Because of the ongoing NFL lockout, many teams are enacting cost-cutting measures. Some teams have cut coaches salaries. The Cardinals have done this, as their coaches are taking a 35 percent reduction in salary. If games are played, they will earn that money back. But it was reported today by Adam Schefter that starting Sunday morning, all employees will be obligated to take a week-long furlough.
What is unknown is if this measure is necessary or just a way to maintain profit levels at their current levels at the expense of their employees. Mike Sando (ESPN NFC blogger) seems to think that he Cards will pay a price in public perception for forcing the furloughs.
Sando noted the Cardinals are not the only team to institute furlough, citing that the Jets have had them each month. However, he did have this to say:
But the Cardinals' long-standing reputation for frugality -- let's face it, they were known as flat-out cheap for decades -- provides context for any cost-cutting measures. These furloughs threaten to reinforce an image the organization has tried to shake since opening a new stadium in 2006.
Without opening their books, we will never know. But it does show a bit of the organization's colors a bit. They are certainly within their right to do this, but at the same time it is not the fault of the staff, coaches or other employees that the owners have chosen to lock out the players.
Have the Cardinals changed over the years? Absolutely. They have opened up their wallets and paid players and coaches in ways they have not done in the past. But a family that runs a business a certain way does not usually change drastically. The Bidwills are willing to pay what it takes to be a competitive team...while there is football to be played. That is the big difference.
The Bidwills are still the same people. They like their money just as much as before and like saving money where they can. They just have committed themselves to putting a good product on the field.
Does this mean the organization is still "cheap"? At some level, yes. But that is fine. But they have been doing things differently.
The one thing for us that this furlough means is that there will be less Cardinals news than normal. Darren Urban will not be writing, checking emails or tweeting, per furlough rules.
Over at the Arizona Republic, Kent Somers is currently on furlough this week and will be on vacation next week. I guess you all will be forced to come here. I'm not on furlough.