Union considers switch to year-round salary


As the NFLPA looks for something to request from the league in exchange for agreeing to expanded playoffs, here’s one the NFL likely wouldn’t object to.

Via Tom Pelissero of USA Today, the union is considering the possibility of switching from salary paid via 17 game checks to 26 bi-weekly annual installments.

Presumably, the payment of the annual salary would begin during Week One of the season and continue for a full year.  Which would give teams 52 weeks to pay out what otherwise is paid out in four months.  Which is actually good for the teams and bad for the players.

But the union apparently believes that players can’t be trusted to budget money paid from early September through late December over the eight months when game checks aren’t issued.  And so, if more than half of the 32 team representatives vote in favor of the move, players will be forced to give their employers interest-free loans in the form of the 66 percent of their money that won’t be paid when it was earned.

Last year, the NFLPA employed that same mindset to performance-based pay, delaying the payment by two years ostensibly to protect young players from themselves — but perhaps in reality to help pump up the salary cap.  Pelissero reports that an effort was made at the NFLPA annual meeting to stop union leadership from negotiating with the NFL regarding the possibility of a permanent three-year waiting period for the performance-based pay.  The mini-revolt failed.

Whether union leadership will prevail on this specific measure remains to be seen.  If they do, the league shouldn’t put up a fight.

Unless, of course, the NFL decides to play it cool, like the union is regarding expanded playoffs.

47 responses to “Union considers switch to year-round salary

  1. Unions what are they good for……..

    ….absolutely nothing.

    *This is not the earlier 1900’s unions have had a purpose and place in history and no longer serve that purpose no all the serve is to make the unions leaders rich off the backs of the union members.

  2. What happens if a player gets cut before the start of the season?

    Players become free agents in March. How can they look for a new job when they are still getting paychecks through September?

  3. Does any other company besides the NFL go out of their way to protect its employees from themselves? I know they’re young but these are still young but these are still adults we’re talking about.

  4. I really hope this happens. Expecting people that young most of who are surrounded with players who earn a lot more than they are to manage so much money is just asking for trouble.

  5. I can just picture future Vince Youngs at a Check-N-Go trying to get a $250,000 payday loan on their February paycheck.

  6. Its all about the time value of money. Im shocked the union would agree to this.

    If you get the money in 4 months, you can start earning interest on your investments right away, which is nothing to sneeze at with this type of payroll.

    This is such a huge deal, that surely the NFL must be giving something big back to the players.

  7. This would actually alter a players tax-bracket, which, depending on the state, may cause them to pay less in taxes since the same pay is layered out over 9 more pay-periods.

  8. I think a part of this has to do with unemployment and disability calculations as well? I.e., states considering basing benefits on how much the employee received in the past 3 months. If it is pro-rated over a year, you would get more benefits, whereas under the current system, if you are in the off-season and are cut or disabled, the government will look at your low salary to make a determination of the employee’s benefit. I suspect something like this is also forcing the change…

  9. that doesn’t sound like a bad idea really. it will put most players in a better position to budget their money and not end up broke. It’s not as if their weekly paychecks will suck, considering the lowest anyone gets paid is like 300,000 per year. That’s still more money in each pay check than most professional white collar workers make.

  10. I know it helps out the businesses since they defer the payments, but don’t you think this is good for the players? I mean most NFL players don’t have their NFL earnings for a long time after leaving the league. This might stop them from blowing through the cash as quick. You wouldn’t see them buying bentleys because they wouldn’t have that liquid cash at the ready.

  11. How do you get all the way to college without knowing how money works? Seems to me the problem starts well before they make it to the NFL.

  12. It is sad if the players are really in need of being protected from themselves but I think it’s smart for the players to ask for this. A lot of teachers prefer year round instead of just the 9 months of school. It allows them to budget better and know they are getting money during the summer as well. It works the same here. As long as players still get the base money they would get under the current structure I don’t see how this can be bad.

  13. I disagree that players won’t be getting paid when the money is earned. The NFL is a year-round sport. These guys are working out, watching film, often learning new offenses or defenses, attending OTAs, minicamps, and training camp, playing in preseason games. They earn their pay the whole year, so how radical is it to spread the pay across the whole year?

  14. Amazing that they have to treat these college educated millionaires like 12 year olds.

  15. I think it is a good idea from the stand point that many of these player have never had much money and without being able to get there hands on it all at once may help many of then not to go and blow it. A few years back there was a an piece that said 75% of the players where broke, divorced or both within 2 years out of the league. Just thinking this will help them in managing their money and give them time to mature and get guidance.

  16. pay them for OTA, training camp and minicamp so we don’t have to sit through cry babies holding out and asking for more money and new deals when they are still under contract.

  17. to the ignorant union hater – – yeah…unions aren’t needed because owners are such nice, generous guys right?

  18. So if a player gets in trouble but hasn’t been paid yet they owners can withhold their money & starve them out, talk about backwards logic.

  19. After watching 30 for 30: Broke and realizing that pro athletes have to pay taxes in every single state they play a game in I’ve got to agree that a change is probably warranted somewhere. Not to throw too much sympathy at millionaires, but that’s a little nuts.

  20. Your third paragraph makes it clear why this is not bad for the players – guys make x hundred thousand a week and fall into thinking that is their income level. Giving them biweekly paystubs like most employees in this country will at least give players a clear picture of what their annual income is, and would hopefully at least help reduce the number of bankruptcies etc. … although that might be wishful thinking.

  21. But how am I ‘spose to pay for my Bentley and Maserati in ca$h gettin me little two week paychecks. And how am I gonna store $50k plus in my poorly secured safe if my checks are for only $20k at a time. I got an image to uphold here

  22. The smart thing for the players to negotiate would be the payments starting week 1…of the league year! This is in March, and would make more sense wrt free agency.

    It would even out the problem of the teams getting to sit on the money, but would hurt the teams when it comes to off-season signing that get cut during TC – they’d have collected some paychecks already.

  23. I think this has more to do with the proposed law in LA regarding Worker’s Comp claims.

  24. I work at a university in NJ, and we used to stretch out our 9 month professors’ salaries over 24 biweekly paychecks, making summer financial planning easier.

    This became illegal in NJ about 10 years ago because of the objections many of you are raising- that the practice of deferring paychecks harms the employee.

  25. I work at a university in NJ, and we used to stretch out our 9 month professors’ salaries over 24 biweekly paychecks, making summer financial planning easier.

    This became illegal in NJ about 10 years ago because of the objections many of you are raising- that the practice of deferring paychecks harms the employee.

  26. Unfortunately, this will cut down on all of the “a stupid athlete and his money are soon parted” stories.

  27. Look at that pay stub. Someone will need to put aside some dough or reduce reductions by about 11 kids so Uncle Sam gets his due in April. Didn’t select the disability insurance, I see.

  28. It should not need to be done. There are negatives that should outweigh the positives.

    However, you are giving millions to very young individuals. Some will be reasonably wise but many will not. The interest is a reasonable offset in this case.

    I know it will never happen but I wish the union and league would set up some type of interest bearing long term strategy for players. The players that get to a second contract make far too much to end up broke.

  29. I hate all the wealth-envy in this thread. It has nothing to do with the size of the check. I’ve known people who make 6 figures that were always on the brink of financial disaster, and I’ve known people that make minimum wage in the same state. I’ve also known people on both ends of the spectrum that were always in top financial shape.

    What an NFL player has to deal with that you & I don’t is all the family members (including 5th-cousins), hangers-on, and nearby bums who think they were born with life owing them everything trying to steal the player’s money from him. If you know that the same amount of money will be paid to you throughout the year, it’s going to be easier to track and protect from all the leeches that think the NFL player is supposed to take care of them.

  30. Players should think long and hard about taking advice from the union representatives and NFL executives . We’ve seen what the NFLPA’s easing of the practices and scheduling has done to the numbers of injuries because of poor conditioning and how changing basic tackling techniques has also been detrimental to players.

  31. Let the players choose whether they want the current method or this one. Then no one can whine about it (yeah right, that’s a pipe dream).

  32. The vast majority of us loan the government money every year by having too much withdrawn in our W-2’s. People who live in glass houses…

  33. The NFL should cap salaries at certain positions like QB. Kapp getting 21 million a year when a top veteran LB is making 5 is just ridiculous. That way skill position players could be capped and other players could make more than the 300,000. minimum. Share the pie.

  34. How would this effect taxes? Would they no longer have to pay taxes in each state they play games? If so sounds good…but not sure the players are going to like it when the teams want them to work year round like the peasants that over pay for everything NFL…

  35. How am I supposed to pay for those $55,000 hazing dinners for my bullying teammates?

    The NFLPA is in the pocket of the owners to be coming up with schemes like this.

  36. Brilliant!
    If they get paid all year, they can call a strike at the start of the season and stay out as long as they want and be sacrificing a lot less.
    Instead of losing 1/17th of their salary, they will be losing 1/52nd of their salary.
    Put another way, a player making $1m a year would lose not nearly $60k a game, but less than $20k – with the owners taking a huge beating not only in losing an eighth of their home game income each home game week, but in the television money they’d have to return.
    Finally they can get fully guaranteed contracts and a whole lot more.

  37. bills still come once a month even if your pay only comes 4 months out of the year. Automatic payments make the world go round and I think it would be a simple common courtesy for the NFL to do.

    I don’t understand why anyone would care about another man’s taxes quite frankly but I think a loose parallel would be carpenters and contractors and the like : the biggest problem those guys have is their monthly bills when they might have to sit for 6 weeks. It sucks. Nobody wants to have to take out loans for dry spells no matter what income bracket you are in

  38. I support this and here is my rational: most lottery winners go bankrupt unless they were rich to begin with. If you are in the NFL, you are getting paid like a lottery winner and the fact is that few of these guys were that rich anyway. Protections should be put in place.

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