SBD/March 8, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFL Players' Performance-Based Checks For '13 Season To Be Deferred Two Years

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The NFLPA recently informed NFL players and agents that players’ performance-based pay checks for the ‘13 season will be deferred for two years, NFLPA Assistant Exec Dir for External Affairs George Atallah confirmed. Players will receive the payment in March ‘16 instead of March ‘14. Atallah noted the reason for the deferral was to provide more salary cap room this year. He said, “In the early years of this deal, where revenues were not growing at the rate we expect them to grow when the television money comes in, we engaged in a process to smooth the salary cap.” The NFL salary cap went up $2.4M to $123M for the ’13 season. Atallah said the deferment of the performance pay was a small part of the reason for the increase. The main reason the cap went up is NFL revenues went up, he said. The NFLPA first told agents about the deferral of the ‘13 performance-based pay at the agent meeting during the NFL combine. Some agents privately expressed concern about the payments being deferred. Agents said the deferral potentially could adversely impact some of the lowest-paid players in the league. Atallah said, “Players are going to earn the money. It is just going to be deferred.” Performance based pay designed to reward players who have smaller contracts but participate in a significant number of NFL plays. It is calculated so that players with the smallest compensation get a much higher percentage of the performance-based pay pool. For example, a player like Redskins RB Alfred Morris who was a sixth-round draft pick last year, would receive a very large performance-based paycheck and Broncos QB Peyton Manning would receive a very small check, even though both players started and participated in a significant number of plays in the ‘12 NFL season.
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