Many NFL players have incentives in their contracts, and here and there you’ll find a story of a player who is upset about a coaching decision that kept him from getting his bonus.
The Los Angeles Rams made the decision early this week that they are going to rest starters in Week 17. Many teams are facing the dilemma on whether to play or rest starters in the regular-season finale (here’s a rundown of what each team has said about whether its starters will play). The Rams also understand the business aspect of the game, and the last thing they want to do is agitate any of their players at the end of a great turnaround season.
Coach Sean McVay said Wednesday if any Rams players are close to a contract incentive and will sit in Week 17, the Rams will take care of it according to Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times.
McVay said players close to reaching contract incentives who are sitting out Sunday because of coaches decision would be taken care of.
— Gary Klein (@LATimesklein) December 27, 2017
That’s just smart business for the Rams. It’s unclear which Rams are close to a bonus and could be affected, but it’s a good message to everyone in the league that the Rams wouldn’t nickel-and-dime their own players. It’s the kind of thing future free agents might be paying attention to.
McVay announced five key players will be among those sitting on Sunday: quarterback Jared Goff, running back Todd Gurley, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth and center John Sullivan. The most notable name on that list might be Gurley, since he is chasing an MVP award. His main competitor for the award, Tom Brady, will play because the Patriots clinch the AFC’s No. 1 seed with a win. Donald is also a front-runner for defensive player of the year.
McVay said earlier this week that he feels resting starters is more important than whether the Rams get the No. 3 or No. 4 seed. That’s the smart play, and it’s just as smart to let everyone know that the team won’t be skimping on anyone’s bonus if they have to sit.
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