The League

THE QUESTION

Goodell Took a Pay Cut Should the Players Too?

Granted their contracts are not guaranteed but, given the current economic crisis, could NFL players appeal to fans by following their commissioner in taking a 10% pay cut?

Posted by Emil Steiner on February 16, 2009 8:58 AM
FEATURED COMMENTS

PatD1: The NFL's revenue stream will get battered and battered as sponsorship thins out and the TV contracts shrink. Maybe they can go back to tw...

LegallyMurphy: All professional athletes are greedy money grubbing overpaid children. The times have come to change that. Like President Obama said we need...

DCScribe1: This is the time of year when owners open their wallets wide to go player shopping. The laws of supply and demand apply (see oil industry). ...

Make a Comment  |  All Comments (58)

ALL COMMENTS (58)
warrensapp44 Author Profile Page :

Players are so grossly over paid that taking 10% off would not even hurt them much. If you earn 10 million a year, then you lose a million which may be a lot to most of us, it's nothing to big name player. Even the minimum wage guys if you can call them minimum wage 10% won't hurt much. Plus they have the signing bonus that locks in the loot. Take the cut and pass it on to us the fans. That would be good for PR

terrencelong84 Author Profile Page :

I don't think they should take a pay cut. These guys destroy their bodies for half the year and recover from surgery the other half. And they still get less than most baseball players.

dbw86 Author Profile Page :

Player's salaries should be capped at 2 million dollars per year regardless of position. Rookies should have their pay capped at $300,000 a year. The retirement payout per year should be the same for all players but players should also be allowed to pay more into the retirement fund to increase their payout at retirement age.

Players who are suspended by the league for 365 days or more should not count against the salary cap of any team, nor should they draw any payments, bonus or otherwise, from their team or the NFL. Players who are banned from the NFL should lose all their retirement benefits and money paid into the NFL retirement fund.

It is time that all players realize that it is a priviledge and honor to play in the NFL. And that they ARE role models for our youth and should be required to conduct themselves as such. All NFL players should be required to complete and gain their BS degree within 2 years of joining the NFL or be dropped from the NFL with no retirement benefits.

DBW86

entprof Author Profile Page :

The NFL and the Players Association should bpht take a small hair cut, very small is all that's necessary, and take care of the players from the 60's, 70's and early 80's that built this league. Folks like Brent Boyd, Kenny Easley and many others. This is a crime.

danglingwrangler Author Profile Page :

Geez... the players are mere mortals and not above sacrifice - just like the rest of us. Just do it !

Don't dare place these athletes that I admire above the rest of us - AYFC !

mainstreetmedia Author Profile Page :

Cap the players? Only after cutting the salary of all of the "front office" folks. The players bring in the bacon. They are the ones who keep our collective cans in the seats. NFL players have the worst contracts of all the professional sports. They can be cut at any time, and the only guaranteed money they get is their signing bonus. The playing "window" for most players is very small, due to the fact that professional football is dangerous. Lots of injuries. Google it people, these teams aren't taking care of their players. After football, see ya, thanks for all the cash. Cut the salaries of the executives before any player loses anything. They are the ones risking injury for their paycheck.

IMHO1 Author Profile Page :

My understanding is the salary cap is based on league revenues. If revenues do indeed drop, as you might expect given the economy, the players will get a de facto pay cut, albeit delayed. Nothing wrong with that but no reason to change the rules now and ask for a separate paycut. x% is still x%. IMHO

francesewood1 Author Profile Page :

Fans do not pay players; owners and sponsors do. Who benefits from any salary cut a player may take? The flush owners.
The way to put some of the obscene sports salaries in perspective would be for so-called fans to stay at home with their remotes for a season. A quarter of a billion over 10 years for A-Rod?
Capitalist prinicples argue for whatever the market will bear being a 'fair' price for a commodity. Y'all keep on bein' fair to the boys of spring, okay? Quit that fantasy/envy whinin'.

bill3 Author Profile Page :

If the salary cap is based on revenue then we can expect the cap to go down in the next year or so as revenue almost certainly will. This will affect all players differently though. If a player has a longterm deal, they will continue to get it, but free agents will probably see some pretty significant cuts if there's less money to go around. Perhaps they could prevent that from happening by moving to the 18 game schedule.

dalee16 Author Profile Page :

The NFL could appeal to the fans during these tough economic times by reducing ticket prices, parking prices and food prices.... that would be a nice gesture Mr. Snyder....

Darkvette Author Profile Page :

I love football, but I think that the players would be wise to follow the Commish in taking a pay cut. Please, $13 Million per year for some players? How is that helping the economy any?

etin Author Profile Page :

The idea of taking a pay cut is to serve a purpose, like avoiding layoffs, or helping a company balance its budget. The idea is not that earning money is inherently bad, and so people in a healthy business should take a pay cut because they shouldn't be making all that money in the first place. The bank executives are being pressured to take pay cuts because they are taking government money -- so there is a specific reason. I know that some people think executive salaries are too high as moral issue (the idea that earning a lot of money is inherently evil.)

I don't think that's true for professional athletes, though. Here's why -- obviously the business earns enough money to pay those salaries. So if it does not go to the players, who is going to get it? The owners. Is that better? No. Well maybe the business should not make so much money in the first place. Charge less for TV ads, charge less for admission. But then you create deflation -- I'm pretty sure that is bad for an economy. Or they give the money away. But who would they give it to? Why do those people deserve it more than the players?

jmounadi Author Profile Page :

The players have no reason to take a pay cut. As long as the demand is there for games to be played, then they deserve the market price. This silly gesture that top execs. should take pays cust is socialistic. Especially when the thinking is that the employees should follow suit. Goodell is making a PR move, as mentioned by another commenter.

If anything, the owners will either have to lower prices across the board by the 2010-11 season or they won't. It all depends on how much value we put into selling out games. If Snyder notices that lawyers,lobbyists and doctors continue to come to games, but the blue-collar worker starts to disappear, then Snyder will have to make accomodations. If not,then Snyder doesn't have to do a thing.

jmounadi Author Profile Page :

Warrensapp44, the NFL doesn't owe you anything. If you pay the going rate, then that is what the NFL is worth to you.

We don't live in Russia comrade.

teddensign Author Profile Page :

Ticket prices should be cut first and whoever needs to take a cut to accomodate that should do so. With television/advertising revenues it shouldn't hurt too bad to get the tickets down to a price where families can once again enjoy a game now and then. Yeah. That'll happen....

swanieaz Author Profile Page :

The players should NOT agree to a cut.

C'mon the AVERAGE NFL career is LESS THAN four (4) years.

Without the players the NFL is gone. Remember the strike year and the scabs?

Enough said.
.


jebw958 Author Profile Page :

The Commissioner is leading by example which is the way to do it. The Commissioner is a smart man he gets to run the NFL during the day and go home to Jane Skinner of FOX News at night.

keentakagi Author Profile Page :

Yes, the town, city and state subsidize the professional teams in many ways. The payroll should be cut 25% so that the expense to the metropolitan area can be less.
It costs about $998,000 in subsidy for each game.
Lower the salaries, lower the cost to the area, lower the ticket price.

jamalmstrom Author Profile Page :

H*LL YES. I can't afford to got to games, can't afford to buy the overpriced objects advertised on the TV, can't afford the premium package to watch all the games - so where is the money for all these supersized salaries come from?

What will the league do when the networks refuse to pay the exhorbitant prices, when the companies stop bidding for naming rights?

Yes their average career is only 4 years, but do they need to make enough money in that time to support them for the rest of their lives? Or maybe they should be like the players of old who spent the off-season developing skills and networks that would help them make an honest living after retirement.

TAKE THE PAYCUT!

dcb20020 Author Profile Page :

Football PLAYERS incur a 100% injury rate over the span of their careers. 100%. There is a chance every time they step on the field that they won't walk off of it. No, they shouldn't take a pay cut. They make a fraction of what the owner makes, and the only result of their pay cut will be an increase in the team's (read: the owner's) bottom line. Every time we read about a broke former football player, everyone rolls their eyes and says, "Well, why didn't they invest well during their career while they were making the millions of dollars I'll never make?" Football is a tough, brutal game that provides many Americans with a major diversion during the fall and winter--one that we choose to support financially. If you'd like to force them to take a pay cut, stop watching, stop going to games, stop buying merchandise. Then we can all go on a diet. But don't ask people to do the same amount of work for less money.

csintala79 Author Profile Page :

Yes, they are way overpaid. The comment about the poor guys destroying their bodies doesn't wash. Most construction workers, coal miners and oil field workers have a greater chance of incurring debilitating injuries or death during their working years. Also the bodies of the folks doing this kind of work wear out years before their time, too, but they have to work many more years to collect a pension (the way things are going they will be lucky to do that) and their employers don't pay for advanced treatment and rehabilitation. Oh, well, it will all come out in the wash. If the economy continues to spiral down, the pay cuts will come as the revenue decrease, or the fans and sponsors wills stay away in droves, driving the teams into bankruptcy. Why should athletes and entertainers expect to continue drawing obscene salaries when the fans are sliding into the status of the working poor? Believe it or not, our current professional sports business is a luxury that folks can learn to live without; back in the 30s athletes were working stiffs that had real jobs off season.

nnyl Author Profile Page :

I believe that the athletes need to take a pay cut as well. They are way overpaid and even though they can incur injuries that are severe and may end their careers, they are paid plenty of money to put into investments and other accounts that will take care of them for the remainder of their lives. They shouldn't be spending the money on expensive homes, jewelry, cars, etc. Put the money where it will take care of them in their post-football years. Better to take a voluntary pay cut than incur a layoff of forced pay cut.

dho7993186 Author Profile Page :

I do believe the players need to take a pay cut. Ultimately, the fans DO pay for the players salary. If the fans can't afford to go to the games, then they don't get paid. If cutting $$$$ makes it affordable for everyone to go to games, then do it. I understand the players risk injury everytime they play, but if you make 13 million dollars, then you already make more than the average American will in a lifetime. If you can't live off of one years salary, then you really have issues.

cintronlourdes Author Profile Page :

They pay these people get is really immoral. But that's the American way, the American promise. That's the capitalist way.

I would have to say as Tony Blair said in an interview: lets try to bring people up, not bring down those who are up.

In a class war, I would bring the CEOs and the capitalist down.

In sports, I would be a bit more lenient. It is usually the poor who gets to the top in sports.

xSamplex Author Profile Page :

As long as fans are willing to pay the ticket prices, and are willing to sit through the TV and radio advertising that funds the teams, why should the players take a pay cut? Let them keep what the marketplace is willing to pay them. If the game gets too expensive for fans, well then, the situation will be different.

shhhhh Author Profile Page :

If the public wants to see the salaries of the players cut, stop paying so much for the season tickets and stop watching the games.

If the league wants to cut the salaries of the players, then stop offering them so much money.

Obviously the only loyalty these owners and players have are to their own pockets.

jryan758 Author Profile Page :

The league, the players, the owners can do whatever they want provided they pay back all the government subsidies. It’s obnoxious that taxpayers (now in a bind) subsidize their bloated incomes.

DavidCurrier1 Author Profile Page :

Our nation should be ashamed at what we are willing to pay sports players and how little we are willing to approve for salaries of people that matter in our lives - our teachers, nurses/care givers, police and firemen, etc. Our priorities are completely distorted, selfish, untenable.

PlayByTheRules Author Profile Page :

It is long past time for player salaries to move back into the realm of reality. When people are hurting and staying home to watch games on TV for free, the leagues will crumble without cutting salaries. 500k is plenty for Wall Street execs, and more than enough for a professional athlete. With the savings, owners could drop ticket prices back in the realm of reality, too. Why should a family of four pay more than a month's utility bills to go to a ball game? Absurd. And while they're at it, $1 beer and free parking would be a nice touch.

jmounadi Author Profile Page :

Amen, DCB20020. One of the few remarks that make sense in an American way. The rest so far have been selfish, me first comments without ever considering what THEY would do if they were football players. Truly selfish and self-rightgeous comments by the dozen.

clandestinetomcat Author Profile Page :

Pay cuts may not be so voluntary when fan's in the midst of a recession stop paying high ticket prices.

jmounadi Author Profile Page :

Teachers don't bring in revenue. Schools in DC don't bring in revenue. That is why a bank will provide a loan to the city for s stadium, because it will bring in profit and a secured payment.

A teacher is a dime a dozen and can be replaced. Micheal Jordan is NOT a dime a dozen, therefore we pay millions as a society to see him play (when he was active).

Stop acting like you don't understand how life works. This isn't utopia DavidCurrier.

PlayByTheRules Author Profile Page :

Injuries? Soldiers and policemen have far riskier jobs and make peanuts. Only a 4-year career? Enough time to become a millionaire for even a below-average player. But as long as we pack the stadiums buying $100+ tickets, pay $20 to park, suck down $5 beers and eat $4 hot dogs, nothings going to change. Stay home and watch it on TV with a 6-pack and a pile of nachos for less than Snyder charges to fart.

rmattocks Author Profile Page :

Are you kidding me, NFL players taking a pay cut? No way. They don't even have guaranteed contracts in one of the most brutal sports other than professional boxing. Look if this was Major League Baseball or the National Basketball Association, all of which have guaranteed salaries and lazy undeachieving malcontents once they sign these huge deals, the players in the NFL have to actually earn their keep to stay around. The only thing guaranteed in the NFL is the signing bonuses. If the owners no longer want you because of performance or salary cap issues then they are free to cut you, loyalties be damned. We don't have to suffer in the NFL with overpaid crybabies or thieves as we Wizards have done with Gilbert "I don't even have to play and I still have a 6 year 120 million dollar contract guaranteed to me" Arenas.

This coupled with the fact the NFL and their owners have been raking in billions over the past ten years from the t.v. networks revenues for broadcasting their games to DirecTV shelling out billions to have exclusive rights to showing their product, yes, it is the executives and the suits who should take the paycuts. The players themselves earn every dime and has helped the NFL be what it is today with their blood, sweat, tears and injuries. I'm with the NFL players on this one.

GreenDemon36 Author Profile Page :

Some of these comments can't be serious. You expect professional athletes to take a pay cut because a family of four can't pay their utilities? newsflash: there will always be someone worse off and better off than you, unless you're bill gates or oprah. Should I decline my annual bonus at my job just because some other struggling company can't afford my companies' product while others can? If millions of people turned out 17plus weeks a year to see YOU at YOUR profession, should you just be paid 500k? Do you think future athletes will be attracted to the NFL is that happened? The quality of performance on the field will suffer since up and coming athletes won't devote as much of their lives to the sport cos they need to find other compensation. Goddell has it right, cuts should affect management whose responsible for charging the fans in a recession.

PlayByTheRules Author Profile Page :

Sounds like the NFL execs are a bunch of geniuses compared to the brain trust running the NBA and MLB.

PlayByTheRules Author Profile Page :

It's advertising that brings in the revenue. Marketed correctly, you could pay millions to members of the Amish Barnraisers League (ABL) and people would ransom their grandmothers to see it.

PlayByTheRules Author Profile Page :

They had guys sawing wood on ESPN the other day. GENIUS!

llevario2 Author Profile Page :

TerrenceLong, yes this guys destroy their bodies, but they have a choice, some of this guys have MBA, Degrees on something or another, how many regular people make MILLIONS of money just to start, not only this guys are getting signning bonus,
Mr. Long when did you get a signning bonus.
This guys make to much money enough to buy drugs, beat their wives

PlayByTheRules Author Profile Page :

ESPN: Home of the Rock, Paper, Sissors championships. Check it out.

helloisanyoneoutthere Author Profile Page :

I assume whether to take a pay cut would be up to the individual players.

But I think I should also mention that in these competitive times with the economy, many teams will likely be looking to scale back on their payrolls and will seriously look at bang-for-the-buck.

So now especially, does A-Rod still think he would be worth $28 Million a year?

david96 Author Profile Page :

It baffles the mind that people here think it is wise to cap the income of the directors of our economy at $500k per year but yet it's OK and acceptable to pay a guy millions for catching a ball on a Saturday afternoon. Interesting priorities, maybe time for a wakeup call all around?

ricklein Author Profile Page :

Are ticket prices going down? If not, the question is ridiculous.

jamesdavis1 Author Profile Page :

Of course the NFL and individual teams should make thrie product more affordable for fans; of course better provsions should be in place for retired players, especially older and disabled ones;of course we should see more altruism and less arrogance across the board, as we do see in some NFL players and other sports professionals. Do we expect this? Do we expect the unjustifiably wealthy athlete, compared to many who make more vital contributions to our society, to behave as though blessed rather than divine, a part of society rather than above it? Of course not. We've seen too little precedent.

opp88 Author Profile Page :

DO YOU THINK THATS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT? IF YOU ARE MAN ENOUGH? WHICH I DOUBT...TAKE YOUR ARSS OUT THERE FOR A WEEK AND SEE HOW LONG YOU WILL LAST. THEN TELL US ABOUT JUST CATCHING A BALL... FREAKING COUCH POTATO. WHAT SHOULD BAFFLE YOUR PEA BRAIN IS YOUR COMMENT.

BETTER YET...TRY AND CATCH A BALL THATS FLYING AT YOU AS THOSE BIG ARSS DEFENSIVE PEOPLE ARE COMING TO SEPARATE YOUR PEA SKULL FROM YOUR IDDY BITTY TINY NECK!


david96 :
It baffles the mind that people here think it is wise to cap the income of the directors of our economy at $500k per year but yet it's OK and acceptable to pay a guy millions for catching a ball on a Saturday afternoon. Interesting priorities, maybe time for a wakeup call all around?

February 17, 2009 1:55 PM | Report Offensive Comments

Chaotician Author Profile Page :

Look, their salaries should be more like $60,000 not 6 - 60 Million! Perhaps, with a little sense and a reduction in "real" disposable income and a reluctance to pay 30% for CC debt; Americans will stop responding like palovian dogs to marketing nonsense paying the cost for these outrageous salaries. Perhaps we will stop the marketing of Drugs that can only be obtained from Doctors prescriptions; and therefore stop the incredible misuse of inflated Drug costs? Perhaps, we will stop listening to the talking heads of moral depravity like Limbaugh, O'Rielly, Hannity, and other FOX talking point readers? Perhaps we will only buy things that we need...perhaps?

opp88 Author Profile Page :

AND WHAT PLANET DID YOU ARRIVE FROM?

HEY EEERRRBODY THE NFL HAS A KNEW POLICY MAKER! I BET THIS IS A WOMAN.
_________________________________

dbw86 :
Player's salaries should be capped at 2 million dollars per year regardless of position. Rookies should have their pay capped at $300,000 a year. The retirement payout per year should be the same for all players but players should also be allowed to pay more into the retirement fund to increase their payout at retirement age.

Players who are suspended by the league for 365 days or more should not count against the salary cap of any team, nor should they draw any payments, bonus or otherwise, from their team or the NFL. Players who are banned from the NFL should lose all their retirement benefits and money paid into the NFL retirement fund.

It is time that all players realize that it is a priviledge and honor to play in the NFL. And that they ARE role models for our youth and should be required to conduct themselves as such. All NFL players should be required to complete and gain their BS degree within 2 years of joining the NFL or be dropped from the NFL with no retirement benefits.

DBW86

February

opp88 Author Profile Page :

THESE NFL PLAYERS ARE FORMER COLLEGE STUDENTS. FOR YOU TO SUGGEST A SECOND TRADE. WHERE DID YOUR MOMMY AND DADDY GO WRONG WITH YOU? IF YOU WERE NICE...THEY JUST MIGHT THROW YOU A BONE!

jamalmstrom :
H*LL YES. I can't afford to got to games, can't afford to buy the overpriced objects advertised on the TV, can't afford the premium package to watch all the games - so where is the money for all these supersized salaries come from?

What will the league do when the networks refuse to pay the exhorbitant prices, when the companies stop bidding for naming rights?

Yes their average career is only 4 years, but do they need to make enough money in that time to support them for the rest of their lives? Or maybe they should be like the players of old who spent the off-season developing skills and networks that would help them make an honest living after retirement.

TAKE THE PAYCUT

vigor Author Profile Page :

put down the beer bottle, quit going to football games, stop watching them on TV, have your kids play soccer.

and start paying teachers adult wages.

opp88 Author Profile Page :

STUPID IS... WHAT STUPID DOES...
_______________________
jryan758 :
It’s obnoxious that taxpayers (now in a bind) subsidize their bloated incomes.

February 17, 2009 12:19 PM

gasmonkey Author Profile Page :

Absolutely not! No pay cut. As long as the fans have the money to pay ticket prices, and buy products endorsed by these players, they're worth every cent of their salary. When ticket sales plummet, then their salaries are questionable, but until that happens they're earning precisely what they're worth. Apparently even now, people are perfectly willing to pay an outrageous ticket price. It's the free market at work.

schaeffz Author Profile Page :

If fans struggling with paying their bills or reeling from stock price decreases continue to fill NFL stadium stands, then I guess the players deserve their salaries.
Ticket sales will determine those salaries in the end. It's like the price of a movie ticket. Again, if people quit going to movies, theaters will close and/or ticket prices will go down, along with pay for the actors.

opp88 Author Profile Page :

Comparing a professional nfl athlete to a "Directors of our economy" in terms of what?

Lets take a look at these Directors of our Economy. U.S. Bankers, Wall Street, CEO's of these "Directors of our economy" (R) Conservatives. Raping our economy of millions of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$!

And if you think this should continue. You need to be broke!

Boy, do we feel good about these so-called "Directors of our economy"

opp88 Author Profile Page :

Let it be known...priviledged and honor is a two way street in this case.

Owners understand that without one, You would not have the other.

BOTTOM LINE.....SHOW ME THE MONEY!

jamalmstrom Author Profile Page :

OPP88,

My parents raised a young man who put 20 years in service to this country in the military, got an advanced college degree (without help from athletic deprtment tutors or free room and board) and continues to work in the trenches keeping this country safe. What does TO contribute to this country. I rank football players with celebrities like Paris Hilton - they produce no goods or services, the only thing they contribute to our society is entertainment and at a time like this, I really don't feel like paying an extra 8 cents out of every dollar I spend so TO can make an extra million. I'll take HS football any day.

THESE NFL PLAYERS ARE FORMER COLLEGE STUDENTS. FOR YOU TO SUGGEST A SECOND TRADE. WHERE DID YOUR MOMMY AND DADDY GO WRONG WITH YOU? IF YOU WERE NICE...THEY JUST MIGHT THROW YOU A BONE!

jamalmstrom :
H*LL YES. I can't afford to got to games, can't afford to buy the overpriced objects advertised on the TV, can't afford the premium package to watch all the games - so where is the money for all these supersized salaries come from?

What will the league do when the networks refuse to pay the exhorbitant prices, when the companies stop bidding for naming rights?

Yes their average career is only 4 years, but do they need to make enough money in that time to support them for the rest of their lives? Or maybe they should be like the players of old who spent the off-season developing skills and networks that would help them make an honest living after retirement.

TAKE THE PAYCUT


PatD1 Author Profile Page :

The NFL's revenue stream will get battered and battered as sponsorship thins out and the TV contracts shrink. Maybe they can go back to two-way football,cut the rosters in half and save on some overhead.

LegallyMurphy Author Profile Page :

All professional athletes are greedy money grubbing overpaid children. The times have come to change that. Like President Obama said we need a redistribution of the wealth. There is no glory in the materializm they engender with the bling bling lifestyle. It is distasteful and destructive. Our children are being brainwashed by these false idols. Time for America to grow up. Let's start by paying professional athletes a lot less and paying teachers a lot more.

DCScribe1 Author Profile Page :

This is the time of year when owners open their wallets wide to go player shopping. The laws of supply and demand apply (see oil industry). Thus, owners will have to compete for players' services. As quiet as it's kept, players routinely take pay cuts that far exceed 10% of their salaries. Players adjust their contracts down at the owner's behest to resign talented teamates, to compensate for their age/declining playing time, and to make way for rookie salaries. No, they should not take an additional pay cut. Fans can watch from home to save money.

 
 
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