Letting players pick teams isn’t the only big Pro Bowl change being weighed by the NFL.
NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported Tuesday that the location of the Pro Bowl and the way players are compensated are among the potential changes being discussed by the league. (Earlier Tuesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network said that the way teams are comprised was on the table, too, something Breer also noted.)
According to Breer, the league will soon announce its plans regarding the location of future games, and locations other than Honolulu, where this year’s game was held, could be in the mix. Breer also reported that the game, for now, will continue to be played the weekend before the Super Bowl.
The NFL, per the CBA negotiated with the players, can choose when and where to have the Pro Bowl, “provided that the (league) will consult with the NFLPA prior to making any such determination.”
Per Breer, the league could also change how it pays players for the game, with performance incentives tied to the results of game periods — quarters, halves, etc. — something being weighed, along bonuses for individual stellar performance.
This is a very interesting issue.
The total amount of compensation for players is also a collectively bargained matter. For next winter’s Pro Bowl, the winner’s share is $53,000, while the loser’s share is $26,000. In short, complete game result is the measuring stick used now. Pro Bowl payouts are collectively bargained through 2020.
It’s understandable that the league is looking at ways to change the Pro Bowl. But the compensation matter is a compelling one. As the CBA is written right now, I could not see the NFLPA standing for any player making less than $26,000 in the game. After, it’s a bargained issue.
So here’s the question: would the NFL be open to increasing the total amount of money available to players, or will it simply be redistributing the dollars a different way?
The Pro Bowl has lacked some intrigue over the years. But you know what will be very intriguing? The process by which any changes to the NFL’s all-star game come to pass.