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Bills could stiff Alonso, in theory

Alonso AP

With Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso reportedly tearing an ACL while working out in Oregon, the Bills could play hardball with the high-impact 2013 rookie, if they want.

Because the injury happened away from the facility, it’s a non-football injury.  And teams are not required to pay players who suffer non-football injuries.

But teams can choose to pay.  Failing to pay a player who suffers an injury while working out in preparation for training camp would equate to a message that players are better off sitting on the couch, watching bowling and eating pork rinds.

The importance of not discouraging players from working out should be balanced against the possibility that a player who has suffered an injury doing something other than working out will claim that he was working out.

The gray area comes from basketball.  It’s working out, sort of.  Plenty of guys do it.  Some, like Terrell Suggs of the Ravens, have gotten injured while doing so — and the Ravens had no problem with it.  Some coaches, like Dennis Allen of the Raiders, have made clear their disdain for the practice.

As to Alonso, it’s unclear what he specifically was doing when his ACL gave out.  Still, the Bills need to tread lightly if they’re considering keeping all or part of the $550,473 in base salary that Alonso is due to earn in 2014.

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53 Responses to “Bills could stiff Alonso, in theory”
  1. stainlineho says: Jul 2, 2014 7:16 AM

    Don’t pay him Bills, dude was probably rock climbing or something else dumb.

  2. 1952vikefan says: Jul 2, 2014 7:30 AM

    that’s a drop in the bucket Pay him

  3. rpiotr01 says: Jul 2, 2014 7:34 AM

    He’s an important part of your future, why would you even consider ruining that over such a relatively modest sum of money? I can’t believe the Bills are actually considering it.

  4. alewatcher says: Jul 2, 2014 7:37 AM

    For $500K, just pay the kid, unless he was doing something stupid. It’s not like he’s making millions, and he was a huge impact player for the Bills last year.

  5. piratefreedom says: Jul 2, 2014 7:38 AM

    If he was a scrub it might be an issue but there is no way the Bills screw over a playmaker with a 2nd round rookie contract.

  6. Heretopissuoff says: Jul 2, 2014 7:46 AM

    That would be messed up on buffalos part only 550k if it was overpaid Adrain Peterson salary I would understand.
    Khalil Mack> Barr, Clowney, Alonso
    Raiders 10-6

  7. marvsleezy says: Jul 2, 2014 7:48 AM

    Great opportunity to give him an extension actually – Bills have negotiating power.

  8. pmuraus says: Jul 2, 2014 7:53 AM

    In this football game of millions it should be no problem paying him 1/2 mio. He’s an impact player on his rookie wage. ‘My’ Jaguars payed Jason Babin the same amount of money and cut him at the end of the OTA’s – believing there are better players on the roster. It sends a message – if a player is giving everything for the team, the team will find a way to do the wright thing.

  9. computojon says: Jul 2, 2014 7:55 AM

    (Unpopular opinion) The general population has been completely duped into thinking that NFL players make an outrageous amount of money. Some of them do; but most don’t, by any stretch. According to the NFLPA, the average NFL career length is 3.3 years. (This doesn’t include the thousands of men who try-try-try to make it to the league, but… fail.) Ok. So the overall NFL median salary is $770,000. (Averages are completely worthless because they are totally skewed by the top few salaries, so the median is the only important number. Median means that 50% of the salaries are above that number, 50% are below that number.) This all means that the average *successful* NFL player (made it to the league!! played for years!!) earns about 2.5 million. Let’s remember that taxes are *much* higher in the highest tax bracket; with all taxes included (federal, state, etc.), it’s close to 50%. I.e. career take-home pay of perhaps $1.3M. And that’s it. Hey, let’s live for the rest of our lives (age 28 onwards) off $1.3M — which, at average life expectancy (79 years), will be $25,000 (take-home) per year. Good luck with that, NFL players.

  10. killxswitch says: Jul 2, 2014 7:58 AM

    The Bills probably have enough trouble retaining their talent and convincing free agents to come there. They’re not going to screw themselves over just to save a few hundred thousand.

  11. billsfan1 says: Jul 2, 2014 8:01 AM

    Well this hurts. I guess i have to change my prediction from 6-10 to 5-11

  12. computojon says: Jul 2, 2014 8:07 AM

    Just to comment further on the real financial situation for an NFL player. 78% of NFL players file for *bankruptcy* within 5 years after their careers end. (You can google for sources.) And bankruptcy is, of course, a last resort, meaning that some percentage of financially strapped former NFL players don’t file for bankruptcy.

    Still jealous of NFL players’ incomes?

  13. blacknole08 says: Jul 2, 2014 8:09 AM

    This kid is the future anchor of that defense. Don’t be cheap Buffalo.

  14. stars78919 says: Jul 2, 2014 8:12 AM

    If you want to have a chance at retaining him when the time comes for him to be a free agent, pay up. No need to get on his bad side.

  15. DaveKShape says: Jul 2, 2014 8:15 AM

    Why risk alienating one of the highest-potential young LBs in the league just to save a few million? Thanks to the rookie wage scale it’s so much easier to just let him rehab and get ready for 2015 vs silly penny-pinching.

  16. bobby2478 says: Jul 2, 2014 8:19 AM

    If he’s that much of a high performer and will be part of the core foundation of their defense, and his salary is only $550,000, I don’t see the Bills risking one of their top young talents for such a small amount of money towards their salary cap.

    I could maybe see them making a stink about it if he were making $10 Million, but don’t think it’s worth it over $550,000.

    Also, like was pointed out, if he was in fact working out trying to be ready for camp, if they don’t pay him then the message will be that players shouldn’t bother working out during this break and they’d be better off being lazy on the couch getting fat. Why risk getting injured if the team won’t pay you then?

  17. jimcarper1 says: Jul 2, 2014 8:21 AM

    This just makes next years first round draft pick (now owned by the browns) look that much better already

  18. therealbillybuffalo says: Jul 2, 2014 8:22 AM

    Oh, great let’s just screw over the best Bills rookie since Lynch.

  19. george1859 says: Jul 2, 2014 8:26 AM

    Won’t happen. No chance Brandon even considers screwing his players over NFL pocket change.

  20. maddog111 says: Jul 2, 2014 8:30 AM

    Really sounds like you’re trying to make something out of nothing here.

  21. godfatherd says: Jul 2, 2014 8:35 AM

    There is absolutely no chance the Bills will risk angering their best young player over $550k, its not going happen. To even suggest its a possibility is ridiculous.

  22. pantherfan40 says: Jul 2, 2014 8:35 AM

    If you dont pay him some one will. Im not even a bills fan and I know this guy has potential in being a top 5 lb . You dont pay he will remember that when his contracts up . Smart move is to pay the guy

  23. wwwmattcom says: Jul 2, 2014 8:44 AM

    Pay the kid, rookie deal, low money, lots of upside.
    Are there any Chuck Norris references to ease the pain of this injury.
    I think he will be back just in time for the Super Bowl.

  24. smackingfools says: Jul 2, 2014 8:45 AM

    Wouldn’t surprise me. These teams don’t truly care about their players. If he was in his 30’s they would cut him.

  25. cjnbsc says: Jul 2, 2014 8:49 AM

    Nowhere near worth not paying. You have every other player that you want in shape and kiko is a great player you might wang to keep around.

  26. unitunite says: Jul 2, 2014 8:49 AM

    Don’t play games with one of your few stars. Give the kid his money and welcome him back next year.

  27. kosarkid says: Jul 2, 2014 8:51 AM

    There’s no way they don’t pay this guy.

  28. rrhoe says: Jul 2, 2014 9:02 AM

    Hey,pork rinds are recommended by the Atkins diet,they have no carbs!!!!

  29. cas5875 says: Jul 2, 2014 9:10 AM

    yea lets not pay the kid…

    Only real result from that would be alienating him from the team, causing him to demand a trade and him never resigning with your organization after his rookie contract no matter what you offer him.

  30. chuck1979 says: Jul 2, 2014 9:16 AM

    A less agtagonistic headline might have read “Bills have the legal right not to pay Alonso, but teams rarely stiff players in this situation”.

    But that’s really how you roll now is it?

  31. theanalyticalkid says: Jul 2, 2014 9:23 AM

    For a half-million it’s not worth the heartache and hassles. Pay him.

  32. maddog111 says: Jul 2, 2014 9:30 AM

    computojon says:
    Jul 2, 2014 8:07 AM
    Just to comment further on the real financial situation for an NFL player. 78% of NFL players file for *bankruptcy* within 5 years after their careers end. (You can google for sources.) And bankruptcy is, of course, a last resort, meaning that some percentage of financially strapped former NFL players don’t file for bankruptcy.

    Still jealous of NFL players’ incomes?
    —————————————–
    Yes

  33. truthofthefootballbusiness says: Jul 2, 2014 9:33 AM

    Stop saying that they’re not overpaid, they are! The median salary you’re speaking of is 25 years, yes 25 years salary for everybody else. Plus they get a FREE college education AND FREE marketing to all future employers (both ones related to football and in their free college education) by being on national tv and having their names spoken so often.
    Football players Are overpaid!

  34. wny49er says: Jul 2, 2014 9:45 AM

    pay the man, but make sure he gets a personal trainer who can watch him in his work outs.

  35. coldwater32301 says: Jul 2, 2014 10:12 AM

    They will be making a big mistake if they don’t pay… because the Dolphins is looking for another LB to add in 2016 to unite with Jordan…Indeed…

  36. wiley16350 says: Jul 2, 2014 10:18 AM

    Football players are neither overpaid nor are they underpaid as a whole. They are worth what they produce on the field. They get paid that large sum of money for what they can do. If they can’t do it, they aren’t worth it. Some players do out produce their contract, which makes some individual players underpaid. Some players don’t live up to their contract, which makes them overpaid. The NFL pays better than any other football league. The problem computojon has is that he believes that football is a career. Which is the main problem with his perception. Football should not be seen as a career because there is no guarantee of how long you will be able to perform at a level worthy of making that kind of money. These players should have college degrees that allow them to have an actual career once their playing days are over. There is absolutely no reason why they can’t have another career after football unless they became physically or mentally disabled from playing in football. The money made in football should be seen as a way to make a lot of money quickly and then properly invested for future needs. The other problem players have is that they live lavish lifestyles while making the big money and then expect the NFL money to be large enough to let them live the same lavish lifestyle once they’re done playing, which is ridiculous. It is not the NFL’s duty to make sure every players future is taken care of. It is the NFL’s job to pay the players fairly for what they produce on the field. They obviously do or nobody would be playing in the NFL, they would play in other leagues or do other jobs. The only ones playing in other leagues are the ones that can’t make it to the NFL.

  37. joshmac982 says: Jul 2, 2014 10:22 AM

    Um….just pay him. I’m pretty sure he out performed his contract last year, so giving him the 500k he is entitled to this year can just be looked at as a performance bonus.

  38. kgunoffense12 says: Jul 2, 2014 10:25 AM

    Just pay him. Stupid mistake or not, he is a rising star and helped put the Bills back on the map last year with Def Rookie of the Year.

  39. dabears2485 says: Jul 2, 2014 10:26 AM

    computojon says:
    Jul 2, 2014 7:55 AM
    (Unpopular opinion) The general population has been completely duped into thinking that NFL players make an outrageous amount of money. Some of them do; but most don’t, by any stretch. According to the NFLPA, the average NFL career length is 3.3 years. (This doesn’t include the thousands of men who try-try-try to make it to the league, but… fail.) Ok. So the overall NFL median salary is $770,000. (Averages are completely worthless because they are totally skewed by the top few salaries, so the median is the only important number. Median means that 50% of the salaries are above that number, 50% are below that number.) This all means that the average *successful* NFL player (made it to the league!! played for years!!) earns about 2.5 million. Let’s remember that taxes are *much* higher in the highest tax bracket; with all taxes included (federal, state, etc.), it’s close to 50%. I.e. career take-home pay of perhaps $1.3M. And that’s it. Hey, let’s live for the rest of our lives (age 28 onwards) off $1.3M — which, at average life expectancy (79 years), will be $25,000 (take-home) per year. Good luck with that, NFL players.

    ————–

    Add that $25,000 to the $40,000 annual I make as a machine operator in a factory in Wisconsin, and you have a nice income of $65,000. You’re the one that has been duped, bud. If a player is stupid enough to take that $1.3M and just stop working, then I agree that he’ll struggle. But you give him that $1.3M and he goes to work elsewhere, using it to supplement his income or keep it in the bank for rainy days? He’ll probably enjoy a much better retirement than most anyone I know. It’s not how much a player makes in 3.3 years that is the issue. It’s how stupid these young men are with the chance of a lifetime and no thought for the future. Crunch numbers all you want, but I have no sympathy for people that make a few million dollars in a few years and then complain that it’s not enough.

  40. billsfan1 says: Jul 2, 2014 10:35 AM

    He’s an important part of your future, why would you even consider ruining that over such a relatively modest sum of money? I can’t believe the Bills are actually considering it.

    you are an idiot.. It doesnt say that they are considering it… All the article says is that is is an option, then lays out reasons why it would NOT be a wise move on their part…
    dont worry, Jim Rome will be on in an hour and a half

  41. pioniere says: Jul 2, 2014 10:40 AM

    Leave it to the lawyer to even suggest this. Sheesh.

  42. uglydingo says: Jul 2, 2014 10:47 AM

    Kiko Alonso is possibly the best Draft pick that the Bills have made in the past decade and some are advocating stiffing him. This is simply ludicrous.
    There is the possibility that his injury occurred doing something he shouldn’t have. However, the Bills need to be supportive of the young man. He has phenomenal talent and personally made the Bills Defense more competitive.
    If they stiff Kiko, they deserve the consequences long term.

  43. hess97 says: Jul 2, 2014 10:48 AM

    alonso had a better year than kuechly last year, and didnt even win rookie of the year, while kuechley won the DPOY. just wow, voters.

  44. hess97 says: Jul 2, 2014 10:52 AM

    while we are on the subject, thomas davis recovered from three consecutive knee tears to play dominant last season. phillip rivers won Comeback Player as a result of SD finally replacing vincent jackson and gates being more healthy than usual.

    soooo soooooo stupid. the nfl awards have become as much of a joke as the officiating under goodell’s term.

  45. brettfavresmidget says: Jul 2, 2014 10:58 AM

    Can’t even get Manziel in the weight room.

  46. mickton says: Jul 2, 2014 11:03 AM

    yup go ahead don’t pay him

  47. godofwine330 says: Jul 2, 2014 11:06 AM

    It would set a bad precident if they didn’t pay him. And all of you anti-union minded, not getting paid by the company company-men talking about, “Don’t pay him,” should be ashamed of yourselves. Some players prepare by doing MMA, should they not be paid, too? The alternative to risking getting injured training away from the facility is some of the players showing up for camp out of shape.

    Do you want that?

  48. nanner12wojo says: Jul 2, 2014 11:11 AM

    Michael Bennett (former Vikings RB, currently in prison for a Tax Fraud Scheme) once broke his foot playing basketball in July. He claimed he was running on a treadmill and the media and team accepted that, but many people saw the injury happen as it was at a “regular guy” fitness center. It was the year after he was a Pro Bowl RB. He was never the same.

  49. roush97 says: Jul 2, 2014 11:52 AM

    I hope everyone realizes that they are just saying that this a possible option for teams. It has not been reported any place that the Bills are considering taking this course of action.

  50. CKL says: Jul 2, 2014 12:56 PM

    Were I running a team, it would be a rare occurrence for me not to pay a “NFI” guy. Most of them are doing some sort of physical activity related to keeping in shape, while some others have some type of illness or health condition through no fault of their own that forces them onto the list.

    I mean maybe if he broke his foot jumping on stage at a Beiber concert I wouldn’t pay the guy, but stuff like that doesn’t happen much.

  51. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Jul 2, 2014 1:13 PM

    I wonder if all of the people on here screaming about how overpaid football players also go on TV blogs to complain about how Judge Judy makes $45,000,000 per year or go on movie blogs and complain about how Will Smith makes over $25,000,000 per picture.

    Why is it only the athletes, who certainly sacrifice more of their time and their bodies than either of above two examples, that everyone is so jealous of?

    Players get paid what they get paid because of the revenue generated by their performance. Just like everyone else. Get over it.

  52. DonKellyBaby says: Jul 2, 2014 3:25 PM

    @computojon

    And most of those NFL players probably received a free college education unlike a large majority of the American population. As you stated, the average NFL career is 3.3 years long; however, if you never work another day in your life after your NFL career is over then you deserve to go broke.

  53. whatjusthapped says: Jul 2, 2014 3:33 PM

    This isn’t the first time a team paid a player not to play. The Vikings did it with all 53 players last year.

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