Sherman’s case for players to be paid for the preseason ignores that they are

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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 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.

92 responses to “Sherman’s case for players to be paid for the preseason ignores that they are

  1. The better example would have been guys you’ve never heard of and who don’t get injured. If you are a rookie and take part in all the OTAs, mini and training camps and the 4 games, then yeah, you do get hosed and put your health at risk for very little money while games are televised and arenas in many cases are full. But the player’s union has very little reason to include much of a share to those players who will probably either go into civilian life or the CFL or arena leagues… paying the 90 or 75 guys who play in preseason games more money than the $1,500 takes it away from the 53 playing in the regular season.

  2. Say what ya will about the guy, I’m just glad he came down several notches (running with his mouth.)

  3. Sherman may have attended Stanford, but absorbed precious little other information during his time in Palo Alto. His logic is as questionable as his comprehension of the NFL’s Drug Policy.

  4. He’s only saying what many believe. He like many other fans dont see the point of charging full price for worthless games, and although the money generated from preseason is added to the cap, I do not believe teams are being truthfully honest with how much they actually do receive.

    Might not be a strong argument but at the least it’s simple for fans to understand. Should have done his homework however, but no need to attack his journalistic integrity, he’s an amateur writer learning how to do the proper homework. Give him a break, players like him get shafted, he was a 5th Rd selection a couple seasons ago, so he’s making peanuts for a season anyway.. He might be famous now but he’s getting paid way less then the avg starter, yet aline pro bowler, God forbid ALL PRO.

    Look at Revis, he makes about 30 times as much as Sherman does, or more.

  5. It would have been much worse if Skip Bayless had written it. He would’ve thrown in a sentence praising Tebow as a God. And another 1 telling us how overrated Aaron Rodgers and his 84 tds and 14 ints over the last 2 seasons with no running game and an awful oline are.

  6. Robert Kraft is an outstanding businessman, but he’s not much of a shutdown corner. It’s important for us all to remember our roles, Sherman.

  7. The epic Richard Sherman meltdown is coming. This guys ego is WAY bigger than his brain which is always a sure fire recipe for certain disaster.

    I cannot wait to see him unravel at the seams

  8. It is better to be thought a fool and remain silent than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

  9. He means that they’re not paid enough.

    His ex-teammate Terrell Owens only made $4300 in his few weeks in Seattle. The rate was at $28/hour.

    All of this info came from TMZ.

    Isn’t $28 per hour for one of the roughest sports in the world too minuscule?

    Stevie Brown’s case to rebut Sherman makes no sense.

    You’re paid to do a job.

    Your job is not to get hurt.

    Technically the salary and/or health benefit is only meant for the regular season.

    $28 per hour doesn’t give you security!!!!

    What’s the point of disguising an injury settlement or compensation meant for later times as immediate security?

    Football is already very risky. Why can’t they get security in case they are not good enough to make the team in order to be on PUP or IR?

    Sherman’s correct on this and better at life than Bayless and Florio!!!

  10. It doesn’t matter what school he went to, you can bet that he was an empty chair in his classes, like most of the Basketball and Football players at most universities.

    He just proves his lack of education with that post.

  11. I realize I called Jared Allen an idiot earlier but on the idiot spectrum Richard Sherman is in the 100th percentile.
    He’s both a bad person and a cheater.
    He’s the exact type of player who gives the NFL a bad name.

  12. Did he also suggest not getting paid during the Bye week? If they have been getting 1/17th of their annual salary per week for 17 weeks, then they are being paid during the bye week because (obviously to this non-Stanford grad) there are only 16 regular season games per year.

  13. For someone who feels that college athletes deserve to be paid Florio shows that he’s willing to be a hypocrite because the preseason pay rate is like a NCAA scholarship, not a real compensation.

  14. Wow, who would ever have thought that Richard Sherman would shoot his mouth off without knowing what he was talking about. Too bad Trent Williams did not connect better on that roundhouse right.

  15. Ahhh, NFL Football Business 101.
    It is amazing that the NFLPA must do so little, that an educated, popular starter on a good team, really doesn’t know the system.

    Where is the Union Rep in this?
    Where is the player’s agent?
    Evidently, they don’t teach this at the “rookie symposium”, either–

    And to Sherms credit, there is one group that does get screwed and that’s UDFA’s that come in on a wing and prayer, give up 6 months of their life and may not get anything other than a call to meet the coach… and bring your playbook or IPad as the case may be. For that group, it’s poof, the dream is over.
    That one group should at least get paychecks to play in the preseason games that the teams charge admission for… the networks show on TV and treat them like professionals.


  16. Sherman may or may not have cheated his way past a positive drug test. Having cheated his way through Economics, however, now appears to have been proven.

  17. When your college coaches passes on you there’s often a reason. Pete Carroll didn’t grab Taylor Mays and Harbaugh wanted nothing to do with Sherman.

    Hey, at least Sherman used his Stanford education to beat a drug rap, so it wasn’t all wasted.

  18. Richard Sherman is a heck of a ball player , but I fear that he will eventually become a defensive version of T.O. , in that as soon as his play on the field begins to slip even slightly , he’ll find himself playing for a different team every couple of years , because he’s such a distraction. Also (and I know I’m going to get a lot of heat for this) , many of the outrageous comments he makes would be not be nearly so well tolerated , if he were , shall we say , of a different persuasion.

  19. Well said. Doesn’t take being smart to understand this. Wish Sherman would do some homework before he spoke on this topic or any topic for that matter. I guess this makes you better then Richard Sherman at life.

  20. Except for your comment on Skip Bayless, thanks for explaining how players are getting paid during during regular & preseason games along with those players placed on injured reserve based on the 2011 CBA.

  21. Actually, Florio, with due respect, you are the one that is wrong.

    Players are not paid for the preseason. They are paid for the regular season. It is a simple fact.

    What if:

    1. NBC paid your salary beginning in September and ending in December? Sure, the salary would still be based on a proration of your annual salary, but it would be paid in 4 monthly installments instead of 12.

    2. From January to August, they owed you no salary, but they still expected you to maintain this site as the best (yes, this is a bit of a kiss-ass moment) pro football site in the world?

    3. They could fire you, without paying you any compensation for the entire year, anytime before August 30?

    Now, add to the preceding hypothetical the following:

    4. Every year, the World Wide Web adds roughly 1,200 new pro football websites to the world, with the sole intent of identifying a website that, based on a balance of economics (i.e. cheapness) and quality, can allow them to stop paying you.

    … and …

    5. Every time you type out a blog post from January to December, you risk serious injury that will end your career due to carpal tunnel (tough to type with CTS), Dupuytren’s contracture (trust me, you don’t want this), or electrocution (you hit that J key too hard too many times, and Zapboombang!).

    If, based on the foregoing, you were fired on August 30, would you conclude that you were compensated for the first 7 months of the year?

    No. You wouldn’t. Which proves that Richard’s point is very valid.

    Richard Sherman will not be cut. Ultimately, his argument is one that is intended to protect the fringe players, the guys that spend 8 months busting their tail trying to make a roster only to be cut at the last moment. But the argument is, nonetheless, very valid.

    Richard is right. Florio is wrong.

  22. Not every player who gets put on IR gets there full salary. For instance a rooke free agent will only get paid around 2/3 of rookie minimum.

  23. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman went to Stanford. Thus, he’s smart. And better at life than Skip Bayless.
    Well isn’t everyone smarter than Skip Bayless? Well, maybe not Hernandez.

  24. I read his whole column, and it seems like he is more talking about players who haven’t yet made a name for themselves. Players who can be on the street if they get injured. These are the guys who are paying the price for not getting paid in the preseason. He’s not talking about players like him, who are established and not replaceable.

  25. Sherman is smart. Ya’ll just don’t understand. In fact, Sherman is the only guy in the NFL that understands this.

  26. I don’t care where Richard Sherman graduated from. He is a tool and an idiot. Richard, you want to be paid more? You think you are not already being paid a king’s ransom for playing a boy’s game? Man up and earn it! Quit worrying about the preseason.

  27. I agree that a regular player who is on contract really does get paid for the preseason. Sherman had it wrong.

    But does a player who is not on contract get paid for the preseason games? Does an undrafted free agent get paid for the preseason or does he have to make the 53-man team before he can get paid? If he doesn’t get paid, and since he just came from college where he wasn’t making any money, how does he pay for lodging and living through the end of August? I don’t know the answers and I’m curious.

  28. Logic flaws aside, as a season ticket holder, and as Sherman points out, the preseason ticket price being the same as the regular season ticket is somewhat galling – especially when going to the game with friends. “Hey friend, I know you’re a Broncos fan and they’ll play the Seahawks for realsies next season, but the face value of my ticket is $300 so please shell that over to watch Peyton Manning run one drive.” KTHXBAI.

    If a team and the “shield” wants to grow their fan base and brand and fill the stadium, cut the pre-season ticket price in half. Concessions are what they are, but full face value for glorified practice is BS.

    Let’s not pretend that the “non-profit” NFL is hurting for cash. As with all of the professional sports leagues, and business generally, those in the rarified owner’s boxes have the majority of the influence and control and intend on keeping it that way.

  29. “All things considered, it was a subpar effort for a Stanford student.”

    Who gives a rats a$s….

    Dude is the best corner in the NFL.

    GO HAWKS!!!

  30. We have a player talking about the idea for less pay? Maybe the bug gets in the head of owners and players that if the fans don’t get priced out of attending games for the sale of the profits and an extra 10 million. I know #25 will want his money, but i bet he would be willing to take less if the owners took less

  31. You are right that Stevie Brown will get paid this year regardless…but if this is a contract year, then he probably lost a lot of money in a future contract. He may have torn his Acl in week 1 instead of the preseason…but we will never know…but the odds are greater that a player suffers an injury when an extra game or two is added. Couple that with the fact that preseason does not count and it would seem a bit reckless to put any starter in the game for an extended period of time.

  32. “Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman went to Stanford. Thus, he’s smart.”

    You’re assuming that he passed because of his grades, Mike?

    That’s one hell of an assumption.


  33. I’d like to see how many mainstream classes Sherman attended at Stanford. Even the normally “high” academic schools have tutored athletes who are there to appease jock-sniffing alumni contributors.

  34. It is clear that Sherman only went to Stanford to play football. I thought Stanford was better then that. Instead of being grouped with institutions like Notre Dame, Stanford now belongs with Miami and Floriduh St.

    Nice job Sherm!

  35. Mike — You said Richard Sherman is smart because he went to Stanford. Are scholarship athletes required to meet the same college entrance standards (SATS, high school GPAs, etc.) as the rest of the student body? I was under the impression that scholarship athletes needed to meet some very low general standard to be eligible for a college scholarship. Please explain the scholarship process. I enjoy your site and commentary very much.

  36. Under ordinary circumstances I would consider taking two swipes at someone who has nothing to do with the story as unethical, but no amount of denigration is enough for Skip Bayless.

  37. Methinks Mr. Sherman may not be all that smart. He’s like the guy who asks for his pizza to be cut into six slices because there’s no way he could eat eight.

  38. Here is the problem with Richard Sherman. He is really good at playing football, but he doesn’t strike me as the brightest crayon in the box. He definitely wasn’t on academic scholarship at Stanford.

  39. Sorry, but for a guy who went to Stanford, I’ve never seen any proof that he’s smart. Everyone knows schools push through atheletes just because they want them playing on their team. I think this is a sample of that.

  40. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman went to Stanford. Thus, he’s smart.

    that’s a stretch

  41. Better than “a cut of the profits” the players get approximately 1/2 the Gross Revenue. Much less opportunity for accountants to creatively change the amount that is shared.

    The interesting things to me are the salary cap floor and minimum salaries. The floor insures that teams can’t lower the total payroll of the team (below I think it is 90%) of the cap. Essentially then all the maneuvering of rosters isn’t motivated by an owner’s “cheapness” but each team’s strategy to position itself best for future events.

    The minimum salary for veterans in conjunction with the above serves to shorten veterans careers. Unless you are very talented, the teams prefer a player with no or only a few years of experience because they are cheaper. The CBA thus cuts short the careers of serviceable players but the rule doesn’t increase the size of the pie the players get. I’d be interested if there are a lot of unemployed players who wish they could waive the minimum rule so they could compete for a job.

    Nothing sinister about the situation but I wonder if it isn’t an unforeseen consequence.

  42. This logic works for the argument about “teams should lower ticket prices for preseason games.” If a team wants $1,000 per season for a seat, they can divide it evenly by 10 games or give a discount for the preseason games. But any way you slice it, they’ll get that $1,000.

  43. Just because someone went to Stanford doesn’t mean they are smart. Smart people go to Stanford, but so do dumb people. Ditto for every single university in the world.

  44. Sherman running off at the mouth without thinking…, who would have envisioned that happening?

  45. Richard Sherman is well-known, extremely vocal, and a professional athlete – ingredients that earn him a microphone, a platform for his views and a national audience.

    Doesn’t make him smarter, wiser or more worthy of the attention. At least he’s sticking to (what he doesn’t know about) the sport he’s makes a living in and not delving into world events or politics. That’s what we have Madonna for.

  46. “Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman went to Stanford. Thus, he’s smart.”………………………Hate to break this news to you Florio, but the majority of sports jocks have someone else do their “homework” for them in college, have bad grades simply disappear after the headcoach berates the professor, or are given the opportunity to create their own degree curriculum which involves less imagination than a pre-schooler could offer. Any college that puts a heavier emphasis on athletics than they do education is guaranteed to be cheating ala’ Oregon, Alabama, Florida, USC. They are all great institutions but all you need to do is……follow the money.

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