I think I know these two things don't go hand-in-hand, but the Carolina Panthers just laid off 20 employees. Let's say in salary and benefits, that's an annual savings of $1 million, or $50,000 per employee. You're telling me in a week you commit $60 million to Jordan Gross for six years, and $16.5 million for one year to Julius Peppers, that you've got to whack 20 employees? I don't like this one bit, and the Panthers are not the only team to do this, obviously. The NFL is a profitable venture, and in times of economic stress, teams need to show loyalty to the people who've worked hard for them -- people not at the top of the salary foodchain.
I couldn't agree more. I understand the current economic climate and the need to run a fiscally tight ship, but it's pretty clear the Panthers and a lot of other NFL teams are using the economic crisis as cover to realign their workforce and/or to cut expenses. That's all well and good, and perhaps these cuts are to legitimately under-performing parts of the teams' businesses. But this reeks of mega-billionaire owners who are being unbelieveable misers by cutting people loose at the worst possible time.
For the record, a quick call to the Packers' Director of Public Relations Jeff Blumb confirms that the organization has not, as of yet, done anything along these lines, which is welcome news. I think it goes without saying how poorly this type of action would be percieved by Packer fans in general and by shareholders in particular if their friends and neighbors started being fired en-masse from a team they own.
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