Per an article from the Washington Post: On Wednesday NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a memo to all 32 teams informing them that if a lockout were to take place he and Jeff Pash, executive VP of labor would reduce their yearly salaries to one dollar, down from $9.76 million and $4.85 million respectively. On the cut Goodell said:
"Let me emphasize that we are fully committed to doing everything possible to reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement without any disruption to our business. The entire senior leadership team stands with me in its commitment to resolving the CBA issues with the players['] union. While several other executives have also volunteered to make additional reductions to their compensation, I have asked them not to take that step at this time as we continue our negotiating efforts."
While clearly a powerful PR move on the part of the league ostensibly what this does is rhetorically place Goodell and other key executives in the same boat as NFL players. It subtly undermines the union by saying "hey look, we have a lot to lose too... let's get this done, okay?". While we're not sure whether this technique will work, it seems that posturing, not results seems to be the flavor of the day.
Not to be upstaged, NFLPA representative DeMaurice Smith wasn't going to let the league have the last word and we'll look at his response... after the jump
On his Twitter today Smith said:
NFL executives reducing salaries in the event of a lockout? If we have a deal by Super Bowl, I'll go down to 68 cents
I'm not 100% sure if Smith understands this whole 'rhetoric' thing. On the one hand you have Goodell and co. saying "We have a lot to lose if a deal doesn't get done" while Smith is saying "I have a lot to lose if a deal does get done"... perhaps he should have had someone proofread this one?
The greater problem though is that both sides love to talk, just not to each other. Goodell is reducing his salary, Smith is out trying to curry favor with the United Auto Workers union, all the while nothing is getting done. I understand that it's likely going to be a vacant landscape until the Superbowl is over and the expiration of the CBA is looming, but until both sides get rid of the posturing and a empty words and really get down to brass tacks this problem is going to continue.