SBD/March 17, 2011/Franchises

NFL Lockout Watch, Day 6: Cardinals Institute Employee Pay Cuts, Panthers Do Not

Cardinals coaches will lose 35% of their bi-weekly salaries starting in April
NFL Cardinals coaches and front office members "will lose 35 percent of their bi-weekly salaries" starting April 11, "30 days after owners locked out the players," according to an NFL source cited by Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Cardinals ownership "has the right to refund the money if no games are missed," but "if so much as one game is missed, the Cardinals are under no obligation to refund any of the money." The source said that there "also is consideration within the Cardinals' organization of having one week of unpaid furloughs for employees in May" (ESPN.com, 3/16). Meanwhile, in Charlotte, Darin Gantt reports Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson yesterday called team employees together "and told them there would be no layoffs, furloughs or pay cuts during the league's labor uncertainty." A source said, "He told us the only one who had to worry about losing any money this year was him." Richardson "promised his employees that they'd be taken care of even if the labor stoppage extended for months, telling them he had planned on this contingency well before this offseason" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/17).

COACHES FEARFUL: USA TODAY's Jon Saraceno reports many NFL coaches are "upset and frightened because they face serious, potentially daunting financial repercussions -- plus threats of retribution if they reveal internal policy -- after some teams instituted salary reductions following last week's lockout." NFL Coaches Association Exec Dir Larry Kennan said that at least 13 teams have "immediately docked their assistant coaches 25% to 50%, or have language in their contracts that let them do so." NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello: "Everyone involved -- players, team staffs and league office staff -- are forced to sacrifice in this type of unfortunate situation." Kennan added that "about eight teams have told their head coaches and assistants they will not face salary cuts until August" (USA TODAY, 3/17). In N.Y., Ralph Vacchiano notes some teams that are cutting salaries "have promised to allow coaches to recoup the money when the lockout ends." Meanwhile, the Jets announced that they "were cutting the salaries of their coaches, along with those of everyone else in their football operation, by 25% before the lockout was even 24 hours old." Kennan said, "I was surprised by that. They've been one of the teams that has done right by coaches over the last several years" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/17).

WAIT AND SEE APPROACH: On Long Island, Tom Rock reports Giants season-ticket holders "won't be on the hook for 2011 ... until the NFL's labor situation is resolved." The team "will be mailing out invoices for the 2011 season this week and giving those who have purchased a PSL the option of paying for those tickets in full by May 1, or deciding by April 30 to wait until a new CBA is agreed upon." Fans who "choose the latter must provide the Giants with an authorized credit card that will be charged for the tickets at the time of an agreement between the owners and players." Rock notes the offer is "so far unique in the NFL" (NEWSDAY, 3/17). In N.Y., Paul Schwartz notes the policy is "in contrast to the Jets, who are offering a six-month payment plan or the option to pay 50 percent now and the remainder after the schedule is finalized." Meanwhile, Giants President & CEO John Mara reiterated team officials are "on full salary and will remain there until further notice" (NY. POST, 3/17). 
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