Archive for 'FAQs'

2015 NFL Free Agency Questions & Answers

SALARY CAP SET AT $143,280,000

Q.  When does the 2015 free agency signing period begin?

A.  At 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 10.

Q.  What are the categories of free agency?

A.  Players are either “Restricted Free Agents” or “Unrestricted Free Agents.” A Restricted Free Agent may be subject to a “qualifying offer.” A Restricted or Unrestricted Free Agent may be designated by his prior club as its Franchise Player or Transition Player.

For the complete release, click here

Enhanced 18-2 season: What’s the status?

As discussion continues both publicly and at the bargaining table, it is a good opportunity for a reminder that the status of the proposed 18-2 enhanced season format has not changed. It is still a concept under review among NFL clubs, the NFL Players Association, and NFL business partners. Following are Commissioner Roger Goodell’s comments on the enhanced season from his August 25 press conference following a league meeting in Atlanta. These comments continue to be accurate.

Commissioner Goodell: The most significant discussion of the day was the enhanced season and restructuring our season from 16 and 4 to 18 and 2. There was overwhelming support for the concept and that we want to continue to address a variety of issues. We are putting together a specific proposal, which the negotiating team will provide to the union’s negotiating team. There is tremendous support for it.

Do you have the right to unilaterally impose the enhanced season and did you not because of sensitivities with the players?

As you know, in the Collective Bargaining Agreement we have the right to go to 22 games. The ownership does not think that’s the right step to take. We want to do this the right way and make it good for everyone, including the players, our fans, and the game in general. From our standpoint, we think we’ve moved this concept along. There’s a tremendous amount of momentum for it. We think it’s the right step to take. But we want to do that with our partners, including the players.

On expanding OTAs and other training to prepare for the season:

It’s got to be a comprehensive solution. That’s why we’re taking the necessary steps here and taking the time to address the concept and all of the aspects of this that will make it successful. That’s our focus. How do we make this successful for everybody? But we had a lot of discussion on the Competition Committee analysis about offseason training, what we would do with rosters, what we would do with injured reserved rules. All of those things would allow us the ability to do this correctly.

On comprehensive proposal to union, how will it be different than previous discussions?

What we’ve done to date is show all the analysis that we have shared with the ownership.  We have shared all of that with the players from the first negotiation session in June 2009 to the more recent discussion in June and obviously the negotiating session of just 10 days ago. Right now we have to get more specific about what exactly we are talking about, how we think it can be successful and work with the players to make sure it’s done the right way.

Do you think the players will buy into this idea?

I do because I think there are a lot of benefits to the players.  We understand the player health and safety issue. They’ve identified the issues in our discussions that they’re concerned with. We are aware of all of those. And we want to make sure we address them appropriately.
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Q&A on Special Master case regarding television contracts

Earlier this week, the NFL and NFLPA met with the Special Master to discuss scheduling in the proceeding regarding the NFL’s TV contracts.  Following is a Q&A on the issue:

Q: What was the NFL’s reaction to the union’s filing of the Special Master case challenging the league’s television contracts?

A: The television contracts that the union attacked were agreed to during the worst economy in our lifetimes.  Far from failing to maximize revenue, the contracts grew league revenue to fund higher player salaries and benefits.  No wonder DeMaurice Smith said publicly this year, ‘My hat’s off to Roger Goodell. Television is locked up until 2014 to the tune of about $5 billion a year.’ The union’s meritless charges, including many inaccuracies, will be addressed in the proper forum, but they are simply a distraction and do nothing to get us any closer to a new CBA.

Q: The NFLPA says the NFL will receive $4 billion in television revenue in 2011 even if no games are played. The union is calling it “lockout insurance.” Is this accurate?

A:  No. For decades, NFL network TV contracts have protected the league against the possibility that games might be lost for any of a variety of reasons, including work stoppages, natural disasters, and similar events.  Any sums paid by the broadcast and cable television networks to the NFL during a work stoppage would have to be repaid with interest. 
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Training Camp Dates and Locations

Following is the training camp list of sites and rookie and veteran reporting dates:
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Ask – 15 Restricted Free Agents remain unsigned

Following is the answer to a recent question in the mailbag. To submit a question, send an email to

I read a few stories over the weekend on restricted free agents. What’s the latest?

Based on official notification to the NFL office, 15 RFAs have not signed contracts (as of this afternoon, June 14). The original clubs retain exclusive rights to these unsigned players.

RFAs can still sign the original March tender offer (which was extended again on June 1) until 11:59 PM ET tonight.  If the RFA does not sign by 11:59 PM ET tonight, the club may substitute a new June 15th tender of 110 percent of the RFA’s 2009 base salary. 

If the club does not offer a new June 15th tender, the original March tender offer (which was extended on June 1) can still be signed by the RFA.  If the player does not sign by Week 10, he cannot play in 2010.

Below is a list of the 15 Restricted Free Agents who have not signed contracts as of this afternoon, June 14 (based on official notification to the NFL office).

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Ask – NFL Rookie Salary Pool in 2010

Following is the answer to a recent question in the mailbag. To submit a question, send an email to

Now that the Draft has been held, is there a rookie salary pool in 2010?  If yes, how does it work?  Does it only impact what rookies earn in their first year or does it take into account the entire rookie contract?

Yes, the same rookie salary pool system that has been in place for many years will be used in 2010.  Each NFL club has a different rookie salary pool based upon the number of draft picks the team has and the position of those picks.  Teams with more picks and higher picks have larger salary pools than teams with fewer and/or lower picks in the draft.

As in past years, the rookie salary pool counts ONLY the base salary, pro-rated signing bonus and “likely-to-be earned” incentives (such as roster bonuses) earned in a player’s rookie season.  The rookie salary pool does NOT take into account option bonuses exercised in future years, base salary guaranteed in future years, the remaining pro-rated amount of the rookie-year signing bonus, or “not-likely-to-be-earned” incentives (such as playtime that is coupled with team improvement in various statistical categories) earned under the rookie contract.

Ask – NFL owners committed to alumni

Commissioner Roger Goodell

Following is the answer to a recent question in the mailbag. To submit a question, send an email to

I read that the NFLPA union is meeting in Hawaii (tough life!) and that their meetings include retired players.  When is the league going to do more for retired players?

The owners’ position on helping former players probably is best summarized by a response that the Commissioner sent to Congresswoman Linda Sanchez earlier this week after she asked a similar question in a recent letter.  Below are excerpts from that letter:

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Ask — NFL continues funding retired player benefits

Q. A key member of the union’s Retired Players Steering Committee stated Tuesday that the league is shutting down benefits to retirees as soon as the uncapped year starts on Friday. What say you?

A.  Last August, Commissioner Goodell, responding to a letter from the NFL Alumni Association, confirmed that retired player benefits and programs would not be reduced in an uncapped year. The Alumni Association communicated that commitment to its members and issued a statement about it to the news media.  The NFLPA leadership is well aware of this commitment. Since at least the fall of 2007, the owners have consistently made clear that they would not reduce the funding for benefits for retired players during an uncapped 2010 season. That includes pension, disability, the 88 plan, joint replacement program, prescription cards, etc.  

It’s interesting to note that when the union loudly proclaimed on Tuesday that it would accept a continuation of the salary cap at the current level for active players, there was no mention of increased benefits for retirees. The union leadership was willing to make a deal without any improvements for retired players. On the other hand, Commissioner Goodell has made clear there will be no agreement without improved benefits for retired players. The owners told the union several months ago that if it would agree to a new rookie pay system for 2010, the first $100 million in savings would go to retired players. The owners were prepared to take that step prior to reaching agreement on a new CBA in order to get more assistance to retired players.

To submit a question, send an email to

Ask — Questions & Answers

RB Darren Sproles

Following is the answer to a recent question in the mailbag. To submit a question, send an email to

Q. It has been reported that the San Diego Chargers will not offer restricted free agent running back Darren Sproles a contract tender.  What does that mean in terms of his status or that of any restricted free agent who is not offered a contract tender?  Can a “Final Eight” club sign him?

A. When a player who would be a Restricted Free Agent is not tendered a contract by his club, he becomes a free agent who is free to sign with his team or any of the 31 other clubs.  Restricted Free Agents who are tendered also can be signed by the other 31 teams but applicable compensation must be given to the old club if the old club does not exercise its right of first refusal to match the offer. Rules regarding “Final Eight” clubs apply only to UFAs in the uncapped 2010 season.

Ask – Questions & Answers

We continue to receive questions via Here are two recent questions and our answers:

Do you agree with DeMaurice Smith that the owners’ current proposal would reduce veteran salaries by 18% and the players’ share of revenues from 59% to 41%? 

Those numbers that Mr. Smith used at his Super Bowl press conference are inaccurate. No current player needs to take a pay-cut as a result of our proposal. Our goal is to generate a pool of resources in order to have continued investment and continued growth. This will lead to higher salaries and higher benefits for players.

Is it true that the league is not appealing the Special Master’s decision in the supplemental revenue sharing case? 

We are not appealing because the impact of the Special Master’s decision is really insignificant and does not affect our overall revenue sharing system.

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