SBD/May 26, 2011/Franchises

NFL Lockout Watch, Day 76: Ross Vows To Refund Lost Salary To Dolphins Staff

Ross was first Dolphins official to speak publicly about pay cuts

The Dolphins "rolled back salaries by as much as 20% this month" because of the ongoing NFL lockout, but team Owner Stephen Ross "pledges to ultimately make up the difference," according to Jarrett Bell of USA TODAY. Ross yesterday said, "If we play, they're all getting money back or days off. So it's not really a cutback. We'll definitely make it up." Ross was the "first Dolphins official to speak publicly about the reductions, about two weeks after employees were told of the lockout-related measure." He said that it "was a difficult decision to trim salaries but necessary amid the uncertainty of the lockout." Ross: "We recognize people affected are working for us. They don't have all the upside, so they shouldn't have all the downside. We're just kind of delaying cash payments. We all know the position that we're in." Bell notes about one-third of NFL teams are "known to have implemented cost-saving measures during the lockout" (USA TODAY, 5/26).

STILL HOLDING OUT: In Cincinnati, Joe Reedy notes the Bengals cut assistant coaches’ salaries by 30% "shortly after the lockout started but have not taken cost-reducing measures for the rest of their employees." Team offices at Paul Brown Stadium "are closed today, Friday and Monday" due to Memorial Day, but "employees are being paid." Offices also were "closed...half a day on May 13, but employees were paid." Bengals President Mike Brown said, "We’re doing some of that -- summer hours. We’ve had some before, but we’re having more now." Reedy notes the lockout "has made things even more challenging" than a normal offseason for the Bengals, and it is "even more daunting considering that the Bengals are bringing production and sales of their radio network in house this year." Brown said, “With the lockout, a lot of things are harder" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 5/26).

BUCS CLOSING FRONT OFFICE FOR A WEEK: The Buccaneers announced their front office will be closed next week due to the lockout. The team stated in a release that should the lockout continue into the fall, additional office closures around Labor Day and in the winter have been conditionally scheduled (Buccaneers). NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora noted some teams "are basically going to tell their football ops and their coaches starting this Memorial Day weekend, ‘Hey, we’ll see you at the end of June.’" La Canfora: "Some teams giving them as much as three weeks off. Everyone’s been in a holding pattern here … as no one’s been able to get a feeling on any kind of stable timetable” (“NFL Total Access,” NFL Network, 5/25).

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