FRISCO - More than a few NFL players groused about the NFL owners having officially approved the league’s long-discussed move to an 18-week, 17-game regular-season schedule, the first such format change since 1978. After all, it is more work for the players.
1) A 17th game is part of the CBA that the players agreed to. So it's "in their contract.''
2) Among the players not grousing is DeMarcus Lawrence ... because he's in a group that reaps a huge financial benefit from the change.
In a sense, the rich are getting richer, in this way: players who signed contracts before Feb. 26, 2020, when the new CBA was ratified, and who have not since “substantially renegotiated,” will earn an extra paycheck following the 17th game.
That extra paycheck amount is is equal to 1/17 of the player’s 2021 base salary.
In the case of Lawrence, he has a $17 million salary on the books for 2021. He will therefore - as one of just 10 players in the seven-digit bonus group, per NFL Network - get an extra paycheck, in Week 18 ...
Worth $1 million.
There is another aspect to the additional 17th game: Who plays whom. In the case of the Cowboys, that extra game comes on the road against coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, to some a scary thought based on their reputation. Of course, in fact, the Patriots are coming off a season pretty much just as lousy as Dallas' was - the Cowboys failing because QB Dak Prescott got hurt and the Pats failing because QB Tom Brady got out.
This year, in Game 17? Tank Lawrence will be chasing whomever is playing QB for the Patriots this year ... and he'll make an extra $1 million for doing so.