Posted on 15 July 2011.
So what prompted the owners to make significant concessions on the rookie wage scale Thursday? Some have stated it was the threat of the filing of a motion to lift the lockout as to players not under contract. Jim Trotter of SI.com reports that the dam might have broken as soon as the players unveiled a strategy to fund the lockout for the duration of the season with $ 200,000 per player.
Particularly, Trotter reports that NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith “secure[d] insurance” in the amount of roughly $ 200,000 per player in the event that the lockout wipes out the full 2011 season. Trotter also reports, citing only an unnamed source close to an owner, that the maneuver got the league’s attention.
This raises a lot of questions, and the balance of the report contains scant details.
1st, exactly where did the insurance come from? It’s challenging to imagine several insurance businesses underwriting a risk that is tied to the whims and will of 32 human beings, specially when the total payout would have exceeded $ 300 million.
Second, how much did the premiums expense, and who paid for them?
Third, who would have been covered? A lot of players do not need it. Rookies do, particularly the guys who weren’t drafted.
Fourth, would it have mattered? When the league contains a lot of guys who make $ 2 million per year but live like they earn twice that amount, $ 200,000 won’t do significantly to finance the balance of 2011 and the 1st seven non-football months of 2012.
That’s the factor that everyone has overlooked. If the season had been scrapped, the players would have had to get by means of the football season without game checks, and then they would have had to make it to the next football season without having getting received game checks in the course of the prior season.
So while it’s an intriguing detail, its impact on the owners possibly is becoming overstated, specially when thinking about the assumption that the $ 200,000 per player would have been coupled with, as Trotter explains it, “a large monetary award from U.S. District Judge David Doty, who previously ruled the owners had illegally developed a $ 4.three billion lockout fund for themselves by renegotiating their Television deals at the expense of the players.”
Any award from Doty would have been subject to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Given its conservative composition, the players’ capability to secure victory just before that court was a toss-up, at greatest. Moreover, it is extremely unlikely that the appeals court would have resolved the concern for the duration of the 2011 season. Although the Eighth Circuit expedited the appeal of the ruling to lift the lockout, courts rarely if ever speed up the procedure of considering cases in which the only question is whether or not and to what extent cash will alter hands.
In other words, the players would have noticed none of the cash when they needed it the most. (That said, it could have helped them get by means of the 2012 offseason.)
Nonetheless, if the players feel they pulled a rabbit out of the hat with the owners and scored one final coup, so be it. At the end of the day, the players require to really feel very good about their work, and in numerous respects they ought to. The owners surely expected to finagle a significantly better deal than the deal that eventually will be completed. To the extent, nevertheless, that the prospect of the players finding $ 200,000 each to tide them over until September 2012 scared the owners into bridging the pretty modest gap that remained on the rookie wage scale, we’ll decide on to be skeptical for now.