Ok, I’m as much a sports fan as the next guy, but there’s one thing I’ve often wondered. When a player signs a contract, is he obligated to play at a certain level? Let’s say Alex Rodriguez decides he just doesn’t want to put any effort in his game and just collects his quarter billion over the next 10 years. Can he do that? Of will that somehow void his contract.
How would anyone be able to judge how much effort he’s putting in? Even a severe drop in his performance could be explained by something other than lack of effort.
Long term contracts like that are usually tiered. Say a ten yeart contract will be a contract for 4 years, with the club having options to extend it for 6 years either in two year or one year increments.
The contract gives him big bucks IF is in playing for them. If he can’t make the roster cut, he is still under contract but the team can move him to the minor leagues and pay him little bucks until he improves.
Also, if he does not do his best to play, no other club will want him. That drops his value.
Keep in mind that those players are competetive. You don’t reach that level by being willing to settle for less. They may have a streak of back luck; age or injuries may reduce their ability, but they will stillm try.