For the past few years, the NFL Players Association has been squirreling away cash in the event of a work stoppage in 2021. Chargers center Mike Pouncey claims that he and other veterans will be creating a separate strike fund to help players get through a season without football.
“We are in the process of drawing up another fund to help in the wake of this 2021 strike,” Pouncey said on Instagram. “I myself @mikepouncey and @russellokung are all putting up 250k apiece along with a lot of other vet players stay tuned!!”
This follows a recent video from Mike Pouncey, whose choice of language was far from i-dentical to his identical twice Maurkice. In Mike’s video, he provided that all players will be taken care of during a 2021 strike.
In order for a work stoppage to work, it will be critical for the players to have enough cash for the duration of it. But collecting, handling, and dispersing that cash quickly will become a full-time job for one or more people. Plus, there will be many questions to resolve. Does every player get the same total amount? Or do players get it based on what they currently earn, with a percentage replaced? Does federal/state law require taxes to be paid and withheld? Will some players who have made dramatically more than most be expected to take nothing? If so, what will be the cutoff?
Whatever the amount of the fund, a work stoppage will still require all players to pass on 100 percent of their salary plus 100 percent of their ability to play football. The far more effective approach, as we’ve discussed in the past, would be for the players to set up their own alternative league to compete with the NFL during a strike, since the NFL surely would hire replacement players, like it did in 1987.
Of course, that would require a small army of people working full time to organize a player-owned-and-operated league that would have more value in its threat than in its execution. The owners already have everything in place to proceed with games because they play games. The players would be building their own thing from scratch.
Even though watching real NFL players would be far more compelling than watching XFL players in NFL uniforms (or, as I’m currently experiencing, XFL players in XFL uniforms), it would be a very difficult task. And it would be far more difficult than raising a strike fund large enough to get players to take the leap of faith that their bills will be paid for a full football season, if they refuse the current deal and take their chances in 2021.