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Is NFL Headed Toward Dangerous Path After Escrow Proposal?

The negotiations we’ve been quietly fearing for a while have arrived. As the NFL prepares for playing a football season during a pandemic, there are countless issues to address. Health and safety protocols are the most important, especially considering football’s unique challenge of having a 53-man roster per team plus coaches and assistants on each sideline. However, a close second issue to solve is the economic aspect of the sport.

Because fan attendance will be either limited or completely prohibited, the NFL is set to take a huge financial hit. While national revenue from TV broadcasts will likely remain the same (or maybe even increase as they seek new alternatives for sponsorships or other revenue streams), local revenue will cost every team a fortune.

Therefore, everyone is expecting the hit on revenues to impact the 2021 salary cap. After all, the cap is defined as a percentage of the league’s revenues, effectively making the players partners of the owners.

Every other sport has faced the uncomfortable moment of negotiating player salaries this year. The time has now come for the NFL and the NFLPA to address these issues prior to the season’s kickoff in September.

Unfortunately, the league got off to a terrible start a few days ago. The league’s first reported proposal was to hold 35% of the players’ salaries in escrow as a hedge for potential declines in revenue.

Quick note: For those unfamiliar with the term, Investopedia defines escrow as “the use of a third party which holds an asset or funds before they are transferred from one party to another. The third-party holds the funds until both parties have fulfilled their contractual requirements.”

While many are correct when noting Major League Baseball’s economy is way different than football’s because baseball has no salary cap, the NFL had a lesson to learn from MLB but didn’t pay attention.

The escrow proposal was not, unsurprisingly, received well by the players. Michael Thomas summed things up by tweeting “everyone will sit out and not play until they get their stuff together before we do this.”

Here’s the thing. The NFL and MLB are two worlds apart. However, people dismissing any comparisons by saying the MLB has no cap and the players are not partners of the owners are missing the point.

There will be baseball this year but only after things got ugly at the negotiating table between the union and the owners. How did things get so ugly for MLB? By throwing out these non-starter proposals at the beginning of the process.

Many around the NFL have proposed a lot of alternatives such as flattening the cap over the upcoming years instead of taking a big hit in 2021. Borrowing money from future TV deals and instead of having big increases on a yearly basis, slowing down those increases. There are alternatives to handle the situation, but proposing players to hold their money months after a new CBA got signed doesn’t look like a good idea.

Right now, not having football doesn’t seem like a realistic scenario. However, if they don’t get it right at the negotiating table, we might start getting concerned sometime in the near future.

The enemy here, for everyone, is the pandemic. It’s going to be a lose-lose situation for everyone. Baseball’s mistake was to add an animosity between players and owners during these tough times by throwing non-starter proposals.

The NFL has time to avoid this dangerous path. Let’s hope they do.

Tell me what you think about “Is NFL Headed Toward Dangerous Path After Escrow Proposal?” in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

What do you think?

Mauricio Rodriguez

Written by Mauricio Rodriguez

I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @MauNFL.

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  1. If they’re gonna have a black anthem, nfl is gonna be a dead issue! Contrary to what the Whiney black people think , the National anthem is for all Americans! Roger goddell and the commissioner’s and owners best listen to the fans ! I love and support nfl , but it will be the end of nfl for a lot of true American fans! The Whiney ass blacks can have the nfl and there will be a afl (American football league)

  2. I’m embarrassed by the above remark. Would expect that the admins of this site will now have to consider a filter process on the comment section.

  3. If their is going to be a black national anthem, I’m through watching the NFL. I am a die hard Cowboy fan and go to several games. The fans who support the NFL better listen. I’m done if they play the black national anthem. This world is getting out of hand. Where’s the patriotism of the USA people. Lord forgive us as a nation.

  4. Why do folks feel the need to have to announce their departures? Your comments mean nothing … just stop purchasing, watching, following, and commenting on something you say you have no interest in, etc and just go …

    That way when you return, you won’t have to change your name or get a new email so you aren’t called out when you come back!

    • Bill,
      These fans are stepping up against racism and being heard is important.
      A black national anthem is racist as the nation is made of all races and no anthem can be about one race.
      I would totally oppose some group claiming an anthem that only included my race and I totally oppose an anthem just for any race.
      I am a huge fan, but I will not support racism.

      • So let’s just rid of the national anthem altogether at sporting events. It’s really nothing more than tradition at this point. And if it become a matter of division (for whatever reason), then it’s just that … devisive. If this can’t be done because this is one’s lone opportunity to stand in allegiance to the flag, then I could make a case and question your patriotism anyway. I mean my goodness, we don’t do it schools any more. Fly a flag in your yard. Help get more than 30% of the country to participate in voting.

        And no, I haven’t served in the military (despite having immediate family members who have) and I fully understand the cost of such, nor am I belittling the efforts of those who have. My only point (despite the fact some will twist it), is that if you don’t want to follow something, then don’t. But to visit blogs, etc and comment on them paints you as hypocritical and lessens your voice. Spend your resources elsewhere that elevate your cause!

        I apologize if this offends, its not intended to. And I think your point about individual anthems that promote exclusion is completely valid. I respect the choices folks may make as a result.

  5. Why can’t we just get along!!!!? Why do we need a black anthem or a white anthem or an Hispanic Anthem ? I’m really concerned for the nfl ….. as I have posted before I know a lot of people who used to be fans that no longer watches just because of Colin Kaepernick! I would always tell them that you didn’t see any of the Cowboys players taking a knee! But who knows what this year will bring? By the way I haven’t heard Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James, or Al Sharpton say anything about the precious innocent little girl playing in her yard that was shot in the head last week! Or about the little girl holding her daddy’s hand when a car load of bangers shot and killed him! Didn’t hear anything from them about the young boy that was killed in California last week ,or the little 8 year old little girl that was shot and killed in Atlanta last week while riding in a car with her family! Where were they when Multiple people were shot in Charlotte North Carolina Last week or Oregon where several young men died? Folks we all need to pull together and fight for all our lives especially our children if we don’t it’s going to just get worse and nobody wins! We need The LORD!

  6. I just wanna see me some Dallas Cowboys Football, all the other stuff will play itself out, ok now football.

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