Copyright (c) 1992 Marquette University
Marquette Sports Law Journal
THE EFFECT OF MCNEIL V. NFL ON CONTRACT NEGOTIATION IN THE NFL - THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW
3 Marq. Sports L.J. 45
Carol T. Rieger * and Charles J. Lloyd **
In 1990, the standout quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, Bobby Hebert, was unable to come to terms for a new contract with his team. Despite the fact that Hebert previously led the Saints to their first winning season and first playoff appearance in franchise history, the Saints were unwilling to pay Hebert anything close to what he believed he deserved. Although a "free agent" because his prior contract with the Saints had expired, like virtually all other NFL "free agents" for more than a decade, he attracted no offers from any other club during the two-month period that such offers could have been extended. As time went by and no progress on a new contract was made, Hebert asked the Saints to trade him to a club that would offer him pay more commensurate with his worth. Despite a significant offer from the Los Angeles Raiders to trade for Hebert, the Saints refused to trade him to the Raiders or anyone else. The Saints also became more aggressive in their dealings with Hebert, vilifying him in the media, insulting his wife, and making a "take it or leave it" offer presenting Hebert with a Hobson's choice: Either take a totally unacceptable offer or sit out the season and not be paid. As a matter of principle, he chose the latter. Even though Hebert had no contract with the New Orleans Saints and even though he sat out the entire 1990 season ...
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