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SBD/June 1, 2011/Franchises
NFL Lockout Watch, Day 82: Packers May Join Others In Imposing Pay Cuts
Published June 1, 2011
TAKING THE WRONG APPROACH: ESPN.com's Gene Wojciechowski wrote owners such as the Dolphins' Stephen Ross, who has reduced staff salaries during the lockout, "don't get it." Wojciechowski: They endorse a strategy that guarantees a lockout but fail to understand the financial trickle-down effects it has on the worker bees of the organization" (ESPN.com, 5/29). In Boston, Greg Bedard wrote the decision by some teams to cut pay and institute furloughs "deserves no patience from the public." The trend is "becoming more widespread by the day." Bedard: "That this is happening in May -- before much, if any, revenue is affected by the labor impasse -- says the owners expect the lockout to last a while. At the least they want the players to think that. And that makes these workers financial hostages" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/29). Univ. of Chicago economist Allen Sanderson said, "My guess is they are not looking at this long term. One way is just sort of short term -- we need to make the payroll this month and don’t have money coming in. The other is either politically, psychologically or from a public-relations basis, it shows some suffering on the part of one side. ... Part of it is symbolic" (ESPN.com, 5/27). CNBC’s Darren Rovell said teams are laying off "more employees because they can." Rovell: "It just makes sense. It’s almost like, ‘Why do the owners charge more for tickets?’ Not because of what they’re paying the players, it’s because they feel like they can and they have an excuse” ("Washington Post Live," Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, 5/31).
MARCHING TO A DIFFERENT BEAT: In New Orleans, Jeff Duncan noted many teams "have imposed layoffs, furloughs or salary cuts," but the Saints "have done none of the above." The team "has frozen a couple of open positions until the lockout is resolved," but otherwise, it has been "business as usual." Thanks to the lease agreement they signed with the state of Louisiana in '09, the Saints "are well-positioned to weather a protracted work stoppage." Although they "stand to potentially lose millions in game-day revenue if the lockout stretches into the season, built-in revenue streams from the Saints' leases with the state at Benson Tower will be unaffected." The lease "makes the Saints one of the most profitable clubs in the NFL" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 5/29).