I couldn’t be happier that football season is in full swing: College, NFL & Fantasy… my life is once again complete. One player really shocked me today (& I’m not talking about RGIII)… Chris Johnson! I was the big voice previously screaming GIVE THAT MAN THE DAMN MONEY & now I’m scratching my head as I watch his performance on the field. For those of you that don’t know he had 11 carries today for 4 yards. One. Two. Three. Four. Granted their offensive line is terrible right now, BUT we are talking about a running back that has previously run for 2000 yards in a single season. If he continues like this that won’t happen again. So what’s the problem CJ (past the O line)… attitude?
Here’s a quick breakdown: Once upon a time his contract was set for a measly $1.065 million, until he decided he was worth more than that [& when he decided he was worth more than that he refused to show up or participate until everyone agreed with him]. I happen to believe that you should pay top performers accordingly (which is why I was screaming for his new contract that ended up a fat $53.5 million), but since then his performance has been on a steady decline. Maybe the way his contract was negotiated caused this? Maybe its just sheer luck or lack of give a …. ? Maybe his ego is out of control and he has lost touch with reality?
How can we prevent a top performer from discontinuing his/her best efforts once they have been rewarded the monies or other perqs they are demanding? Here are some ideas: 1st– be realistic. Yes CJ2K you have the most rushing yards in a season with our franchise; yes you have the longest rushing attempt with our franchise; yes you have the most total scrimmage yards in one season… These are all wonderful accomplishments, but lets break this raise down in a simpler process- you get x amount now and if you repeat all of these feats you get xx amount…(performance review anyone?). Which brings me to point 2-set new goals for your performer! If they feel like they’ve accomplished everything they have come to your organization to accomplish, well, they are done “Thanks for the payday-I’m just going to hang out now and remind you all [verbally] everyday of how AWESOME I once was”. Make sure your workforce still has something to work for and make sure they still want to work for that. 3-cut your losses. Running back formerly known as “CJ2K” played his worst season last year & isn’t starting off well this year. Decide when enough is enough and cut the deadweight from your team before it starts to weigh everyone else down. When a team players attitude sets him above the rest of your team chances are your other players notice and they don’t like it. If you can’t coach that attitude back into the right place the damage to team morale will outweigh the benefits of his ability to perform top numbers.