That appears to be the sentiment among players for the Hartford Colonials regarding a potential player revolt for the final weekend of the United Football League's regular season.
The Colonials host the Las Vegas Locomotives on Saturday afternoon in the league's final regular-season game. Florida plays at Omaha on Friday night.
Two sources, as well as a player and an agent, told FanHouse on Thursday there was a strong possibility that some players would balk at suiting up this weekend because of the league's insistence on a transfer fee that would force NFL teams to pay the UFL $150,000 for any player signed to an active roster.
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One source said players may go so far as to feign injury to avoid taking the field for the weekend games.
Aware of the unrest among some of the league's players, Colonials coach and general manager Chris Palmer offered his players the opportunity to not play during a team meeting Friday morning.
"I want the integrity of the game to be intact," Palmer said. "I've tried to be honest with the players and let them know what's going on."
As a former head coach of the Cleveland Browns and a veteran of 20 years in the NFL, Palmer has the requisite cachet to command respect and his message -- "Let's not embarrass ourselves" -- resonated with his players.
Hartford quarterback Josh McCown, an eight-year veteran of the NFL and among the players considered to be a prime target of NFL clubs, said he doesn't envision any of his teammates refusing to take the field Saturday.
"I wouldn't think you would see that," McCown said. "I love the game too much and have too much respect for coach Palmer to do so. I just want to play well and pray the commissioner (Michael Huyghue) has a change of heart."
Last season, Huyghue waived the transfer fee, allowing 43 players to move to the NFL. Numerous players and agents said they were told that would be the case again this season.
Mike McCartney, the agent for McCown, said he is dismayed by Huyghue's line in the sand, calling it as big a "bait-and-switch" as he's ever seen.
"The beauty of this league is you come play, you get coached and you get a chance to go back to the (NFL) with six weeks to go," McCartney said. "We flat-out asked the commissioner (about the transfer fee) and he said, 'Don't worry about Josh, he'll be able to go to the NFL.'"
Huyghue declined to address McCartney's charge, saying he does not wish to comment on individual players.
Colonials long snapper Jared Retkofsky, who earned a Super Bowl ring with the Pittsburgh Steelers two years ago and is also a player to whom the transfer fee would apply, said he will honor his contract and would not consider a boycott because it would "misrepresent what coach Palmer is all about."
"Just because they're breaking their agreement doesn't mean we have to break our agreement," he rationalized.
Palmer conceded that while he expected his players to suit up Saturday, things could change if there was a show of solidarity or a player demonstration in Friday's game at Omaha.
Steve Pivovar, the beat writer for the Omaha Nighthawks, said Friday that there did not appear to be any signs of an organized boycott for Friday's game, although a source told him players are still considering their options.
"If a bunch of guys didn't play, it would be devastating," Retkofsky said. "It would be an embarrassment to the league."
Retkofsky added that he is wary of the long-term ramifications for the league if Huyghue does not budge from his stance. Players and agents have said they would not be willing to come to the UFL knowing that a potential avenue to the NFL will be blocked by the $150,000 price tag.
"I just worry about (the league) drawing high-caliber people," Retkofsky said. "I think right now everybody's indifferent. It'll have a big impact on our decision (whether to sign) next year."
McCartney said there will be no gray area for him when it comes to sending players to the UFL -- if the current climate remains.
"We have 11 players in the UFL," he said. "We will not recommend this league to anybody -- unless things change in the next 24 hours."
That's exactly what concerns Palmer, who said he hopes to see a resolution and have cooler heads prevail.
"Yeah, I'm worried about how it would affect the league in the future," Palmer said. "Sometimes you've just got to let the emotions calm down."