FanDuel - WFBC

April 15, 2005

Agent says odd circumstances let to substandard deal for T.O.: What would a NFL off-season be without another "poor me" story from T.O.? Now T.O. has been reduced to tears on TV, saying he may have to hold out after one year played on his seven year contract! Every dictionary from this point forward should include two separate definitions of the word "contract." One should relate to the word 99.9 percent of the human population understand "contract" to mean, and the other definition should be what pro athletes feel it means.

posted by dyams to football at 08:54 AM - 45 comments

In the case of NFL non-guaranteed contracts, 99.9 percent of the human population would be wrong. The Eagles could cut TO at any time, and not pay him any money. The non-guaranteed contract is why you see a lot of players who are having great years sitting out. They know that they better get their money in a great year b/c as soon as they slow down, there is no contract anymore. The only problem as I see it is that TO chose his agent that botched this for him. You can't blame Philly for getting a bargain.

posted by bperk at 09:00 AM on April 15

Last year, TO had no other choice but to sign that contract. He had burned all of his bridges. Now is has a little leverage. Let him feel "loved" Let him restucture so that he is getting paid what he is worth...

posted by daddisamm at 09:04 AM on April 15

I have no clue how TO is able to live on the money in his exisiting deal. If he has children I hope he is able to get food stamps or something. It would be a shame if they starve because Philadelphia is so cheap, and doesn't understand TO's "stature in the game." Is there a website set up so I donate some benjamins to this poor guy?

posted by scully at 12:24 PM on April 15

In the case of NFL non-guaranteed contracts, 99.9 percent of the human population would be wrong. The Eagles could cut TO at any time, and not pay him any money. As far as I know, people in business and other industries are getting let go or "fired" all the time, every day. And many of those jobs are lucky if they have salaries of $150,000 a year, tops. Usually that's a salary that pays for a family of four or more to live, and believe it or not, they get by. Half the jobs in the city of Buffalo were eliminated recently because of a huge budget crisis, and some of that "99.9 percent" of the population were given pink slips. T.O. is a grown man who signed a 7-year, $49 million dollar contract, and now cries like someone had a gun to his head when he put his name on it. Last year he was so overjoyed and happy to be with the Eagles, a team that can win, a team with a great quarterback, etc. etc. Now he has time to think about the SEVEN YEARS he signed, he talking "hold out" one year into the thing.

posted by dyams at 12:47 PM on April 15

The difference between TO & the other people in industries that you mentioned is that along with their lack of job security also comes the freedom to leave their job whenever they want if a better one comes along. TO does not have that freedom. Regardless of how high NFL salaries are, he still deserves to be paid amongst the best. And, does anyone really believe that he is going to see that 7 year money? The Eagles have no problems dumping players (regardless of performance) when it is time to pay.

posted by bperk at 01:32 PM on April 15

i think TO is the best fuck those qb's like the mannings, TO kick ass he sacrifice his body to play in the superbowl and he didnt reinjured his body so if those want to say hes the shaq of the nfl he is hes the top dog TO and Micheal Vick is the best out there they prove they could run the game without the best qb peyton is the best qb right now but mcnabb got into the superbowl

posted by dhdefrag3x at 01:54 PM on April 15

Haiku: TO kick ass the shaq of the nfl he is the top dog

posted by Joey Michaels at 02:33 PM on April 15

Terrell Owens doesn't have the freedom to switch positions because (and only because), like daddisamm said, he burned all his bridges last year. A year ago, he had options out the wazoo as to where he wanted to play. This year, contract or not, he'd still have all those options if he hadn't acted like a complete prick and thrown a huge tantrum to get out of SF (and out of Baltimore, hamstringing the on-field operations of both teams in the process) to grab some temporary glory with Donovan and the Eagles. Yay him, but he paid for that attitude last year with the cold shoulder and a lack of leverage this year. He's lying in a bed he made for himself. The bridges Mr. Owens burned last year are still burned. He's better than some other prima donna wide receivers who hold out regularly enough you can set your calendars to it, but only because he delivers a little more often. If I ran the Eagles, I would go to Freddie Mitchell and tell him to stop talking shit and start delivering, because he's gonna get a few weeks to shine for real, and not just through the crack in his boastful ass. Let TO sweat for half the year, just long enough that it hurts his stats, which are all he cares about anyways.

posted by chicobangs at 02:38 PM on April 15

Players in the NFL really get fucked because they sign contracts that are not guaranteed and then they are often forced to renegotiate those contracts for less money. Consequently, the NFL owners agreed to allow players to ask for more money later in their contracts. That's the deal they made, end of story. TO is just asking for a right the Eagles agreed to give him. If he can leverage a better deal then more power to him. Frankly, hes one of the best non-QB players in the NFL and he risked his health and well-being for his team by simply playing in the Super Bowl, not to mention getting the Eagles to the Super Bowl by being a stud in the regular season and being one of the most productive players in Super Bowl. Hes no saint, but he should get at least a chance to sit down and get fair market value or what he thinks is fair market value for his services. This is the bed they made, what's wrong with letting both of them lay in it? As a side note, I find it very ironic that often phony moralizes bemoan pro-athletes for getting paid and ofen paint them as "iberal elites" and "out of touch" with everyday Americans. Then they turn around a molly coddle corrupt CEOs making millions more than pro athletes (often 5 to 10 times more), assert they promote capitalist policies that allow the very pro athletes the bemone to get the salaries they do and then cash-in in sweetheart media deals in radio and publishing. Id say the little poor boy from Alabama has worked just hard or harder than most of those folks for what he has. Yet he takes most of the B.S. I think racism is partly to blame, so is political opportunism and so is the phony folksyism of the right-wring elite. All of the pundits' swanking about TO is merely political B.S. TO should be is the archetype capitalist and the perfect "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" story. Im not staying TO needs to be celebrated, but Im just a little sick of the hypocrisy and of the phony moralizers catcalls. Am interesting slate article about TO/Brett Favre that is somewhat on subject.

posted by Bag Man at 02:49 PM on April 15

"He was nothing short of remarkable last year with the Eagles," Drew Rosenhaus told Dan Patrick. "He absolutely outperformed his deal. I've had many players ... [who] have been cut when they underperformed despite having just did a multi-year deal the year before like Hugh Douglas with the Jaguars." Eagles defensive end Hugh Douglas told ESPN Radio on Thursday night that he disagreed with Owens' desire to have his contact re-negotiated. "I don't agree with [re-negotiating a contract] because I believe that when you sign a contract you're bound by that contract," Douglas said. "He's doing what he feels he needs to do, but I do believe that if you sign a contract you should honor that contract whatever circumstances you signed it under." Sounds like some NFL players who actually have experience in this system that is so "unfair" need to be called "hypocrites" and "phony moralizers" too.

posted by dyams at 03:12 PM on April 15

Sounds like some NFL players who actually have experience in this system that is so "unfair" need to be called "hypocrites" and "phony moralizers" too. I was not refering to other players. If Hugh Douglas does not what to assert his rights under his contract, that's his choice. What's so fair about a system which forces only one side to honor it's agreements? If there is an any sort of "out" for a player, why shouldn't they take it if they can?

posted by Bag Man at 03:19 PM on April 15

Athletes should use all the leverage they have to get money while they can, especially in the NFL where careers are short and the toll on their bodies is insane. Forget the excuses about the last deal. Owens deserves top-5 receiver money, and if he's not getting it, I have no problem that he's beating a path back to the negotiating table.

posted by rcade at 03:24 PM on April 15

The T.O. whining is nothing, I heard that Vick and Mexico actually signed two separate contracts for the Falcons, much like Tony Clifton and Andy Kaufman did in the entertainment industry... If I were an agent I would just advise: alter-ego = mo' cash

posted by chris2sy at 03:45 PM on April 15

TO and Micheal Vick is the best out there they prove they could run the game without the best qb first of all dumb shit, vick aka. Ron Mexico, is a QB, fuck Owens, overpaid fucking crybaby, maybe he needs some of that peformance enhancing drug like----WEED---for instance, Owens is causing too many fucking problems in Philly, remember 49ers( they kinda of deserve it), then Ravens, just shut the fuck up TO and play the fucking game :)

posted by mattonimus at 04:08 PM on April 15

Wow. Nice introduction to the rest of the SpoFi crowd, mattonimus. What's that saying about making a first impression...

posted by grum@work at 04:28 PM on April 15

Out of curiosity, what was stopping Owens from signing a one-year deal with the Eagles if he felt the long-term money wasn't right? Or asking for more bonus money? It's called negotiation, TO, and you and your agent fucked it up. Now nut up, shut up and just catch the damned ball. Also, this from Bag Man's linked Slate column: Owens, who grew up destitute and fatherless in backwater Alabama, wasn't allowed to leave his front yard as a child for fear of getting whipped. Favre grew up in small town bliss surrounded by his loving family. Not to demean the loss of loved ones, but who has overcome more here? Why is every hurdle Favre has jumped over presented as the Pillars of Hercules, while a guy like Owens is dismissed as a loudmouth? I might be way off base here, but I think it has something to do with Favre being nice and TO being a huge cock. Just because Owens came from a lousy background, are we supposed to forgive him for a self-centered jackass? I think we sympathize with those we like, and while there are a lot of people (myself included) who respect TO as a player, I don't find a lot of folks who like Terrell Owens the man.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:54 PM on April 15

How nice would Favre have to be to explain the decade-long lingering tongue kiss that he is receiving from Peter King? Half the reason he's so likeable is because the media keeps telling us he is. I wonder if the same is true of Owens in reverse.

posted by rcade at 05:09 PM on April 15

ahhh, it's all so boring. How many times can the same theme be repeated? High paid athlete holds out asking for more money. People are OUTRAGED, OUTRAGED do you hear me, that a pro athlete would have the audacity to renegotiate a contract. There's some much I could say. I could say these are both sophisticated parties with excellent representation. If the owners felt strongly about having iron clad contracts they could insert a liquidated damages clause to give them more leverage against holdouts; since they haven't renegotiation obviously an accepted part of the system. I could point out that it's standard operating procedure for business parties to rengotiate contracts all the time. But I think what I'll say is I can't believe we have another freaking post about this. Everything that could possibly be said about this has been said, a dozen times. I don't care if TO is greedy (disclosure: I think TO is a jerk. I also like TO. He entertains me. He's like a human cartoon). Can't we get a post of John Hollinger's articles? His work is fascinating.

posted by Mike McD at 05:41 PM on April 15

Out of curiosity, what was stopping Owens from signing a one-year deal with the Eagles if he felt the long-term money wasn't right? Or asking for more bonus money? It's called negotiation, TO, and you and your agent fucked it up. Now nut up, shut up and just catch the damned ball. okay, I admit it ... I can't resist correcting wjr. Renegotiation is part of the NFL contract framework. It happens ever year. Players hold out if they think they can get more money. The owners have suberb legal representation ... so we know that they understand it and renegotiation a risk they've accepted. Therefore, there's nothing wrong with exercising rights that are implicit in the contract nor is there anything to get worked up about. Notice, you never hear owners saying 'so and so shouldn't be holding out because he should be honoring his contract.' That's because they know the deal and understand that under the current NFL contracts that's the players right. BTW, I suspect TO would have been prohibitively expensive to sign to a 1 year deal. I don't know for certain, but I can't remember a superstar signing a 1 year deal in the NFL. That makes me suspect that there may be minimum contract terms or some other clause that prevents it.

posted by Mike McD at 05:57 PM on April 15

okay grum, maybe im a little blunt--- let me say i have been reading the filters post for a couple of months, and im glad i finally joined, but me not speaking my mind is out of the question, so deal with it fucker! mattonimus IV ( but seriously im glad to join you crazy mother fuckers in a little sports controversy)

posted by mattonimus at 06:29 PM on April 15

mattonimus, no one is against your speaking your mind. The more opinions the better. A higher level of discourse is simply preferred. F this and F that adds more noise than signal.

posted by justgary at 09:23 PM on April 15

Renegotiation is part of the NFL contract framework. Look, for me it boils down to this -- you signed your fucking name, live up to your word. If you're telling me it's all part of the game in the NFL, fine, but why all the handwringing and bitching from TO then? Is it necessary for him to take pot shots at his own quarterback (in which he doesn't have the guts to actually use Donovan's name) and complain that he's been screwed by the media yet again, as if every sportswriter whose ears have been graced by his words has aural dyslexia, if we all knew this is the way it was going to go down anyhow? Why not just say, "This is the game in the NFL and I expect the Eagles to compensate me the way I should be compensated?" Let's be crystal clear about this: * Absolutely nothing stopped Terrell Owens from asking for and doing his best to receive whatever it was he thought he was worth before last year. * Absolutely nothing forced Terrell Owens to sign the contract he chose to sign with the number of years and the amount of money it contained, especially knowing the Eagles don't have a history of renegotiating contracts. * Absolutely nothing stops TO from honoring the word he gave except his greed and ego. You say this is the way the game is played in the NFL, Mike, and you might be right. But choosing to play the game is TO's choice, and fuck him for doing it.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:27 PM on April 15

mattonimus, no one is against your speaking your mind. The more opinions the better. A higher level of discourse is simply preferred. F this and F that adds more noise than signal Sorry gay gary, ill try to watch my fucking mouth, so this subject is now on the proverbial edge of kicking the dead horse, TO is a bitch so im moving on.

posted by mattonimus at 11:17 PM on April 15

Goodie. We'll try to survive without you and your mouth.

posted by gac at 12:17 AM on April 16

Look, for me it boils down to this -- you signed your fucking name, live up to your word. So why shouldn't the owners live up to their word? For everything you posted, you can turn that around as an indictment against the owners. Absolutely nothing forces owners to agree to contracts for the number of years and money they do, yet they get off scott free. Tad bit of a double standard.

posted by jmd82 at 02:17 AM on April 16

screw TO doesnt even deserve us talking about his punk ass me personably hopes he meets up with ray either on the field or in a ally either way hes going to get his head busted like his leg . i was really hoping he would reinjure himself at the superbowl he gives the NFL a a bad name

posted by 9erftbl at 02:49 AM on April 16

To plays in the NFL which stands for his carrer NOT FOR LONG

posted by 9erftbl at 02:52 AM on April 16

wjr, I don't mean this in a disparaging way, but all you're doing in showing that you don't have any experience with contracts. Most of this is the media's fault because they play up the *greedy player* storyline misleading the average sportsfan. (jmd82 makes an excellent point. As a thought experiment ... have you ever felt a second of outrage upon hearing that a team terminated a long term contract early? Why not?) And I find it difficult to explain to you because you're coming from such a different perspective you might as well be an alien from another planet. When it comes to multi-million dollar contracts, the concept of *your word* is irrelevant. As I said before, there's a whole spectrum of clauses that owner's could insist on if they felt locking up was important. They haven't. Ergo, we know that renegotiation is part of the game.

posted by Mike McD at 11:27 AM on April 16

bperk hit on the other critical point. Renegotiation happens because owners strongly resist contracts with player termination clauses. The owners have contracts where they are allowed to terminate and the players cannot. Which is fine, that's deal they've made. The players recourse is to holdout and renegotiate the contract. Personally, I think player termination clauses would be cool. Can you imagine ... last year, 8 games into the season Manning could have terminated his deal and then signed with the highest bidder. It'd be like the rest of the world. As Emril would say, kick it up a notch.

posted by Mike McD at 11:45 AM on April 16

Look, for me it boils down to this -- you signed your fucking name, live up to your word. The Jaguars released Hugh Douglas last fall, costing him $7.89 million in salary: $3.345 million in 2004 and $4.545 million in 2005. When the team did this, was there a single sports fan anywhere in the world who said the team wasn't living up to its word? I think this disparity is why a lot of us support athletes who renegotiate. If it's acceptable for a team to cut an athlete for poor performance, it should be acceptable for an athlete to renegotiate for great performance. It's how the game is played. Any NFL athlete who doesn't use leverage -- when he has it -- is an idiot.

posted by rcade at 01:12 PM on April 16

TO is a great WR his baltimore stunt put him in this 46 million dollar situation for 6 more years.He should take it like a man.Like a very rich man!

posted by tex4th1 at 03:41 PM on April 16

PLUS HE SHOULD be happy with his team or go back to SF.

posted by tex4th1 at 03:45 PM on April 16

You know what? I guess you all do understand contracts better than I do. I always thought a contract meant you gave your word to honor what the agreement said. How does what the other side does have any bearing on you honoring your agreement? I get the whole "Well, the NFL fucks them at every turn" argument. I agree, and for the life of me, I have no goddamned idea why the players (whose union is ostensibly in the pocket of the owners, I know) don't rise up and raise holy hell about it. But -- so what? Did he sign the contract or not? If it says the Eagles can cut him whenever they wish, is it Philadelphia's fault TO signed it? Who did the better job negotiating in the first place? And how are NFL owners not honoring their word when the players know going in they are signing unilaterally trashable documents?

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:23 PM on April 16

Now, I left that to write this -- I think I get your point. It's basically that there's no honor in NFL contracts at all in either direction, so let the player go after whatever he can. I suppose if the whole system is that one-sided ... I can understand. However, I still just disagree from the goddamned standpoint that you signed your name, and what the other guy does is morally irrelevant. Anyone who doesn't get that ... well, I just wouldn't enter into a contract with you, I guess.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:26 PM on April 16

Anyone who doesn't get that ... well, I just wouldn't enter into a contract with you, I guess. I'm with you wfrazerjr. Everything flies in the face of the basic definition of a contract. It seems the NFL should come up with another word for what they use, because contract in this sense is a little bit of a joke.

posted by justgary at 11:37 PM on April 16

That is a crock of garbage! T.O. made his deal. Shut up and play the game. I guess this this shows again that their is no honor among thieves

posted by redskinsruss at 08:37 AM on April 17

I'll explain one last time. You can write contracts with varying degrees of protection for the parties. Let's take this out of football and into a regular business setting so it's easier to understand. Say you ave a power company and you buy a power plant turbine from General Electric. When you buy that turbine you sign a contract with GE for the purchase of the turbine as well as a contract for the service and maintenance of that turbine. Furthermore, let's assume the service and maintenance portion of the contract guarantees certain levels of performance from the turbine (i.e. # of breakdowns, availablity, etc.) Now as PowerCo you can demand a contract with different levels of protection (PowerCo pays for it, less for a weak contract and more for a strong contract). For example, the strong contact might include clauses that provide for liquidated damages (i.e. a list of $ amounts that GE has to pay if the fail the breakdown threshold) or collateral provisions (i.e. GE has to put up a $ deposit that Power Co can grab if something goes wrong). Let's also say it's a 15 year contract. However, the contract has termination provisions. This goes to the level of protection. The easier to terminate, the weaker the contract. If GE has the right to terminate contract at any time without any costs then you really don't have a very strong contract or a 15 year contract, right? Similarly, if GE can walk away from the contract without any penalties, then you don't have a very strong contract. NFL owners are basically in the same boat. They're paying for weak contracts that players can walk away from without penalities. The penalty is the player doesn't get paid their salary. People who are saying TO should "honor his word", that's loosely analagous to PowerCo paying for a weak contract and then going to GE and saying they should 'honor their word' if GE walks away. That would just never happen. The concept of "your word" is irrelevant. Anyway, I hope that helps explain things.

posted by Mike McD at 10:51 AM on April 17

Mike, before I go any farther with this, can you provide an example of an NFL contract where it says explicitly the player has the right to opt out after one year and demand a new contract? I'm assuming that the owners have this right all spelled out in the paperwork, correct? So if TO didn't have that, how is that not breaking the contract?

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:22 AM on April 17

1. The contracts are confidential. So obviously I can't provide an example. 2. What started this whole process was TO's agent missed the deadline for notification of the player termination option. 3. I understand your argument is going to be that if the contract doesn't have an explicit termination clause then TO is breaking the contract. And you know what, he suffers the consequences as spelled out in the contract, which is he doesn't get paid this year. What don't you understand about that? These are sophisticated parties. These contracts are lawyered to death. They understand the implications of having a weak contract and a strong contract. If you have a contract that you can walk away from without any consequences then you have a weak contract. NFL clubs deal with renegotiation all the time, they would obviously address it in their contracts. For example, last year Miami put in a clause so they could recover the signing bonus from David Boston for misbehavior. Anyway, this is really boring to me. These conversations always unfold the same way. You get opinionated people who are intentionally thickheaded. If you want to believe that TO is a scumbag because he's renegotiating his contract it's no skin off my back.

posted by Mike McD at 03:08 PM on April 17

Just took a shower and had an insight. Under your 'honor the contract' concept, TO not getting paid isn't enough of a consequence. It's a rather radical and sweeping concept actually. You're saying that if I sign a seven year contract with my employer and 2 years in I decide that I don't want to work anymore that I shouldn't be able to quit. It's not enough that I wouldn't get paid.

posted by Mike McD at 03:22 PM on April 17

Where did I ever say TO can't quit? He's more than free to walk away from the contract and not collect another dime from the Eagles, even if it is breaking the contract. I suppose it's a special circumstance if you decide you just aren't going to work any longer. You're saying that if I sign a seven year contract with my employer and 2 years in I decide that I don't want to work anymore that I shouldn't be able to quit. It's not enough that I wouldn't get paid. Of course you aren't going to get paid if you don't perform the services the contract requires of you. And are you going to be able to quit your job and then go directly back to the same employer and say, "Okay, now pay me more money?" That's what TO is doing, at least as I see it. I also highly doubt you'd sign an exclusive seven-year contract where the employer held all the rights to can you with no compensation. From what you're saying, though, that's what NFL players do -- and that's a measure of their own idiocy. I get your point that NFL owners are willing to allow this renegotiation for the ability to void contracts whenever they like. I even understand that I shouldn't hate TO for wanting more money, and I don't, really -- I hate TO because he's a loudmouthed bastard who can't help denigrating those around him when he's unhappy. I just don't understand why players would allow it to happen. Is the union just that lame? There aren't non-guaranteed contracts in other professional sports, are there? And is this the reason everyone else wants to be like the NFL in terms of its financial structure? Yours in thickheadedness, wfrazerjr

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:59 PM on April 17

Where did I ever say TO can't quit? He's more than free to walk away from the contract and not collect another dime from the Eagles, even if it is breaking the contract. I suppose it's a special circumstance if you decide you just aren't going to work any longer. Of course you aren't going to get paid if you don't perform the services the contract requires of you. And are you going to be able to quit your job and then go directly back to the same employer and say, "Okay, now pay me more money?" That's what TO is doing, at least as I see it. You didn't explicitly say TO can't quit but that is the logical conclusion of your reasoning. Let me give you an example. I work for an investment bank. On of the Managing Directors, a guy who has a multi- million dollar per year contract told the bank that he was resigning because he was tired of the lifestyle and wanted to spend more time with his family. You know what the bank did? Offered him a ton of money to get him to stay another year. Now I think this MD was honest, he really did want to spend more time with his family. But motive is irrelevant. And that's analagous to what's happening with TO. I don't see how one can logically believe it's okay for TO to walk away and not collect another dime and also say that he's not honoring his word if he renegotiates? They're the same thing. Renegotiation is nothing more than saying at this amount of money I would rather quit and not play. Whether it's for money, for family, for religious beliefs is irrelevant. The Eagles then have to decide if TO's bluffing or if he's worth paying more money.

posted by Mike McD at 05:32 PM on April 17

I think this disagreement boils down to this: When a contract spells out the consequences of breaking its terms, is it really wrong on its face to break the terms? To me, Owens holding out and not getting the rest of his deal is like Ricky Williams paying millions back to the Dolphins because of a recoupment clause in his last deal. From what you're saying, though, that's what NFL players do -- and that's a measure of their own idiocy. NFL players have a terrible deal. They play in the most lucrative pro sport, live under a salary cap that puts one star player on each team in a franchise player trap where he can't get market value in free agency, have to serve three years with their drafted team, and do colossal damage to their bodies. Of course they are idiots.

posted by rcade at 06:05 PM on April 17

Look, for me it boils down to this -- you signed your fucking name, live up to your word. Why don't you hold NFL teams to this?

posted by Bag Man at 10:23 AM on April 18

Through no fault of the individual players, NFL players have little negotiating room. Free agency is the only time they can hope to get that big contract (and that is only if they avoid the dreaded franchise tag). If they are outplaying their contract, the only recourse they have is the hold-out. If they are underplaying their contract, teams regularly ask for renegotiations or they will cut the player. While I have no sympathy for TO's situation, I certainly support the principal of the holdout. TO's problem is that the Eagles now have to deal with a mess created by TO's previous agent. But, really, it is not as if TO is taking money out of some poor fans pocket. The owner is rich, too, so who really cares which among those two men get the better deal.

posted by bperk at 12:29 PM on April 18

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