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NFL missed chance to make offset language moot two years ago

NFL Labor Agreement Signed Getty Images

As the annual philosophical debate cranks up regarding whether high-end draft picks should be permitted to double dip if things don’t work out with their current teams and they sign land with a new team, let’s keep in mind how this problem came to be.

When the NFL was getting pretty much every financial concession it wanted from the NFLPA two years ago, the league’s negotiators failed to make offset language standard in every rookie deal.

The goal in creating a rookie wage scale was to eliminate the things on which there could be negotiation and, in turn, potential holdouts.  The NFL successfully removed from the process every issue on which an impasse could arise.

Except one.

As a result, some teams (such as, this year, the Dolphins, Browns, Eagles, and Titans) believe that players who are cut should not get to keep the full amount of their guaranteed rookie contracts plus whatever money they earn elsewhere.  And some agents are willing to push the issue aggressively, to the point of a possible holdout.

Regardless of where anyone stands on the issue, the issue could have been a non-issue if the NFL had simply asked the NFLPA to agree to a provision that would prevent a draft pick who failed in one city from getting paid by two teams at once.  From the union’s perspective, there would be no reason to fight that term, given that the absence of double dipping means there will more money for other players.

When the current labor deal expires in eight years, the NFL should plug that loophole.  Until then, it’ll be one of the only issues about which teams and high first-round draft picks can haggle.

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10 Responses to “NFL missed chance to make offset language moot two years ago”
  1. theuglitruth says: Jul 19, 2013 11:49 AM

    You don’t want to pay a fully guaranteed contract…trade back. There is no excuse when you submit your top ten draft pick about what the expectations are….fully guaranteed.

  2. ccjcsr says: Jul 19, 2013 11:50 AM

    “Offset Language” = Means teams want to protect themelves for drafting busts!

    #CowboyNation

  3. rayala3 says: Jul 19, 2013 11:55 AM

    Its a fully guaranteed contract. Its money already earned. They should get to keep it and earn more elsewhere.

  4. micknangold says: Jul 19, 2013 11:58 AM

    Double dipping is always wrong. It’s like putting your whole mouth in the dip.

  5. Slim Charles says: Jul 19, 2013 12:06 PM

    Really, how many protections do these owners need? First they set up a salary structure to keep themselves from paying rookies “too much” even though they’re the ones that set the market, now they want to grab even more cash. I hope anyone who supported the owners during the lockout sees in hindsight how dumb they were.

  6. eagleswin says: Jul 19, 2013 12:42 PM

    Slim Charles says:
    Jul 19, 2013 12:06 PM
    Really, how many protections do these owners need? First they set up a salary structure to keep themselves from paying rookies “too much” even though they’re the ones that set the market, now they want to grab even more cash. I hope anyone who supported the owners during the lockout sees in hindsight how dumb they were.

    ———————————-

    You do realize that even with offsets the player will get every cent that was guaranteed? If the player was guaranteed 5 mill under his rookie contract and he signes for 1 mill on the new contract, the old team pays 4 mill and the new team pays 1 mill. There’s no reason the player should profit from being a bust but he definately isn’t being penalized.

    If he’s cut and noone signs him for the following season the player still get’s all his money.

  7. mackie66 says: Jul 19, 2013 1:04 PM

    Dont sign them,,,,let them spend the entire yr watching TV, then see where their drafted(if) next yr. When they fall to the bottom of the draft next yr that will be the end of double dipping. Double dipping in the government is also doable. Ask Detroit Mich. Hope you retirees get your money but the people who dont work what to eat,,soooo?

  8. vegasdogg says: Jul 19, 2013 1:25 PM

    Why do some citizens in this nation still feel people should be paid for doing nothing? You got cut? Well, go peddle your skills to the highest bidder and let THEM pay you.

    I just don’t understand how a player can insist to be paid by a team he doesn’t play for anymore.

  9. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 19, 2013 1:44 PM

    It’s a great point Florio, but I still think this is only the beginning. Not only should their be mandatory offset language, but there should be a new system altogether to funnel more money away from the busts and those that don’t perform or get into trouble, and keep that money available for all other players as well. This entire compensation system is massively screwed up as it stands today. It’s completely illogical and unfair to those that do a great job and stay out of trouble. They keep subsidizing the busts and the losers.

  10. mrpowers88 says: Jul 19, 2013 2:31 PM

    So what is basically being said that these 20, 21, 22 year olds that just got drafted in the 1st round shouldn’t be confident in themselves to be able to finish out their first NFL contract? This reeks of agents trying to pocket an extra $3,000 or so on these contracts that, otherwise, they have no real power to negotiate.

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