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 *Controversy in Tijuana
Squamish
 Posted: Dec 24 2017, 09:03 PM
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There's a controversy brewing in Tijuana, Mexico tonight, and no, it has nothing to do with tequila or hookers - well, yet anyway. It's about the the contracts of the Tijuana Luchadores of the DSFL, the minor league that feeds into the NSFL, and a perceived injustice on behalf of a player who was signed to them, with the benefactor going elsewhere. By now, the clip has surely made the rounds on Youtube, Facebook Live, Twitter - the interview with Tijuana player Antonio Legion where he goes off on the reporter about the contract situation of new teammate Bogdan Wojcik, who was only offered a 1 million dollar contract, in comparison to a fellow Legion member Blessed Storm who was offered a much more substantial 6 million. It's starting to look like the new generation's "I'm just here so I won't get fined" but the interesting part is that it's not even Wojcik who is arguing for it, nor is it Storm the beneficiary of such a deal. Legion's passion over the issue is admirable, and shows he wants what's best for his teammate. That begs the question though: what is best for Wojcik, and what is best for the Tijuana Luchadores?

It's no secret that players from the HFFO agency tend to go for larger money deals, and this was the case for Blessed Storm here. Some may see that as a drawback, some may see it as his clients getting what works for them, and if a team is willing to oblige, it's not an issue. Storm wanted 6 million, the Luchadores gave him 6 million, and all that's left now is to play some football. As long as it doesn't hurt the Luchadores' cap, there's nothing inherently wrong with taking a larger deal, and even if it did hurt their cap, the money is theirs to do with as they see fit. They considered it wise, at the time of offering, to give Storm 6 million. Whether that will prove true remains to be seen.

The other issue Legion brought up in the brief yet viral response is that of Wojcik getting 1 million, a perceived small amount to a new player who would typically be given more. However, we've received the other side of the story from Wojcik himself, and it all seems to fall into place a lot more after hearing it from him.

"I came to them. The same night I was drafted, I was obviously introduced to the team and many of us talked at the post-draft event over drinks and a fine array of hors d'oeuvres. I met a lot of the players, and I met one of the guys in charge, Jaskins. He seemed like a great guy, really wanted what was best for his players, so that very night I pulled him aside and talked contract with him, before he'd even really brought anything up with the rest of the Luchadores head office. I expressed interest in a small deal. I have other ways of earning money, and the less I make, the more the team can spend on other players, which in theory should make us more successful. He hadn't even brought up the idea of contracts - if anything, it might have been poor form on my part to bring the business side of the game into things at such a lighthearted, fun event - but it was very important to me to instill in them right from the get go that I wanted a smaller dollar amount to my contract. Something like 2 million or even 3 million might have been fine, but honestly, the 5 million type of deals that it seems like most of the team got, I don't think I'd have accepted it, at least not with some discussion from the team beforehand as to why. Instead, I got the single million, which is honestly just about perfect. I can't express enough how happy I am to have landed on a team that understands the desires of its players and tries to meet them, especially in instances such as this where that desire ultimately falls in line with what's best for the team as well. If I'm happy and the team is happy, who else matters? I have to say though, I definitely appreciate where Legion is coming from on this, he wanted to help me out, he really did. He just didn't have all the information at his disposal when he went off at that reporter. It's an unfortunate case of timing, and it could have been avoided had I made it clear to the league on the whole where I stood on the issue rather than just in private to Jaskins. That said, contract negotiations are private by their very nature, so the onus shouldn't have been on me to try to prevent things like this from happening. I negotiated with the team the contract I was given. It was posted, I accepted. That's all anyone really needs to know."

There you have it, folks. It's rare this day and age, and perhaps a bit unorthodox, for a player to actively negotiate his deal in reverse. It's just standard practice to try to push for more money, not less money, and Wojcik is clearly a rather unusual football player to have done this. Still though, we don't fault people for being odd. If he performs on the field, that's all that matters, so we'll see if Wojcik's season in the DSFL is worthy of this contract, or if perhaps the downward negotiations take the pressure off to such an extent that he fails as a player as well. So far though, all signs point to a strong opening campaign for the rookie. At the same time, if Wojcik can live up to the hype, and along with Legion and Storm, the three can put this mess behind them and focus on some football, perhaps they'll develop chemistry as teammates and take the league by storm - that was, after all, the point to taking a smaller deal in the first place.

On behalf of the Tijuana Luchadores, this has been Quilha Agante, for ESPN Deportes.

GRADED

This post has been edited by bovovovo: Dec 30 2017, 09:31 AM

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Squamish
 Posted: Dec 24 2017, 09:06 PM
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1028 words.

Basically just off the cuff over an issue that wasn't an issue and was solved already. 1.6 million made in minutes - this is why I don't need a big contract.


(Also, if there are some OOOOOLD SHLers in here - there's an easter egg in the article somewhere...)

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PaytonM34
 Posted: Dec 24 2017, 09:09 PM
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Boys out here makin a living right off the streets, the ol' fashioned, blue collared way

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Squamish
 Posted: Dec 24 2017, 09:13 PM
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QUOTE (PaytonM34 @ Dec 24 2017, 11:09 PM)
Boys out here makin a living right off the streets, the ol' fashioned, blue collared way

All the actual journalism jobs have gone the way of the newspaper - have to put that $39,000 degree to use somehow right?

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