Raiders can avoid Termination Pay, but it would be subject to a fight

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The Raiders have plenty of weapons at their disposal when it comes to handling Antonio Brown, and the Raiders can choose to be aggressive. But the player always will have rights, and the NFL Players Association along with agent Drew Rosenhaus will be charged with the responsibility of pursuing those rights.

Whether it’s voiding $29.125 million in guaranteed money or, as explained below, trying to block his entitlement to the balance of his 2019 salary ($14.625 million) as Termination Pay if he’s cut despite being on the Week One roster, Brown will have the right to fight anything the Raiders do.

As reported earlier this morning by Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Raiders have already sent Brown a letter explaining “that he will no longer be entitled to termination pay if they release him.”

Termination Pay is a benefit available to players with four or more years of NFL service. Basically, if a player is on the Week One roster and gets cut at any point after that, he’s entitled to collect the balance of his salary as Termination Pay. (Vested veterans routinely are cut before Week One specifically to avoid the Termination Pay benefit.)

The labor deal gives teams a mechanism for blocking Termination Pay for a player who was on the Week One roster. To do so, the team must “demonstrate that, after receipt of a written warning from his Club . . . the player failed to exhibit the level of good faith effort which can be reasonably expected from NFL players on that Club.” Thus, before terminating the player’s right to Termination Pay, the Raiders must send Brown a letter that goes something like this: “The Club hereby provides you with written notice that you are failing to exhibit the level of good faith effort which can be reasonably expected from players on this Club. If you do not demonstrate the good faith effort which can be reasonably expected from players on this Club, you will not be entitled to Termination Pay under Article 30 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement if you are terminated before the end of this season.”

It’s possible that the letter to which Schefter refers is the warning letter. Regardless, the Raiders surely are aware of the Termination Pay angle, and they will try to block Brown from getting it, if/when they cut him.

Still, the issue of Termination Pay and other guarantees will eventually be resolved by a third person who may, or may not, agree with the team’s arguments. Which means there’s a chance that, in the end, the Raiders will be without the player, without the money, and without the third- and fifth-round picks that were sent to Pittsburgh.

16 responses to “Raiders can avoid Termination Pay, but it would be subject to a fight

  1. FIRE GRUDEN NOW!!! By enabling ABs behavior he established himself as the sole authority for the entire organization. And created a no accountability culture; look at what it caused! Fire Gruden now!!!

  2. How could it be a fight when the Raiders have enough public documentation to show not only the character but breaking of contract by what is reported. His threat and we all know his agent as well as Brown oK”d all issues before he made his teary eyed sorry BS speech.

  3. Given that AB has said he wants the Raiders to release him and he won’t play if his guarantees are voided, I’d say he’s met the standard of “failing to exhibit the level of good faith effort which can be reasonably expected from NFL players on that Club”.

  4. Yeah, it looks like the Raiders have more than enough evidence to prevail in a fight over AB’s Termination Pay. But I wouldn’t count on it actually turning out that way. Anyone paying attention to this society knows right and wrong no longer govern these kinds of decisions.

  5. I’d argue as I’m sure his agent/lawyers will…this is been AB the whole time. His entire career has been this level of selfishness. So I assume it would be hard for them to prove he has gotten worse.
    Sounds like BS to me. Cut him or pay the man. Don’t try and have your cake and eat it too. Another reason the NFL is doomed.
    All the ‘next generation’ athletes will be playing soccer in 10-15 years. So enjoy the NFL now. Because it might not be here tomorrow.

  6. Like it or not, the bargained language says that the ability to get away without paying Termination Pay depends on the player “failing to exhibit the level of good faith effort.” Does that mean on the field only or does it extend to other areas? You don’t just decide what a “good faith effort” is in a vacuum, though. There should be records of what the League and the NFLPA intended by that language, and that’s likely what everybody is looking at right now.

  7. AB is a dumpster fire on steroids. Redskins will trade for AB and make him the highest paid player in the NFL. Bring AB to DC and really let the fun begin.

  8. When you feel you are so good you do not have to follow the rules of others it is time to take a look at what type person you are. You disrespect all team players, and coaches and the game itself. You forget you played for a QB that was able to get all those passes to you for stats you are so full of yourself for. Time NFL owners take a good look at the type players you are willing to sign and yet takes the game to a lower level

  9. “FIRE GRUDEN NOW!!! ”

    Head coaching contracts are typically fully guaranteed. Gruden is in the 2nd year of a 10 million/year contract. Do you really think Marc Davis, one of the cheapest owners in the league, is going to cough up 80 million for the balance of his contract plus 10 for this year by firing Gruden?

    Not gonna happen.

  10. Best thing the Raiders can do is suspend him 4 games for conduct detrimental, no arbitrator would overturn that, and that way he’s not on the roster week 1.

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