Bills’ Lorenzo Alexander: Guaranteed contracts ‘something players are always going to fight for’

Each year, usually in reaction to guaranteed contracts signed during the NBA’s free-agency period, NFL players are heard sharing their desire to have the same certainty when it comes to their deals.

Los Angeles Chargers offensive tackle Russell Okung tweeted this week about the NFLPA needing to make guaranteed contracts for players a priority when it negotiates a new collective bargaining agreement for the one that expires in 2020. Buffalo Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, a member of the NFLPA’s executive committee, concurs and says it is something that the union will continue to seek.

‘We are with Russ and what he’s saying and the tone of the tweets’

“I think we’ve always tried to make those strides and gains, and tried to get as much money in guys’ pockets as possible,” Alexander told Zig Fracassi and Geoff Schwartz on the SiriusXM Blitz Thursday. “I mean, obviously, when you are negotiating with an opposing side that’s also fighting for those dollars and that power and control, they want something totally different. So, obviously, we are with Russ and what he’s saying and the tone of the tweets that he was putting out (Wednesday).

“As players, of course, you want some guarantees and some type of certainty when you sign a deal. They have it, from their perspective, as the ownership, but players would also like to add that same type of comfort level, knowing that I’m going to make x-amount of dollars over the next two or three years, even if that means that our deals are (shorter).”

‘I’d much rather have like a Kirk Cousins deal where I know that I’m going to get all $84 million’

Alexander used the fully guaranteed three-year, $84-million contract quarterback Kirk Cousins signed with the Minnesota Vikings as the example of where the NFL should be going with its agreements with players.

“I’d much rather have like a Kirk Cousins deal where I know that I’m going to get all $84 million versus, let’s say, $150 over six and I’m not sure if I’m going to get that our not,” Alexander said. “And, obviously, we’re talking crazy numbers and I understand it’s a lot of money, but relative to sports, I think having guaranteed contracts is something that players are going to always want and always try to fight for. And that’s the key, trying to create that same type of reality that the MLB and the NBA have created and their stars have leveraged their power and it made that the norm in those leagues because there’s nothing in their CBA that mandates guaranteed contracts and that’s something that we have to try to do as far as the NFL.”

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