Blog Entry

Another reason owners might be screwed

Posted on: March 1, 2011 11:59 pm
Jerry Jones has a big mortgage payment on his new stadium. Posted by Pete Prisco

You pay your mortgage, right?

It's easier to do with money coming in, right? Now imagine you're an NFL owner with a huge mortgage on a stadium you helped finance. That owner pays the mortgage on that debt, just like you.

That's why the ruling Tuesday that NFL owners can't have access to the $4 billion in television revenue they were expecting if there's a lockout next season is huge.

District Judge David Doty, who has been a thorn in the league's side in the past with other rulings, overruled special master Stephen Burbank in declaring the league couldn't have access to the TV money next season.

The reason that ruling is a big is because many of the big-power owners, men like Jerry Jones (Cowboys), Bob Kraft (Patriots), John Mara (Giants) and Woody Johnson (Jets), have big debt service on their stadiums.

They have monster mortgage payments.

Without that money, it becomes tough to pay those notes.

The NFL will appeal the ruling to a higher court, but for now this is big win for the players and maybe a big hit for the fans.

A survey of a handful of players showed them to think this was important for their push.

Without that money, you can bet the owners will want a quicker resolution to these talks.

The lockout insurance -- the TV money -- was a bullet in their gun.

Now they have more empty chambers than they thought.

This entry was cross-posted from Pete Prisco's Prisco's Points. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .


Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 9, 2012 8:28 pm

Another reason owners might be screwed

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Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2011 10:31 am

Another reason owners might be screwed

@ KUKC, I have not read a more well-reasoned post.  I agree with every bit of your sentiment.  In my opinion this is the classis case of owners trying to kill a union, no different than whats going on in WI.  Owners want complete and absolute control, they want you to shut up and fall in line with whatever suits their best interest.  If they could get away with paying their employees minimum wage with no benefits they would, heck they'd be trying to lower minimum wage. 
 People forget that unions and collective bargaining, strikes, and what not allow us the rights we take for granted today.  40 hrs work week, 5 day work week, OSHA, Child labor laws, and etc all came from unions pushing owners.  Owners aren't going to just out of the kindness of their hearts pay you more money.  If it was up to them we'd all still be working 16 hour days 7 days a week in whatever condiitions there may be and even childern working.  Go read the history books, they used to have small childern losing fingers working with machinery, had them walking in blood at the butcher shop and paying workers next to nothing.  
Back to the NFL though, people forget that the owners take 1 billion dollars off the top of the TV money, and then the rest of it they split with the players.  So the numbers they give about players taking 54% and the owners getting 46% are not the real numbers.  Not only that the NFL has been stashing money under the table to prepare for this lockout?  You can't trust most owners, They are just legal con-men.  They will rip you off any chance they get.  Don't get me wrong I don't feel to sorry for the players, they get paid.  But I don't think they need a pay cut.  They get paid their salary because the NFL is the most popular sport in the US.  I guess people would rather the owners keep 9 out of the 10 billion the NFL makes annually on TV money alone.  That doesn't include the money the owners get from local deals, ticket sales, concessions, parking, and merchandise.  Granted for owners with new stadiums those extra things aren't bringing in much of a profit but it will, especially when that stadium is paid off.... oh it will.  We should just pay all these players $50,000 a year with benefits.  I wouldn't risk my body and future for $50,000 a year.  Not when I can go in a office and make the same thing without having to get plummeled by 250 lb linebackers running 4.4 40s.  Yep lets let the owners talk all that money, its not like they aren't already billionaires anyway.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2011 10:16 am

Another reason owners might be screwed

 - if the NFLPA decertifies, the players can't be locked out. On the flip side, they would be left to fend for themselves. The Union would no longer exist. It's a bold move, but not unusual. Been done before.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2011 10:14 am

Another reason owners might be screwed

I think he means a big hit in a positive way, although I personally don't care. Appeals will drag everything out so Doty's decision carries little weight, in my opinion. Just let them lock out. Let the NBA lock out, too. I'm fed up with this ****.

Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2011 9:26 am

Another reason owners might be screwed

Help me out: Why would this be a win for the players but a big hit to the fans? If it forces faster resolution, isn't that a win for the fans too?

Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2011 8:51 am

Another reason owners might be screwed


you say that, but they're the ones who elect to go into the nfl knowing exactly what the risks are. I don't feel sorry for them in the slightest.

My, but you are bold.

Same is true for owners and their risks. Sorry, you can sell their sob story elsewhere, I, for one, am not buying. They don't risk paralysis from buying a team. So your precious owners signed up for this, just like the players, who in your mind, seem to have no legitimate reason to complain about their risk, yet the owners do. This sounds more like anti union bias than anything else , or perhaps jealousy for athletes, who offend your sensibilities with some of their behaviour. You have no idea how the owners behave, because they aren't the story, unless it is Victor Kiam, and I doubt you are old enough to recall him (suffice to say, his behaviour was, um.....uniqu. You also lack the perspective of both sides, as we all do who aren't a part of this. I will say that if you believe the owners are blamelss, holy creatures, and the players knew their bodily risk, yet the owners are obsolved of signing up for the "risk" of owning an NFL franchise, and should just fall in line like good little players, then you have a truly screwed up set of priorities.

I do not pity either side, other than injured players, and any human deserves that consideration, no matter their station in life, they're just people and that's that. I am friends with a now retired NFL player, and without giving anything away, he is one of the most generous and wonderful human beings, I've known, no matter wealth or occupation. He worked the majority of his career for league minimum, even though he was the NFLPA Union rep for the team. A real primadonna, that one, what gall he had to take league minimum to continue to play in most every game of a career he played for the love of it. Which brings to mind one thing I will thank you for. I havent talked to said player in a coupla months, so it serves as a reminder to call him today.

Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2011 8:37 am

Another reason owners might be screwed

They have monster mortgage payments.

That's their problem.  Did they not notice the when the housing bubble burst?  Same thing with bigger numbers.  Don't buy a stadium you can't afford.

Since: Aug 11, 2009
Posted on: March 2, 2011 8:02 am

Another reason owners might be screwed

true the contract will have expired come midnight tomorrow and the "good-faith" clause would no longer be in effect, however, that clause is still in effect for all things negotiated prior to the contract expiring...SO, that $4B in revenue which was negotiated during the current CBA, falls under the rules of said CBA.

As far as the NFLPA decertifying, i have no clue what that entails or would lead to.

Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2011 7:57 am

Another reason owners might be screwed

Were you to have the talent of a professional running back, you may have a different take on "risk". 2.5 years is the average career for an RB, and Pro Football is the only pro sport without guaranteed contracts. (look it up if you don't believe me). You may get your rookie signing bonus, but say you irreversibly blow out your knee 3 games into your first season?, "Thanks so much for your effort, and we wish you well in your future endeavours". Usually they will stay on the roster the remainder of the season, but thats usually the end, and thats counting on a decent owner.

Now, you can complain about players salaries all you want, but all that huge money is coming from somewhere, another person, the owner, or in some cases, consortium of owners who have more money, many times over, than their entire roster. This is rich man's chess, using people with breakable bodies as their pawns. Yes the players sign up for this, and since it is their stock and trade, they are going into this with a positive attitude, as you have to in order to survive. Players have died in training camp from being overworked in full pads and temps in the 90s. Again they make the grown up decision to play, but as Inside Sports so thoughtfully reported, there is no protection from the league at all, other than what an owner may be willing to do, when your career ends, basically due to structural failure of the body from repetitive collisions. The new CBA proffered was to address this issue.

Most people have a hard time feeling sympathy for billionaires or even multi millionaires. Thats natural, I feel that way myself. However, Id challenege anyone here to look at the players from year before last's draft, discover the number still playing, and how wealthy the ones who have injured themselves, either on an IR list, or out of the league, even IR list spells "Too much risk of reinjury, our team will pass, unle4ss he will work on the practice squad, or help bring along young talent, all at league minimum, again, that is supposing you have a good owner.  Suppose you play for a real standup guy like Bidwell. Your chances of a long career get increasingly smaller, because he wont spend the money (historically) to keep a good wall in front of their skill players.

Explain Bob Kraft's risk for me, please? I'm not thinking the Patriots are bleeding any of his accounts, and if they did, he would get  a great deal of it back due to business losses claimed on his taxes. You, I am sure are aware they didn't come as paupers to the NFL. Most, such as the Late Lamar Hunt, have vast fortunes to do this with. Hunt loved soccer so much, he invested large amount of his own funds to build the KC Wizards MLS team, which I assure you, loses money hand over fist annually. So, these poor owners, and their selfless risk is certainly worth revisiting. Do you think when Jerry Jones built that mosntrosity in Arlington, he was worried about risk? NO, he was out to prove he has the biggest dick of all the owners, its ego that they risk.

Such skewed perspectives, people who may lose the money they paid into Social Security, concerned with the risk of those unfortunate football owners. Even if you're not Kraft or Jones, the NFL's revenue sharing insures the smaller market teams, and less successful ones a chance for parity in the game. If the risk gets to be too much for the billionaires that own these teams, most of them are quite marketable, unlike a 2 yr star running back with trash for a left knee. The direct risk to assets and income is much larger on the side of the players than the owners. Lets take the last 30 yrs as a sample and compare the bankruptcies for owners vs players. Let's discount rogue players who played their way out of the game, aided by their mouth, and factor the disparity in the amount of owners vs players, and the percentage of bankruptcies is still dramatically larger. Can anyone name the last NFL owner to lose everything? Bet its harder than finding the last 20 players who lost their careers, health, finances (you do know not all players get huge contracts coming in, right?, in fact the majority dont get mammoth contracts.) It would be a lot of money for one of us, but 2 years of even 400,000k probably wont fund your entire life afterwards (unless you have a trusted and very adept financial advisor), but again, and Im not sure where anyone gets the opposite idea, The NFL is the only Pro sport without Guaranteed Contracts . Wanna harp on multi millionaire crybabies with guaranteed contracts, no matter what happens/ The go yell at the MLBPA. Baseball players have the sweetest deal in sports, and nothing goes to court due to anti trust exemption. In the end, being a severely disabled adult, Id much rather take the cash hit, than lose natural use of my body. Since Im not in the category as the people we debate here, It was both a financial hit and disability, which for a lot of young NFL players also becomes their reality, albeit with a larger cash reserve (if they were smart). I pity the owners only for their blind greed. They know they will profit huge, even if they gave into every demand, but it is about pissing contests and pride now.

Since: Sep 10, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2011 7:33 am

Another reason owners might be screwed

NFL owners are extremely wealthy with 13 billionaires amongst others worth in the hundreds of millions.....
Although that is true, it does not mean they have hundreds of millions just sitting around to make payments on their stadiums.  I would bet the average person would be shocked to see exactly how much money these millionaires and billionaires actually have access to at any given time.  Sure, their net worth may be through the roof, but net worth and actual liquid assests are completely different things.  If there isn't a new CBA before the start of the season, the owners will definitely be hurting.

 you have players like Stallworth cashing in millions in a roster bonus days before he kills somebody drinking and driving, gets suspended for a year but doesn't have to pay back one nickel
Why would he pay it back?  He had a contract that stated he was entitled to a certain amount of money for being a part of the roster at a certain time, and he was a part of the roster at that time, meaning the team owed him money based on the contract that both parties signed.

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