Hooked On The NinersBianchini's Market

On the Tunney Side of the Street 8

by Jim Tunney

After Further Review ... "They almost like handed him crumbs. It's almost like a slap in the face," said the mother of a prominent National Football League player. That player is reported to have a contract through 2011 that would pay him $24 million. The team for whom he is under contract wants to renegotiate his contract that would pay him $6.725 million for the 2009 season, "Handing him crumbs?" Hardly! In the interest of fair play, I will not mention the team, the player or his mother's name, because this is not so much about this player - it's about the whole concept of professional players' salaries.

 In today's (2009) stressful economic times, offering a player a salary at or about $6+ million per year would be tempting to many NFL players. While the player in question remains nameless, it is important to note that he has been invaluable to his T.E.A.M. In the several seasons he played he was, without question, largely responsible for his T.E.A.M. making the playoffs and is regarded as one of the NFL's marquee players. Further, he has done much for the community in which he resides; you can't fault a mother for sticking up for her son.

Salary issues are always difficult to address, particularly when the NFL has established each team's salary cap for 2009 at $127 million (for players) per team. As the NFL continues to grow in popularity, the money is there. With the current economic meltdown affecting individuals and businesses in all walks of life, will the NFL have a financially successful year in 2009 as it had in 2006, or 2007 or 2008? Major League Baseball is currently experiencing a decline in their ever-popular Grapefruit and Cactus League attendance. Some Major League baseball teams are offering a "free ticket on your birthday" or a "buck-a-game" ticket for regular season. If attendance falters, teams will need to revisit players' salaries.

Corporations have already pulled back their financial support for stadium naming rights. Further, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has voluntarily cut his salary 10-20% and NFL headquarters has reduced staff, as well as have many NFL Clubs' office staff. Unfortunately, there is little evidence of players or coaches stepping-up to cut their salaries. That being said, it must be noted that many of them donate monies and do enormous charity work in their communities.

It has long been advocated in these writings that IF all NFL players would voluntarily cut their salaries 10% (many variations are possible), and pass those savings onto the fans so that parents can take their families to the games, the NFL would encourage a friendlier and more widespread fan base.

Will you continue to support your favorite T.E.A.M. regardless of players' salaries?

For more information about Jim Tunney, please visit his website: www.JimTunney.com, or if you would like to respond to this message, please send your email to Jim@JimTunney.com