Monday, July 17, 2017

A Way Or Two To Pay NFL Players More

            In the wake of the absurd contracts being paid in both the NBA and MLB, NFL players have struck back, vocalizing their concern about being underpaid in their sport. NFLPA representative (and Seattle Seahawk corner) Richard Sherman invoked the idea of NFL players striking to get NBA-type money, implying that there hasn't been an NFL strike in ages. Granted, the NFL's current CBA doesn't expire until 2020. Therefore, all strikes will have to wait. But it isn't a bad idea to get the ball rolling on ideas.
            There are some deterring factors as to why the league refuses to pay players guaranteed money. One reason is due to NFL rosters containing more players than both the standard NBA roster and standard MLB roster (non-expanded roster) combined. NFL rosters are constituted of 53 players, meaning that there would be a lot of money to go around. Another reason why the NFL doesn't want guaranteed contracts is the injury rate is greater than both the NBA and MLB. Players deal with concussions in the NFL at a far greater rate than in baseball or basketball, along with other injuries due to American football's barbaric nature.
            So what would be the solution to the underpaying problem when the time comes to renegotiate? One way is to feature a "soft cap" the way the NBA does with its players and teams. This allows for teams to sign players even when they've exceeded the salary cap. However, the more years a team stays on the soft cap, the more that team gets penalized (the team gets penalized by percentage). This would allow NFL teams to pay more for their players and still sign key members to their team. NBA teams also hand out individual contract based on the amount of service the player has in the league and the current salary cap. The NBA's salary cap has grown quite a bit over the years, allowing players like Stephen Curry and James Harden to get ridiculous amounts of money.
            Another way (this might benefit the players the most) to help NFL players get more money is the MLB way: Just have no salary cap at all. The salary cap is viewed as a way for professional team owners to garner more money because they won't have to pay players as much if the cap is in place. The salary cap is a way of controlling costs in many leagues, but it leaves the owners with more money at the end of the day. Without the cap, players will not only get guaranteed contracts, but they can get more money out of the contracts as well.
            Will there be a change of money going around come 2020? Maybe. NFL players play a dangerous sport while getting paid peanuts compared to baseball and basketball players. There are also plenty of hoops to jump through before any change happens, especially with Roger Goodell as the commissioner. However, NFL players should dedicate their energy towards making a change in their sport and vocalize their need for more cash.

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