NFLPA wants players to start saving money in advance of next work stoppage

Getty Images

It’s already been six years since the last NFL work stoppage. Which means that it’s only four years until, possibly, the next one.

The NFL Players Association wants its players to be ready for it then by saving money now.

“We wound up in a situation where unfortunately [savings] didn’t happen across the league as much as it could have happened,” NFLPA spokesman George Atallah recently told SiriusXM NFL Radio.

It’s not as if the union didn’t try the last time around to get the players ready for a work stoppage.

“In 2009, we were faced with a major sort of signal that the owners were going to try and lock players out,” Atallah said. “We were trying to get as many players prepared as possible. . . We need players of every generation to really help the young guys understand what it takes to go through some labor strife. For the players who went through it in 2011, the union administration and player leadership did everything it could to prepare players across the league. I think it needs to happen again with the same sort of fervor.”

If the players are going to get the best deal possible in 2021, they need even more fervor. Ultimately, players don’t want to miss games and the game checks that go along with missed games.

The NFLPA faces a problem separate and apart from the inherent unwillingness of the Men Who Play The Game to not play the game. As the union commences the process of getting the word out to players, a large percentage of the men who may be asked to hold firm for a lockout or a strike are currently in college or high school. Will young players who haven’t saved money because they haven’t made money give up the opportunity to make their money?

That’s ultimately how the union can properly get players to be willing to stare down ownership in convincing fashion: Find a way to make money during a lockout.

In 2011, there was scattered talk regarding the possibility of staging exhibition games. For 2021, it needs to be more than talk, and it needs to be more than an exhibition. The NFLPA should launch now an effort to organize an alternative league that would fill the void on Sundays and Mondays (and maybe even Thursdays) in the event the NFL decides to shut it down again — or if the players are inclined to strike to get a better deal for themselves.

Even that may not be enough. With players not inclined to boycott voluntary workouts now in order to force the league to make concessions aimed at giving them better terms and conditions of employment, they’ll likely again be unwilling to skip game checks (NFL game checks) in 2021, no matter how much money they’ve saved.

31 responses to “NFLPA wants players to start saving money in advance of next work stoppage

  1. For someone that has watched the NFL since the late sixties, the greed of this generation of owners and players is hard to stomach. If they went on strike, I may just call it a day on the NFL. I’m not sure I’d really miss it that much.

  2. How about the NFLPA teaching its members the importance of being financially responsible with their money regardless of a work stoppage or not.

  3. I’m curious….if it comes down to another lockout, and the negotiations are being “poisoned” again by some of the lawyers at 345 Park Avenue, will Bob Kraft and Clark Hunt step up and same the “games” again despite later getting screwed by those same lawyers (and wordsmiths).

  4. Also, the union is out of touch if they think players care about the next CBA. More than half of the current membership will be gone by that time and the new one coming into the league will only care about maximizing their salary in whatever short timespan they have.

    No player is stupid enough to sacrifice a whole year (of maybe only 4-5 year career) for the “good” of the union.

  5. The NFLPA has said they want to be involved more in the TV deal negotiations. The NFLPA needs to either prevent deals that allow the NFL to be paid even when there is no football or find a way that they are also paid when there is no football. The owners have deep pockets for sure, but if they have no revenue during a work stoppage, they have less leverage as well.

  6. This is why unions are so wonderful … they can crank up millionaires to be unhappy.

  7. I would think a headline reading simply, “NFL wants players to start saving money” PERIOD, would be sufficient.

    Additionally, no CK mention? What’s up with that?

  8. There won’t be a strike because everyone knows that the current players will never make enough more to cover the losses during the strike.

  9. Players should have a higher salary cap and more money for the bottom 53 players. Better health insurance also. Non guaranteed contracts is what makes the sport the best.

  10. I support labor almost every time; but, because of disrespect by players, caring more about celebrations than scoring, players not being able to stay out of trouble, pouting, players not going to OTA, ect ect I hope they loose big time.

    Players have lost fans support

  11. Maybe the NFLPA should be doing more to encourage players to save properly for retirement, not just work stops. Nearly 80% of players are bankrupt within three years of leaving football.

  12. First World millionaire problems,

    Phantom or escalade?
    7 course or 4 course dinner?
    Country club or spa membership renewal?

    Geez. Signed ” the laid off guy”

  13. Dang it, I buy a new four pound gold chain every six months. You mean I should skip one or two of those purchases in order to leave that money in the bank for, you know, buying food or paying rent if there is a work stoppage.

    Novel idea.

  14. Nothing like the union telling grown men that they need to save money. I’ve never made 400k a week so I don’t understand the temptation to spend 399,000 of it in four days, but you would think you would squirrel some away to cover your cell phone bill at least. Millionaires living paycheck to paycheck. Ridiculous.

  15. Ever notice the same people who are against family planning policy, clean water policy, clean air policy, civil rights (e.g. the right to peaceful protest), etc., also hate unions. See a pattern? Make America great again?

  16. Sounds like someone’s buckin’ to be Commissioner of the Exhibition League of Football, commonly known as the Head ELF.

  17. The owners have De Smith. A strike is exactly the owners need. Break the players with one of the owners stooges in the huddle. Expect a 10 year or longer deal with less of a percentage.

    It will look like the last beat down look like a walk in the park.

    Suckers with the the owners guy negotiating for them.

  18. The union could stop taking dues for a while to help them save…yeah right. If the league would have sent a memo asking owners to shore up additional revenue in advance of a lockout you would be screaming bloody murder and tossing out cries of collusion every other sentence.

  19. Last time, didn’t the NFLPA save some of the dues paid by the players to act as a strike fund?

    Aren’t they doing that this time? Or did the money just ‘disappear’?

  20. If I made the kind of money these guys get, I don’t need to be told to save my money. I would hope I’m smart enough to understand the importance of saving anyways. Because I don’t have a crystal ball for a brain. I never would know when the last play could take me out.

Leave a Reply