He didn’t quite call it a poop fest, but Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger‘s point was the same. He doesn’t like Thursday Night Football.
“It’s miserable,” he said on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. “They need to get rid of the game, I think. Just play Mondays and Sundays. It’s so tough on guys. You’re beat up, you’re banged up, it’s a very violent, physical game we play.”
The Steelers host the Titans this Thursday night.
“Both teams are going through it, so I’m not just speaking on ours,” Roethlisberger said. “I’m sure the Titans would say the same thing and everyone who’s played on Thursday night would say the same thing. You’ve got to let your body recover a little bit. Even a week, you’re not still fully recovered Sunday to Sunday. You still are dealing with bumps and bruises and things continue to build up throughout the season. When you go on such a short week, man, it’s not good. I don’t know many players that like it. It’s a tough thing to do. But we’ve got to do what the league says.”
He’s right, because the NFL Players Association already has agreed to do it this way. And as pointed out last week, disappearance of the $450 million per year generated by network broadcasts of Thursday Night Football would cost each team roughly $7 million under the cap.
While that works out to $132,000 per player, it makes more sense to consider the impact in light of proportionate cap burden. Based on a total salary cap of $167 million for 2017 and Roethlisberger’s low (relative to his total deal) cap number of $18.2 million for the current year, he accounts for 10.89 percent of this year’s cap. Which means that, as to Roethlisberger, it would mean a difference of $762,000.
Of course, that will never happen to Roethlisberger, since his numbers are locked in for the next three years — and since teams have resisted paying players based on a percentage of the cap. (As the pie shrinks, that could suddenly change.) Still, that’s a rough idea of the impact of no TNF on the highest-paid players in the game. Which is something the highest-paid players of tomorrow should consider when the highest-paid players of today decide to gripe about something that won’t affect them financially.