HE has played in the Pro Bowl, got a Super Bowl ring but doe not have the stats for the Hall of Fame. In addition, he would most likely be the third choice in the pecking order, maybe fourth, behind Cobb, Nelson and Jones. At 31, this was probably his last chance at a big long term deal with guarantees. So he chose money and a chance to be The Undisputed Man. I don't blame him. I probably would have done the same.
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Even if you were to have a 4 team playoff at the end of the season, these lesser games would still have an impact, as strength of schedule would have to be an element in deciding who is #4 and who would be left out at #5.