Sadly, the NFL is facing many issues concerning lost revenues and a salary reductions battle because of COVID-19. One proposal made by NFL owners to reverse the losses has bogged down and disappointed many players.

The league is requesting that 35% of players’ salaries be held in “escrow,” but the thing is that this isn’t entirely accurate, and players aren’t happy with the suggestion.  It’s apparent that the NFL didn’t learn anything from the MLB debacle.

NFL Owners’ Escrow Deal Will Cause Salary Battle

Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reported that owners are requesting this “escrow” deal as a way to save the league from a possible greater financial impact from COVID-19.  The funds placed in escrow will eventually help in managing costs during the 2020 season, as long as the NFL and the union reach a prompt agreement.

However, placing money in escrow means just that – taking a chunk of money and putting it into a separate holding account.  The league doesn’t want that – it wants to use the money now, and pay players later.

As a matter of fact, NFL stars are not happy with this proposal and a salary battle is likely to ensue.  Players like Kendrick Bourne of the San Francisco 49ers and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs have shown their resounding disagreement.  And what is more, Don Davis, an NFLPA representative, had a conference call with the players’ league, and he told the guys who proposed the escrow deal to “kick rocks.” Davis insists that such a deal must be approved by all the parties involved.

Other members and players have expressed their comments in a strong way. For instance, Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints said that the salary escrow proposal has to be a joke; for him, it is something unacceptable.  He also added that Commissioner Roger Goodell and those owners should use their billions and put that in escrow or plan something else.  It is obvious that the players, in general, have not met this deal with enthusiasm.

NFL Still Not Addressing Health Concerns Adequately

Aside from the potential battle of salary, Thomas also mentioned that health and safety among NFL players is much more important than other aspects.  It is true that some players have agreed to receive a lower salary because they are aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused money issues for the entire league.  However, the NFL owners should sit down and look for better ways to claw back the lost revenues instead of hurting the players’ income. The main issue here is that the 2020 season start is coming soon and concerns like if the games will be played as scheduled, if fans will be allowed to be in the stands, and what the revenue will look like remain.

These aspects should be hammered out and addressed promptly. If a consent is not reached within the next few days, it is likely that there will be no season and the lost revenues could higher than what have been up to now and there will be no point in placing in escrow the players’ salary as a way to save the NFL finances.

Still No Clear Plan Of Attack

Now one of the big problems is that the NFL and NFLPA are taking too long to establish a consent between the two parts.  They are still at odds, and they are running out of time.  Owners and players really need to establish accurate aspects of testing for COVID-19 and what actions should be taken when it comes to players’ safety and protocols to be followed in the camps.

On the other hand, the future of the 2020 season is standing at the crossroads because the economics of the teams are in danger if the NFL owners finally decide to cut down the salaries of the players, and get into that battle.  The percentage being requested sounds kind of high and all the parties must reach a unanimous agreement.

It is understandable that the coronavirus has impacted the revenues of the league tremendously and the finances are not on the right track, but some players have already expressed their discomfort about the salary deal.  If the league continues to push the subject, fans should be ready for a massive lockout.