The unfortunate case of Lawrence Tynes is a serious one. The fact that a player on the team has a serious infection that is not going away can potentially be a life-or-death situation. So this is certainly no joking matter.
This being said, it’s also not a matter that needs “sides”, which is the way it currently stands. Following the MRSA infection, the Buccaneers placed Lawrence Tynes on the “non-football injury” list. What that essentially means is that the Buccaneers are not responsible for the injury. However, the Buccaneers stood up and decided they would pay Tynes’ entire salary despite Lawrence never stepping foot on the field for Tampa during a regular season game.
Tynes’ is unhappy with the situation because he believes he should have been placed on “injured reserve.” IR would mean Tynes got the injury while in the Buccaneers facility (essentially a “work related injury”) and therefore the Buccaneers would be required to pay Tynes. The biggest point of contention is with Tynes’ “years of service” after he retires. Now I don’t know the amount of money, but I can only assume it is substantial.
So, there is a clear line in the sand. The Buccaneers are on one side, Lawrence Tynes is on the other.
I am not a lawyer, nor a doctor, nor have any right to form an opinion as to which side I believe is correct. So I won’t choose one.
However, I do have a few points of contention with the entire situation and wish it would simply be over.
The biggest issue for me is the timing. The Buccaneers are eight days away from a season that will go a long way in determining the long-term future of the franchise. Again, I do not mean to make light of the situation as it is clearly serious, however, the possible distraction this is causing is becoming ridiculous.
Next issue, the way in which each “side” is communicating. First off, there is way too much information available. This is a personal health issue, and there is simply no reason for the organization to answer questions about it. Yet they continue to do so, and in some cases are even conveying inaccurate statements (the Buccaneers said Tynes was responding well, Tynes’ wife refuted it). The fact that I can write an entire article with a timeline of the situation is sad.
But it’s not only the Buccaneers organization that’s at fault. Tynes’ wife has taken to Twitter multiple times to bash the Buccaneers. And Tynes himself is constantly planting seeds with reporters that he’s unhappy and “not going to let it happen.” This is not how adults communicate. Especially over a serious health matter.
The two sides need to sit down and hash this out. Tynes’ grievance should never see the light of day. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t know the amount of money we are talking about, but there’s no way it’s a total that would damage the Buccaneers or the NFL. I’m not telling the team to just pay the man off and sweep the issue under the rug. I simply propose the two sides simply stop bickering at each other using people like Ira Kauffman and Pat Yasinskas as vehicles, and meet as men and lock themselves in a room until there is a compromise.
Because if they don’t, this isn’t going to go away any time soon, and the distraction will just grow and grow. Let’s concentrate on football, not legal semantics about the specifics of an injured player who’s not even a going to be a part of the team.