For Pete's Sake

NFLPA guidebook for potential work stoppage includes talking points, financial tips

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Kansas City hosting a Super Bowl or NFL Draft

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell visited Kansas City on Friday as part of the Chiefs Fantasy Camp and the Star's Terez Paylor asked Goodell about Kansas City playing in more international games and hosting a Super Bowl or an NFL Draft.
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell visited Kansas City on Friday as part of the Chiefs Fantasy Camp and the Star's Terez Paylor asked Goodell about Kansas City playing in more international games and hosting a Super Bowl or an NFL Draft.

It’s less than three weeks until the 2019 NFL season kicks off, but the players also are keeping an eye on March 2021.

That’s when the current bargaining agreement ends, and the NFL Players Association has compiled a “Work Stoppage Guide,” which has an image of a chain-locked door.

It includes this quote from NFLPA vice president Thomas Morstead of the Saints: “Our players union is at its strongest when we are prepared as a unit. Don’t rely on your agent, your team or anyone else. Get informed and get ready. Solidarity is our best weapon in fighting for what we deserve as players at the bargaining table.”

The guide notes that the players union is building a “war chest,” based on player royalty payments, such as the Madden video game and licensing.

Even with money being banked, the players union provide a few financial ABCs for a potential lockout should the union and the NFL not sign a new bargaining agreement.

The ABCs stand for adjust, budget, cut. Here are some tips from the NFLPA guide:

  • Adjust: Consider finding renters for unoccupied rooms in your house; don’t co-sign loans; and eat out less frequently.
  • Budget: Consider holding off on buying a home and try renting instead; save at least half your paycheck; sell that extra car you have not driven in the past six months; and sell clothes that haven’t been worn in a year to Poshmark, Thredup or Tradesy.
  • Cut: Cut all non-mortgage debt, including credit cards, by the end of 2020; get a line of credit while still employed, refrain from using credit cards; and pay only the minimum on credit cards.

The guide has information on medical benefits, player contracts, the NFL Draft, drug policies and off-field revenue opportunities. There is also a section on the media that includes talking points.

“One Voice: your mission as players during a work stoppage is to show solidarity,” the guide notes.

Here are some talking points when posting on social media/talking to the media from the guidebook:

  • The players take on all of the physical risks. Also: the average playing career is about three years, most players don’t leave the NFL by choice and the long-term physical impact of playing football is just now being understood.
  • As the most successful sports business, NFL owners make a lot of money, noting the 32 teams generated more than $14.5 billion in 2018, the worth of the average NFL team is $3.57 billion, a 148% increase since 2011, and advertising, viewership and attendance continue to grow. Also, $6.7 billion of public money has been spent on new stadiums and renovations over the last two decades.

There are even some soundbites/tweetable material for the players when talking about wanting what is fair:

  • “We care about using the time we have in this game to take care of our families and each other.”
  • “Our legacy is to make our game and our business better for players tomorrow than it is today.”
  • “Given the financial success of our game, we know that what we have asked for is fair.”

The guide says the Chiefs player representative is punter Dustin Colquitt, while quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the alternate.

You can view the NFLPA guide here.

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