Source: Cardinals' staff to take pay cut

Updated: March 17, 2011, 2:44 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Starting April 11 -- 30 days after owners locked out the players -- Arizona Cardinals coaches and front-office members under contract will lose 35 percent of their bi-weekly salaries, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Wednesday.

Cardinals ownership has the right to refund the money if no games are missed. However, if so much as one game is missed, the Cardinals are under no obligation to refund any of the money.

There also is consideration within the Cardinals' organization of having one week of unpaid furloughs for employees in May, according to the source.

NFL teams have varied in establishing employee plans during the work stoppage. Some teams have announced pay cuts, while others are having staff take unpaid furloughs. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Isray said this week that his employees will not be affected, while the Green Bay Packers said cuts were likely.

"Every team has a clause that says their salary will be rolled back at a certain point in time," NFL Coaches Association executive director Larry Kennan said Feb. 24. "The good teams say they won't roll back salaries for six months. The bad teams say they'll roll it back immediately, and certain teams have it written into the contracts that they can be terminated immediately. That's for all coaches and head coaches."

Kennan told USA Today on Wednesday that at least 13 teams have immediately cut or have language in their contracts to reduce salaries for assistant coaches 25 to 50 percent. He also told the paper that roughly eight teams have told coaches they will hold off until August and another 12 plan to enact cuts on a 30-, 60- and 90-day plan.

The Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs are among the teams to formally announce that employees will take a pay cut during the labor dispute.

The Jets also have said that non-contract employees are now required to take one furlough week -- unpaid -- per month.

Referring to them as "prudent preparations for the possibility of a work stoppage," Bills chief operating officer Russ Brandon said Wednesday that the team has established a program of cuts that "focuses on shared sacrifice." The comments were made in a statement released by the team to The Associated Press.

"We have, for some time, been very upfront and transparent with our staff so that they too could make prudent preparations," Brandon said, while noting no layoffs were planned. "Every employee in the organization will be affected."

The percentage of the cut will be based on salary, with the highest-paid employees receiving a larger cut in pay.

"We plan no layoffs as a result of the situation at this time," Brandon said. "Our hope is that our advanced planning will allow us to avoid them in the future as well."

On Friday, the NFLPA decertified, meaning it declared itself out of the business of representing players. In exchange for giving up their rights under labor law, the players are able to take their chances in court under antitrust law.

After the players filed their paperwork, the owners initiated a lockout. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 6 to consider an injunction request filed by the players to end the lockout.

Players association lead spokesman George Atallah said Monday he doesn't expect a settlement before the hearing. On Tuesday, in an interview with NFL Network, commissioner Roger Goodell also said he doesn't expect labor talks to resume until after April 6.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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