When Eric Dickerson released a statement calling for an annual salary for Hall of Famers, he didn’t say what that salary should be. But now he has given a dollar amount of $300,000 annually.
“If it was up to me, I think every Hall of Famer would get about $300,000 a year. That would, I think, be a proper number,” Dickerson told TMZ.
That’s an annual salary Dickerson is asking for, for each Hall of Famer, just for being in the Hall of Fame. TMZ notes that if Dickerson also wants players’ families to benefit after the Hall of Famer dies (and that seems to be Dickerson’s plan, as Reggie White’s widow was one of the signers of his statement), that would come out to more than $95 million a year in payments to Hall of Famers.
Dickerson complained that NFL player pensions aren’t big enough and said $300,000 a year for each Hall of Famer would supplement their pensions. Pension amounts can vary based on several factors, including how long the player played and the age at which he started drawing his pension. Some players didn’t play long enough to qualify for any pension at all (players need to be in the league for three years), while other players get more than $100,000 a year from their pension.
Although Dickerson is trying to paint his cause as an effort to help players who have struggled, his focus on paying the Hall of Famers first would mean taking care of the players who least need it: Hall of Famers generally made good incomes when they were active and can still make good money for appearances. Dickerson made more than $1 million a year in the 1980s and still gets paid $10,000 to $20,000 per speech. If his concern is helping players who need help, he should be focused on all the forgotten players who made the league minimum, not on players like himself who made millions.