SBD/January 30, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Drew Brees Calls NFL's $765M Concussion Settlement "Just A Drop In The Bucket"

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Brees thinks the league can do more to protect its players
Saints QB Drew Brees yesterday said of the NFL's concussion settlement, "I think that settlement number needs to be a lot more. I think that there's so many guys out there that need to qualify for disability and certainly need the help and the amount of money they're talking about, $750 million sounds like a lot, but really is just a drop in the bucket for the amount of help that these guys need. Certainly, that number could be more." Brees added the league "can certainly do more" to protect players ("Couric," 1/29). NFL Senior VP/Player Engagement Troy Vincent said the NFL and the NFLPA both “share and own a responsibility of taking care of our own, taking care of those that represent the NFL family.” He added the NFL could “potentially” face more lawsuits in the future because “that’s part of the business.” Vincent said NFL players “have the right to take that action.” He added, “We do more today for the players. ... We have more resources, between the players’ association, the individual clubs and the league office for players to succeed off the field. I can’t emphasize enough the shared responsibility, the personal accountability and making sure that you are making an investment in yourself" (“That Other Pregame Show,” CBS Sports Network, 1/29).

TIP OF THE CAP?
The NATIONAL FOOTBALL POST's Jason Cole reported the NFLPA is debating whether to use a $2M per-team option to "help increase the salary cap" to more than $128M in '14. The move would "end a string of four consecutive years in which the cap has been below its high-water mark" in '09 under the previous CBA. The union also is "hoping to reverse two years of uncomfortable negotiations aimed at boosting the cap and avoiding player unrest." The salary cap is "preliminarily expected to increase" to $126.3M for the '14 season, which would "mark the fifth straight year that the cap was below" the '09 level. If the cap comes in at the current projection, the union could use the $2M option to "boost the cap" to at least $128.3M (NATIONALFOOTBALLPOST.com, 1/27).

TAX SEASON: ADWEEK's Katy Bachman noted two bills that are currently going through Congress "would take away" the NFL and NHL's non-profit, tax-exempt statuses. NFL and NHL franchises currently "are taxable, but the leagues themselves are not." Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who introduced the Properly Reducing Overexemptions Sports Act, said, "In reality, the NFL and the NHL are for-profit businesses, and they should be taxed as such. They are not charities nor are they traditional trade organizations like local chambers of commerce." Bachman noted Chaffetz' bill "is identical to the legislation introduced last fall" by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) (ADWEEK.com, 1/29).
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