Contract Negotiation

Poor Judd-gement?

In my previous post I stated that AFL Player Chris Judd was waiting till the end of the season to make a decision on his new contract [Judd-gement Day].

Chris was flying at the start of the year, and was consistently high in the Brownlow (MVP) betting. However, in the 2nd half of the year he has been hampered by injury, a recurring niggling injury. His groin injury has not been explained in detail, and it is reported that he has Osteitis Pubis. He missed the odd week to try to recover but hasn’t played to same the level that he previously had.

Coming to the end of the season, the Eagles can ill-afford to lose a player of Chris Judd’s caliber. He is a game winning player who has been ‘resting’ in the forward line instead of bursting through the centre.

This has raised two questions:

Firstly, is the modern running game taking a toll on players, and ultimately will we see a trend of players retiring in their 20’s instead of their 30’s?

Secondly, has Judd’s decision to leave his contract till the end of the season cost him?

If Chris had received the correct treatment early on, he may have missed a few weeks and been back to his best. Now, he is playing well below par and causing more damage to his groin. It is obvious that Chris is in pain every time he steps on to the field.

I’m sure this time round Chris will receive the reported $1 million per year 2 year contract that he is apparently seeking, but after that what will happen? Chris will be 26 when his 2 year deal ends. Will his fitness still be at its peak?

So what should Chris do? In my opinion, I think he should push for a longer deal. I am sure he can still dictate his terms at West Coast, so he should attempt to sign a 4 or 5 year deal. I doubt salaries at the upper end of the scale will rise too much, so he is not risking forgoing a large sum of money. He could substantially back end his deal, similar to what Michael Voss did, who earned $950,000 in the last year of his contract without playing. This would insure Judd if he was to retire injured.

It’s a tricky situation that Chris is put in right now, but with the right planning, I’m sure he can still maximize his potential. I am basing these recommendations on the assumption his groin injury is Osteitis Pubis, and that this may affect his performance for the rest of his career.

– Chris Lesley

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