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Bills among 'a dozen' docking coach pay

The Buffalo Bills are among about a dozen teams that have imposed pay reductions for coaches with the start of the NFL lockout, according to Larry Kennan, staff director for the NFL Coaches Association.

“I have talked to many agents, and from what I’ve been told, there are 12 or 13 teams – somewhere in that range – that have started docking pay or decided they can start docking pay,” said Kennan, who heads the trade association that represents about 600 NFL coaches.

“On the other end of it, there’s eight or nine teams that aren’t going to take any pay for at least six months,” Kennan said. “And if we get to that point, we’re all in trouble.”

The rest of the teams not in those two categories are expected to start reducing pay within roughly 30 or 60 days. It’s believed most of the pay reductions are in the range of 20 percent to 25 percent, depending on the pay level of the coach. The Bills’ coaches will have their pay reimbursed as long as no regular-season games are lost, team sources have told The News. Most teams that are docking pay also plan to reimburse the pay lost to coaches in that event.

Kennan said he knows of three or four teams that have told coaches their salary is not expected to be reimbursed. But Kennan sees the pay reductions as unfair, regardless if they are likely – presuming the two sides eventually settle by September – to be reinstated.

“That’s like the rich borrowing from the poor to pay their costs and they saying they’ll pay them back without any interest,” Kennan said.

Kennan, a 16-year NFL assistant before joining the coaches’ association in 1999, says it has been harder for him to get concrete information on coaches’ contracts this year. “Many coaches will not tell me anything about their contracts because they’ve been warned not to do so,” Kennan said.

---Mark Gaughan

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