If you haven't noticed, the NFL has put the full court press on their PR efforts in recent weeks and the latest comes via a post on NFLLabor.com, the league-run labor website, which details all the contributions the NFL makes to the players.
Aside from the nearly $2 million average salary of NFL players, the NFL clubs also fund a wide range of benefits and programs to support players and help them not only during their NFL careers but in making the transition to their post-NFL lives.
The league then went on to list everything they do for the players from insurance to performance based pay to postseason pay. Personally, I think this comes across as a little self-serving. The league should know that fans care about one thing and that's football in 2011. I don't mean to sound harsh here and indicate I don't care what the league does for the players but we all know this is simply a PR game at this point.
As it usually is, there's another side to the story. The NFLPA's DeMaurice Smith noted to SB Nation in an interview earlier this month that the league also saved $320 million when they didn't have to pay non-health care benefits. That's actually just the tip of the iceberg as Sports Business Journal reported last November.
The NFLPA has responded to the league's latest PR sweep with this statement:
NFL players would like to thank the NFL for issuing a press release touting their contractual and legal obligations. If it wasn't for players, namely John Gordy, players wouldn't have any benefits. The next press release that comes from the NFL should announce that the owners have lifted the lockout, the ultimate benefit to players and fans.
I'm not siding with the players -- I've been pretty consistent in saying both sides deserve blame -- but this latest statement nailed it. The next press release should be announcing that football has indeed been saved.