Arizona Cardinals fans, still basking in the afterglow of their team’s Super Bowl appearance, are closely following the negotiation between the team and their star quarterback, Kurt Warner. In a recent article on Azcentral.com, several negotiation lessons shine through.
First, both sides are “doing the standards dance” – they are negotiating over which independent standard is most appropriate. Warner is asking for a deal that would place him “among the top five highest paid quarterbacks in the league.” Warner’s on-the-field success and his Pro Bowl selection will make it hard for the Cardinals to argue otherwise.
Second, a fast approaching deadline is influencing the negotiation dynamic. Free agency begins on Friday enabling Warner to solicit and/or receive offers from other teams. This would improve his leverage by strengthening his Plan B. As a result, the Cardinals are trying to reach an agreement before then. While they believe Warner wants to stay in Arizona and won’t seriously consider other offers, they “would rather not take the chance.” A short deadline typically increases the intensity and pressure felt by the parties in a negotiation.
Finally, Kurt Warner’s overall leverage is strengthened by his success on the field this past season. Cardinals fans would be in open revolt if the team doesn’t appear to negotiate with Warner in good faith. Further, Warner’s back-up (and the Cardinals’ best Plan B), Matt Leinart, is still unproven and better know for his off-the-field peccadilloes.