Player Salaries
Part of Patrick Mahomes’ monster deal could be put in escrow. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

The NFL proposed that 35% of players’ salaries be kept in “escrow” to manage costs of the 2020 season, according to Tom Pelissero.

It’s “one option on the table” and an insane option at that. The term “escrow” means “a bond, deed, or other document kept in the custody of a third party and taking effect only when a specified condition has been fulfilled.” It should also be noted that the CBA does not have any clause that would allow a salary reduction that players do not accept. Even if a single NFL game is played, an argument can be made that the players deserve full pay. The CBA would support that argument.

I said this multiple months ago that NFL players could be asked to take pay-cuts due to revenue decreasing this year. The salary cap is based off the previous year’s revenue. The 2021 cap can easily decrease due to lost revenue this year from reduced or no fans in at games. Teams would lose revenue from tickets, parking, team store merchandise and concessions if reduced or no fans can attend games. That hurts the owners significantly.

The players do not have to agree to this in anyway. Whenever the league is enjoying extra revenue the players don’t see any of it. As the 32 teams increase in value, players don’t see any of it. However the players can easily take the stance of the deal is what it is. The league does this when part of the CBA is applied that hurts the players.

If NFL players are pushing for no preseason games, putting 35% of player salaries in escrow might be needed. The players may need to share the loss of revenue from preseason games with the owners to remove the entire preseason. The real question is, are players willing to do this trade?