Potential loss of guaranteed money becomes major issue for star players

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Various star players have spoken up on Sunday regarding the current failure of the NFL to provide players with a safe workplace that will be conducive to playing the 2020 season. Coincidentally, or not, star players with fully-guaranteed base salaries for 2020 have begun to realize that the league wants to not pay their fully-guaranteed salaries, if all or part of the season isn’t played.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the status of salaries guaranteed for skill, injury, and cap has become a major concern for players who presumed that fully guaranteed means fully guaranteed. The league, in its most recent proposal to the NFL Players Association, specified that “skill, injury, and/or cap guarantees do not apply to require payment for cancelled games.”

For some players, the objection to this approach extends beyond the basic question of whether guarantee means guarantee. Some players specifically accepted fully-guaranteed salaries in lieu of signing bonuses or offseason roster bonuses in order to assist the team’s cap situation or to not impose a major offseason cash-flow obligation on the team. With the league’s proposal not affecting signing bonuses, the players who accepted a fully-guaranteed salary in lieu of a signing bonus or offseason roster bonus now face the possibility of not getting paid game checks, if games are missed.

The league also has proposed that contracts will toll until 2021, if fewer than six regular-season games are played. This approach, if the contracts toll, would essentially postpone 2020 to 2021, with every player losing a contract year, along with pay for every game not played.

The players continue to have significant leverage on this point. The labor deal has no force majeure clause, and the NFL’s only argument to avoid paying players their full salaries for 2020 arises if no games are played at all. Players who are due to make significant, fully-guaranteed salaries will not want the union to let the league wipe out those guarantees with the stroke of a pen — and star players are beginning to realize that the league is pushing for just that.

30 responses to “Potential loss of guaranteed money becomes major issue for star players

  1. Flo you’re on a roll today. You ignored your WV story, you continue to overrate Roethlisberg on your Stillers preseason ranking. Now you basically dare the players to seek an injunction over striking to avoid risk of violating the CBA…as the league continues to fail in adequately addressing protecting the players’ health. Football must have a bubble and replacement players quarantining to enter the bubble as needed, without this it can’t work.

  2. The players have less leverage than they think.

    It doesn’t matter if the labor deal has no force majeure clause, the NFL can scrap the season.

    Billionaires can handle the loss of NFL income a lot better than the players.

    Realisticly, what are the arguments on both sides?

    Players – we want full pay even if the season is shortened?

    Owners – Revenues will be down with no attendance, on top of that you want full pay in case the season is canceled?

    It has to be close to a pro-rated amount, and even then, how do you handle the revenue shortfall for no attendance?
    If you are a 21 year old NFL player with a 3 year career, so you want $300,000 or $0?

  3. I think it’s in everyone’s best interest to play the season (safely).

    if that means no fans at games- fine, if that means thousands of people have to live in a bubble- then that’s how it has to be.

    America has had so much time to find another way of doing it, but hasn’t taken proper steps at all.

    Honestly- the League has had months to make a plan, a back up plan, a contingency plan, a double redundant plan and a back up for that.

    Have they? Doesn’t seem like it so far.

    And if it all goes wrong- pack everyone into a few wide bodied jets and come play the season in NZ, we’ve got 5 million people in a bubble and it’s working. A few thousand more won’t hurt.

  4. Ummm. Didn’t you guys pay an agent to get you to negotiate the best contract?

  5. You mean the NFL and the players have to deal with real world money problems like the rest of us? Good, it’s only fair

  6. “America has had so much time to find another way of doing it, but hasn’t taken proper steps at all.”

    Really talk. America and the league. Players must seek court injunction for their own safety (and their families) including older coaches. Football is going to be a spreadfest under the current non shalent attitude. This isn’t simply going to disappear. Players should get full salary and the season should be scrapped because there have been no adequate proposals for it to proceed safely. They’ve had time to create a bubble for players and another site for replacements. They’ve failed.

  7. So the players want to be paid whether or not they work?

    Get in the unemployment line. Maybe this will teach you jerks to live below your means.

  8. Players only care about themselves.
    They won’t give up their salaries without a fight.


    Just because you call it a “guaranteed” contract, any lawyer worth his salt KNOWS BETTER than to rely on that and would actually go into the CONTRACT DETAILS and the written restrictions on said “guarantees”.

  10. collectordude says: “Players only care about themselves. They won’t give up their salaries without a fight.”

    Right, because you’re such a benevolent employee that you VOLUNTARILY gave up your salary without being asked or grumbling about it. Hypocrite.

  11. You continue to say the players have all the leverage? I don’t understand this stance. Perhaps the league knows revenue will be down no ,after what without fans so they are ok with no season at all…..hence zero salaries. How is that complete player leverage?

  12. The owner’s beancounters have all economic scenarios covered. They know exactly what is the best economic decision regarding playing football this year.
    I shake my head at posters who actually believe the owner’s were not smart enough to include a force majeure clause in their CBA. These people are among the smartest business people in the world. If that clause isn’t included, it is because they didn’t want it included. They could easily have business insurance that protects their revenue from force majeure incidents. And that gives them the option of negotiating better arrangements for them with the NFLPA.
    I know the other 3 major sports have force majeure included. But all 3 of them have completely guaranteed contracts, while the NFL does not. The decision has to be made before game 1. After that first game, the CBA calls for players to be paid their contracts. If the NFLPA does not agree to the concessions, I doubt we see game 1. And the NFLPA knows it too.

  13. Must be nice to demand guaranteed million dollar salaries while also demanding perfect safety.
    It’s unrealistic.
    Try unemployment pay like the 30 million+ Americans, to get a taste of what life is like when you are forced out of work.
    Pampered losers.

  14. Right, because you’re such a benevolent employee that you VOLUNTARILY gave up your salary without being asked or grumbling about it. Hypocrite.
    I suppose you’re so magnanimous, that you work for free?

  15. How will all of this player leverage look when the salary cap plummets due to lost revenue?

    The players do not have much leverage, they have as much or more at stake than the owners.

    Imagine the veteran (NFLPA member) contract bloodbath if the salary cap goes down 30 percent.

  16. Players: listen to the experts
    Experts: don’t play any games, stay home!
    Owners: ok, then we are not paying you at all
    Players: no, not those experts, the ones that only say no preseason games

  17. The players union will end up screwing this up. The players should get a % their salary if they actually play. Whatever the owners lose should be shared as a percentage as the deal they signed. That would also include bonuses as well. If the player gets a bonus at 10 sacks and the season is only 8 games they should only have to get 5.
    The players union won’t allow this. The irony is that if they don’t I cab see the owners dealing with the losses in a very short window which would cut the salary cap significantly in the short term.

  18. There’s a news flash. The players aren’t as concerned about their health as they are about their paycheck. They want it both ways. If you were an NFL owner, why would you even consider taking all the risks without getting some concessions on the players about their contracts? Don’t be surprised if there isn’t a season. Then let’s see how these guys making $30M+ (Brees, Wilson, et al) complaining about not getting paid. They completely ignored that a huge percentage of people suffered economically during this pandemic. Poor babies.

  19. Oh these poor guys! Their gonna make a few million less than the millions their making now 😭😭

  20. Everyone saying the players have no leverage clearly aren’t reading or don’t comprehend the situation. The owners WANT to play the season. Yes they will lose money with no fans but they will lose even more in TV revenue from not playing at all. If even one game is played the CBA entitles the players to their money. So tell me again how the players don’t have leverage?

    If cancwling the season was an option for the owners it would have been done already

  21. Wow….i guess i asked abour the Elephant in the room and boom.

    All of a sudden the real dilemma is being discussed.

    I will reiterate….the owners have the leverage. The Players are lucky the CBA was signed before anyone knew the US….which they thought was best equipped to deal with the Virus..turned out to be the worst at dealing with it.
    Otherwise the minority owners who for some time have been itching to shut this down for a year to crush the players and reset the direction of the League, would have their wish.

    The players have one option… compromise or lose the Season. Period. They know it and so does anyone else who follows this League and are sensible….thus why the players are trying to gain public sympathy.

    But people are consummed with their own problems. No one will care to the level needed to save them.

    As i said before…they are fortunate they signed the CBA when they did.

  22. deadinbed says:

    Laughing loudly at every poster who would give up their guaranteed salary.

    I’d be willing to guess that every poster here does not have a guaranteed salary. If we don’t work, we don’t get paid. The players are constantly saying they understand their fans. Now’s there chance to show it.

  23. Why is there even a question on this? EVERY person in the country that doesnt work during this, doesnt get paid. Why do the NFL Players think they are different??? That is why words like “furlough” have become really popular. If you dont work, you dont get paid. Thats it. Sorry players, people that make $80k per year, or less, that can manage their salary arent going to feel badly for you when you cant pay your bills. You make more int he first quarter, of week 1, than most of us make in a year.

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