NFL Déja Vu

Jul 30, 2013

Einstein Quote

I received my latest Retirement Plan notification today that the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan was underfunded once again. All pension plans are required by federal law to inform its beneficiaries about such events or else most of us would never even know about these things going on in a $10 billion a year business. I guess that’s why they pay Roger Goodell $35 million+ a year while DeMaurice Smith managed to collect a $3 million bonus a couple of years ago for the fine job he did in negotiating the 10-year CBA.
And here we are being told by the NFL and their lawyer buddies that their $50 million Settlement Offer in the Dryer vs NFL Films lawsuit is absolutely the best deal they can possibly make even though most – or none – of that money will ever reach retired players hands. They can’t even fund retirement players’ current pension and disability plans and now they want you to get nothing for your images and footage from your role in past games.
Here’s the interesting thing: I had forgotten that we also got a similar notice last year in July! In other words, our pension plan has basically been underfunded since the CBA was signed over two years ago! We’ve uploaded both notices on Scribd for easy viewing on our Blog and to make it available for downloading and printing, especially to those of you who may not even be on their mailing list. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the lower right corner of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (just hit the ESC key to close):


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8 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Cody C. Jones
    July 30th, 2013 at 9:17 pm #


    That is embarrassing! Could you imagine telling someone or showing them that our pension fund is underfunded? We should see if we can have this sent in to Sports Illustrated.

    Cody Jones
    Los Angeles Rams
    1974 – 1982

  2. David Carter
    July 31st, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    David Carter

    With so many of us dying every year, they don’t have to fund the pension 100%. They’re playing the numbers game and winning. Unfortunately, this has been going on for decades and we have not had the sense to negotiate full investment in the CBA. That might have allowed us to get pension bumps quite some time ago and be at the current players level today.

    Just my two cents…

    David Carter
    Houston Oilers, New Orleans Saints
    1977 – 1985

  3. Chris Burford
    July 31st, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    Chris Burford Chiefs

    What can we expect when players with commensurate playing abilities at their positions make 300X (do the math) the salaries we made in the 60’s for the same number of games?

    Remember we had 5-6 exhibition games at $50.00/game, then followed by a 14-game regular schedule. Now it’s 16 regular games with just a few exhibition games with much bigger rosters. Our rosters were 33 most of the time – 32 in 1961. Almost all of us played special teams plus our regular positions. It probably seemed good at the time but pales in comparison to the player benefits of today which keep increasing geometrically but not for us. And it certainly wouldn’t exist had we not paved the way for the millionaires of today.

    We were – and are – disposable it seems.

    Chris Burford
    Houston Texans/Kansas City Chiefs
    1960 – 1967

  4. Raymond Brown
    July 31st, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    Ray Brown

    I’ve actually read that for the 3rd or 4th straight year, the Retired Players Pension Plan was on the Endangered Status List. How does the #1 Sport in America and a $10 – $20 Billion-a-year business fall into this category? And why does our NFLPA Union allow this to happen? 81% of the NFL Pension Plan Fund has to have cash deposits on hand to be in good standings.

    What’s the problem, gentlemen? We know you have the money. We do not need another Detroit debacle to surround the National Football League’s Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle Pension Plan, a genuine Cash Cow!

    Raymond Brown
    Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints
    1971 – 1981

  5. Troy Johnson
    July 31st, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Troy Johnson

    A ten billion dollars a year business and the pension plan is underfunded. What a joke! Throw the head of the NFLPA out and put someone in who truly has the best interests of the retired players!

    God Bless!
    Troy Johnson
    Chicago Bears, New York Jets
    Detroit Lions
    1989 – 1992

  6. Wayne Haddix
    August 1st, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    Wayne Haddix

    Get in line guys. Unfortunately, it’s not just us.

    Many Fortune 500 and billion-dollar private industries actually underfund their pensions. It’s a balance sheet maneuver. The problem is that it’s “legal”! Until we start pressing our Congressmen and Senators people to raise the standards of the law, this will continue. Fact: Our lawmakers pensions are guaranteed by the US Government. They’ll be slow to act because they live in a different world than the rest of us.

    We should make our voices heard nonetheless. Just like we did with the Workers Comp bill in CA.

    Power to the people!

    Samuel Haddix for
    Wayne Haddix
    New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Cincinnati Bengals
    1987 – 1991

  7. Tom Beer
    August 1st, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    Tom Beer

    Hey Chris Burford –

    How would you like to be playing wideout today, making $2-3 million per with all the extra perks? And not having to worry about getting mugged by DB’s while running your pass routes or getting clothes lined by a LB catching a pass over the middle or ending an opponent’s career with a vicious crackback block? And by the way, Summer Training Camp is now a country club-like atmosphere with daily limited practice time, pads once a day and mandatory days off and 4 pre-season games earning players 10% of their regular salaries.

    Today’s players have no idea what sacrifices we made paving the way that is today’s NFL football.

    Tom Beer
    Denver Broncos, New England Patriots
    1967 – 1973

  8. Paul Eide
    August 10th, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    Paul Eide

    To all the previous players who have commented on this thread (and to future commenters as well) I want to say, “Thank You” for your hard work, dedication and to the kind of men you are; men like you are an endangered species!

    The modern day NFL is a disgusting abomination in terms of on-field play, commandeered by double-talking, forked-tongue leadership that only cares for its own bank account.

    The golden era of the league is long since gone and thank you again to you gentlemen for creating it with your blood, sweat and tears.

    Paul Eide