NFL player calls contracts unfair after taking pay cut
Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka is none too happy about being asked to take a pay cut, even though he opted to take the pay cut for personal reasons. He sounded off about his situation recently when his salary for this year went from over $4 million to $1.5 million.
“It’s something that is bargained collectively and for me, as an individual, you only have one action or recourse and that is to withhold your services and hold out,” Kiwanuka told Conor Orr of the Star-Ledger. “There is no market for you to shop your skills around. That is the part that is very unfair to players. We’ve come a long way, I can’t imagine playing in the league without free agency, there has been progress.
It is more fair than it has been in the past but that doesn’t mean it’s fair or equal now…It’s not fair to be locked in somewhere and have that place say that we’ve decided not to honor the rest of the deal. I don’t think it is a contract by definition if one side can opt out of it at any point and the other has no recourse.”
Kiwanuka was at first “very angry and upset” at being asked to take the pay cut, but did so anyway because he has a child on the way and didn’t want to uproot his family. While he does make some valid points, it would also be unfair for teams not to be able to reduce pay or have the option to cut a player if he isn’t living up to his contract. Player performances fluctuate from year to year, and many are given lucrative raises based on their play, so it has to be a two-way street in that regard.
At the end of the day, Kiwanuka described himself as a team player who would do anything for his squad. But that doesn’t mean he’s happy with the pay cut.