ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — A few suggestions speak specifically to rich guy problems.

  • Sell that extra car you have not driven in the past six months. "I drive all my cars,'' Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders, a noted car collector, said with a chuckle.
  • Sell clothes you have not worn in a year to Poshmark, Thredup or Tradesy.
  • Tell friends and family members that your financial support might be put on hold.

Several recommendations on the list, though, should be heeded by everyone, not just 1 percenters.

  • Designate one day a week as “no spending day.”
  • Cook at home more often and eat out less.
  • Cut all non-mortgage debt.

In late-July, as 31 other NFL teams were following the early-reporting Broncos to training camp, the league’s Players Association sent out an, “ABC Work Stoppage Guide” to agents who were to then pass on the recommendations to their clients.

The union encouraged players to follow its financial guide now as protection against a possible work stoppage starting in March 2021, when the current collective bargaining agreement expires.

NFL Owners Football
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks to the media during the NFL football owners meeting on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Key Biscayne, Fla.
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

"I plan regardless of lockout or not,'' said Sanders, who will make more than $10 million in this, his 10th NFL season. "I plan because the NFL stands for Not For Long.'' 

According to the memo’s summary that was obtained by 9NEWS, ABC is an acronym for Adjust, Budget and Cut.

The players were told to start saving half their paychecks, postpone any new major purchases, strongly consider finishing that college degree and find alternative health care options. Players under 26 were even told to latch onto the health plans of their parents or spouse.

More than once the players were reminded to get in touch with their financial advisors and rework up a plan.

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"Some of the younger guys who haven’t made second, third contracts yet we’re really trying to get across to those guys to watch out for your money because they didn’t experience the old lockout,'' said Brandon McManus, the Broncos' placekicker and player rep. “A lot of guys struggled last time taking out these ridiculous loans, 20 percent. And agents taking advantage of certain people so we’re trying to ween all that out this year and hopefully we get across to these guys.’’

NFL management no doubt considers the financial work stoppage guide as union posturing. To wit: It sends the message the players will prepare for an extended period without pay and benefits.

Then again, given management cannot guarantee a peaceful settlement without a work stoppage, the union is obligated to help protect its constituents.

“It’s something we’re going to prepare for,'' said Chris Harris Jr., the Broncos' alternate player rep. "You have to prepare for something like this. We have a minority of guys who don’t make that much money. I mean they make a lot of money but it’s not enough to really hold on for them and their families for that time period if we did have a longer work stoppage.”

The league’s owners and players’ union would each like to alter several issues in the next CBA, but  revenue split is always the major point of contention in any work stoppage. In the previous CBA, players received close to 50 percent of all NFL revenues. In the current CBA that was first executed in 2011, players have been getting between 47 percent and 48.5 percent of total revenues.

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As for how the Broncos’ organization will prepare for a potential work stoppage, it makes sense for Joe Ellis -- the team’s current chief executive officer, and president who has more than 20 years of top-level executive experience – to head the organization through the uncertainty of CBA negotiations.

It would also follow logic that once the CBA is resolved, Ellis -- as one of three trustees of the Pat Bowlen Trust -- would begin the transition of team ownership to one of Bowlen’s seven children.

Brittany Bowlen  and Beth Bowlen Wallace at SB LIII
Brittany Bowlen (left) and Beth Bowlen Wallace separately speak to the media at the site of Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019.
Mike Klis, KUSA

As it stands now, Brittany Bowlen -- who will rejoin the Broncos’ organization in an senior management role later this season after she completes her year with the global marketing consulting firm McKinsey & Co. -- is the trustees’ apparent top candidate to one day succeed her father as the team’s principal owner.

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