darren sharper and javon walker are ruining the NFL. The arrogance of these players is appalling, and they have no respect for the game. What gives sharper the right to accuse Favre of abandoning his "teammate?" walker won't even show up for practice, and has made no recent effort to support his "teammates" in any way. Favre is simply making it clear what he expects of his teammates, and what he considers an appropriate course of action for the current situation. sharper himself recently abandoned his teammates of eight years for their arch rival and a few more bucks. I think sharper and walker need to reassess their idea of a team, and show some respect for both veteran and rookie players alike. It is time for walker to fulfill his contractual obligation to the Packers and the city of Green Bay, and it is time for sharper to concentrate on his new team and teammates. If this pattern of conceit continues, there will be no incentive for Hall-of-Fame players like Favre to return for another season, since they couldn't be sure of who they are playing with, or who is going to throw the next egotistical fit.
May 4, 2005
walker Skips Mini-Camp
Wouldn't you know it, Packer's wide out javon walker has decided to hold out for a new contract. walker has stated that he is willing to sit out the entire season if he is not offered a new contract. This would undoubtedly be a serious blow to the Packer's offensive unit, as walker provided a career-high twelve touchdowns last season. This audacious move comes as no surprise, as walker recently retained the services of the notoriously confrontational agent, Drew Rosenhaus...
Rosenhaus represents several other egotistical players including Terrel Owens (currently holding out), Anquan Boldin (currently holding out), and Mike McKenzie (held out last season). The news of walker's hold out could not have come at a worse time for the Packers, who are currently working with very little room under the salary cap. While the Packers did draft wide reciever Terrence Murphy out of Texas A & M in the second round this year, walker's veteran experience will be extremely difficult to replace. Despite the fact that walker's presence will be missed, I certainly hope the Packer's management does not cave in to his selfish demands. Considering the fact that walker's current contract earns him at least 1.1 million dollars over the next two seasons, it doesn't seem necessary for him to request money that would ultimately come from his "teammates" salaries. Why doesn't walker play out his contract with continued success, and then demand a lucrative contract based on his consistent performance? Is he afraid that he will only have one good season as a wide out? No matter what benefits walker may recieve through his actions, the entire NFL now knows that he does not honor contractual agreements, and is a risk to abandon his team at any time. Veteran quarterback Brett Favre voiced his opinions on the matter, "If javon wants to know what his quarterback thinks, and I would think he might, I'd tell him he's going about this the wrong way... some guys handle (success) the right way, and some don't... We can win without him." True team players like Favre (who has never held out despite being the only NFL player to win three MVP awards) are few and far between in the NFL today. It seems as though greed, envy, and individual aspirations have become the predominant values for many NFL players, and the game is suffering as a result. Does walker even appreciate the fact that the Packers thought enough of him to draft him in the first round in 2002? In any event, his actions do not coincide with the standards and practices of the Green Bay Packers organization (as demonstrated by the trade of Mike McKenzie last year), and should not be tolerated by Packers management.