Sources: Jets could slash salaries

Updated: March 1, 2011, 9:11 AM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

If the NFL owners vote to have a lockout, the Jets' coaches -- including Rex Ryan -- will feel it in their paychecks.

The Jets are planning to slash salaries by 25 percent for contracted employees in the football operation, according to league sources. That includes Ryan, his assistant coaches, scouts and general manager Mike Tannenbaum.

If no games are lost because of the anticipated lockout, the employees will recoup their missed wages after the 2011 season.

A team spokesman declined to confirm the plan, but added, "While we fully expect the 2011 season to proceed as planned, we do have contingency plans in place that touch everyone in the organization."

The Star-Ledger of Newark first reported the potential pay cuts, which would go into effect as soon as the lockout begins. That could be Friday, when the current collective bargaining agreement expires.

Lockout clauses in the contracts give teams the power to cut salaries by 50 percent if the lockout reaches three months and terminate employees if it lasts six months, but the Jets aren't expected to go to those extremes.

Some scouts across the league are concerned that they could be hit with significant cuts once the April draft is completed, but the Jets aren't expected to do that. Owner Woody Johnson, trying to prevent disharmony, has told people that he doesn't want any one segment of the organization taking more of a hit than the others.

About 90 percent of the coaches around the league reportedly have lockout clauses in their contracts, but not every team will exercise those clauses. Giants president and CEO John Mara said last week that his team isn't planning any salary cuts, layoffs of furloughs.

The Jets are planning furloughs for non-contract employees in the football operation, as well as furloughs for employees on the business side. The latter plan was revealed last week, when vice president of business operations Matt Higgins said employees would take one week of unpaid furlough for every month without a new CBA.

The Jets also have decided to bail out of the league's pension plan, a team spokesman confirmed. At least 12 other teams have opted out, according to reports. The Jets are formulating a new pension plan.

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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