View Full Version : Benefit changes could hit NFL coaches, staff

05-02-2009, 06:44 PM
While no NFL team reportedly has changed the benefits it gives to coaches and staff as of yet, the mere implication that changes could be coming has sent a large number of non-playing staff into a tizzy.

Perhaps enough of one to lead coaches to push harder for a formal union.

During their annual March meeting in California, NFL owners approved the right of teams to change or eliminate the payments they make to 401(k) and pension plans for employees, including coaches. Pre-existing benefits would be protected, but future contributions could be impacted.

Three owners who did not want to be identified said the move was a direct reaction to the fact that the collective bargaining agreement between the owners and players will expire at the end of the 2010 season and that the economy has gone south. Furthermore, there has been an increasing push throughout American business to reduce such benefits.

“All the resolution approved at the league meeting did was to give each club flexibility and a broader range of options in determining retirement benefits for its front-office employees,” league spokesman Greg Aiello said.

More importantly, it didn’t mean that teams had to follow the new resolution. The decision merely gave teams the choice.

A quick survey of 10 teams on Thursday, one month since the resolution was approved, revealed that seven (Kansas City, Philadelphia, New York Giants, Green Bay, Dallas, Miami and Baltimore) were continuing benefits as usual. Two teams (Denver and Cincinnati) had no comment on the matter, and Tennessee was “still reviewing” its options.