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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

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March 3, 2008 11:08 AM

Josh Brown on KJR-AM (950)

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Kicker Josh Brown just finished an extended interview with KJR-AM (950), talking with Dave Mahler. He said he would have stayed in Seattle had the Seahawks offered the same five-year, $14.2 million contract he eventually signed with St. Louis.

Here's the first half of Mahler's interview, which I transcribed. I'm going to insert some commentary, too, and that will be noted in italics and preceded by "Danny O's commentary."

Brown: I knew what was coming, but I felt like I was being put into a place where I had to make a decision and then quite honestly, St. Louis made it real easy for me. It took them 5 minutes and they were willing to give me the world, and they did that, and it's in a dome and I'm 5 hours for my family. They made it pretty hard to beat.

Danny O's commentary: Yes, indeed. Qwest Field is one of the tougher places to kick from the dense air to the swirling winds. Brown not only gets the benefit of a climate-controlled facility for each of his eight home games in St. Louis next season, but he's getting more money to do it than any other kicker while getting to move to the same time zone where he grew up. That's good work if you can get it, no doubt.

Q from Mahler: What were they offering you that the 'Hawks were not? Money?

Brown: Oh, yeah. It was not necessarily just the money, but it was the breakdown of the money. The breakdown of the money. The way I'm getting it and when it's coming. I felt like I put myself in the situation in the way that I played as to where I couldn't be kind of a prisoner to the businessman and go off what he thought was best for me. I could go off what I thought was best for myself. I didn't have to break it down based upon their budget. I got everything I wanted up front. And that wasn't spread over two, two and a half years.

Danny O's commentary: I'm just going to say I love the image of being held prisoner by the businessman. It opens up a lot of room for the imagination. Are you tethered to an office cubicle while some guy with a black suit and a briefcase watches closely, making sure you finish every last TPS Report? Does the businessman have a crazy-stylish suit like Viggo Mortensen from "Eastern Promises"? Sorry. That was a pointless wandering. Back to the interview ...

KJR-AM: You're talking about the bonuses right now?

Brown: Yeah, the bonus.

KJR-AM: The $4 million bonus, right? The Rams gave it to you up front, the 'Hawks wanted to spread it out?

Brown: Yeah, it was very spread. It was very spread. In the situation that I was in, I didn't feel like I had to wait. That's not how you do bonuses as far as I'm concerned. That's my first contract negotiation, but that's not the way I would have done a bonus. If you were giving me $16 million and you wanted to give $8 million first, I think I could live off that. I think I could understand it or endure it a little bit more. I kind of put myself into a position where I didn't have to be the prisoner to the businessman. I didn't like the way it was broke down, the way it was divided and the way it was backloaded. I went out to see what I was really worth on the market and I was told that I wouldn't be the highest-paid guy, I'm not the No. 1 guy. I disagree with you. I think what I’ve done here has been good work. I think I've done everything that you asked and I would like to be compensated for it in such a manner as the market says. And the market spoke.

KJR-AM: Did you make the 'Hawks aware of that concern? I guess I assume that you did, but when you went back to them and said, 'Look, I don't like the way that you're spreading out this bonus, I want it all up front.' Did you make that clear to them, and if they did, what was their reaction?

Brown: Everything was very clear, but they told me they had cash-flow problems. But your cash-flow problems, again, I'm not a prisoner to the businessman. I don't care about your cash-flow problems. That's not my issue. I personally talked to coach Holmgren, went behind my agent's back. Kind of stabbed him.

Danny O's commentary: Hey, hey, hey. Easy. That whole stabbed-in-the-back thing is still a sensitive topic around here. Besides, this had nothing to do with any NFL rushing title. Please find a different betrayal metaphor.

Brown: He knows about it now, and he's furious.

KJR-AM: With you?

Brown: Yeah. Because I take the power out of his hands to negotiate when I do that. It's a wrong move. I'm not going to say it's unethical, but it's not to the advantage of me making top dollar. I went behind my agent’s back and was contacted by coach Holmgren. I said, 'Look, this is what it’s going to take. I need this and this.' He said, 'Yeah. I'll go to bat for you.' And he went to bat for me. I respected him beforehand, but I really respected him then because he went to bat for somebody that most people don't go to bat for and that's your field-goal kicker.

KJR-AM: When did that happen? When did that conversation happen?

Brown: Last week some time.

Danny O's commentary: This is significant. It means that the player reached out to his coach, hoping to get a deal done. Coach went to bat with the front office and all indications are that the front office constructed a contract that while it may not have been structured like St. Louis' deal, still added up to the biggest to ever go to a kicker.

KJR-AM: Last week?

Brown: Yeah. When they came back, they’re like, 'Yeah, we’ll give you that, but we’ve got to do it this way.' I was like, 'I can’t do it that way.' Not that way. I can't get it done that way. You know, in all honesty, I don't have a whole lot of animosity towards anybody, the 'Hawks or anybody else. This is a business, they had to do it with what they had to work with, and I had to do, what I thought was best for me. It is a bittersweet thing because I love that city, I love my teammates, I love my coaches. I was happy there. It was my first team, but an opportunity came knocking and an opportunity we didn’t see coming. After 14 years, Jeff Wilkins retires and they were serious. They came to the table with some major dough. And it was something that I couldn't pass up.

KJR-AM: If Jeff Wilkins had not retired, would you still be a Seahawk?

Brown: Probably a lot better chance. Because the other option was Atlanta and Kansas City. And I didn't really feel comfortable going to Atlanta. That one never settled with me too well. And Kansas City was really hard. That would have been tough to pass up with J.P. Darche being there. They have a solid snapper. They have a solid holder and punter that they just signed to a five-year deal. Ryan Plackemeier is a great punter and a great holder, but there's no snapper there. And there ain't nobody out there. I wanted to be in a job where I could be successful and have the opportunity to be successful rather than going through all the trial and error, testing all these people out they think are good enough.

Danny O's commentary: Another valid point. The Seahawks struggled with long snappers last season, going through three of them. Brown also went through the learning curve with punter Ryan Plackemeier as the holder, a change from Tom Rouen. Those aren't easy things for a kicker, and the snapper obviously weighed on Brown's mind, his poor grammar aside.

KJR-AM: That has always been important to you. I know that.

Brown: It is important because this isn't necessarily about money. It's about winning. It's about winning plain and simple. When nobody believes in you and doesn't ask your opinion, when the businessman thinks he knows more about field-goal kicking than me, that's a problem.

KJR-AM: Who's that person you’re talking about? Is that Tim Ruskell?

Brown: No. That's just people that whenever you’re hiring and firing specialists, you need to talk to people who know them. That know what is critical in making that unit successful. That's the most important thing is winning. That’s why we play the game. To win.

Danny O's commentary: This must be a reference to J.P. Darche, Seattle's long-snapper who suffered a season-ending hip injury the first week of the 2006 season. The Seahawks replaced him with Derek Rackley, then re-signed Rackley after the season and let Darche go. The Seahawks had concerns about Darche's health. There was also a thought "within the building," coach Mike Holmgren said, that the Seahawks would be better off with more size at long-snapper. The move to Rackley didn't work out. He was the first of three long-snappers the Seahawks burned through last season.

KJR-AM: OK, that's the second time in the last minute you've referenced winning. And there's going to be a caller or a listener out there who will say, 'OK, if it's all about winning, you're going from a team that was in the second round of the playoffs two years in a row, was in the Super Bowl three years ago, to a team that was 3-13. How would you respond to that?

Brown: Well, my thing is that there's going to be a lot of shifting going on in the next year there in Seattle. Coach Linehan in the first three years, they're building something. They're struggling. But the thing is they're injured. You know what their problem is. They have great players, but they're injured. If they were bad football players, then it's hard to fix. I have never seen St. Louis as a bad football town. They've had a couple rough years. There were times coach Holmgren first got in here, they had rough years. And look at him now. He's probably the best coach in the National Football League. It took time. And I want to be a part of that. I want to be a part of a place that wants me to be there.

KJR-AM: Josh, if the Seahawks had offered you the exact same contract that the Rams had. Five years, $14-point-whatever, $4 up front, guaranteed. If they came to you and said, 'You know what, here's the deal, you can have it.' Would you still be a Seahawk?

Brown: Well, sure. Yeah. But that wasn't the case. You can’t say, 'What if?' I'm not here to dog anybody. That's not what I’m here to do. I didn't have plans to leave. There was a team that saw me as the No. 1 mark on their list when the time came. And they went after it in a competitive, aggressive way and got it done. And just what they did. They came to the plate with more than I ever imagined.

Danny O's commentary: OK. We're going to fast-forward a little bit and get to more juicy stuff.

KJR-AM: Was it important for you to be the highest-paid kicker in football?

Brown: Yes.

KJR-AM: Why?

Brown: Because the increase has been 14 percent since Adam Vinatieri was considered the No. 1 guy and he got the highest deal. Every deal that is signed will be higher than his. It's time to move forward. Somebody told me that Adam Vinatieri was an anomaly and no one deserved to be paid higher than him.

KJR-AM: Who told you that?

Brown: That's irrelevant.

KJR-AM: Somebody with the 'Hawks?

Brown: It's irrelevant. Just know that those things were said. And I don't believe that. I don't believe that. You can't base contract negotiations on the fact that the guy kicked game-winners in the Super Bowl. I didn't get a chance to kick a game-winner in the Super Bowl. I got the chance to kick a 55-yarder, you know, and that didn't work out. But you can't base it off that. You’ve got to base things off situations. 'Oh Josh, you’re not 85 percent over your career.' No, but I've had 23 attempts from 50 or more and the guy you're comparing me to has had five. And he's missed every game-winner and I've made all mine, but one.

Danny O's commentary: This gets to one of the realities of contract negotiations, which is that they can become very, very personal to a player. There are emotions involved. Two years ago, when the Seahawks designated Steve Hutchinson as the transition player, their hope was to get him signed to a long-term contract by allowing him to establish his market value. The reality he saw in free agency was that a team was willing to give him the size of contract the Seahawks had balked at throughout their negotiations. After he signed with the Vikings, he made the point of saying Minnesota stepped up to offer him a contract that Seattle either wouldn't or couldn't, and that by the time Minnesota made that offer he wasn't concerned if the contract hamstrung Seattle's ability to match it. In his mind, the Seahawks had plenty of time before he came with a free agent to offer him the contract that would have prevented him from even entering the market place. Some of the same dynamics could be at work here. Seattle has been negotiating with Brown over a long-term deal for more than a year. Back to when it named him the franchise player last year. By the time he got to free agency, he'd heard all the arguments from the Seahawks about why he didn't deserve a certain size contract that it probably makes a pitch about how valuable you are seem a lot more enticing.

Brown: There’s not an argument that any administration person out there right now can put against any guy my age and make me believe I don’t deserve what I just earned.

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Posted by charles

11:15 AM, Mar 03, 2008

bullsh$#

Posted by James

11:23 AM, Mar 03, 2008

A-Rod Part two... what an ass.

Posted by adam

11:26 AM, Mar 03, 2008

Kickers are a dime a dozen. Let him go. He's a greedy SOB and being a kicker he really doesn't have any leverage to be.

Posted by Patrick from Kent

11:32 AM, Mar 03, 2008

So where does everyone feel the Seahawks go from here? I heard talk about Alexis Serna from the Beavs? Anyone have any thoughts. Any other FA kickers?

Posted by Jidio

11:33 AM, Mar 03, 2008

Why wouldn't we just caugh up $200k more? We were already going to give him 14 Mil.

Posted by JDawgJ

11:49 AM, Mar 03, 2008

His concern for his team is astounding! I hope the Rams are assembling an entire team of this type as that attitude won't challenge the Seahawks. The greed in most of these FA's is incredible - money is the only thing they care about, a winning team comes much farther down the line.

Posted by Marysville

11:53 AM, Mar 03, 2008

Note to Josh Brown:
You are a kicker. Nobody cares. We will draft another one that can get a kickoff into the endzone. See you in Seattle when your last place Rams come to play.

Posted by Everett fan

11:55 AM, Mar 03, 2008

I don't blame JB for looking for money - but he'd got that 200k and more for getting to the playoffs and SB. Lots of luck in St. L.
Draft Serna, should be available in round 6 or 7.

Posted by No.12

11:57 AM, Mar 03, 2008

I'm glad Brown cleared the air and made it crystal clear that his "up-front" greed won the day. I don't blame the Hawks for wanting to spread the deal out, pay as you go should prevail.

I hope we land Serna from Oregon St., he'll fit in just fine.

Posted by charles

11:57 AM, Mar 03, 2008

tru and Shaun are made from the same mold all they want is money not a championship.

Posted by T

11:57 AM, Mar 03, 2008

The guy is a punk. Same money, but spread. It's called a salary cap Josh. Sometimes you take one for the team before you think of yourself. It's still guarenteed money. What a frickin jerk to say your cash flow problems are not my issue, it's the whole team's issue!! I hope he gets blasted by a Seahawks linebacker on kick-of when they play us next year.

Posted by wes

11:59 AM, Mar 03, 2008

WOW what a peice of work.

In the famous words of Johnny Carson as the great Karnak.

Josh Brown may your legs grow together and became a worse kick off kicker than you already are and an assute memeber of a loosing team!! Get use to it buddy you not going to like it much.

Posted by charles

12:02 PM, Mar 03, 2008

Look at the bright side when we play st.louis well at least have great field position

Posted by CG

12:04 PM, Mar 03, 2008

I can't deny him what he has earned and I hope he enjoys his new situation. But, man, what a stammering idiot he came across as. Does he always talk like that?

Posted by rossco

12:06 PM, Mar 03, 2008

Danny - have you heard anything about Larry Tripplet's availability? the guy was released this year from Buffalo and would be an awesome run stopper to replace Darby or Tubbs (if he can't return effectively). he's a UW guy to boot.

Posted by duce duce

12:07 PM, Mar 03, 2008

If he would rather get his money up front than play for a good team then so be it. F^@! him.

Posted by Thomas

12:21 PM, Mar 03, 2008

it's all about his cocky attitude... his unjustified narssicism.... dude, u're a bloody kicker... it just doesn't work for you, so give it up. case & point: after laying a decent hit on david hester (which he should have because he's the one who kicked it straight to him..) he started celebrating, jumping, etc. - trying to act like a bad-@#%, but what ended up happening was (and u can find this on youtube)he only looked like a dorky kicker trying to straddle patrick kerney's leg... glad to see him go, he was kinda' weird, if you ask me... the things that come out of that dude's mouth...

Posted by caineman

12:21 PM, Mar 03, 2008

All I care about is winning... NOT. All Josh Brown cares about is himself.. What a bum...

Posted by downinthegroove

12:47 PM, Mar 03, 2008

Yeah what an idiot...I love his mantra, it reminds me of that Howard Stern skit...
"Kill, Kill, Kill. Kill the businessman."
"Kill him until he is dead."

So he got the same contract but needs all that money up front because apparently he is struggling to make ends meet off of his meager salaries!

Best of luck and I look forward watching him fade into total obscurity....

P.S. St. Louis wasn't hurt. They were old and untalented at far too many positions.

Posted by Patrick from Kent

1:03 PM, Mar 03, 2008

So I think that we only have a draft pick in rounds 1-5 this year as I read in mocks. Does this pose a problem??

Posted by No.12

1:16 PM, Mar 03, 2008

2008 Draft:

- Hawks traded 6th round pick to Cleveland for Charlie Frye
- traded 7th rnd pick to Eagles for Josh Parry

- Get an undisclosed pick from Titans for Bryce Fisher

So I think we've only lost one pick in total, maybe we'll score a compensatory pick for free agent losses?

Posted by Sig Menchel

1:46 PM, Mar 03, 2008

Did Holmgren really support Josh Brown's requset?

Posted by Keith C

1:55 PM, Mar 03, 2008

Not a loyal player. He's getting more than he deserves. He is getting older each year. Missed 55 yarder in a dome, moving to a dome. I don't know. I won't miss him. Hawks have never had FG problems in the past 9 year I have been a fan. we take too many field goals...it is time to get more TDs.

Posted by Mike timmons

2:08 PM, Mar 03, 2008

His worth is what someone will pay him.

As for all this other hogwash, it just shows that he is not very intelligent, and got suckered into signing a contract by his agent. The fact is, the Rams are going to be lucky to go 6-10 next year, and Brown will be put in a position to make his stats worse. It happens with almost every free agent kicker who bolts to another team.

If you want to play for a winner, you have to take less money, due to the salary cap. The Hawks were going to make him the highest paid kicker in the NFL. Period. He should have stayed where he has been successful.

His agent is happy. The Rams, perennial losers even with a great kicker, are about the same. Josh Brown now has to learn a new system.

The Hawks lose out, but I am not sure they are the biggest loser in this deal. Especially if, as Josh Brown says, he wants to win.

Posted by Scotty

3:04 PM, Mar 03, 2008

I find it kind of sad that KING5, KJR, & other news media first heard this news from a text message - from Josh Brown himself. Talk about your ego problems...

And does he really expect to get sympathy about his money issues from Seahawk fans who pull in $40,000 a year working real jobs? Sheesh...

Posted by Ken Brown

3:34 PM, Mar 03, 2008

The lonesome kickerrrrrrr kicking for youuuuuuu........

What a knob. I hope we get some dude with a european last name who wears a one bar and can kick for donuts.....god I hate soccer players...I mean NFL kickers. Josh I used to love ya but now you are just another Lamb.

Posted by cambray

3:39 PM, Mar 03, 2008

I'm all for people getting the most money they can. But to say that he's signing up to win is absolute CRAP. I've lost all my respect that I had for you Josh and believe it or not I had a ton for you even tho some of those clutch kicks in the past that you've MISSED kind of got overshadowed by the ones you've made which is ok. But to sign with our division rival over the fact you get 4 million dollars faster is obviously the hillbilly kicker way of doing things. I hope you endure 5 straight losing seasons in St. Louis maybe you'll meet up with Hutch during the offseason and talk shop on how to be worthless human beings.

Posted by Michael C.

4:08 PM, Mar 03, 2008

I already knew how big of a douche bag Ms. Brown was, but this interview just confirms that he's just a piece of human trash. The guy can't even speak in complete sentences...nice grammar...did he drop out of school?? What an arrogant piece of garbage this guy is. Brown, you're KICKER.....a KICKER????? A KICKER like you getting 14 mil??? Was your game losing miss at Washington a couple years ago worth 14 mil??? Or was it your multiple misses in the Super Bowl?? Please let me know you punk. You kick a ball for a living....wow, I'm so in awe of you man. Ruskell was out of his mind in the first place to even offer anything near 14 million.....A KICKER PEOPLE!!!! Bottom line is....Brown...you're nothing but a pathetic, greedy, low-life piece of white trash who just spit in the face of the organization that made you what you are (whatever that is). I wish nothing but 5 years of pain in St. Louis, and can only hope you get your leg blown off in a hunting accident. At least you'll be able to afford to live in a nice trailer park in St. Louis. Also, people....stop comparing this jerk to A-ROD.....yes, we all know AROD is a jerk too, but he was offered 252 mil (152 million more than the Mariners offered)....so who would pass that up??? Brown left for a difference of 200K.....just scum. Fo F%&# yourself Brown

Posted by Tictac

4:45 PM, Mar 03, 2008

"What a knob. I hope we get some dude with a european last name who wears a one bar and can kick for donuts....."

Ken Brown, that quote from you above is freakin' golden! You're my new hero!

Posted by doggiedawg

5:08 PM, Mar 03, 2008

LETS BRING BRAUNSTEIN BACK TO SEATTLE!!!! HE CAN KICK HERE!!!

Posted by ricechex

6:39 PM, Mar 03, 2008

I'm sure all of you would be incredibly loyal if another company, that was located closer to your family, offered you more money than your current employer. You'd be loyal then, huh? Get off the high horse. 90% of you, myself included, would leave in a heartbeat. Why? Because we care about ourselves first, and everything else second.

Posted by zDawg

7:34 PM, Mar 03, 2008

I had a girlfriend like that once.

Came home from work one day, she was gone, took everything of value she could.

She claimed she helped "buy those things". Yes, but I paid for them.

It's all about the money, honey.

Posted by SEAhawknelson

7:54 PM, Mar 03, 2008

About kickers I will quote the announcer from NFL Network, "If a guy doesn't practice with a mouthpiece you really can't consider him a football player." Morton Anderson is going on 90 and still has a job in the NFL. I think we will be o.k.

Posted by Thomas

8:03 PM, Mar 03, 2008

becoming the HIGHEST PAID KICKER IN FOOTBALL just wasn't enough for Josh Brown!?!!??

we don't need that kind of drama queen on our TEAM any-damn-way... that's not our style...

don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.

Posted by Spark

10:40 AM, Mar 04, 2008

Good luck Josh. Watch out for that karma!

good riddance

Posted by Josh Brown

1:56 PM, Mar 04, 2008

pathetic. He is forgetting the reason he was franchised; that's the fans. Way to screw over the people who fought for you. Let him leave and be a part of one of the worst teams in this league. He will now be one of the most infamous traitors in seattle history... of all teams the rams, he is a huge clown and i hope he enjoys being the highest paid kicker on one of the worst teams in the NFL. Whatever. they deserve one another.

Posted by Josh Brown

1:57 PM, Mar 04, 2008

pathetic. He is forgetting the reason he was franchised; that's the fans. Way to screw over the people who fought for you. Let him leave and be a part of one of the worst teams in this league. He will now be one of the most infamous traitors in seattle history... of all teams the rams, he is a huge clown and i hope he enjoys being the highest paid kicker on one of the worst teams in the NFL. Whatever. they deserve one another.

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