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Money Matters with Jack Mallers


Mon Jul 17 2023
Sequan BarkleyNFL contractsFranchise tagsMarket manipulationFinancial literacyBitcoin as an investmentInflation impact on contractsFinancial education for athletesNFL franchise tag abolitionTom Brady's contract


This episode explores Sequan Barkley's career as an American football player and his ongoing contract negotiations with the New York Giants. It delves into the intricacies of franchise tags, the impact of market manipulation on player salaries, and the importance of financial literacy for athletes. The episode also discusses the role of money in society, the potential benefits of Bitcoin as an alternative investment, and the significance of contracts in the NFL. Throughout the conversation, Barkley shares personal experiences and insights on negotiating contracts, adapting playing styles, and envisioning a future beyond football.


Franchise tags limit player leverage

Franchise tags prevent players from hitting free agency and negotiating with multiple teams, reducing their bargaining power.

Market manipulation in the NFL

The use of franchise tags to determine player salaries can be seen as market collusion and may artificially suppress player salaries.

Financial literacy is crucial for athletes

Athletes, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, often lack financial literacy and understanding of money management.

Bitcoin as an alternative investment

Bitcoin is seen as a potential solution to inflation and market manipulation due to its decentralized nature.

Contracts impact athletes' lives beyond football

Contracts have a significant impact on athletes' lives and it's important to consider long-term financial planning.

The importance of financial education

Colleges and universities should prioritize educating student athletes about financial matters to ensure their long-term financial well-being.

The impact of inflation on contracts

Inflation can devalue the worth of an athlete's contract over time, highlighting the need for alternative forms of compensation.

Bitcoin's potential value as an investment

Bitcoin has appreciated significantly against the dollar, making it an attractive investment option for athletes and individuals seeking stability.

The NFL franchise tag and market freedom

The abolition of the NFL franchise tag could lead to more market freedom and fairer negotiations for players.

Tom Brady's contract and the value of assets

Tom Brady's contract with Fox could be worth significantly more in the future if negotiated in Bitcoin or other appreciating assets.


  1. Sequan Barkley's Career and Contract Negotiations
  2. Understanding Franchise Tags and Contract Implications
  3. The Impact of Franchise Tags and Contract Rules in the NFL
  4. Concerns about Market Manipulation and Financial System
  5. Fairness, Money, and Negotiations in the NFL
  6. Player Perspectives on Contracts and Career Beyond Football
  7. Personal Experiences and Lessons Learned
  8. Adapting Playing Style and the Impact of Money
  9. Contracts, Media Attention, and Financial Considerations
  10. The Impact of Inflation and Financial Literacy
  11. Money Management and Bitcoin as an Alternative
  12. Bitcoin as an Investment and Tom Brady's Contract

Sequan Barkley's Career and Contract Negotiations

00:00 - 06:41

  • Sequan Barkley is a highly talented American football player who has achieved numerous accolades in his career.
  • He broke records at Penn State and was drafted by the New York Giants.
  • Despite suffering multiple injuries, he has made a successful comeback and feels healthy.
  • The podcast host discusses his interest in money and Bitcoin, as well as meeting influential figures in the industry.
  • They delve into Barkley's ongoing contract negotiation with the Giants and his desire to be valued appropriately.
  • Barkley explains the typical process of contract negotiations in the NFL and how it differs for him.
  • He declined an offer during the bi-week because he believes in himself and wants to finish the season strong.
  • The conversation touches on franchise tags and their implications.

Understanding Franchise Tags and Contract Implications

06:20 - 12:34

  • The tag in football is the average of the top five players in your position over the last five years.
  • Being tagged prevents a player from hitting free agency and negotiating with multiple teams.
  • Tags vary by position, with running backs having a tag value of 10 and quarterbacks around 35.
  • There is a deadline on July 17th to figure out a deal after being tagged.
  • The tag can be seen as a placeholder but also takes leverage away from players.
  • The speaker wanted to stay with his team and not hit the open market, but was still tagged.
  • He feels it could have been done differently and doesn't sit right with him.
  • He has always wanted to bring a Super Bowl championship to his hometown team.

The Impact of Franchise Tags and Contract Rules in the NFL

12:05 - 18:24

  • The fifth-year option in the NFL allows teams to retain players for an additional year after their initial four-year contract.
  • The franchise tag prevents players from exploring the free market and determines their value based on the average of other stocks or players in the league.
  • Some people believe that the franchise tag is beneficial for players, but others argue that it can be detrimental, especially for running backs.
  • Running backs can be drafted in the first round and have their contracts controlled by teams for up to seven years, which may not align with their declining production after age 28.
  • The current rules regarding contracts and tags in the NFL may artificially suppress player salaries and limit their career opportunities.
  • Comparing this situation to market manipulation in financial markets highlights potential issues with the current system.
  • The National Football League operates under a unique setup as a nonprofit organization, which allows it to establish its own rules and regulations.

Concerns about Market Manipulation and Financial System

18:00 - 24:09

  • The NFL's setup as a nonprofit is strange and allows for manipulation of the market and artificial rules on pricing and worth.
  • There may be collusion among GMs and front offices in determining player salaries.
  • Visa was a nonprofit until 2007 or 2008, but regulators accused them of colluding prices with MasterCard.
  • The NFL's use of the franchise tag to determine player salaries is market collusion.
  • Having someone's career and self-worth determined by something called the tag is absurd.
  • Negotiating contracts while being part of a team can be challenging, but players have to balance their personal interests with their love for the game and fans.
  • $10 million is still a significant amount of money, even though it may not be considered fair.

Fairness, Money, and Negotiations in the NFL

23:40 - 29:54

  • Fairness and impact are important in negotiations.
  • $10 million is a significant amount of money, considering the economic situation and poverty rates.
  • The APY (average per year) and guaranteed money are both important factors in contracts.
  • The best running back in the NFL should be paid competitively.
  • The guarantee money matters more than the APY.
  • Football is a team sport that requires all eleven players to succeed.
  • The negotiation process is not about going to war but finding a fair deal.
  • Financial markets don't work based on what someone believes they're worth.
  • Market collusion and lack of free market options for players are concerning.

Player Perspectives on Contracts and Career Beyond Football

29:29 - 36:05

  • The speaker criticizes the NFL for not allowing players to have a free market to source what they've built over their lives.
  • The speaker compares the NFL's actions to insider trading and market manipulation, calling it ridiculous and unfair to young players who risk their bodies for a short career.
  • The speaker argues that financial markets exist for price discovery and efficiency, and the NFL's rules suppress prices and hinder efficiency.
  • Money is described as a reflection of an individual's contributions to society, solving the problem of coincidence of wants in exchanging goods and services.
  • The importance of money in providing for oneself and future generations is acknowledged, but it is also noted that money cannot be taken with you after death.
  • The speaker expresses agreement with the idea that money represents one's worth and contributions to society.
  • In negotiating contracts, the speaker relies on agents who analyze market data on player salaries but prioritizes winning championships over maximizing earnings.
  • Winning a championship is seen as more valuable than any contract because contracts become less lucrative with each subsequent renewal.
  • The speaker sees themselves as more than just a football player and envisions a future beyond football.

Personal Experiences and Lessons Learned

35:36 - 41:31

  • The speaker discusses his experience with NFL contracts and the significance of each one.
  • He emphasizes the importance of reputation and authenticity in his career.
  • The speaker expresses his desire to do more than just play football and sees himself as having a future beyond the sport.
  • He talks about a conversation he had with the team owner during contract negotiations, which solidified his commitment to the team.
  • The speaker mentions the hidden benefit of staying relevant in football, even if it means not being paid what he's worth.
  • He discusses leverage and how he could use it to refuse playing for the team if necessary, although it's not something he wants to do.
  • The speaker acknowledges that he needs to strategize and consult with his family before making any decisions.
  • He mentions an evaluation process during the bi-week where players are compared to others in their position, revealing how the team values him as a player.

Adapting Playing Style and the Impact of Money

41:12 - 46:53

  • The speaker discusses his record of most catches in a season and how it was largely due to screen passes and dump down passes.
  • In college, the speaker ran routes downfield and caught balls, but in the NFL, he had to adjust his playing style based on what the team needed.
  • The speaker mentions that he learned a lesson about being more mature and not letting others define him as a player.
  • He talks about how he had games where the opposing team focused on stopping him, which affected his mindset on the field.
  • The speaker brings up the topic of money as a technology and what happens when it breaks or markets aren't working properly.
  • He gives an example of getting paid in loaves of bread instead of dollars and how that would be a bad form of money.
  • If the money breaks or markets aren't working, people may become distracted from their primary roles or professions due to financial concerns.
  • The speaker suggests that if the NFL has rigged markets or if the financial system is rigged, it can negatively impact society and players' focus on their game.
  • He mentions that contracts can be complicated and advises having a good agent to navigate them effectively.

Contracts, Media Attention, and Financial Considerations

46:36 - 52:32

  • Contracts in sports can have a significant impact and it's important to have a good agent
  • Athletes often face constant media attention and scrutiny
  • Money is essential for supporting and advancing society
  • The US dollar may not be functioning properly as a technology of money
  • Inflation can devalue the worth of an athlete's contract over time
  • Financial inflation is not commonly discussed in locker rooms
  • Contributions to society should be priced in something more stable than a depreciating currency
  • Considering alternative forms of compensation, such as real estate, could be beneficial for athletes

The Impact of Inflation and Financial Literacy

52:16 - 58:31

  • Signing a contract in US dollars means the value of that contract decreases over time due to inflation.
  • Housing prices in the US have increased, causing the value of a dollar to decrease.
  • A $31 million contract would be worth $45.8 million in houses due to housing inflation.
  • Investing in the S&P 500 index would have resulted in a contract worth just under $50 million.
  • Bitcoin has appreciated over 300% against the dollar, making it a potentially valuable investment.
  • Athletes, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, often lack financial literacy and understanding of money management.
  • It is important for colleges and universities to educate student athletes about financial matters.
  • Society as a whole lacks understanding of how money works and its impact on personal finances.
  • Financial education should be incorporated into school curriculums or through accessible platforms like podcasts.

Money Management and Bitcoin as an Alternative

58:05 - 1:04:27

  • Money accessibility is important, especially for young people
  • The US government and Federal Reserve can inflate money, devaluing our contributions to society
  • Bitcoin is a solution because it cannot be inflated or manipulated
  • Athletes like Sequin Barkley want to educate others about money management
  • Financial advisors are necessary due to the complexity of money
  • Society's job is to beat inflation and figure out how to manage money
  • Gold used to be a good form of money because it couldn't be inflated
  • There have been attempts to bring back gold as a currency but faced resistance
  • Bitcoin is not anti-dollar, but rather a good option for everyone

Bitcoin as an Investment and Tom Brady's Contract

1:04:07 - 1:07:19

  • Bitcoin is seen as a good option by the speaker.
  • The NFL franchise tag should be abolished to free up markets.
  • Tom Brady's contract with Fox is worth $375 million over 10 years.
  • The value of the dollar will decrease over time, making Tom Brady's earnings less valuable.
  • If Tom Brady were to negotiate a Bitcoin deal with Fox, it could be worth over a billion dollars in the future.
  • The speaker encourages Tom Brady not to price his life in dollars and consider other assets like housing or stocks.
  • The speaker appreciates Tom Brady's leadership and thanks him for coming on the podcast.