According to an article by the Boston Globe's Greg Bedard via ProFootballTalk, only seven teams have promised their coaching staffs that they will not ask for any pay cuts unless the lockout extends into the season: the Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, Colts, Raiders, Steelers and Seahawks.
Teams like the Jets implemented a 25 percent pay cut immediately after the lockout announcement in March, which they've augmented with mandatory staff furloughs. A total of 25 teams are at various stages of instituting the pay cuts according to Bedard, who talked with Larry Keenan, Director of the NFL Coaches Association.
The other 25 teams have either already instituted cuts, will do so on June 1, or have the right to do so at some point. The cuts range from 20 to 50 percent.
"Four teams are at 50 percent, there are a couple that are 30 or 35, but generally it’s 20 or 25 percent,’’ Kennan said. "That’s significant. You’re used to living on that. To take half your pay away, that isn’t comfortable.’’
Even the league offices have cut salaries: In what likely amounts to nothing more than a PR stunt, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL general counsel Jeff Pash have already reduced their salaries to $1 per year from their respective salaries of $10 million and $5 million. For other employees of the NFL, including NFL Network and NFL.com, it's not a PR stunt. They will have their salaries reduced anywhere from 5-25%.
What's remarkable about all these salary cuts, forced furloughs and other cost saving activities is that at this point, no team is actually losing any money.
Team finances will not really take a significant hit until revenue from the first games doesn't come in. And in terms of expenses, the players get their salaries in 17 game-day pay checks over the course of the season, so there's no expenditure there yet either. Yet the majority of owners think that taking money out of their employees' hands is the right thing to do.
There are many reasons why this could make sense from a business point of view. One could argue from a legal point of view that most employees signed contracts which contained lockout clauses, so they knew what they were getting into. An argument, however twisted, could even be made that the owners are actually being generous by promising that most employees will be reimbursed once the lockout ends.
You can spin it any way you want, but at the end, it is a simple money grab by some of the owners at the expense of their employees. After all, while the players are locked out, and therefore don't receive any pay, the coaching staffs and other front office employees continue to work - but they're the ones getting a pay cut. Shame on you, NFL.
And as much as I dislike the Giants and Eagles as our division rivals, I do take some pride in the fact that three out of four teams from the NFC East are not instituting any pay cuts.
Among many other things, this is one of the reasons a job on the Cowboys coaching staff is the envy of the NFL:
The coaches work for an organization that does not scrimp on their salaries and will not penalize them if a lockout begins [...] The Cowboys' coaches will not take the financial hit many of their peers will during a lockout.