Like all human beings, even Shawn Springs isn't good enough to avoid the cliche even if it is meant more to describe the eternal feeling of youth rather than the actual physical aspect of it, but whatev. Hate to be a debbie downer but the bad news that isn't getting a ton of attention on the blogosphere and elsewhere is just how close Shawn Springs could be to playing his last game as a Washington Redskin. Per the Times (hat tip: Extreme Skins):
And Springs still has bruised feelings from contract squabbles with the team this past offseason, when he declined to rework his contract and stayed away from Redskin Park and the club considered trading him.
"I'm not really thinking about it [so much that] it weighs down on me," Springs said. "If they change my contract, then I'll be happy to be here. But if they don't, I don't think I'll be here. When I left Seattle, I could have stayed but it was time for a change."
Asked if it was time for another change, Springs smiled and said, "I really can't tell you yet."
What I don't understand is why players should feel entitled to contracts that modify ones they've signed? From what I can tell, Shawn Springs signed a 6 year deal that runs through 2010 and stands to make plenty of money given his age and position. If that deal was good enough to sign in 2004, it should be good enough to play through in 2009 and 2010. If it wasn't, you shouldn't have penned your name on it, correct? I understand where Springs is coming from if he's merely saying that the team won't be able to pay him less (they should honor their end of the bargain as well, afterall) but why is he entitled to higher pay? What is he signaling when he says "If they change my contract, then I'll be happy to be here. But if they don't, I don't think I'll be here"? A holdout? Is he just predicting what he thinks the team will do, cut him if he refuses to take a paycut?
I see a slight increase to 5M in base salary next year and a substantial increase to 6M the following year. That's a hefty price to pay for a very talented player. It was also a price negotiated by both parties and then signed, and also marks an amount of money that I could suffer as a fan. We need Springs. I think he should be willing to play with us even if it means collecting merely on the contract money he agreed to in the first.
But don't let me monopolize the conversation. Reader(s), what is Springs owed next season? More than his contract? Less? Do you want him in Washington at all?