Tag Archives: Money
The adjustment process when one moves from high-caliber college player to NFL prospect trying to fit in is generally a tough one. With a few notable exceptions, even the best collegiate players need a settling-in period, and that has as much to do with the off-field stuff as it does with what Mr. Hot Shot will bring to his NFL team on game day.
Former West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin, perhaps the NCAA’s most dynamic offensive player in 2012, is learning that the NFL brings a few interesting realities to light. Specifically, the fact that money brings problems in the form of people wanting money … and we’re not talking about agents and the IRS.
“Everybody expects a lot of things from you as far as money.” Austin recently told the Rams’ official website. “Everybody wants to be around you. My phone doesn’t stop ringing now. It feels like they’re counting my bank account now. So that’s probably the hardest thing for me right now, just people.
“I’ve got a lot of cousins now. The whole [city of] Baltimore is my cousin now. We’re going to just try to keep focused and let my mother and all of them handle it.”
Si.com’s Peter King spent draft weekend in the Rams’ war room, and he reported in his latest Monday Morning Quarterback that while Austin was admired for bypassing the temptations he encountered on the mean streets of Baltimore, there was some concern in NFL circles that Austin’s past, in the form of “hangers-on,” might follow him to the pros, and even increase their presence once the money started to roll in. That’s not a knock on Austin, who is a great kid by all accounts — it’s a simple truth for young NFL players. Once the cash piles up, you’re going to receive “heartfelt” communiqués from people you hardly know.
Draft pick salaries are slotted for the most part per the current Collective Bargaining Agreement and the numbers change a bit from year to year, but Austin will be moving up quite a few tax brackets when the numbers come out.
The Rams traded with the Buffalo Bills to move up to the eighth overall slot to select Austin. Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, last year’s No. 8 pick, signed a four-year, $ 12.668 million contract with $ 7.653 million guaranteed in the form of a signing bonus. Tannehill made $ 480,000 plus a $ 484,841 roster bonus in his rookie year, and he’ll rake in about $ 1.5 million this year between base salary and bonuses. Austin should expect to see similar numbers, and for him, it’s all about getting his family out of his childhood home and into a better life.
“The goal was to get my mother and my grandmother out of the city,” Austin told the Charleston Daily Mail on Apr. 28. “I don’t know if they want to leave, but I’ll definitely get them a better house so they don’t have to worry about living in the hood. That was my No. 1 goal and that’s happening now.
“I’m definitely going to move them to a nice place outside in the county, Harford County, or something like that, where it’s a gated community and I pretty much know they’re comfortable while I’m here working and they’re back there just waiting for my game days on Sunday.”
Sounds like Austin has his priorities in order, even if some around him don’t seem to. As the noted philosopher Notorious B.I.G. once opined, “Mo’ money, mo’ problems.”
Cardinals third-round safety Tyrann Mathieu has no plans to sign a contract with no guaranteed money
Even though Tyrann Mathieu was selected in the third-round of the 2013 NFL draft, the “Honey Badger”, who was kicked out of LSU for multiple failed drug tests and was arrested last October for possession of marijuana, knows that he will have to continue to prove that his drug using days are behind him to remain in the NFL.
According to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, the Arizona Cardinals, who are moving Mathieu from cornerback to free safety, will include language in Mathieu’s rookie contract that will allow them to randomly drug test the No. 69 pick of the draft, perhaps on a weekly basis. King also reports that Mathieu’s rookie contract might not contain any guaranteed money.
Both approaches are allowed under the collective bargaining agreement. While Mathieu and his agent, Patrick Lawlor, should have no issues agreeing to the random drug testing — Mathieu will be tested at random by the league anyway —they should flat-out reject any contract offer that contains no guaranteed money as that would be an unprecedented deal.
Lawlor has denied that he has agreed to those terms.
“Ridiculous. Not gonna happen,” Lawlor told Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. “We had no contract discussion with them.”
It’s good that Lawlor has no plans to do that as “Shutdown Corner” has looked at rookie contract data dating back to the 2000 draft class and found no instance of a contract that contained zero guaranteed money. There were, however, examples of teams protecting themselves in contracts with players who were a bit of a risk.
Last season, the St. Louis Rams tried to play hardball with cornerback Janoris Jenkins, the No. 39 overall pick of the draft. The Rams reportedly wanteded to split Jenkins’ $ 2,069,324 signing bonus into roster bonuses, but Jenkins won that standoff, receiving his full signing bonus and $ 2,964,824 in fully guaranteed money. The Rams’ big win in those negotiations were to receive league minimum base salaries in all four seasons of the deal and Jenkins had to be on the team’s 53-man roster (or injured reserve or the physically unable to perform lists) for the first regular season game to earn a partially-guaranteed roster bonus of $ 136,832 in 2013 and non-guaranteed roster bonuses of $ 273,665 (2014), and $ 410,498 (2015).
One model that the Cardinals and Lawlor could follow was the rookie contract that the New England Patriots and Aaron Hernandez reached in 2010.
Like Mathieu, Hernandez reportedly had failed some drug tests during his time in college. The Patriots took the former Florida standout in the fourth-round, the No. 113 overall pick that should have come with a contract worth $ 2.29 million and included a guaranteed signing bonus of around $ 500,000. Hernandez signed a deal that included relatively little in terms of guaranteed money — his signing bonus, the only portion of the deal that was guaranteed, was just $ 200,000, around 40 percent of what that draft slot should have received — but had a maximum value of $ 2.69 million as Hernandez could earn $ 388,000 in weekly roster bonuses (for being on the 53-man roster, injured reserve or physically unable to perform list) in all four seasons of the contract.
Hernandez earned all 48 of those roster bonuses over the last three seasons and can earn 16 more (worth $ 118,000 total) in 2013 as the “per game” roster bonuses remained even after signing his five-year, $ 37.5 million contract extension last October. Hernandez is “per game roster bonus” free in 2014, but can earn $ 31,250 per week ($ 500,000 over a full season) in “per game” roster bonuses from 2015 through 2018.
As the No. 69 overall pick, Mathieu’s signing bonus should be in the $ 671,000 range. The Cardinals knew that before taking a chance on Mathieu, so they could, and arguably should bite the bullet and pay Mathieu the full amount. There are, however, ways for the two sides to find a middle ground before training camp opens in late July.
So, how’s BlackBerry doing? Not too bad, actually. The company formerly known as Research in Motion posted fourth-quarter results (.pdf) Thursday and boasted that it shipped approximately 1 million Z10 smartphones as of March 2 and brought in $ 114 million. …
The Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Tony Romo have come to terms on a six-year contract extension that will keep Romo on the team through the 2019 season. The 32 year old Romo will be 39 when his contract comes to an end. However, Romo will be getting more guaranteed money than the highest paid player in NFL History (at this point), Joe Flacco. The six-year extension will be worth $ 108 million with $ 55 million guaranteed.
With that being said, Romo’s finalized contract is seven-years and $ 119.5 million. He still has the last year of his remaining contract before the extension. Plus a $ 25 million signing bonus. In the first three years, Romo will earn $ 57 million.
However, as Gregg Rosenthal said in his column, after those first three years in Romo’s contract, he will be 35 years old and the team would have paid him his guaranteed money. From there they can release him if he has failed to progress to their liking.
Romo and the Cowboys finished 3rd in the NFC East behind the Redskins and Giants in 2012. The team failed to make the playoffs after losing their last two games to the Saints and Redskins. Romo was intercepted three times in the Redskins game. Romo threw multiple interceptions in four games last season. Including October 1st, when he threw five to the Chicago Bears.
Like or hate Romo, he has been the best starter the Cowboys have had since Troy Aikman. He has thrown for over 4,000 plus yards three out of the last four seasons. He is the face of the Dallas Cowboys franchise, and has led the team to just one playoff victory back in the 2009 season against the Eagles. The next week Romo was defeated by the Vikings and Brett Favre. Romo has to prove that he can lead this team to the promise land if he wants to finish his contract with the team in 2019.
Hon Hai Precision, also known as Foxconn Technology, has reported its earnings for the year and notched a net income of $ 3.2 billion according to the Financial Times. Most familiar as the manufacturing muscle behind Apple’s iPhones, iPads and the like, the Taiwan-based manufacturer beat analyst predictions on high margins for those products. Its subsidiary, Foxconn International Holdings, is the world’s largest cellphone maker and produces devices for companies including Nokia and Motorola, but suffered a net loss of $ 316.4 million. As a result, some are concerned about Foxconn’s heavy reliance on Apple as a customer going forward.Still, the company is reportedly continuing a plan to increase vertical integration, by manufacturing the parts for devices and not just putting them together — we’ll see if anyone notices changes in the final product anytime soon.
Ah, Goophone. The company that made its name keepin’ it real fake with eerily similar clones of other companies’ devices, sometimes before the originals have even launched. It’s clearly not dropping that tradition anytime soon, as it just previewed the i5S, an attempt to preempt the supposed iPhone 5S before even the rumor mill has produced anything tangible. As you’d almost expect, it’s really a not-very-subtle imitation of the current iPhone 5 body and software that does its best to mask the use of Android (this time Jelly Bean) rather than iOS. Don’t think that Goophone has learned any more about shadowing Apple on the technology front, however. The i5S is running hardware that would sometimes be trounced by a 2011-era iPhone 4S, including a dual-core 1GHz MediaTek processor, 512MB of RAM, an 854 x 480 screen and a 5-megapixel rear camera. The firm is mostly banking on absurdly low pricing to make up for the sleight-of-hand — at its $ 150 launch price, the i5S costs a fraction of the real iPhone 5′s price while undercutting the older yet somehow more sophisticated Goophone i5. Catch a video demo of the uncanny facsimile after the break.
Carolina Panthers refute claims they were making money hand over fist while asking for public funding
As we’ve all found out in the last decade, you can make a balance sheet say pretty much anything you want it to. The Carolina Panthers franchise is having a bit of a problem with that fact right now, as the result of a Deadspin report that claims the Panthers were crying poor and begging for public funding for stadium improvements — at the same time the team was practically printing money.
According to the report written by Deadspin’s Tommy Craggs, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson ran a team that could brag a total operating profit of $ 112 million in 2010 and 2011. At the same time, Richardson was playing hardball with the players with the lockout at its peak, and insisting that his team would need public money for any stadium renovations.
The statement is for the years ending March 31, 2011, and March 31, 2012. Over the first period, as Richardson argued that the NFL’s business model was hopelessly broken and steered the owners toward a showdown to extract more money from the players, the Panthers recorded an operating profit of $ 78.7 million. The team had gone 2-14 on the field, but Richardson and his partners were able to pay themselves $ 12 million.
Over the following year, after the owners had won their lockout and reduced the players’ share of league revenue from 50 percent to 47 percent, the Panthers brought in $ 33.3 million in operating profit. Richardson began lobbying for public subsidies to renovate his 17-year-old stadium. The team went 6-10.
Richardson certainly wasn’t feeling that financial warmth. According to Yahoo’s Mike Silver, he told his fellow owners in 2010 that the expired CBA that led to the 2011 lockout was “a [expletive] deal last time, and we’re going to stick together and take back our league and [expletive] do something about it.”
The owners certainly [expletive] did, reducing the players’ percentage of total revenue when the new CBA was ratified in July, 2011. But in one rather interesting January, 2011 press conference, Richardson tied to claim enormous operating losses based on a pie chart he (or somebody) had drawn. According to a balance sheet assembled by the firm of Deloitte & Touche, and analysis given by University of Oregon business prefessor Dennis Howard at Deadspin’s request, Richardson’s attempt to cry poor and extract $ 200 million in public funding for stadium renovations that he estimated would cost $ 300 million total, may have been based on something called Roster Depreciation Allowance.
From Craggs’ report:
The RDA is an accounting gimmick whereby a new owner of a sports franchise gets to write off 100 percent of the purchase price of the team over a 15-year period, on the specious logic that a roster depreciates the same way, for instance, that your office’s new fax machine does. That tax deduction shows up on the books as an operating expense, even though it’s a pretend-loss that exists only in the quirks of the tax code. Thus, Stephen Ross, who purchased the Miami Dolphins for $ 1 billion, can claim an operational hit of nearly $ 70 million. “It has a huge impact on the bottom line,” Howard says. “You’re able to transform a real profit into an operational loss.”
In the end, as Howard wrote to Craggs, it’s almost impossible for an NFL team to lose money.
“Based on the team’s financial condition, there is absolutely no justification for such a large public subsidy,” Howard writes in an email. The financials “show unequivocally that the team has the capacity to finance the improvements on its own. The team could easily pledge a portion of the anticipated increase in TV revenues to finance the debt service for the improvements.”
Remember, Jerry Richardson was the same guy who allegedly sat across a table from Peyton Manning and Drew Brees at the height of the lockout and condescendingly said that they’d need help reading a revenue chart. Brees later downplayed the supposedly contentious nature of the meeting, but if the Deadspin report is correct, it would seem that Richardson doesn’t think the state in which he operates knows how to read financials, either.
On Thursday, the Panthers organization released a rebuttal to the Deadspin report through the team’s official website:
The Deadspin story presents an incomplete picture of the Carolina Panthers profitability. The figures offer an isolated snapshot of the team’s financial situation during an unusual time as the NFL lockout loomed. At the time, the team had strategically reduced its spending because of the uncertainty and as part of a long-term plan to secure the team’s best talent once a collective bargaining agreement had been reached.
The team’s actual operating cash flow, even before federal and state tax payments were made, was significantly less than the accounting income reported in the story. The most meaningful reflection of a company’s profitability is cash flow, and the team’s operating cash flow fluctuated between pre-tax figures of $ 26.7M in fiscal year 2011 and $ 39.8M in fiscal year 2012.
A detailed review of the financial statements demonstrates the difficulty of being competitive in the NFL, paying players to the cap, and trying to add the financing of a major stadium renovation.
Back in 2011, MIT discovered that the Fisker Karma’s batteries only lost 10 percent of their battery life after 1,500 charges. Admittedly, the study didn’t examine the EV’s reliability, nor its tendency to spontaneously combust, but the MIT researchers did learn plenty about energy conservation in the process. Fast-forward to now, and YShape, a start-up spun off from that original research, is taking to Kickstarter to fund HeatMeter, a sensor that’s designed to measure the efficiency of fuel-based boilers.
While electricity usage meters are ten-a-penny, it isn’t so easy to find equivalents for gas, propane or oil-powered units. By measuring the vibrations in its casing, HeatMeter can tell you exactly how much energy has been used. Combine that data with your home size and average bill cost, and it’ll work out what you’re spending and how to use less. YShape, led by Radu Gogoana, needs $ 60,000 for the initial production run — and will offer you a discounted unit if you kick in $ 129 — or lifetime upgrades and support if you make it $ 149. Not convinced? Head on past the break for the video pitch.
Filed under: Wireless
Hewlett-Packard is now in the Chromebook business. On Monday, HP announced it’s first Chrome OS device, the Pavilion Chromebook. And, on paper, HP’s first Chromebook looks to be bit of a mixed bag.