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New deal for Webster

 
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Cincinnati Kid


Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 1269
Location: Just outside the Twin Cities, MN
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:42 am    Post subject: New deal for Webster Reply with quote

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Sometimes you've got to take a step backward in the NFL to eventually move your career a step forward, and there might be no better current example of that than the Cincinnati Bengals' Nate Webster. The team's starting middle linebacker at the outset of 2004, after signing a five-year contract that included a $2.5 million signing bonus, Webster played in only three games but posted 20 tackles. He landed on the injured reserve list, unfortunately, after suffering a torn right patella tendon in late September, then his career was severely jeopardized in December when he tore the tendon again, precipitating a second surgery.

There were suggestions, some of them emanating from this space, that the Bengals were attempting to reach an injury settlement with Webster this spring. Turned out those reports were without substance, as such settlements are not permitted for injuries that occurred the previous year. What is true, however, is that Cincinnati, which now has second-year veteran Landon Johnson and 2005 second-round pick Odell Thurman ahead of Webster on the depth chart, was prepared to release Webster, who might not be fully rehabilitated until training camp if then.

Webster, though, made a wise, albeit financially costly, decision. Since no team in the NFL likely would have pursued a player who was still injured when released, Webster opted to dramatically restructure his contract to a level more palatable to Bengals officials. He reduced his base salary for 2005 from $1.5 million to $540,000, the league minimum for a five-year veteran. He can earn another $500,000 based on playing time. Almost as notable, the final three years of the contract, a stretch in which Webster was to have earned $5.7 million in base salaries and offseason workout bonuses, were voided.

So why would Webster allow such a reworking, one in which the net result is that he could end up forfeiting nearly $7 million of the deal's original $11.3 million? Because it behooves him to continue rehabilitating under the guidance of the Bengals' training staff rather than on his own. And if he can somehow get himself whole, work his way back up the depth chart and perhaps become a contributor in 2005, he will be an unrestricted free agent next spring, and perhaps capable of recouping in the open market some of the money he forfeited. It will be no small feat for Webster to even make the Cincinnati roster, since the Bengals like Johnson and Thurman was one of the steals of the draft. But for now, at least, having a job and a paycheck beats being out on the street and trying to rehab his right knee on his own.


From ESPN.com. Good move by both the front office and Nate Webster. Webster seems to be a classy guy that I want on the Bengals. Get healthy Nate.
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THE DUKE


Joined: 28 Feb 2005
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Location: Centerville, OH
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But do we have the space to keep 3 MLB's? Landon and Odell are pretty much guaranteed a roster spot, and that would kind of leave Webster is hung out to dry. Unless......they listen to me in what I said earlier and are eyeing Landon as a possible SS. He's got the speed, he's got the talent, he's got the motivation, I think he could thrive as a SS.
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Cincinnati Kid


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given the injury suffered by Webster and Johnson's inability to get bigger in the middle, I think keeping three is a good idea for now. My hope is that Thurman wins the job outright by his second year, given that he was the best MLB in the draft. I need to read more about what Marvin says on the SS position but if Johnson can fill the slot better than the parts we have, I say give it a shot in camp and preseason.
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