The NFL reportedly has broached the possibility of placing 35 percent of player salaries in escrow for 2020. The proposal has not gone over well with the players.
Agent Drew Rosenhaus told Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal that his clients are “in an uproar” over the possibility of losing salary in 2020.
“I hope this is not something that the owners were seriously proposing to the players,” Rosenhaus said. “It’s insulting, quite frankly. . . . Don’t go to the players this year who are putting their careers and lives at risk. The players don’t get the opportunity to go back to the owners when the franchises appreciate, and things of that nature. This is something that will have to be addressed, in my opinion, in future years, but not out of players salaries. . . . The NFL and NFLPA have to work together and that type of sentiment or proposal is just not in good faith. . . .”
With or without reduced salaries in 2020, reduced revenues in 2020 will impact the salary cap in a negative way in 2021. Rosenhaus believes that the pain shouldn’t be suffered in the short term.
“Take the projected cap increases we are going to have in 2022, 2023 and 2024 and level it all out,” he told Mullen. “It doesn’t have to be a big drop next year and a big jump in 2022. That is what I am proposing.”
It makes sense, especially since teams won’t want the cap to experience a significant drop, forcing them to slash budgets and cut players.
Rosenhaus also believes the league should be more aggressive in seeking more revenue streams, via expanded partnerships with sports books and casinos. “The NFL has to be more aggressive with their advertising in new areas like on-the-field for games,” Rosenhaus said.
That seems inevitable, especially as legalized wagering on sports continues to proliferate. The more states that legalize wagering, the more people will be wagering, the more money will be made, the more money will be available for partnerships with the NFL and its teams.
And so it’s on the NFL to grow the pie, rather than to try to restrict the slice of the pie the players already have earned.