Yesterday, Fox Sports reported on the NFL’s plan in case of a work stoppage next season. The plan moves in three phases (zero of which will have to be implemented, hopefully)…and it’s wisely structured so that, if it has to be used, the league won’t look like it’s stepping on the little guy.
The first step to this: hitting top executives before anyone else. The first phase consists of “pay cuts for commissioner Roger Goodell and senior vice presidents,” according to Fox’s Jay Glazer. This wouldn’t be instituted until April, but it’s always wise to start at the top when you’re dealing with pay cuts – Goodell can probably spare some of his multimillion-dollar salary more than his lower-level employees.
And that would be it for a while. But if no deal is still reached “a few months after” Phase One is implemented, a second phase kicks in – and this one would affect a much wider spectrum of league employees via two-week furloughs. And Phase Three, Glazer reported, involves “larger scale pay cuts and salary freezes.”
No football fan really wants to consider this possibility, but the NFL has to. Not only do they need it for the worst-case scenario, they can also use the fact that they have an alternative plan as a bargaining chip to prevent the worst-case scenario. The players’ association has to know the league isn’t bluffing.
And if the three-phase plan has to be instituted and the players hold out long enough so that the leaves of absence for NFL employees start taking effect, the players (who already wouldn’t have much sympathy from the public at that point) would look even less likable. It’s in everyone’s best interest to get a deal done, so let’s hope they do it – before the league misses any games, and before its employees miss any work.