On Tuesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported that the NFL has floated the idea of holding “35% of player salaries in escrow to help manage costs during the 2020 season,” adding, “It’s one option on the table if revenue is impacted league wide by COVID-19.”
The NFLPA informed its board of representatives today that the NFL proposed 35% of player salaries be held in escrow to help manage costs during the 2020 season, per sources.
It's one option on the table if revenue is impacted leaguewide by COVID-19.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 7, 2020
Devin Bush Reacts
Soon afterwards a number of Pittsburgh Steelers players took to social media to express their disgust, with second-year linebacker Devin Bush leading the charge on Twitter with a string of tweets that included the following:
Them boys tried us with a 35% pay cut😂
— Devin Bush ll (@_Dbush11) July 7, 2020
I’m not asking for sympathy, all I’m asking for is what I earned 💰
— Devin Bush ll (@_Dbush11) July 8, 2020
I’m an entertainer. I give you my 1000% effort every game, every play. I train my butt off every offseason. I sign jerseys. I do appearances. I take photos with your children. It’s my job. I love my job, but don’t tell me how I should feel about it unless you are in my shoes.
— Devin Bush ll (@_Dbush11) July 8, 2020
But Bush—who is considered a potential ‘breakout’ player for 2020—was hardly alone; other Steelers players re-tweeted him. And others re-tweeted pointed criticisms offered by NFL agents, including one tweet authored by agent Drew Rosenhaus of Rosenhaus Sports, which was shared by Steelers wide receiver Ryan Switzer.
This is an absurd ask by the NFL. If anything the players deserve a bonus for playing with the added risk of contracting Covid 19 and potentially passing it on to their families. https://t.co/4REP0ToP4E
— Drew Rosenhaus (@RosenhausSports) July 7, 2020
In yet another tweet Rosenhaus went on to say that his clients are in “an uproar” over the proposal, adding, “I hope this is not something that the owners were seriously proposing to the players. It’s insulting, quite frankly. Don’t go to the players this year who are putting their careers and lives at risk….”
NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus @RosenhausSports told SBJ his clients are "in an uproar" over news that NFL might propose a 35% escrow on player pay this season.
— Liz Mullen (@SBJLizMullen) July 9, 2020
Finally, Steelers defensive lineman Cameron Heyward re-tweeted a message from yet another agency that represents NFL players—one that emphasized how players will be risking their lives if the 2020 season is played.
NFL; “hey guys go risk your life and your families lives while we fly in our private jets and sit in our private sky boxes and watch you possibly die for our profits and entertainment. Also let us hold 35% of your money and keep the interest and profits!” Sure Jan https://t.co/j8SH6iORjn
— DEC Management (@davidcanter) July 7, 2020
Zach Banner: ‘Some Dudes Ain’t Been Working Out’
At the same time, Steelers offensive tackle Zach Banner made a splash of his own on social media, but not by criticizing the escrow proposal. While Banner confirmed that many NFL players are extremely concerned about playing football in the age of COVID-19, he floated the idea that others hope to use the coronavirus as an excuse not to play this season, saying, “…Some dudes ain’t been working out and don’t want to be exposed…”
Don’t let EVERY SINGLE NFL VETERAN’s words and opinions about this season fool you… Yes there are some honest DADS, SONS, and BROTHERS in this league who are concerned about their families with COVID-19
But some dudes ain’t been working out and don’t want to be exposed…🤷🏽♂️
— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) July 8, 2020
Banner is not among those who aren’t working out. He has posted workout clips on social media, and is preparing to compete for the starting job at right tackle, ready to battle it out with Chuks Okorafor.
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Meanwhile, on the lighter side, it appears that Banner is also ready, willing and able to reprise his imitation of Jennifer Beals from the 1983 blockbuster Flashdance, sending out the following teaser over the holiday weekend:
This tweet is not only to make you anxious and excited… But to also apply pressure on the producer of the piece…
If you want to see it remastered, and executed in the most HULK-ish way possible… Get this tweet to 300+ retweets and I’ll have it done b4 camp pic.twitter.com/07hiS9tHPX
— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) July 4, 2020
You may recall that Banner made the biggest, uh, splash at the Steelers’ annual fashion show last fall when he recreated the iconic dance scene from Flashdance. Even if you’ve seen it before, you’ll no doubt want to watch it again, as it never fails to put a smile on one’s face.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 11, 2019
The Rock Steelers Style Fashion Show is the team’s largest annual fundraiser. All proceeds benefit the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program and the Cancer Caring Center.