Irv Cross: An Answer to Burt Grossman and Other Retired Players

Feb 24, 2010

One of the more common questions coming in from recently retired players (the last 10 – 15 years) has been about severance pay. In our last post, both Lionel James and Burt Grossman mentioned that they weren’t even aware of any severance pay clauses. Irv Cross sent in a response through the Comments and we decided to put it up as a general post so it would be more visible to everyone. Thanks, Irv!

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What we can’t figure out is why players are so uninformed – or misinformed – about their benefits and pay? In my own inquiries about disability and pension benefits, I’ve had the phone hung up on me by people I was sent to at the NFLPA and I even ended up talking to the League’s attorney, Larry Lamade, over at Akin Gump when my own Union couldn’t provide me with a current copy of the retirement plan. And now former Bucs’ President Gay Culverhouse has set up an advocacy program, Players Outreach, to provide some missing guidance through this maze that our paid Union people should have been providing all this time.

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Irv Cross
Burt:

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Here’s the abbreviated language from the Collective Bargaining Agreement dated 2002-2008. Please keep in mind that I’m not current on any recent changes:

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(Article L) Severance Pay:

(Sec. 1) Eligibility: Only players with two or more Credited Seasons (as that term is defined in the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle Plan), at least one of which is for a season occurring in 1993 through 2006, will be eligible for severance pay under under this article.

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(Sec. 2) Amount: Each eligible player will receive severance pay in the amounts determined as follows:


(a) $5,000 per credited season for each of 1989 through 1992;
(b) $10,000 per credited season for each of seasons 1993-1999;
(c) $12,500 per credited season from 2000 through 2006.

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(Sec. 3) Application: To apply for pay under this article, a player must submit a request in writing to the NFL Club that he was under contract with when he earned his last credited season, with copies to the Executive Director of the NFLPA and the Executive VP for Labor Relations of the NFL. His request must indicate his intention to permanently sever employment with all NFL Clubs as an Active Player.

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( Sec. 4) Payment: Severance pay under this article will be paid in a single lump sum payment by the NFL Club with which the player last earned a credited season according to the following schedule:…

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Burt, I’m going to stop here, but this should help. Check with your agent or the NFLPA office as well and let them know you didn’t receive your severance pay your last year in the League. Or perhaps Dr. Culverhouse’s organization can help with this. The big key here is you must file in writing with your last club. This contract has been modified but I think this input might help you better understand severance pay.

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BEST OF LUCK!

Irv Cross
1961 – 1969
Philadelphia Eagles & LA Rams

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One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Lionel James
    February 25th, 2010 at 3:00 am #

    Lionel James
    I can understand Irv’s explanation but in 1987 we also went on strike for a cause: to help the pre-59 players. So from Irv’s great explanation, we helped everybody but ourselves. Where is severance pay for the years 1980-1988? Or, the real answer is that there was no such thing as severance pay then. Now , if that is the real reason, I do understand. But to skip a whole decade of players, one must have a reason to apply that concept. Then to have to play a season in 1993, and a season in 1989, which is a five-year stretch, when the average life span of a player is approximately 3 years.

    I want to know who signed that deal for us and who held him hostage?

    Smiling as I write this,
    Lionel James
    San Diego Chargers
    1984 – 1988