Richard Sherman: NFL Players ‘Have to Be Willing to Strike’ for Better Contracts

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(Photo: Getty Images)

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is one of the NFL’s biggest critics, particularly when it comes to the league’s treatment of players.

But according to an interview Sherman did on the red carpet at the ESPYS, the players have to stand together if they want their lot to improve—even if it means going on strike.

“Oh, 100 percent. If we want as the NFL, as a union, to get anything done, players have to be willing to strike,” Sherman told Jalen Rose. “That’s the thing that guys need to 100 percent realize.

“You’re going to have to miss games, you’re going to have to lose some money if you’re willing to make the point, because that’s how MLB and NBA got it done. They missed games, they struck, they flexed every bit of power they had, and it was awesome. It worked out for them.”

The current collective bargaining agreement was agreed upon in 2011 and won’t expire until 2020.

Sherman has publicly criticized the NFL for instituting Thursday games, and has accused the NFL of disregarding player safety.

On Wednesday, he also questioned players for taking team-friendly deals in exchange for having a large “fake” number associated with their contracts.

“I think players get caught up in ‘Oh, I want to be the biggest and baddest,’ and you got the biggest and baddest fake deal that anybody could have,” Sherman said. “It’s gonna pop like a balloon. But instead of just taking the three years that you have fully guaranteed and just ending there, most of these guys are like ‘Oh, I want a six year deal,’ but only three are guaranteed, so why would I take a six-year deal?

“I don’t need a six-year deal. Give me the three, and then the salary cap’s gonna bump again, and after the three I’m gonna bump again. And then guys are like ‘Well, what if I get hurt?’ Well, if you get hurt at the end of the three, they’re probably gonna cut you anyways. So what’s the real difference?”

NFL players haven’t gone on strike since 1987.