One day after voicing his displeasure over stalled contract negotiations, Bills safety Donte Whitner did an about-face Friday and told reporters he wouldn't be talking about it anymore.
It's a prudent decision. Talking contract while the season is still going on does not put Whitner in a positive light with the team, fans and especially his teammates.
That doesn't change the fact that Whitner wants to be one of the highest-paid safeties in the NFL, which would put his annual salary in the $7 to $8 million per year range. The Bills obviously have fallen well short of that, hence Whitner's gloomy disposition on Thursday.
It's hard to understand why Whitner would be so upset. He should be excited about heading into free agency, where untold riches await. He's 25 and and just entering his prime, so he will attract interest from other teams. In fact, some team might meet his asking price even if the Bills don't.
I get that Whitner wants to remain a member of a Bills team he thinks is headed in the right direction, but if a more established playoff contender waved a big contract in his face he'd be a fool to turn it down.
We can debate all day long whether Whitner is worth what he's asking for. Antrell Rolle (Giants), Adrian Wilson (Cardinals) and Troy Polamalu (Steelers) all signed deals in the last three years that pay them more than $7 million a season. Each got a huge signing bonus, too, with Wilson's $18 million guaranteed topping the list.
The difference between Whitner and those guys is they have been to Pro Bowls and either played in or won Super Bowls. Whitner's body of work just doesn't measure up.
However, an agent has an obligation to get the most money possible for his client. So if Whitner can get someone to give him, say, a five-year, $36 million deal, more power to him.
taggedBills | NFL