Is the day gone, or did it ever exist, when professional players were willing to take less money -- even if "less" money is a pretty good living -- to stay with an organization where the likelihood of winning is better than whatever options are out there?
The New England Patriots traded cornerback Ellis Hobbs to the Eagles on Day 2 of the draft for a pair of fifth-round picks, apparently because the team and the cornerback weren't going to come to an agreement about a contract extension. That's a two-way street, of course. The Pats made their decision and Hobbs made his, and was honest about it.
If there is any team that, over the last decade, might expect that players would be willing to stay put for a few dollars less, it is the Patriots. Doesn't work that way any more, though, as Hobbs told the Boston Herald.
"There are a lot of ones that are coming up that are going to need to be paid," Hobbs said. "...There is a lot of guys out there who are not going to take the (lesser) dollar for the win. Guys really want to get what they deserve and each one of those guys that are coming up in the next year or so deserve every dollar they are going to get."
We tend to look through the wrong end of the binoculars here in Philadelphia occasionally, believing that the Eagles' way of doing business is unique. They sign good players to contracts that give them security when they are young and then don't see any need to redo those deals when the players outplay the contracts.
As Joe Banner explained last week, Sheldon Brown was happy to take the money when it was offered, getting financial security for life, and the back end of the bargain is that his signature is still on that piece of paper.
The Eagles have been a successful, winning franchise under Andy Reid, and there is every reason to expect that will continue. With the right luck, they could be Super Bowl champions before the reign of Donovan McBlog comes to an end.
That doesn't keep the players from moving on if they can get a better deal, however, something that goes for Brown, Lito Sheppard, and goes for Brian Dawkins, too, for that matter. Same goes in New England.
Hobbs is here and will probably be a productive player, but he's here because New England wasn't willing to give him what he wanted and shipped him out of town before that became a bigger problem.
"At the end of the day, we're all dollar signs," Hobbs told Sporting News Radio.
And, at the end of the day, that is how the players view the teams, too.