Sometimes when an NFL team makes a move for a player, it’s to fill a need. At the same time, when a player leaves a team, it’s typically about money. NFL players like to trumpet their desire to play for a championship and all that other football cliche stuff, but the fact of the matter is they are looking for the largest payday and nothing else.
But please don’t misunderstand me–I have no qualms with that sort of thinking. If you love playing football and love being rich from doing it, by all means sign with the team that will pay you the most. The shelf life of NFL players is short and God forbid they get a real job after their playing careers are over. But where I have the disconnect is with the why. I’d rather a player simply be honest. Don’t tell us that you want to play for a championship and that’s what’s important only to go sign with one of the worst teams in the league. Tell me you are going to the team that is paying you the most.
This is where we find former Pittsburgh Steelers and current Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall. It’s reported today that Mendenhall has signed a free agent contract to become part of the Cardinals organization. Reports are he signed a one-year contract with the Cardinals and after the release of running back Beanie Wells, they needed a new back.
But a one year deal? After spurring the Steelers and choosing not to entertain the idea of staying, he signs a one year contract with what has been one of the worst teams in the NFC in recent years. As a Steelers fan, I wish Mendenhall all the best and I hope he can prove in his year with the Cardinals that he’s healthy and motivated to play, which I assume would get him either an extension with them or a new contract elsewhere. But make no mistake: he’s not headed to Arizona this season to contend for anything.