The NFL and the NFL Players Association have signed an agreement that will provide financial support to the NFL and its players, but they aren’t getting into specifics on what that money will look for or how it will be allocated.
The new league and NFLPA are calling it a “major new investment” in the game, but the details are still a bit unclear.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said during a conference call with reporters Monday that the money is to be distributed among the teams and players as a “pay-for-performance” system that can’t be replicated across the NFL.
But what exactly does that mean?
The NFLPA told me the following: “We are committed to the new collective bargaining agreement that we signed today and the other commitments that we have made.
We have reached agreements with the other 12 teams, which is to the extent possible, in the coming weeks and months, to work together on an enhanced pay-for‑performance agreement that provides the most efficient and fair way to reward and incentivize the highest-performance players in our game.”
But as the Associated Press pointed out, that’s not how it’s supposed to work.
The league doesn’t have to pay players the same as everyone else, and it can’t pay all of its players the $15 million per team bonus.
In addition, the NFLPA says that “all of the funds earmarked for this pay-in-kind initiative will be distributed in a transparent manner, and the funds will be used to pay down debt.”
It doesn’t appear that the new system will involve a cap or a “bounty system.”
The NFL is also not providing a breakdown on how the money will be spent.
It will be split between players, teams, owners and a committee of experts, according to a league source.
In an interview with ESPN’s Darren Rovell Monday, Goodell said, “We’re going to give it to players.
We’re going a big, big, major pay-out.
We don’t want to give money to owners.
We want to pay guys a fair deal.”
But how much money is it, exactly?
The AP reported that the deal will “cover the full costs of the agreement” but that details are being kept under wraps.
The NFL will be able to use some of the money to pay the players on a pro-rated basis, and some of it will go toward salary caps, as well.
But the money could be used toward other things like infrastructure or other player safety initiatives, and players and owners will be expected to contribute as well, the AP said.
Goodell also said that the NFL has already been in talks with the league office about what kind of contracts are being offered and whether it could include a “compensatory payment” or an “annual contract.”
In addition to the money, the league will have to work with the NFL Player Association on “structural changes,” which is basically what the new agreement calls for.
In other words, the players have to agree to pay their share in a “contractually enforceable” way, but Goodell said the players won’t be obligated to abide by it.
“We have a long way to go,” Goodell said.
“But we’re going all out.”