New NFLPA president plans to “crunch all the numbers” on cap projections

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With the new CBA barely eight months old, questions have arisen regarding whether the NFLPA did a bad financial deal.  Already, the whispers comparing the final package to the so-called “worst deal in the history of sports” (i.e., the offer that the players rejected on March 11) have grown to a murmur.  And if enough players take the time to figure out the numbers, the murmurs could become loud shouting.

For now, the union isn’t saying anything about the value of the final deal, especially as it relates to the offer the NFL made before the lockout started.  New NFLPA president Domonique Foxworth says he plans to take a closer look at it soon.

“Honestly, next week is when I’m going to go crunch all the numbers with our lawyers and figure out the true cap projections, so it’s hard for me [to comment],” Foxworth tells Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe.  “I really wish I could give you some definitive answer but one thing I know is the NFL isn’t getting less popular, so I don’t think that anyone is in danger, from owners or the players’ side, going bankrupt any time soon.’’

As Bedard explains it, the final deal resulted in a salary cap that was $6.4 million per team higher than the NFL proposed in March 2011.  For 2012 through 2014, however, the players are projected to lose (according to Bedard) $652.8 million in comparison to the March 2011 offer.  The net loss through 2014, including the gains in 2011, will be $448 million.

Things could get better in 2015 and beyond.  “One thing that we did do that I’m proud of is for the first time we linked our revenue to actual revenue,’’ Foxworth said.  “It’s hard to project what’s going to happen out in the future but no one is going to be upset because the only way the cap could be flat is if revenue is flat.  So it’s hard to be [ticked] that you’re not getting more money if more money is not coming in.  That was one of the smarter decisions that was made during that.’’

It’s important to keep in mind that the numbers proposed in March 2011 were based on a “pegged cap,” with no extra money going to the players if actual revenues exceeded the projections on which the numbers were based.  But by ultimately getting a piece of the upside, the players sacrificed their protection against the downside.

And, at least through 2014, it looks like there will be more downside than upside.  The question is when, and if, the upside will come in 2015, or beyond.

47 responses to “New NFLPA president plans to “crunch all the numbers” on cap projections

  1. Crunch all you want hun, nothing more is comin out.

    which is sad, because NFL players are the hardest working bunch, but on average, they get paid less than NBA, MLB and NHL

  2. I beg to differ, Mr. Foxworth. There are certainly a lot of guys on the players side that are in danger of going bankrupt. Namely, pretty much everyone on the verge of retirement. It’s shocking how many pro athletes go broke shortly after they hang ’em up.

  3. RavenzGunnerz… I don’t necessarily disagree, but 53 players, 16 games is the reason. The other sports have much fewer players and many more games.

  4. The NFLPA should have negotiated so that everyone of these clueless millionaires get a responsible financial advisor after signing their first contract.

    Sorry, but Sapp and many other NFL players earn tens of millions of dollars and still go broke. How about instead of tryin to get them a couple extra million, they learn to utilize their amazing fortunes more responsibly???

    If these guys go broke after earning $45 million over their playin careers, I highly doubt they look back and say “damn, if my union woulda negotiated better, I woulda made $49 million instead of $45, and I wouldnt be in this mess!”

    More money isnt their answer… However learning how to save their money is.

  5. Crunch the numbers to calculate the cost of hubris? The NFLPA got snookered by the owners.

    I agree with RavenzGunnerz, it is sad. The players put their health and well being on the line every game. Has an owner of a NFL team ever lost money?

  6. The author fails to tell the entire story because he is looking for a reaction.

    He fails to remind us that the owners also rejected the players offer during the lockout of 50% of total revene. The owners called the offer a slap in the face and walked out of negotiations because of it. 4 months later the owners accepted alomost an identical proposal that the players had offered in March.

    In other words we could have had an agreement back in March.

    There is an awful lot of posturing going on here and it remains to be seen if the NFLPA’s desire to link the salary cap to total revenue will work for them or not. It is certainly fair to say it but to do it take shots on the PA or D. Smith is simply not fair. If you do that you should take a shot at the owners for their posturing and delaying the settlement.

    One should also discuss why there actually was settlement and why the owners caved into player demands. Quite simply the investment by the NFLPA into buying lockout insurance and the NFLPAs lawsuits. Not only were the players entitled to a portion of the TV revenue during the lockout but they had salary form the lockout insurance. Once they disclosed they had lockout insurance the owners caved and accepted the players offer they had previously called ridiculous.

    It seems to me this website does not like D. Smith and is constantly taking shots at him and trying to undermine his authority. While there are definite problems with Smith particularly the deal they just cut to increase this years salary cap and give up their claims against the league for collusion in the uncapped year. It seems that deal was motivated more by what was bext for D. Smith getting re-elected than what was best for the players.

    But taking shots at Smith for the deal that was cut relying on total revenue is out of line. It was Smith’s leadership and planning that brought the owners to their knees accepting the players first offer. This was highly unexpected and almost everyone expected the players to get a much worse deal.

    There is certainly good and bad here but criticizing the deal the players got is not a fair criticism. The players got an exceptionally good deal. They got what they wanted and far more than anyone expected. In hindsight it may have been better to take the higher ceiling and lower floor but its hard to imagine tying salaries to NFL revenues being a bad thing. Is there a safer product than the NFL? Without more long term info its very hard to criticize the deal. This article like many articles here simply lacks substances and is seems mainly written to stir passions and gain page hits.

  7. Isn’t one of the major reasons we aren’t seeing the numbers go up like people thought because retirees are receiving a larger portion of the pot? I thought I heard or read that somewhere, heck maybe it was here.

    So while the players as a whole may be getting a larger % of the money, more players are getting that money, and some of it needs to be set aside for the big retiree fund that they have now.

    That’s what I thought I heard, could be wrong.

  8. After paying all of my bills, I’ve got $150 to play with for the next 2 weeks, so forgive me for not feeling bad for these guys for getting “screwed”…

  9. The players didn’t get burned. They new exactly what is going on by tying the CAP to revenue.

    We have been through a Recession and some of the stadiums have not exactly been full. Revenue, of which ticket sales is a major component as well as swag sales, licensing fees and other items are probably all down right now. Sure isn’t surprising to me that the CAP would be down if it’s based on revenue.

    With the new TV deals, that is where the players will rake it in and they are satisfied by writing a contract that specified waiting for it.

    They just may of not exactly communicated that to the current players. That’s the union’s issue, not the NFL’s.


  10. Ravenz—this contract is probably a bad one for the players. That being said, nfl players will always get significantly less on average than other leagues. NFL teams have 4.5 times the players per team than the nba between which the revenue needs to be split, so unless the nfl brings in greater than that multiple, the average Nfl salary will be proportionately smaller excepting any variance of the leagues’ union contracts.

  11. “And, at least through 2014, it looks like there will be more downside than upside. The question is when, and if, the upside will come in 2015, or beyond.”

    Yeah, the league has really taken a huge financial hit that…wait a minute…where’s the friggin’ downside coming from? They’re doing as great as ever with an even bigger TV deal kicking in!

  12. After the admitted collusion by the NFL owners during the lockout the players should be suspicious of anything the owners say regarding financial issues. Next negotiations in 10 years or so will probably be no holds bar with plenty of mistrust amongst the two groups.

  13. Taking the law suite approach didn’t help the players one bit. Complain about Gene Upshaw all you want, but he would not have let the work stoppage go for so long AND he probably would have gotten a better deal.

  14. They may be the hardest working,but they have the hardest heads. They signed a less beneficial deal. Furthermore, healthcare for life guaranteed was going to increase benefit costs

  15. What a time to be reviewing the CBA. I thought all thses lawyers did that BEFORE signing off. Who really got the lions share of the deal?

  16. Serves the players right if they made a bad deal. In my opinion, the first deal seemed pretty good on paper. Maybe they won’t let shams like Smith run their negotiations anymore listening to his brouhaha.

  17. Here’s a suggestion, get some accountants. He says he is going to crunch the numbers with the lawyers. The only thing lawyers can add are their billable hours.

  18. The numbers will show the owners got a great deal for the first three years, then after 2015 will slant towards the players in a big way.

  19. I don’t feel sorry for the players at all.

    The NFLPA negotiated this deal on behalf of the players so they have no one to blame but themselves.

    Plus, the average NFL salary is 25x more than the average salary of someone in the military. No one works harder than people in the military.

  20. You mean to tell me the NFLPA didn’t ‘crunch all the numbers’ before they signed the deal? Seriously? They signed a deal not knowing what the cap numbers might be (within a reasonable approximation) in the first 4 years of the deal? Really? That might be the single most stupid thing I’ve ever heard. If that’s the case the NFLPA needs to be sued by the players for malfeasance.

  21. Dude! I’ve spent a lot less on the NFL since the lockout. I would like to say its because I was upset about the lockout but the truth is…

    … I’m just broke.

    Its the economy, stupid.

  22. RavenzGunnerz April 9, 2012, 12:17 AM EDT

    “Crunch all you want hun”
    I’m pretty sure Dominique Foxworth is a Man…. u either don’t know players from ur own team or r incredibly gay.

  23. Mr. Foxworth’s wonderlic score was 20. Out of 50. Good luck letting him crunch the numbers. Don’t be surprised if he works “gazillion” somewhere into the formula.

  24. Please, these stories make me sick. Do these people know how good they have it? If they think we have it more equitable in the real work world, they could have busted their behind in school (any level) and tried going at it for 35+ years at a trickle of the dough. Just play football while you can and stash the great money you already get.

  25. The salary caps has doubled since 1999. At some point even with increased revenues there will be a leveling off of player salaries. It’s just not feasible to believe that the caps will continue to grow every year. As medical and pension costs continue to rise will eat a larger piece of the pie and the players and owners will have less available.

  26. toegoat says:Apr 9, 2012 8:16 AM

    RavenzGunnerz April 9, 2012, 12:17 AM EDT

    “Crunch all you want hun”
    I’m pretty sure Dominique Foxworth is a Man…. u either don’t know players from ur own team or r incredibly gay.

    @toegoat: Unless you have lived under a rock or in your Moms basement for the last, ohhhh, 50 years!! The word “Hon”, “Hun”, is a term of endearment in Baltimore. Used in such movies as “TinMen”, “Diner”, “Hairspray”, “CryBaby”, “Ladder49”, etc. Theres even a Restaurant there called “Cafe Hon”. Baltimore has its own dialect that can only be appreciated by true people from Baltimore. “BOWLWIN ALLEY” – bowling Ally, “YOUZ”- you all, “ZINK”- sink, “DOWN E”- down the. So, As youz can see, Balmer is jus showin Foxy some love. Well, I gots ta go youz all have a great day I’m headin downe ocean for a few days wiff Nancy and dem others. Gonna eat some craaaabs…. SEE YA HON!!!!!!

  27. The owners signed a TV deal that increases TV revenue from 20 billion to 39 BILLION!!! It’s a safe bet that revenues will increase.

  28. @linvillegorge says:

    RavenzGunnerz… I don’t necessarily disagree, but 53 players, 16 games is the reason. The other sports have much fewer players and many more games.
    It’s about revenue not games. The number of players, however, is valid.

  29. @dennychimes
    cool story bro…

    men calling other men hun is gay don’t matter who says it or wat really old movies use it

  30. So let me get this straight…..

    You mean to tell me that choosing negotiators based on playing in the NFL or the desired ethnicity isn’t the best idea when going up against accomplished, proven billionaire business men?

    No, say it isn’t so.

    The players and D Smith were toyed with like the child-minded men they are.

  31. Foxworth: “So it’s hard to be [ticked] that you’re not getting more money if more money is not coming in. That was one of the smarter decisions that was made during that.’’

    Interesting statement considering every player avoids this principle like the plague during individual contract negotiations. They tend to accept less overall money over the life of the contract in return for more guaranteed money and more up front money. And tying salary to performance??? Ha! They avoid that if at all possible. Sounds like he’s just spin-doctoring the fact that they got worked over because they didn’t know what they were doing.

    And on top of that, since an average career is 6 yrs, most of the players being represented when the CBA was signed will be out of the league or close to retirement if/when revenues spike. So they got screwed out of the windfall that only the future players and long-lasting guys will benefit from. So for whom was this the “smarter decision”?

  32. Don’t worry guys! The Skins and The Boys still have some cap left. We’ll figure something out!

  33. Are they? I figured they’d just ballpark the cap number. Who would’ve thought they’d actually do the math.

  34. Is it just me, because it seems like the RBs position got the shaft big time on this deal… Rookies now have a base salaries for the first few years , then once they proved themselves they’ll get the money. It’s a great idea for the owners, thanks to my boy Jamarcus Russell, they are well protected from first round bust.
    However the RBs with their young, fresh legs makes a splash in the first three years for base rookie salaries according to when they were drafted, basically will not make much.
    By the time they have proven themselves like; Forte, Lynch, Blount, and many more.
    When it’s time for them to get pay, unless they’re the absolute cream of the crops (Adrian Peterson), most team will either Franchise Tag them or trade them all together because it’s cheaper to get younger and faster running backs in the draft, rather then signing veterans.
    I know NFL is a more pass happy league now, but I have never seen so many good backs, proven backs not getting sign to a long term deals.

  35. Players’ incomes are much more than some of us get in a lifetime. Too many squander it away. If the NFLPA really wants to help the players they should band together and set up investment help for their members.

    This is not saying that the NFLPA shouldn’t get the best deal for their member.

  36. More on the players and money. Agents should do more for their clients than just get a good deal for them. Helping to keep them out of trouble off the field should be part of their job. There is plenty of money in the football business including marketing of their clients’ names for the players to live comfortably within their means.

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