Robinson, a college football player, signed a contract on December 2 with the Detroit Lions, a pro football club. The contract was a standard form that contained a clause stating, "This agreement shall become valid and binding upon each party only when and if it shall be approved by the League Commissioner." In late December, Robinson informed the Detroit Lions that he would not be playing for them because he had signed on with the Dallas Cowboys. On January 12 the commisioner approved the contract. Detroit then sued Robinson for breach of contract. Was there ever a contract between Robinson and the Detroit Lions? why or why not?
To determine whether there was a contract between Robinson and the Detroit Lions, we need to analyze the essential elements of a contract and consider the circumstances described.
1. Offer: The Detroit Lions made an offer by providing Robinson with a standard form contract. By signing it, Robinson accepted the offer, forming the basis of a potential contract.
2. Acceptance: Robinson signed the contract, indicating his acceptance of the offer. However, it is important to note that the contract contained a clause stating that it would only become valid and binding upon approval by the League Commissioner.
3. Consideration: Consideration refers to the exchange of something valuable between parties. While it is not explicitly mentioned in the scenario, it is presumed that both sides intended to exchange Robinson's football services for the Lions' compensation, which is typically a standard part of sports contracts.
4. Mutual Agreement: Both parties must have a mutual understanding and agreement on the terms of the contract. As the scenario describes, Robinson signed the contract, illustrating his consent to its terms. However, it is uncertain whether he had fully agreed to play for the Detroit Lions since he later informed them that he had signed with the Dallas Cowboys.
Based on the information provided, it can be argued that there was no contract between Robinson and the Detroit Lions at the time the contract was signed. The clause stating that approval from the League Commissioner was required indicates that the contract was contingent on this approval. Until the Commissioner gave his approval on January 12, the contract remained in a state of pending approval rather than being valid and binding.
Therefore, it is likely that the contract between Robinson and the Detroit Lions never came into effect because it was not fully approved by the League Commissioner before Robinson notified the Lions of his decision to play for the Dallas Cowboys.