NFL Proposes to Escrow 35 Percent of Players’ Salaries

Darin Alexander Baydoun

If you had paid attention to the saga Major League Baseball went through the past several months (to try to agree on how this year’s season would go), you will likely know that the main sticking point was players wanting more games and a fair percentage of salary. The owners wanted to play fewer games and drop in player salaries because of the expected drop in revenue from playing the season during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NFL Network reports that the NFL has proposed to the NFLPA and its representatives a 35 percent escrow cut of player salaries for the 2020 season. That percentage would help manage costs as, like MLB, the NFL is anticipating decreased revenue from teams not being able to allow fans, or at least some portion of them, into games this year. 

The report also said that NFLPA executive Don Davis told players on a conference call that the NFLPA’s response was, “Basically, we told them to kick rocks.” Well, that’s not the best opening sign that this couldn’t end up being potentially as ugly of an issue as it got to be between MLB and the MLBPA in their negotiations.

At the very least, the league and its players still have time before the fall to come to a common ground. Granted, that’s if the NFL decides to make this a longstanding issue. One could imagine having seen the drama mentioned above in baseball that the league would prefer not to have its daily battles with the players union consistently reported in spaces like this.

Still, it seems hard to ask the players to take a pay cut when they are the ones who, to be quite honest, could be endangering their very lives to play a game. It’s not that they want to, of course, but in times like this, asking concessions of those who are risking the most seems like bad optics. 

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