WITH the recent edition of NBA contracts coming out, some NFL players are reacting as if football players are poorly paid. Players like Seattle Seahawk DB Richard Sherman, think that NFL players should strike, in order to get contracts more in line with NB and MLB athletes. That is not only an incorrect assessment of the situation, it’s outright bullshit to boot. So you can relax. There won’t be a strike.
Due to the current CBA, the NFL is on the hook to share 48% of the 13 billion in revenue that it made in 2016, with the league’s 1800 players. That breaks down to something like $3,466,666 per man, or per average contract. It’s this agreement that helped the NFLPA realize that the NFL’s financial obligation was 120M$ light to players in 2015, for which they sued and quickly were ordered to repay.
Let me ask you. Do you and your co-workers see 48% of what your company makes? Unless you’re in a unique situation, your answer was “No”. Probably an emphatic “No”, accompanied by a frown, or a derisive laugh, or a choice expletive. When workers get 48% of their company’s whole take, that is not underpaid. In America we call that “Quit whining, asshole!” (Let’s not even get into their benefits packages, which includes a perk of giving millionaires steep discounts on the tickets, that you’d pay through the nose for.)
Football is my favorite sport. I love it well ahead of any other sport, (and even ahead of some family members), but truth is truth. MLB players play 162 games per year and that league made 10 billion in 2016. NBA players play 82, and that league made 8 billion. NFL players play 16 and the NFL made 13 billion. Despite playing more games the NBA and MLB make less revenue, and thus have less total money to split between owners and players. This means that while some NBA and MLB players make a killing, there are far more players “taking haircuts” in these leagues, than there are in the NFL.
I’m guessing that the average NFL athlete will not want to trade hefty revenue sharing, for more low level and fewer guaranteed contracts, just to facilitate a few sky-high deals. I’m 99.9% certain that few players would vote to ratify any negotiated agreement that screws everyone except a handful of stars. Guys like Richard Sherman will be okay in that scenario. Players like (insert any Eagles CB) for instance, would get screwed like the brothel’s newest, underage whore.
However it’s a non-starter anyway. NFL owners are not about to split revenue 50-50 with their employees. It wouldn’t be about dollar figures either. It would be about saving face, and being able to say that they are still the bosses. That they, not the players, run the league. The owners will not part with that for any dollar figure.
So this issue is a non-starter, and it’s likely one instance where the NFLPA might actually talk their members down for a change. So again, relax. Football will arrive in your town on schedule.