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NFLPA’s plan for performance-based pay crosses a line

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Several weeks ago, we began to catch wind of a plan to delay the payment of so-called performance-based pay to NFL players.  As it was initially explained, the move arises from efforts to pump up the salary cap.

Now, it’s being sold as a way to protect players from themselves, financially.

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah previously has acknowledged that the two-year delay will happen with the 2013 performance-based bay, for cap purposes.

For clarity, the term “performance-based pay” relates to one specific benefit, paid to players based on their playing time in relation to their compensation.  A low-paid player who plays a lot, for example, gets a big check, like Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who went from undrafted to starting lineup.  The term does not include incentives or contractual bonuses.

Mike Freeman of CBS Sports calls it a “controversial and still hotly debated move” within the NFLPA, which resulted from an “extremely close” vote of the union’s player representatives at their annual meeting earlier this month.  The most surprising aspect of the move, from our perspective, is that it’s now apparently being characterized not as a shell game aimed at ensuring the salary cap will remain at desired levels while keeping earned money out of the players’ hands for two years, but as a way to protect players from themselves.

It’s fitting, we suppose, given that the NFL has spent so much time over the past several years protecting players from themselves on the field.  Now, the union can protect players from themselves off the field.

But that’s not fair to the guys who don’t take out $300,000 loans to throw birthday parties for themselves.  That’s money that can be invested by the players who earned it.  And if the players choose to make it rain or take it to the tables or light it all on fire and watch it burn, that’s their business.

The inalienable right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness necessarily includes a right to squander life, liberty, and/or happiness.  Freedom includes the freedom to screw up, and when a group of men are being treated like children, that’s not good for anybody.

Then again, it’s possible that it’s all just clumsy cover for an effort to prop up the salary cap by keeping player money from the players.  Regardless of the real reason, no union should be taking its members’ money and putting it in a jar for two years, two months, two weeks, two days, or even two minutes.

Especially if the members don’t want that to happen.

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31 Responses to “NFLPA’s plan for performance-based pay crosses a line”
  1. panamon says: Mar 22, 2013 2:16 PM

    This is a terrible move by the NFLPA and a completely indefensible one. With all the crap they pull it’s amazing how they can find a way to get even lower.

  2. chawk12thman says: Mar 22, 2013 2:21 PM

    Where does the money come from? The individual player or a collective account?

    It sounds like a reverse insurance policy. If you play in many games but don’t get paid well due to being undrafted or FA, you get bonus. Unlike the player who gets paid well and doesn’t play in many games.

  3. oscojoe says: Mar 22, 2013 2:21 PM

    This should be no surprise here, whether its the NFLPA or the Public sector Union. Unions do what they do!!!

  4. romeisburningtfb says: Mar 22, 2013 2:21 PM

    Kudos Florio. If only the federal government adopted the same mindset as you then America would be a better place.

  5. gerryb323 says: Mar 22, 2013 2:24 PM

    What about pay-for-performance earnings?
    Bounty dat!

  6. kingmj4891 says: Mar 22, 2013 2:25 PM

    The NFLPA shows once again why unions suck, they only look out for themselves and not the people they supposed work for. If I was a player in any right to work state I would stop paying union dues and tell anyone who says anything to me about it to shove it. And if I was player that had my money taken I would sue the union for interest on every penny.

  7. bigredgoog says: Mar 22, 2013 2:27 PM

    How long before we read that the money supposedly held in trust by the Union has disappeared? Players, don’t trust the Union! They’ll start getting fat on the interest and/or the commissions they earn from finding “money managers” to entrust the money to.

  8. kazkal says: Mar 22, 2013 2:27 PM

    Wow NFLPA way to screw over your own.

  9. truthfactory says: Mar 22, 2013 2:32 PM

    Doesnt matter when they get that money. They will blow through it now, or in 2 years from now… It doesnt really matter.

    If they are broke, they can always join a lawsuit or come on the radio to tell us about how bad their lives have been after football (funny how getting a normal job that provides insurance is never talked about). Its always about how this poor former NFL player in his 50’s is broke with no insurance… They just need to get a real job like the rest of us if you have to! They are not “above” working into their 50’s. time for them to take responsibilty for their mis-spending and poor planning. I dont think this rule would change anything either way. An idiot will blow it now or 2 years from now- makes no difference.

  10. doe22us says: Mar 22, 2013 2:35 PM

    Two sides to this, i see how this violates ones rights, however considering that these playes or at least most of them blow through money it is just a protection mechanisim.
    I would say the NFLPA or whomever should devout their attention to all NFL players in general as to how to properly save and be responsible.

  11. briang123 says: Mar 22, 2013 2:37 PM

    That only means that a dope expecting a $250K bonus in 2 years will take out a loan today for $130K today and assign the entire amount upon receipt, not taking into account taxes and the egregious interest rate.

  12. silverdeer says: Mar 22, 2013 2:46 PM

    To me this sounds like the NFLPA’s version of Social Security. Take the money, put it in an account that is not supposed to be touched and then borrow from it, tell those that are affected that the account is broke and that receiving it is an “entitlement” that they had no contributions into.

  13. marvsleezy says: Mar 22, 2013 2:51 PM

    When they finally pay out the money, are they paying it with interest? If so, how much?

  14. pj1983a says: Mar 22, 2013 2:52 PM

    If “freedom includes the freedom to screw up” when managing money, why doesn’t it include the freedom to screw up when electing player representatives? This was voted upon and approved by the NFLPA. If the players don’t like that, they have no one to blame but themselves.

  15. turfczar57 says: Mar 22, 2013 2:54 PM

    Sounds like DeMaurice is prepping for a run at the Presidency.

  16. petedutcher says: Mar 22, 2013 3:00 PM

    And the nflpa makes money off the interest as well. I would quit the union.

    It didn’t exactly help the players get more money after the lockout. Salaries are finally lower again. (Except for Flacco)

  17. diehardtwinsfan says: Mar 22, 2013 3:05 PM

    The inalienable right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness necessarily includes a right to squander life, liberty, and/or happiness. Freedom includes the freedom to screw up, and when a group of men are being treated like children, that’s not good for anybody.

    _________________________________

    Now if you could convince the government of this…

  18. nineroutsider says: Mar 22, 2013 3:08 PM

    I can’t get over how poorly this article is written and the amount of pandering it contains.

  19. kingfish2013 says: Mar 22, 2013 3:15 PM

    If these adults have to have their money kept from them so they won’t spend it while someone else holds onto it collecting interest instead you collecting the interest,you so don’t deserve it.Now go clean your room and if you go out be home before dark.Geez!

  20. icdogg says: Mar 22, 2013 3:20 PM

    So does the IRS for that matter

  21. nahcouldntbethat says: Mar 22, 2013 3:23 PM

    Wow. A union stealing from the poorest members to keep the rich members rich.

    That’s not the America I remember.

  22. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 22, 2013 3:25 PM

    This sounds a lot like a mandate to buy black market insurance. We here at the NFL will provide insurance for you, but we just can’t call it that because then we’d have to be in compliance with all kinds of complex regulations.

    Boy do I feel like a fool for selling insurance the wrong way. I should have been telling my clients that I can get them a better deal if they don’t need a receipt and we can do things off the books and under the table. With the primary bonus benefit being that their own stupidity and ignorance won’t put their own money at risk as they surrender control, and how can you beat the foolproof security that comes with the “honor system”. Don’t worry I know what I’m doing and in 2 years I will return with a statement to show you how I did for you.

  23. vargavarga says: Mar 22, 2013 3:35 PM

    Wow!! Couldn’t agree more. Liberty for all!!!

  24. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Mar 22, 2013 3:37 PM

    WWWWHHHHHHAAAATTTTT???

    This is OUTRAGEOUS! Really Bizzaroworld stuff!

    They’ve earned it…… Pay the man!!!!

    What kind of lousy union representation is this? And the players elected these guys??? There must be infiltration in the union by the owners. Back door deals? Who benefits? Follow the money….

    I smell a rat!!!

  25. bobby2478 says: Mar 22, 2013 3:39 PM

    For clarity, the term “performance-based pay” relates to one specific benefit, paid to players based on their playing time in relation to their compensation.

    ======================

    Thinking of a player that gets little to no signing bonus, and gets his salary paid on a pro-rated basis based on how many games they play, this could be really unfair to some low paid players.

    Imagine a player who makes close to the league minimum with no guarantees, no signing bonus, and his salary is split up into equal game checks which the player only gets if he plays. Let’s say the player gets hurt and misses 3 games, that’s 3 less game day checks he gets paid. And if he can’t collect ANY of this money for 2 years, he’s basically being expected to play for free and get a check 2 years down the road. If that’s the case, that’s pretty shady of the NFLPA as an obvious way for them to earn interest on those funds for 2 years for free and rip off the players they are supposed to be protecting.

  26. mrpowers88 says: Mar 22, 2013 3:46 PM

    I’m just waiting for the union to count these payments (when they’re made) to the future salary caps to make it look like they’re getting a sweeter deal. I have a feeling the player reps are some of the stupidest-smart people to approve this.

  27. CKL says: Mar 22, 2013 4:06 PM

    pj1983a says:
    Mar 22, 2013 2:52 PM
    If “freedom includes the freedom to screw up” when managing money, why doesn’t it include the freedom to screw up when electing player representatives? This was voted upon and approved by the NFLPA. If the players don’t like that, they have no one to blame but themselves.
    _________________________________
    To an extent I agree, but when it comes to to something as personal as guys’ own individual and different paychecks, I think each player should have been allowed to vote individually, and then those who wanted it should have it and those who don’t shouldn’t.

    Either way I am very anti any entity having my money interest free, while they make interest on top of it. I don’t even have that for our property taxes and insurance on our house. I pay those myself. And I make sure we owe the IRS, not vice versa.

  28. malgorthewarrior says: Mar 22, 2013 4:43 PM

    i think the article is being a little dramatic with the ‘life, liberty, pursuit of happiness’ routine.

    it’s a pretty small issue, some dudes making plenty of money (relative to 90% of the population) will have to wait two years….in that two years they’ll only get salary 4 or 5 times the national average….american values are gone now boo hooo

    what a bunch of bologna. freedom is not freedom to consume. if that’s true, then 99% of americans are freedom-deprived. the idea that freedom and spending money are the same thing is why our entire political system is so screwed up!

  29. boogerhut says: Mar 22, 2013 5:02 PM

    Maybe they just want to provide a safety net of some sort for these ghetto fools that come out of college with no education, no life skills, and the expectation that people will always roll out the red carpet for them. Why shouldn’t they be like that? No ones told them “no” since high school. They haven’t had to pay a dime or take a test to get through school. When they screw up “some one” makes it better. You expect them to show fiscal restraint with 100’s of thousands (at least) in front of the? Most of them ARE babies, or more accurately mental midgets that don’t realize things like you have to pay someone so that water comes out of the faucet when you turn it.

  30. macjacmccoy says: Mar 22, 2013 8:46 PM

    This comment from you really suprises me. Dont get me wrong I love it and completely agree. It just seems like a very republican view point and you come off more a democrat. I could be wrong but it just seems that way.

    Your argument here is the same exact argument against big government and more specifically Social Security. SS is basically the government taking a portion of your income and setting it aside so you will be taken care of when you reach a certain age. Pretty much protecting you from yourself. The government thinks if they dont take your money that you will blow it all and have nothing left to live off of when your to old to work.

    Its the same thing that the NFLPA is doing. And their both wrong for it. Not everyone in America is to dumb to save and not everyone in the NFL is to dumb to realize 300k b day parties are a bad idea. These type’s of laws and policies are an infringement on freedom and Un-American .

  31. marvinlewismiracleworker says: Mar 23, 2013 7:05 AM

    Unions steal money all the time from their members and then give it to despicable politicians.

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