NFL, NFLPA At Odds Over Salary Escrow Proposal

In order to mitigate a potential $4B loss in revenue that could arise if the 2020 NFL season is played without fans, the league submitted a proposal to the union whereby 35% of player salaries would be held in escrow, as Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reports (via Twitter). The union’s response? “Kick rocks,” per NFLPA executive Don Davis (Twitter link via Pelissero).

The union believes that such an escrow agreement must be collectively bargained, and Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic believes the two sides will ultimately agree to a smaller percentage (Twitter link). Kaplan thinks the NFL’s proposal was simply an opening salvo, with the league estimating that the prospective lost revenue will equate to about 35% of the salary cap. Mark Maske of the Washington Post says the escrow proposal could help to avoid a major drop in the 2021 cap, but players are not reacting favorably to the idea thus far (Twitter link).

The union and the league have been arguing over certain safety protocols, the number of preseason games, etc. Now that economics have joined the fray, many have pointed to the protracted battle between Major League Baseball and its union as a harbinger of things to come for the NFL. But to be clear, as Maske tweets, NFL players ultimately would be paid any money that is put into escrow. The only issue — albeit a significant one — is when the money would be paid. Pelissero says the union wants to spread out the damage created by a lost season over the course of the 11-year CBA, and the league wants to do it more quickly (video link).

The league and union have come together on training camp facility protocols, but a lot of work still needs to be done in almost every other aspect of COVID-19 matters, and there is not much time to get these issues resolved.

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15 comments on “NFL, NFLPA At Odds Over Salary Escrow Proposal

  1. Al Hirschen

    The players should say no!! Hold strong like the MLBPA the owners will fold

    • M Haworth

      Hold strong huh? You realize if they do that the salary cap drops drastically next year and veterans without guarantees lose their jobs with little prospects of getting paid elsewhere.

  2. Ed "The Mythical One"

    Players Union to Owners:
    “We want more money, shorter pre seasons, to kneel for whatever we want, a black national anthem to play…”

    Owners to players union: “Kick rocks.”

    Players to owners: “We’ll strike.”

    Fans to NFL: “Kick rocks.”

    So over the NFL now. I don’t give a single front door about what used to be a sport anymore. Let it go bankrupt, let it all burn down, and let’s see how hard everyone cries after they realized they won’t get their millions anymore.

    • M Haworth

      What the heck are you talking about? First off, they already have a new CBA so strike isn’t an option.

      Educate yourself and chill out. No one is asking for more money. This is about protecting the salary cap in future years fir the players due to C19

      • Ed "The Mythical One"

        The players always want more money etc. and I am tired of the business and then the players acting like they are Gods when all they do is play a game. They’ve lost touch and clearly the NFL has lost touch with reality as well.

        I am very well educated thank you very much. Now why don’t you stop being an ostrich and a shill for a game and business that doesn’t give one ounce of thought for you, its fan base.

        • wagner13

          Maybe if you bothered to read the article before going off on your little temper tantrum you would realize the dispute concerns how the wealth is distributed over the next decade or so; not the revenue split between owners and players.

          If you don’t want to support the league, go ahead. However, you won’t find too many people supporting your cause and the NFL certainly isn’t going bankrupt anytime soon

          • Ed "The Mythical One"

            I read the article and I am not throwing a tantrum. This is just more of the same old, same old. The CBA you cite above already dictates how the wealth is distributed, so what is your point? You don’t have one. You are just trying to disagree with me and counter my argument and are doing a piss poor job of it.

            I am not going to support the league anymore, or any major sports at all. There are a lot of people that are riding that wave with me and if you don’t think that will have a major impact on sports you are kidding yourself. With every new antic the leagues come up with that number is growing by the day. If you were smart and would wake up you’d realize that they don’t care about you either and just want your money and to shove ads down your throat. The leagues need us. We don’t need them. We are tired of being taken for granted.

            Baltimore already once felt this impact after their stunt in London and were BEGGING the fans to come back because attendance was so low. That was nothing compared to what is on the way.

            • wagner13

              Ok. Good bye. According to you I’m too stupid to understand anything anyway. If you were actually done caring about this sport you wouldn’t even be on this website any longer

              • Ed "The Mythical One"

                I didn’t say you were too stupid to understand anything, you did. I am done supporting the major sports leagues. That doesn’t mean I won’t pay attention to news of more ridiculous things these leagues will do to further shoot themselves in the foot. Once again you are showing your faulty logic.

                It isn’t me you should be saying goodbye to. It should be the NFL and all the other major sports.

        • emac22

          This isn’t about owners paying more or less. This is about when the players pay their share of the losses.

          The owners are suggesting the escrow as a way to keep the cap flat until revenues rebalance.

          The players have to decide if everyone including current players are going to take the hit or if they are going to leave the entire hit on the shoulders of future signees.

          All the owners are involved in here is financing the shortfall. If players participate they’ll carry it longer. If players don’t they’ll start the cap hits right away.

          What the players should do is agree to the escrow or deferrals in exchange for allowing each team to amnesty one contract or something like that. This would allow some teams to pay over the cap (in this one instance} and be real additional money for the players in addition to keeping the cap flat. Everyone would get the money they were promised but would have to wait to get it.

  3. Dodgethis

    Not sure why players think their earnings will be uneffected by a revenue loss measured in the billions. If anything pro athletes are a walking advertisement for priveledge and entitlement. I mean these guys all supposedly went to college but can’t speak in English or comprehend basic economics.

  4. crosseyedlemon

    Five days ago an article here at PFR had the financial loss at $3 billion but now it’s conveniently morphed to $4 billion for the owners. Rather that trim expenses on their side by eliminating obvious areas of waste and redundancy they expect the players to take the hit.

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