‘I am a slave’: Nate Behar doesn’t sound happy with Esks offer

Edmonton Eskimos draft pick Nate Behar may be closing in on a deal with the club after an extended holdout but it doesn’t sound like he’s happy about it.

The receiver took to Twitter on Monday afternoon to deliver a simple but loaded message: “I am a slave.”

He’s since deleted it and while it’s impossible to know for sure – 140 characters doesn’t leave much room for nuance – Behar’s Tweet is likely in reference to the fact he has few options as a CFL draft pick. The Eskimos retain Behar’s rights essentially forever, meaning his only options are to sign with the club or sit on his couch at home. He can demand a trade but the team can simply ignore that request.

Edmonton selected Behar out of Carleton University with the fifth overall pick in the draft.

Negotiations between new Eskimo general manager Brock Sunderland and Behar’s agent have been contentious from the outset. The Esks leaked terms of their offer through the media, a trend that continued today.

Hardaway does have a reputation for being a tough negotiator who is willing to keep his clients out of training camp. He represents offensive lineman Josiah St. John, who held out after being selected first overall by the Saskatchewan Roughriders last year. He also represents linebackers Cory Greenwood and Henoc Muamba, offensive lineman Matt O’Donnell and Kirby Fabien, linebacker Frederic Plesius, defensive back Chris Ackie… many of those players have had contentious negotiations with their respective teams.

Regardless of when Behar signs, or what he signs for, it’s clear that he’s feeling ill-treated by the club.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1571 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

83 Comments on ‘I am a slave’: Nate Behar doesn’t sound happy with Esks offer

  1. CFL Fan // June 19, 2017 at 4:11 pm //

    Lesson here kids is: Don’t get greedy in a negotiation where you have absolutely no leverage.

    • Exactly, and he is only a Canadian, there will be faster, stronger players from the NCAA who will be paid less.
      Our ratio requirement sucks and should be stopped!
      Canadians that are only on the team because of a rule are not demanding to be paid higher without even showing what they can do!!!

  2. Riders13 // June 19, 2017 at 4:14 pm //

    Wow. Another player who listened to the poor advice from this particular agent and tried to play hardball…and lost. I have to feel a bit sorry for Behar but the reality is that he’s an unproven prospect with few options if he wants to continue to play a game and be paid for it. There are many out in the real world who risk life and limb for similiar dollars and I’ve never heard them being as melodramatic as Behar. Glad he’s the schmoes problem. Good luck Nate.

    • horsieland // June 19, 2017 at 4:45 pm //

      Riders have many problems of their own. Don’t be so proud

    • michael // June 19, 2017 at 6:05 pm //

      Great Post. !
      Not Evan battle tested and from what I’ve seen. Needs to learn how to be a zero.
      It’s to bad that young talent can be misled.
      Stay Humble, Work Hard and Never Forget Where You Come From.
      Looks like Nate has amnesia.!
      I wish him better luck in the future.

      • michael // June 19, 2017 at 6:08 pm //

        Zero= Professional..
        Damn spell check…¡

      • Michael. Kinda sounds like “oh yessa massa” advice to me. I think that you prove his point. He is being treated like a slave and told to be an obedient servant … And no back talk now y’all.

        • Christopher // June 20, 2017 at 1:26 am //

          Are you shitting me??? Are you actually siding with this young putz? no, Shut up and play football is exactly what he needs to hear… either that or retire from the game…

      • He hasn’t even earned a spot on the roster!
        It’s terrible that he want more than $77k when he hasn’t even practised. There will be guys faster, better coached, smarter than him coming out of the NCAA who will be paid much less.

  3. I hope they sit him all season and make him settle for league min. What a greedy little snob.

  4. Last year Hardaway was right…1st pick deserves more than #2..this year Hardaway was wrong…played the game and lost…have to take the good with the bad…but this tweet is ridiculous.

    • Ron Bates // June 19, 2017 at 7:55 pm //

      Yes disrespectful of his race and history. But unwilling to take the only offer given to him and no matter now he won’t or shouldn’t suit up until September/ rb

  5. Scottsask // June 19, 2017 at 4:19 pm //

    He would have been better off representing himself, so what % does the agent get? He’s an idiot, why would players hire this agent?

  6. Scottsask // June 19, 2017 at 4:21 pm //

    That being said, he’s a rookie. Shut your mouth and sign your contract. Go out on the field and prove yourself, renegotiate in the offseason. Nobody starts a job at the top of the pay scale.

  7. Scottsask // June 19, 2017 at 4:24 pm //

    I’m sure the vets in the room wil looove this guy.

  8. I’d bet my paycheck he couldn’t tell you why…he is just regurgitating what his agent is telling him!

  9. Let it be known we are almost 10 comments in and no sign of the loudmouth from Calgary. Why you ask? Not a story about the Riders but just wait…he will chime in soon enough and turn it into one.

    • horsieland // June 19, 2017 at 4:48 pm //

      Gee Mike I do have a few other things going on you know.

      This agent should be black listed. It started last year with St John who appears to be a bust. Jones opened the door and enabled this agent to become to problem he is

      • There it is….this has nothing to do with Jones but you spin it that way just like everything else on here. Your obsession with the Riders and Jones is what ruins any chance of anything you say being taken seriously. Agents have played hard ball in the past and will in the future. Putting this on Jones is ridiculous as is most of your “opinions”.

      • truenorthern // June 19, 2017 at 5:03 pm //

        What does this have to do with Jones?? Hardaway has been notoriously difficult for anyone he has dealth with,…

      • He does not see what literally EVERYONE else on here does which is that simply put he can’t help but turn anything written into something negative about Jones and/or the Riders. There could be an article praising BLM as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Somehow that would be Jones and the Riders fault that the slices weren’t thicker. It is truly sad that he can’t see he is doing it.

        • horsieland // June 19, 2017 at 5:55 pm //

          You seem to fell the necessity to reply so I must be itching at you!

          • Only in hopes that perhaps you might be able to remove your head from your ass long enough to realize that you are doing it. But sadly it seems that is an unrealistic expectation. I hope I didn’t use too many big words for you.

    • Here I am what did the riders do today they signed another wash up in jovon Johnson hahahahaha no plan in ridrrville this year

  10. How many of you guys that are so quick to criticize would like to be caught in a system that gave you only one possible employer – forced to take it or leave it? Sadly this League survives by exploiting it’s players. The Club should have until a fixed date to sign him and after that he should be free to sign elsewhere with the signing club giving compensation.

    • I disagree because if you want to play in this league it’s by our rules. Go play in the NFL, oh wait you didn’t make it and they would do the same to you anyway. Now he won’t be able to show his stuff because he missed camp and has pissed off the vets. The season is probably a wash for him and he be stuck playing for a smaller amount next year also. Even as a free agent he may effect his earning potential because he isn’t proven and every has read his tweets. Should have shut up and played or at least tried to make the team, but now he may turn into damaged goods and take a few years to develop.

    • I don’t see how offering a draft pick an offer well above the league minimum and in-line with other 1st rounders while staying within the league salary cap is exploiting its players. Draft picks don’t have documented stats. They have to prove themselves and play out their contracts before they’re eligible for the open market.

  11. Agreed @Amicus. Beyond that, the idea that Hardaway/Behar are losers in this is just silly. Behar will reach free agency a year earlier this way and, if he performs, get a better payday that will negate the few thousand he’s left on the table for this year.

    More players need agents prepared to negotiate hard for them.

    • hard to perform when he won’t play in games. look for him on the PR for much of the season and if he puts away his ego and busts his ass he might see ST. Ya he will be an unproven FA that no one will over pay for. Again should have shut up and not pissed off the vets with his ego and went to camp. Your vision is very limited in this subject.

  12. White Horse // June 19, 2017 at 5:06 pm //

    Amicus….I am with you…. However some agents are idiots and do everything in their power to impress players from all leagues. Glad it backfired.

  13. It almost sounds like Behar isn’t happy being drafted by the Esks (as opposed to maybe an eastern team), but the reality is that when one is starting out in the work place, sometimes options for employers willing to hire you are limited. These players should be well aware that if they enter the draft they aren’t going to have a choice about who drafts them or where they are required to play. He needs to play out the contract, re-negotiate if he has great success and then move on when he has the opportunity as a free agent if he prefers to play for another team. I don’t agree with Hardaway’s tactic of keeping rookies out of training camp as a bargaining tool. They are missing valuable learning experience that is only going to help them transition from university to pro ball. That doesn’t help the player or endear them to their coaches and probably not their team mates.

    • TFMCB. You say “if they enter the draft” … What is their other option? They don’t consent to the draft system. I am sure that the kids would prefer to negotiate as free agents.

      • Probably should have worded that “when” they enter the draft. The only other option would be to stop playing football.

    • Mike S-K // June 20, 2017 at 11:08 am //

      I had a chance to speak with Nate the day after the draft, and he was more than happy to come to Edmonton and learn from guys like Adarius Bowman and catch balls from Mike Reilly. This, plus one of his closest friends in Kwabena Asare was drafted by the Eskimos as well, and is currently on the PR here. Ultimately the agent thought that Nate should make more as a #5 overall pick than Danny Groulx made as a #7 pick in his rookie season, not taking into account that NI Offensive Linemen tend to be more valuable to most teams than NI receivers. I hope that things work out for Nate, but he will have an uphill battle coming to a blue collar town holding out for money.

  14. Should be a history on what a #5 pick generally gets vs a #4 pick or #6 pick or higher. Position plays into it I’m sure – WRs in the CFL are a dime a dozen vs DBs, OL etc. Hardaway better be careful or this kid or other clients might be doing a 9 to 5 somewhere making half of what this kid will get for 6 months of work. Once he proves himself and plays lights out he can get into the triple figure category as other nationals have done.

  15. Wow is he going to be popular in the dressing room. Go ahead and listen to your greedy agent some more. Every extra $ they hand you who is unproven and never played a snap outside of school ball, takes away from the players that make the team and will actually see the field this year. Thanks to your greedy holdout you probably won’t see anything but the PR this season so how much do you think they will renegotiate for next year? With your attitude I can only assume you are not a good candidate for ST either so get ready to pull slivers from your ass.

    • Actually, he will be fine. Players have no issue with other players pushing the limits on salaries, even with a cap. The more players bargain hard, the more pressure there will be against the cap and the more likely it is that it gets increased.

      • The Cap isn’t set by pressure from the players. Its set by the Board of Governors so the poorer teams don’t go bankrupt by trying to compete with other teams that don’t budget properly.

        • horsieland // June 19, 2017 at 7:56 pm //

          Basically to protect the league against the Saskatchewan Roughriders

          • at least youre realizing that the Riders are the motor that powers the league. Feels good admitting doesnt it horsesa$$?

          • To bad Jones didn’t pay better attention to Huff, Wally and Hervey on how to hide in the closet and not get caught in shady CFL dealings. Don’t kid yourself they do it but they just know how to keep it under the rug so as to speak. So who protects the league against guys like that?

      • Not how it works man, not at all. And trust me the vets don’t appreciate the rookie taking from their pocket.

  16. Not likely playing much this year anyway. In the Esk scheme the Nationals are big, can block & contribute 400 yds receiving. In 2015 they played 3 imports, the big 2 & Stafford with primarily 2 Nationals – Watson & Chambers. In 2016 it was Bowman, Walker plus 3 Nationals. Expect them to go back to 3 & 2 Nationals. They have 3 big guys -Watson, Getzlaf & Chambers. Sure Chambers was bad, or misused, however you want to put it. But he knows the role in Edmonton. Watson & Getzlaf @ 33 & 34 will probably be moved for younger guys next year. The Maas offence is very complex apparently so Behar will be learning mostly this year. When they picked up Hazleton late last year, they never played him while he learned the system.

    • Jimmy Breslin // June 19, 2017 at 9:09 pm //

      To your point EW, Sunderland signed 6’5, 230 pound receiver Scott MacDonell who can block, play specials and has two Grey Cup appearances with Ottawa. He was on active roster there. I think he’s only 25. Can Behar expect to step out in front of him or KJ Maye, or even more daunting how about Kenny Stanford, Edmonton just grabbed him after the Bombers released him. And that’s just who’s on practice roster. Ya think Maas will sit guys like Adarius Bowman, Getzlaf or Chambers just to give Nate a shot ? Ya right !

    • Mike S-K // June 20, 2017 at 11:15 am //

      With Arjen Colquhoun possibly moving to a starting role at Field Corner, it’s possible that Edmonton goes 4+1 at receiver instead of 3+2. 2016 started as 2i + 3ni, but once Watson got hurt (and Donny O came back to the DL after injury) it was switched to 3+2 and Brandon Zylstra was the 3rd i receiver, and that’s when the offense acquired a new gear. Having Chris Getzlaf on the roster will benefit Nate more than most, as he spent extra time working with Derel Walker teaching him the complex Maas system, and is a fantastic teacher by all accounts.

  17. Riders13 // June 19, 2017 at 6:09 pm //

    I wonder how he’s going to feel if he’s asked to go onto the PR considering PR players only get paid $500/week? Or does he think he deserves a roster spot even though he hasn’t gone through camp and preseason to earn it?

    • Riders13. If he is smart he will go out and get started on a real career out of football. These guys are lucky to play more than five years. The team that drafts them controls them for two years – one plus a team option. The kid has no leverage so the teams can pay them the minimum. If they get hurt the team can cut them – in any other world that’s breach of contract. All CFL contracts are one way deals. If the player signs for three years, the player is bound but the team can release the player at anytime. Sound fair to you guys?

      • WHO signed that CBA? Wasn’t me. I’m pretty sure it was the players who turned on the best rep they ever had in Flory.

        Cry me a river modders lMAO

        • The reason the CFL’s CBA is so one-sided is because very few players hope to spend their entire career in CFL, and every gamed missed is a missed opportunity to impress NFL scouts. That means player association voting is dominated by short-term concerns. Further, the people voting on the CBA are already in the league and have no incentive to improve terms for draftees.

      • Wow you are some football fan. Why don’t you create a spectator sport out of SATs, cause it sounds like you would find that entertaining. Not saying the current situation is fair, but misguiding rookies to grab more is absolutely not the way to fix it and they have no chance of fixing it. If this became a trend in the CFL as a GM I would trade my draft picks. End of story.

  18. Good question Riders13. It could happen. He doesn’t get a playbook till he signs. Wow – talk about a downer.

  19. JimRobin // June 19, 2017 at 9:02 pm //

    I’ve heard it reported $750/week plus board.

  20. SOme intelligent commentary here in about half the posts. Not entirely sure how the other half get past the math question.

  21. EW- Zylstra will start for sure. He looked fantastic last season. Bowman is an obvious and I would guess Stafford will be inserted soon rather than later plus they have a couple other talented Americans. I don’t think Getzlaf, Chambers and Watson will all start. MacDonell is proven and would be ready to step in and play before a newly drafted CIS receiver.

  22. This is the guy Kavis Reed wanted to sign. Thank your little-blessed heart, Brock.

  23. Esclavo, Eskimo…. all the same.

  24. Looks like picking Hardass Hardaway as an agent has become a bit of a liability. Let’s not pretend the kid didn’t know who he chose as an agent. Joke is on you kid.

  25. Dan Bombers // June 19, 2017 at 11:02 pm //

    When will professional athletes learn not to voice there frustrations on social media

  26. O.K. Iv’e been following this site for a bit now and as a non fan of anything Western division, I have to say that this Stampland, Ingonito, Horesland or whatever his new handle of the day is, needs to be dealt with with a little more urgency. It needs to be reported to the appropriate officials. These are the guys that we as society always look back on and say “If only I would have reported the obvious to the proper authorities this wouldn’t have happened and so many lives would have been saved”. The guy is dangerous and hopefully the authorities get him before we all have to hang our head in remorse for what he’s done.

  27. I’d forgotten about MacDonell. The Esks started 3 Nationals to go with Bowman & Walker until late in the season when Zylstra came in. This year they may go back to 3 imports & 2 Nationals like their 2015 GC year when Bowman, Walker & Stafford started & they rotated Watson, Coehoorn & Chambers. They have Bowman, Zylstra Hazleton, Stafford, Mitchell (who’s been on the PR the past 2 years) & impressive newcomer Williams to choose from as a starting 3 imports. Behar has to take a spot from the Nationals Watson, Getzlaf, Chambers who all have size to block & wear down defences AND also know the system & of course there’s MacDonell, a big guy & Adjei who played last year. So I don’t see where he fits in behind the Nationals who are all big & get less targets & he certainly doesn’t beat out the imports. Any wonder he had no bargaining power. He should have made his mark in training camp & won a spot. His agent only needed to look at the roster to know he was in tough & get him in early to learn the system.

    • Jimmy Breslin // June 20, 2017 at 6:15 am //

      Something else to consider, MacDonell played under an OC named Jason Maas in Ottawa and was probably drafted by Sunderland who handled much of that task for the Redblacks before he moved on to Edmonton. Clearly they both understand his game which is likely why they signed him. Now that Behar’s in camp you can only hope he proves he deserved to be a first round pick but he does have some pretty talented guys to beat out. Which is all good for the Esks.

      As for Zylstra does he ever look like the real deal !

  28. Christopher // June 20, 2017 at 1:32 am //

    A Slave? what an idiot… I know there are a lot of people around that will take this one a little person… but to me a slave is someone who is forced to work for no money, has no freedom of choice and zero rights. This guy was offered $77,000… and he had the choice to say no… This disqualifies him to be a slave… Now if he choose to compare himself to military personel I might agree with him…

  29. Missing training camp, for a rookie whose draft report did NOT list as pro ready, is a big mistake and is actually more costly than the extra dollars that he tried to get.

    Behar likely starts the season on the 46 man roster but doesn’t dress for games.

  30. Sunderland will sign him then trade him.

  31. Tiger man // June 20, 2017 at 12:18 pm //

    This system is the same for ALL draftees in most of the major professional leagues.

    By association, Behar is painting them ALL with the same brush.

    Success in college does NOT always translate into greatness professionally.

    However, if this player is as good as he and his agent think he is….go try the NFL.

    And when the GM’s there stop laughing at him, he’ll back at the starting point with hat in hand.

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