I wanted to try and jump ahead of this story before a bunch of the "Glazers are cheap" talk started popping up. I understand the lack of spending last year along with the essentially waveless free agency run this year has caused a lot of people to buy into the fact that the Glazers don't want to spend. This latest move sure won't make them change their mind.
To those of you who don't know what I'm referring to, the Bucs announced that they will be opting out or backing out of the pension program as of July 1, 2010. This goes back to an owner's decision in March of 2009. The owner's voted to allow teams to participate in the pension program, 401(k), and supplemental retirement program at each team's discretion. From my understanding, accrued and existing benefits will not lapse, but they will not be offered going forward, nor will any future contributions be made (until teams opt back in or a new agreement is reached). This not only affects coaches and the front office, but all team employees as well.
The Bucs are not the first team to do this. In fact, they are team number 11, announcing with the Redskins that they will be foregoing participation. Previously nine other times had decided against participating.
This surely has to sting the coaches and employees of these times, but this is more a sign of the times than anything else. With a 2011 season not guaranteed and no CBA in place, teams are taking steps to protect themselves. I'm disappointed for Bucs employees as I'm sure this is unwelcome news. But I don't view this as a Glazers-only decision. Teams have until April 30 to opt out, and with a third of the league already having made that decision, you wonder how long until more teams follow suit.
I'd like to hear people's thoughts on this, mainly the wide scale practice of it. I don't see this as a knock on the Bucs or the Glazers. If the free spending Daniel Snyder is taking the same step it seems unfair to paint the Glazers as cheap in this regard. Here's hoping this doesn't drive away any future employees and doesn't decimate any current employees.