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August 29, 2011

Center Andre Gurode deserved better, hope underpaid nose tackle Jay Ratliff is paying attention

The Cowboys had every right to make the decision they did with center Andre Gurode.

For simply football and financial reasons, they are probably right in the decision they made to part ways with Gurode and give the job to Phil Costa, who is younger, more athletic and cheaper.

Still the five-time Pro Bowler Gurode deserved a better send off.

There is no easy way to fire somebody. But having him travel with the team to Minnesota for the Vikings game and then letting him sit and watch in limbo was no the right way to handle it.

The Cowboys didnt just decide when they got to Minnesota that they wanted to part ways with Gurode. This is something that has been brewing for weeks.

Gurode gave up blood for this franchise (remember the stomping by Albert Haynesworth). He deserved better than to twist in the wind at his locker on Monday while his teammates went out to practice.

This should serve as a example to fans the next time a player holds out for more money. A signed contract means nothing to the team when you get old and your skills diminish. It should mean nothing to a player when they have outplayed their deal.

I hope nose tackle Jay Ratliff was paying attention because he is getting severely underpaid at a position that takes a toll on his body.

Ratliff has made three straight Pro Bowls and is giving his best years to the Cowboys at a bargain price. By the time his deal is up in two years, they are likely to say he doesn't have it anymore.

Consider that Ratliff is due to make $3.75 million and $4.8 million in base salaries in 2011 and 2012. Cornerback Orlando Scandrick who has yet to crack the starting lineup let alone be named to the Pro Bowl team will get $10 million in guaranteed money during that time.

The Cowboys are quick to tout the message being sent in lockerroom by the Gurode decision about competition and playing the best player regardless of name, pedigree or salary.

Hope Ratliff is paying attention to the message being sent about why you need to get all you can when you can. 

At least Gurode was being paid like a Pro Bowler when he got cut.

Clarence Hill



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Did somebody put a gun to Ratliff's head to make him sign that contract?

Way to go Clarence (sarcasim)... Now you are provoking Ratliff to hold out...and making him have a big head like Marion got... DUMB ARTICLE!!!

Gurode came in out of shape and hamstrung by his decision to wait until time for training camp to have surgery, which demonstrates a severe lack of respect for the team and the organization. They owed him nothing after that. You can't preach responsibility and accountability if you give "sloppy Andre" a free pass.

Worldwide, three billion people live on less than $2 per day while 1.3 billion get by on less than $1 per day. Seventy percent of those living on less than $1 per day are women.

Maybe there are a lot of us, not just entertainers, who are "overpaid."

Kind of stupid article. EVERYONE who has a job is at risk of losing that job if they don't perform at a top level, or if there is someone who can do the job cheaper.

Gurode, like most NFL players, has made enough money to live the rest of his life very comfortably if he even took a modest approach to saving and investing. To make this out like he was kicked to the street to beg for tables scraps is ludicrous.

And you talk about what Scandrick gets the next two years but not what Ratliff and Gurode made the last 4 years while Scandrick made minimum.

maybe clarence hill should be taking

i think for his writing skills he should be replaced.

I have no inside information, but I believe Gurode intentionally delayed his knee proceedure in order to lighten his training camp load. He also chose to come in overweight and out of shape. This story smells of a player became contented with his prior accomplishments. Hill is right in saying that Ratliff (and any other player)should take notice. Of course, they should note that if you quit being the very best version of yourself, you will be gone.

I agree 100%. I will never get upset with a player that uses their leverage to get a better deal. These players need to get as much money as they can as soon as they can. Team owners do not honor contracts, so why should the players? It's hypocritical to hold players to a high standard and at the same time give the team owners a free pass.

We live in a world where 3.75 and 4.8 million dollars is underpaid.These people are not nurses,nor teachers. They are not fireman nor policeman. Just entertainers.What REAL contribution do they make to society?

On the contrary Mr. Hill, after what I witnessed last year and in 3 preseason games this year, I believe Ratliff may want to start worrying that he might be next to be shown the door. He's been a heck of a player, but he was not very good last year, and has been a non-factor so far this year. The end results prove that nobody on this defense, with maybe the exception of Ware, is irreplaceable.

You're right: It was the right decision accompanied by a classless execution.

I'm not sold on your argument on contracts. The teams live up to their end of the agreement. The signing bonus is guaranteed and veteran players are guaranteed certain salaries if they remain on the roster the first day. But the contract also stipulates that players can but cut from the roster at certain points and not be owed the remainder of their salary. That's the system, has been since the current model of free agency began, and everyone knows it.

Player holdouts are different. They agree to take the signing bonus in exchange for the other terms of the contract, which includes being bound to the terms of the deal some period of years. There is no "if I want more money, I can hold out" clause.

As to the salary paid to an All Pro nose tackle and that of a decent cornerback, they're going to stack up strangely. There are a handful of roster positions--quarterback, offensive tackle, pass rusher (4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker), wide receiver, cornerback, and running back--that make huge money because they're considered crucial. The others will make less money in a capped system. Nose tackle and center are among the least valued spots on the roster.

Gurode was obviously one of those players who felt entitled. Came in overweight, injured, and just expected to get his job again. Good job by the Cowboys in getting rid of these types of players. And Ratliff? Underpaid? Please. He was almost invisible last year. Neither of these players did anything toward the Cowboys building a winning team - everyone on the roster needs to worry about their jobs.

If you think that 8.5 million over the next 2 years is "severely underpaid", you are an idiot!!!!!
"Feel sorry" for Gurode, "deserved better"???? He will be signed by a new team this week and make his 5'5 million, yea my heart bleeds. You're (players and journalists) ALL over paid!!!!!

nice commentary bullet...

however, if all you got from that was that Gurode was paid well... then I think you miss the point of the article.

Every one of these players has an agent to look out for their interests, and those agents do a heck of a job at that. If players gave money back when they didn't perform at a level that justifies their salary, your point would be more valid.

It's a business, and the players play it to the hilt when they can (through their agents). Please stop trying to make anyone feel sorry for Gurode. He could have taken a cut in salary to make himself more competitive. He chose not to. HE chose to test the market to see if he was worth more. That's fine, and some team may decide that he is -- then everybody wins.

Stop your whining. There are too many real people with real problems to worry about a guy who has made millions playing football.

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