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Lorenzo Alexander: Players good with shorter contracts if it means more guarantees

Kirk Cousins' decision to choose a short-term, fully-guaranteed contract could serve as a blueprint for other NFL players seeking fully-guaranteed contracts in the future.

Kirk Cousins’ fully guaranteed $84 million contract, the first of its kind in the NFL, is for only three years. Florio did a good job on a slow day of spelling out how the adoption of fully guaranteed contracts for all NFL players would lead to shorter contracts for most players.

Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, a member of the NFLPA’s executive committee, is ready for that.

Alexander spoke to SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday, agreeing with Chargers offensive tackle Russell Okung that the NFLPA does need to make guaranteed contracts a priority when it negotiates a new collective bargaining agreement. (The current one expires after the 2020 season.)

“I think we’ve always tried to make those strides and gains, and tried to get as much money in guys’ pockets as possible,” Alexander said on the SiriusXM Blitz Thursday. “I mean, obviously, when you are negotiating with an opposing side that’s also fighting for those dollars and that power and control, they want something totally different. So, obviously, we are with Russ and what he’s saying and the tone of the tweets that he was putting out [Wednesday].

“As players, of course, you want some guarantees and some type of certainty when you sign a deal. They have it, from their perspective, as the ownership, but players would also like to add that same type of comfort level, knowing that I’m going to make x-amount of dollars over the next two or three years, even if that means that our deals are [shorter].”

Alexander, in the second year of a two-year, $5.95 million contract that has $3.4 million guaranteed, used Cousins’ deal as an example of what NFL players should seek instead of longer-term contracts with more total money.

“I’d much rather have like a Kirk Cousins deal where I know that I’m going to get all $84 million versus, let’s say, $150 [million] over six [years], and I’m not sure if I’m going to get that our not,” Alexander said. “And, obviously, we’re talking crazy numbers and I understand it’s a lot of money, but relative to sports, I think having guaranteed contracts is something that players are going to always want and always try to fight for. And that’s the key, trying to create that same type of reality that the MLB and the NBA have created and their stars have leveraged their power and it made that the norm in those leagues because there’s nothing in their CBA that mandates guaranteed contracts and that’s something that we have to try to do as far as the NFL.”