Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs preparing for NFL lockout

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —All Chiefs employees, including general manager Scott Pioli, coach Todd Haley and president Mark Donovan, will see a pay reduction if the NFL experiences a work stoppage.

The collective bargaining agreement between the owners and players expires Thursday night. If no new agreement is reached, owners have indicated they would lock out the players.

At that point, much of the league's business would be suspended. That includes the free-agent signing period and organized offseason workouts and practice.

The salary-reduction plan would be phased in over eight months, according to a Chiefs source with knowledge of the plan. No employees will be laid off or furloughed. Employees would retain full benefits.

Salary adjustments would be tiered across the organization and those with the highest salaries would receive the greatest percentage reductions.

"The plan contemplates any and all scenarios,'' the source said. "Even in the worst-case scenario, the average reduction for all employees would be less than 10 percent. The salaries of top executives, vice presidents and assistant coaches would be reduced by less than 20 percent, on average.''

If the owners and players reach a labor agreement in time for a full 2011 season to be played, employees would be reimbursed for the salary lost during the duration of the lockout.

"Everyone is paid in full if we play a full season,'' the source said.

Several Chiefs employees were laid off after the end of the season. The source indicated those moves had nothing to do with the impending lockout.

Other NFL teams will make similar moves. Among them, the New York Jets will cut the pay of assistant coaches by 25 percent. If the lockout lasts more than 90 days, coaches' pay can be cut by 50 percent. Other Jets employees are subject to furloughs.

Also, the Chargers will reduce the salaries of their top personnel, including general manager A.J. Smith and coach Norv Turner.