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.