On Cards' reimbursements to employees

A University of Chicago economist dismissed as symbolic NFL teams' cost-cutting plans during the lockout.

Employees taking pay reductions and furloughs were taking much larger hits as a percentage of revenues.

Those employees are getting their money back, including in Arizona, where the Cardinals reduced pay for coaches and placed employees on furloughs.

The story was of particular interest in Arizona, where the Cardinals have tried to distance themselves from their reputation as a cheap organization.

The economist I spoke with in May, Allen Sanderson, suspected teams had short-term motives for cutting back as the league sought a more favorable labor agreement.

"My guess is they are not looking at this long term," Sanderson said then. "One way is just sort of short term -- we need to make the payroll this month and don’t have money coming in. The other is either politically, psychologically or from a public-relations basis, it shows some suffering on the part of one side."

If cutting back was symbolic for NFL teams, restoring pay had very real effects for coaches and employees, most of whom presumably lack the resources available to their employers.