Report: Loophole exists for capping 17th-game checks for stars

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When details of the pending collective bargaining began trickling out, at least one star player voiced a big concern, with Texans defensive end J.J. Watt saying he was a “hard no.”

But one of the points he might have reasonably objected to might not be as firm as previously believed.

One of the sticking points for some high-salaried players was the checks for a potential 17th game (whenever that’s implemented) would be capped at $250,000. That’s a pay cut for any player making more than $4.25 million per year.

But a source told Peter King of NBC’s Football Morning in America that individual players would be able to negotiate for a higher rate than that.

Of course, they wouldn’t enter that negotiation with much leverage, as they’re already under contract. But that rule applies to a relatively small percentage of the league anyway, and teams might be willing to play ball with a player of Watt’s caliber (or, hypothetically, if there was a star quarterback heading into free agency that they wanted to create some future goodwill with).

Only 179 players last year made enough money for that rule to apply to them anyway, or roughly 10 percent of a league of nearly 1,700 players on active rosters at any given time. And the deal offers raises to the lower-level and middle-class earners, so the complaints of a few stars might not matter to the union as a whole.

It’s a small detail in a much larger negotiation which would cover many more players for a much longer time — and one which would provide 10 years of labor peace and a platform for more lucrative broadcast deals.

6 responses to “Report: Loophole exists for capping 17th-game checks for stars

  1. JJ’s mad because he already gets a better, prorated salary for those games he doesn’t even play because he can’t ever play a whole season anyway.

  2. It seems based upon the majority of reporting,the current CBA proposal is good for the rank and file players- i.e. the majority of union members.

    It also seems that the top earners, like Richard Sherman and JJ Watt are the most vocally opposed.

    Thus I believe they should put it to a vote of the union as is and let the guys who haven’t made 50 million plus in their career, but instead might get 2-5 years of minimum contracts have a say. They are the backbone of the NFL and what keep the game going.

  3. I have an alternative solution – no player may play more than 16 games.
    Then your backups get playing time, and injured starters who miss a game, still get to play 16 games.
    Many players (outsid eof QBs) don’t manage 16 games in a season.

    If I was ,making > 4.25MM I’d “miss a game” due to injury once a season to make sure I only played 16 games. I wouldn’t play a 17th and take the injury risk, even for 250K, it I was making > 4.25MM.

  4. Most of the players receiving big endorsement deals are in that top earning group. 90% of the players would benefit. The 90% are also the ones who come to camp every year without any guarantee they’ll even make the team. If there was ever a strike, any of the current players who would be in jeopardy of losing their jobs to replacement players, would come from that 90% group. Are you saying J.J. Watt is asking these players to risk what little they have so that he can have more? I wonder how that vote is going to turn out. So it sounds like it’s the owners and 90% of all players vs. the top 10% of high earnings players.

  5. Replacement players???? The league failed miserably and tucked it’s tail between their legs only after a few weeks of replacement refs. You think the NFL will field replacement players? Get real, and fans won’t tune in for the that, we already have the XFL.

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    charliecharger says:
    February 24, 2020 at 8:03 am
    Most of the players receiving big endorsement deals are in that top earning group. 90% of the players would benefit. The 90% are also the ones who come to camp every year without any guarantee they’ll even make the team. If there was ever a strike, any of the current players who would be in jeopardy of losing their jobs to replacement players, would come from that 90% group. Are you saying J.J. Watt is asking these players to risk what little they have so that he can have more? I wonder how that vote is going to turn out. So it sounds like it’s the owners and 90% of all players vs. the top 10% of high earnings players.

  6. I wouldn’t want to play a 3 hour game for a measly quarter million either. What’s this world coming to!?

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