NFLPA looks to up performance-based pay pool by $1M per team
If the NFL Players Association’s executive committee has its way, the NFL’s performance-based pay program will grow significantly and the days of two or more agents representing one player will end.
Documents obtained by FOX Sports show the NFLPA’s executive committee has passed a resolution advocating that the performance-based pay pool rise by at least $1 million per team starting this season. Future increases would be based upon the annual percentage growth in salary cap.
A $32 million increase would mark a 28 percent rise from the overall payout of $116.3 million for the 2014 campaign.
The NFL and NFLPA are still negotiating the parameters of the 2015 performance-based pay program, a source told FOX Sports.
The executive committee advocated the additional funding come from the rookie redistribution fund, which was established as part of the 2011 labor pact between the NFL and players union. Money saved by implementation of the rookie salary cap in 2011 was annually funneled to the redistribution fund and then allocated to performance-based pay and benefit costs for current and retired players.
The performance-based pay program was implemented in 2002 as a way to reward players who outperformed their contracts when comparing production to salary. Immediate rookie starters who are late-round picks or undrafted usually benefit the most. Buffalo right tackle and seventh-round pick Seantrel Henderson led all NFL players last season with a $373,671 bonus, which almost matched his $420,000 base salary.
The executive committee also passed a resolution that calls for only one "payee" to appear as the representative on a player contract, which would have a notable impact on the agent community. The impetus for the proposal came from the departure of several high-profile agents who shared joint representation of players leaving their respective firms in the past year.
The resolution’s intent is to protect a player from being sued for commission if a split couldn’t be agreed upon by multiple parties serving as agents.
A final decision from the NFLPA is expected by mid-July.
The NFLPA already has adopted a resolution that has changed the philanthropic arm where fines collected from player agents are donated from NFL Player Charities to the union-controlled Player Assistance Trust. The latter was created to help former players in need and aid those making the transition to life after football.
The 11-member NFLPA executive committee is comprised of the NFLPA president (currently Cincinnati tackle Eric Winston) and 10 vice presidents who have been voted to two-year terms. The executive committee’s resolutions were passed in mid-March at the union’s annual meeting in Hawaii.