Despite obviously being a guy teams would pursue if cut, Mathias Kiwanuka took a paycut in April. He took it because he could not relocate - his wife was very pregnant at the time.
"If we are going to be playing on these contracts, make them contracts," Kiwanuka told theNewark Star-Ledger's Conor Orr. "Either that or everyone sign a one-year deal every year and we'll do it that way. It's not fair to be locked in somewhere and have that place say that we've decided not to honor the rest of the deal. I don't think it is a contract by definition if one side can opt out of it at any point and the other has no recourse." We'll never begrudge an NFL player for trying to get as much as he can for that very reason: contract aren't guaranteed. Of course, critics are quick to make the "Does anybody honor contracts?" argument when a player holds out for more money.
Either way, Kiwanuka doesn't like the current setup.
"I don't think it's right," he said. "I think that there are plenty of situations where players out-perform their contracts and they're bashed media-relations wise or fan-wise for asking for more money (COUGH*REVIS*COUGH), so when two sides agree to a contract and one side decides they're not going to live up to it, it's disappointing. ...
"You want to expect that that is the deal, but you're naive if you think that is what is going to happen," he continued. "That's the reality of the situation. That is the reality of the league. I don't agree with it at all, but these are the rules that we agreed upon. So we could either play or watch."
Kiwanuka knows that there's not much he can do about it; the league and the NFLPA agreed to this process in the CBA.
"It's something that is bargained collectively and for me, as an individual, you only have one action or recourse and that is to withhold your services and hold out," Kiwanuka said. "There is no market for you to shop your skills around. That is the part that is very unfair to players. We've come a long way, I can't imagine playing in the league without free agency, there has been progress. It is more fair than it has been in the past but that doesn't mean it's fair or equal now."
He's right, of course. Unfortunately I have no doubts that this will fall on deaf ears because proles really are that stupid and really do hate each other that much. Still, it is great to see a player speak intelligently about the situation. Kiwanuka is not your typical dumbass player either. He earned his degree early from Boston College (possibly one of the few real schools) and is the grandson of the first prime minister of Uganda.
BTW: I think it's hilarious that whoever wrote the article states that they would never begrudge an NFL player for seeking more money. Lolwut? Begrudging an NFL player for seeking more money couldn't happen fast enough on a consistent basis. It's part of why these pieces of human sh*t owners feel free to do what they do in the first place. Public compliance is one of their greatest tools/skills/assets, almost as valuable as the money itself.