This is an abbreviated and special edition "Ask Vic," an update of sorts, that addresses a burning topic to which I haven't found much in the way of information or clarity by the media. I was afforded some information on this subject today, and I decided to share it with you on this non-publishing date, in the hopes it might reward this column's more passionate readers, who come here daily to participate in the discussion platform. I've used one of the many questions on this hot topic to give you what I got. The next scheduled "Ask Vic" is for Monday, May 18, a regular offseason publishing date.
Jon from Freedom, WI
If there is no season, how can the players still get paid? Where will the money come from?
Based on a recent story that quoted players union boss DeMaurice Smith, there is no clause in the CBA that protects the owners from having to pay their teams' players their full salaries during a shortened, postponed or canceled season. I was stunned to read that news. Previously, Tony Pauline said he was told by an NFL executive the players would not be paid should the season be canceled. Sorry, Tony, I put more trust in the DeMaurice Smith story because the players association boss is a more credible source than an unnamed NFL executive. What I've come to learn is the two sides could be headed for a battle over interpretation of the CBA language. Smith is correct when he says there's no specific language that addresses the paying of players during a canceled season, however, the CBA states the players won't begin drawing their salaries until the first game of the season is played. What does it mean? It means the two sides could be headed back to the negotiations table or, in a worst-case scenario, to court should the season be canceled. Will I stand on this story? No, but I haven't seen anything better. Come on, guys, let's get to the bottom of this very important and sensitive issue.