Apart from the fact that any veteran player needing to dip into the $60,000-max-per-player lockout fund in April may never make it past one week without a game check, the players’ supplemental revenue stream during the work stoppage has given rise to a couple of concerns.
First, as one agent pointed out to PFT, tax consequences will apply to at least a portion of the money. Up to $30,000 of the $60,000 constitutes reimbursement of dues payments in the amount of $15,000 per year. The other $30,000 comes from income generated by the NFLPA* via the selling of group licensing rights.
We’re told that the NFLPA* has considered alternative labels for the payments aimed at making them something other than income, such as reimbursement for health insurance expenses during the lockout. For now, however, the plan is to make the payments, subject to any and all potential tax liabilities.
The next question becomes whether the players were told to expect that taxes will have to be paid. Though it likely won’t be an issue until next April, the NFLPA* could be facing a flurry of unhappy phone calls in early 2012.
Another agent points out that the NFLPA* should be trying not to help only veteran players make it through a lockout, but that the NFLPA* should be thinking about taking care of the rookies, who have never been paid to play football.
(Unless they went to Auburn.)
Under the system devised by the NFLPA*, every player who has been on a roster for the past two years has $60,000 available in lockout money — including guys like Peyton Manning and Drew Brees and Tom Brady. It would make much more sense, then, to reconfigure the lockout fund to take care of the guys who truly need the money, because those guys are the ones who will be the most likely to crack in September.