Good morning, NFC West. I've wrapped up a three-day stint at Seattle Seahawks camp and am en route to see the Arizona Cardinals for the same duration. Our first "Camp Confidential" piece of the 2013 season will focus on the Seahawks and run on the blog in the coming days. I've been gathering for that piece while in camp with Seattle. Here's a link to our equivalent pieces from last summer.
Before leaving Seattle, I joined ESPN's John Clayton for a 710ESPN Seattle discussion on subjects around the NFC West.
John asked whether the Tarell Brown situation in San Francisco would tick off 49ers players. Brown unknowingly forfeited a $2 million contract escalator when he failed to show for the team's voluntary offseason conditioning program. Since speaking with John, I asked a retired NFL player how he would feel in such a situation. He said he would have been ticked off at the team and especially with his agent. But he also said Brown shared responsibility for the miscue.
Clayton noted that a 49ers cornerback was losing money unnecessarily just as another cornerback from the division, Brandon Browner of Seattle, was accepting a raise. Browner, entering the final year of a deal that was set to pay him well below market for a starting corner, labeled the pay increase "a good gesture" by the team. Would such a contrast matter to 49ers players?
As Clayton and I discussed, the 49ers have done a good job rewarding key players. They have reached contract extensions with Joe Staley, Anthony Davis, Vernon Davis, Justin Smith, Ray McDonald, NaVorro Bowman, Patrick Willis and others when several of those players had time remaining on their previous deals. The 49ers have also decided against paying some players. Dashon Goldson and Delanie Walker come to mind. And if the team lets Brown walk after pocketing the $2 million he was scheduled to receive, some might consider that unfortunate.
In the end, Brown and his agent were the ones ultimately responsible for knowing the requirements of his contract. Should the 49ers have tipped him off? It would have been a nice gesture, but that wasn't their obligation.