League not commenting on cap implications of Luck using Irsay’s plane

AP

In response to the report that Colts owner Jim Irsay has offered to let quarterback Andrew Luck use Irsay’s plane to travel across the country to work out with Luck’s new teammates, former NFL player Ross Tucker made a great observation on Twitter.

At what point is this circumventing the salary cap?” Tucker asked.

It’s a great observation (I think I already said that), so I posed to the league office the question of whether any use of Irsay’s plane violates the cap.

“No comment,” said the league.

Perhaps the league didn’t comment because the league doesn’t need to.  Article 13, Section 4(a) of the CBA defines “salary” to include “the compensation in money, property, investments, loans
or anything else of value” that any player receives.  Letting Luck use a plane has value to Luck, who otherwise would have to buy a plane ticket or charter a private jet or pay for some other means of transportation.

And so the value of using Irsay’s plane, if Luck indeed uses it, would count as salary and eat into the team’s salary cap — and, more importantly, its far more limited rookie pool.

43 responses to “League not commenting on cap implications of Luck using Irsay’s plane

  1. That seems a bit far fetched to me. Unless the saints do it, then it’s totally against the rules.

  2. So what happens when players eat at the team facility or get tickets to a game for family members/friends?

    Using a private plane is clearly far more expensive but the above examples also fall into the “anything else of value” category.

  3. sm what you are saying is teams cheat by circumventing the rules? next you will be telling me the Saints are involved in a bounty scandal. Preposterous.

  4. It’s fie, as long as the Cowboys or Redskins don’t do it…then old man Mara will make a stink out of it.

  5. as long as we’re on the subject… if the owner lets a player use his plane to facilitate non-team workouts, aren’t they at that point starting to be team workouts.

  6. This CBA is stupid…. Thanks New Orleans for ruining everything. Your stupid bounties are coming back to haunt everyone now. All Irsay wants to do is give his quarterback a means of travel to practice. So, if favre got rides from Mississippi, and Peyton gets rides from the broncos, how is this any different? If it is, please explain.. I want all of plane rides for other players coming out of Denver and Minnesotas salary cap immediately then….

  7. The NFL will be turned into the NCAA if things like this are penalized. I guess Tucker’s viewing this as an Improper Benefit. Next, when grown men get arrested teams will be penalized for Loss of Institutional Control. Teams allow players to use private jets all the time. This is getting ridiculous.

  8. Bowlen gave Peyton a few plane rides during free agency-does that count? At some point accounting for ‘anything of value’ would become an absurd NCAA type regime…

  9. He’s not under contract, so does that come into play? Also, would a celebratory dinner on draft night with family, coaches and owners count against the cap? What if on a road game a player’s immediate family member falls ill and that player has to miss the game and fly back? Does that count against the cap too? Just not sure where the line is…

  10. Some key words in this article:work, teammates. If I am going anywhere for the benefit of my employer to work with fellow employees. My employer will sure as hell be picking up the tab. He’s not going on a personal trip.

  11. Anybody want to comment on weather this violates common sense? Seriously… you people and your rules and overanalyses. It benefits the team, who cares!

  12. That’s just silly. If Luck doesn’t use Irsay’s plane, I think we can safely assume that he’s going to purchase a commercial ticket for the flight– not his own airplane. Irsay is probably saving Luck less than five-hundred dollars. But hey, it could happen several times over the off-season! Okay, great. . . let’s make sure that two grand gets counted against the cap. If Irsay was actually giving Luck the plane, Tucker would have a point, rather than some petty sniping.

  13. My employer will sure as hell be picking up the tab. He’s not going on a personal trip.
    ————————
    So the whole team gets free flights?

  14. What about when teams hire charter flights to play road games? That has to be of ‘some’ value to players.

    what about ammendities at the facilities such as free food, massage, yoga etc etc

    I really dont think Lucks high flying should be connected to the cap.

  15. They let him use the plane as a way for him to practice with teammates.

    It’s like saying giving a free room at training camp is a salary cap violation.

  16. Little bit of a reach there. What does a cross-country flight cost these days? $400?
    That’s like 0.0003316749% of the cap.
    I’m not even a Colts fan; that is just trying to stir the pot.

  17. It’s just an advance on his contract. Big deal. Does anyone think all these unsigned rookies are showing up at rookie camp or when OTA’s start that they are doing this for free?

  18. This is pretty rediculous. If he was using it for a personal vacation, sure. But when using it for team purposes? For things that benifit the organization? No. Were they allowed to fly Peyton Manning to special doctors on the private plane? Sure. B/c the plane is being used for team use and the benifit of the team.

    If he was using it for a weekend in the Bahamas, there would be some validity to this. But there is nothing wrong with the team using the owner’s plane for team purposes.

  19. 49erdynasty says:
    May 7, 2012 9:32 PM
    So what happens when players eat at the team facility or get tickets to a game for family members/friends?

    Using a private plane is clearly far more expensive but the above examples also fall into the “anything else of value” category.
    ————————————————-
    Charting a private jet can cost 50k a pop. That’s a tad different than tickets to a game. The line has to be drawn somewhere. Maybe if Indy didn’t have an idiot owner that has to tweet everything under the sun people would not have found out about this.

  20. So if he borrows Irsay’s car, uses $17 worth in gas puts $10 of his own money in the tank but brings the boss back a latte that cost $3.50 whats the cap hit?

  21. Irsay letting Luck use his plane= no cap violation.

    But he if also gave him access to his on-board Scotch stash, the numbers could be getting into cap violation territory.

  22. beavertonsteve says:
    May 7, 2012 9:57 PM
    My employer will sure as hell be picking up the tab. He’s not going on a personal trip.
    ————————
    So the whole team gets free flights?

     ———-

    Is the whole team the future of your franchise, and the most important player on the field?

    If yes, then sure they can all use it. If not, I’m sure big Jim will throw them his delta rewards card.

  23. beavertonsteve says:
    May 7, 2012 9:57 PM
    ————————
    So the whole team gets free flights?

     ———-

    Is the whole team the future of your franchise, and the most important player on the field?

    If yes, then sure they can all use it. If not, I’m sure big Jim will throw them his delta rewards card.

  24. I’m sure the $365 bucks for a ticket from Indy to Palo Alto would really kill the Colts rookie pool cap.

  25. Maybe the league office didn’t comment because it is such a petty ridiculous question they didnt want to waste their time answering.

  26. bchapman2011 says:
    May 7, 2012 10:46 PM
    49erdynasty says:
    May 7, 2012 9:32 PM

    Maybe if Indy didn’t have an idiot owner that has to tweet everything under the sun people would not have found out about this.

    ——————
    I understand Irsay’s tweets have become legendary, but people now think any news about the Colts come from Irsay tweets. This offer by Irsay was reported by the Indy Star. Irsay did not tweet anything about Luck using his plane.

  27. The trips are not for camp… They can’t hold practice yet, it’s to let him throw and work out with team mates on their own time. That’s why it’s a violation.

  28. How much did it cost the Giants to order that extra special giant custom made helmet to cover Eli’s monstrous noggin? Shouldn’t all the man hours in R&D and the thousands of Chinese child labor hours that were spent to build that custom behemoth be counted against the cap?

  29. It’s a violation…these comments are ignorant of the facts. It’s not a new thing it’s been this way for about 20 years now.

  30. Interesting point amongst the comments. If he’s not on a signed contract, then how does it count? Or is it the draft ownership rights that begin to count the cap totals?

    Or perhaps that’s journalism that requires journalists to investigate. Sound bite politics, sound bite media.

  31. He currently counts against the cap in the amount of a one-year contract for the rookie minimum. Also, under the argument that he’s not yet signed, I suppose Irsay could have given him a bag full of cash as a belated/early birthday gift, too?

  32. Re: the argument that he’s not yet signed, the CBA prohibits attempts to circumvent the cap. So a tea couldn’t just give an unsigned player a ton of money, plane rides, etc., then sign him to a max contract and only count the contract number.

  33. This line of logic makes no sense unless Luck is flying to vacation or an endorsement gig. To charge flying to fulfill a team function means they would have to divide the cost of flying to a game 53 ways.

    I am pretty certain that I have read stories about players going to a funeral or birth of a baby and being flown in special for a game at the last minute. Are they charged against the salary cap?

  34. Free Flights for Manning don’t count because he wasn’t under contract for any of those teams. Free flights for Favre don’t count because he was “retired.” Wait a minute – Andrew Luck hasn’t signed a contract yet either, has he? Hmm…

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