Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman went to Stanford. Thus, he’s smart. And better at life than Skip Bayless.
But Sherman swings and misses with an otherwise well-written item posted at TheMMQB.com in support of the position that NFL players should be paid for preseason games.
Here’s the reality: The players already are paid for the preseason.
Not in their game checks, which as Sherman points out reflect a small percentage of their regular-season per-game pay. But when Sherman says “the only solution is to cut the players in on the profits,” the truth is that they already are.
Under the 2011 CBA, the players get roughly half of every dollar generated, including the dollars earned in the preseason. Those revenues fund the salary cap, on which signing bonuses, roster-bonuses, and regular-season salaries are based.
Paying a player like Sherman for the preseason would consist of taking his regular-season base salary and giving it to him in 21 installments instead of 17. Either way, the total money would be the same because the available dollars for player salary are driven by all revenues — preseason, regular season, and postseason.
Actually, players who end up making it to the 53-man roster would end up getting less pay if full game checks were issued in the preseason, because the 37 players who are cut by the time the season starts would be siphoning off in the month of August bigger chunks of money that otherwise would go to the players who make the team from September through December.
Sherman also whiffs on the idea that a player like Giants safety Stevie Brown has been harmed financially by suffering a season-ending injury in a preseason game. Once he’s placed on injured reserve, Brown will be guaranteed his full salary for all of the 2013 season. That’s the same outcome for a season-ending injury in a game that counts.
If a player otherwise was destined to be cut by his current team and unwanted elsewhere, a torn ACL actually would represent a windfall — the player gets a full season of NFL salary for a season in which he otherwise would have been working at Target with half the guys who were drafted before Maurice Jones-Drew.
Sherman’s third strike comes when he suggests as an alternative to paying the players to play in preseason games charging fans less to attend them. While there’s nothing wrong with a little pandering to the paying customers, every dollar that isn’t paid for preseason games is one less dollar from which the players get their cut. Thereby driving down the total money available for the salary cap.
All things considered, it was a subpar effort for a Stanford student. We can only wonder how much worse it would have been if Skip Bayless had written it.