NEW YORK (AP) — NFL employees have had their salaries trimmed by 12 percent since April, and seven teams have instituted pay cuts or furloughs of workers outside the huddle since the owners’ lockout of players began March 12, The Associated Press has found in interviews around the league.
Miami, Buffalo, the New York Jets, Kansas City, Detroit, Tampa Bay and Arizona are the teams known to have slashed payroll.
In all, the number of affected employees who work for either the clubs or the league is likely more than 100. Count Commissioner Roger Goodell and Jeff Pash, the NFL’s lead labor negotiator, among them. Their salaries have been reduced to $1 each while the league’s labor impasse is unresolved.
Two teams, the Falcons and 49ers, would not comment when asked if they made any cuts, citing privacy issues. Information about several other clubs came from people with knowledge of the cuts or furloughs who spoke on condition of anonymity because the moves had not been announced by the team.
Several team owners, particularly John Mara of the Giants, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, and Jim Irsay of the Colts, have been adamant about avoiding such reductions.
“I try to stay focused in the now. I just don’t anticipate that sort of thing,” Irsay said. “My feeling is I’m interested in good morale around here. I look at someone who’s making $40,000, $50,000 a year, who has rent to pay, and I don’t see it for me as an owner to be asking them for anything.”
All Chiefs employees, including GM Scott Pioli and coach Todd Haley, have taken a pay reduction during the lockout. The extent of the reduction depends on the level of job, with top executives taking the biggest hit. The cuts will be phased in over eight months and will average about 10 percent, with nobody reduced more than 20 percent.
If the NFL plays a full season, everybody will be fully reimbursed for lost wages.
The Packers have a plan to hold back salaries for management level and higher employees, but it hasn’t been applied. It would only go into effect if a game or games are missed.
The Saints have avoided any cuts or furloughs in part because their revenue stream from ticket sales never has been better. They recently billed season ticket holders for the second half of their amount due, perhaps to maintain enough cash flow to delay resorting to salary reductions.
The Louisiana Superdome is sold out again for next season, and because of redesigned and upgraded field level seating, capacity has increased from 70,000 to 73,000. Prices for many of those new seats went up, creating more income for the team.