ESPN.com reported Wednesday Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and Philadephia Eagles tackle Jason Peters are facing salary reductions for the 2012 season after suffering Achilles injuries the league has deemed nonfootball related. The new collective bargaining agreement states: “A player who is placed on a Nonfootball Injury or Illness List (“N-FI”) is not entitled to any compensation under his contract while on such list….” Private training sessions not sanctioned by the League, which both players claim they were participating in at the time of their injuries, fall under the category of nonfootball related.
It is important to note the CBA provision does go on to state that adhering to this part of the agreement is completely the teams’ decision. While teams are not obligated to pay players suffering from a nonfootball related injury, whether they choose to or not is completely up to them. Both Suggs and Peters are well-respected players on good terms with their respective teams, so losing their entire salary is highly unlikely. It is more likely possible each player will lose some of their yearly base salary but will be eligible to make most of it back, once healthy, in the form of on field incentives.
I can’t foresee either team really sticking it to these players. After all, they did get hurt participating in seemingly harmless physical activity designed to keep them in playing shape. It’s not like they were doing something reckless, like, riding around on a motorcycle without a helmet. Yes, Ben Roethlisberger, I’m looking at you.