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Q&A: NFL players get checks during the season

How NFL players are paid

How are NFL players paid? Do they just get regular paychecks during the football season, or is their pay spread throughout the year? Do they get paid separately for preseason activities, training camps and postseason play, or is that all included in their overall salary? What if they have incentive clauses in their contracts?

Typically, a player gets paid his whole annual salary during the 17 weeks that make up the regular season, according to the NFL. That doesn't cover what they do with the team before and after the season; they get separate compensation for those activities.

As for signing and other bonuses: They can be paid as a lump sum or spread out over multiple weeks, depending on the terms of a player's contract. And if an athlete earns incentive payments by playing a certain number of games or achieving other goals specified in his contract, he usually has to wait until the season ends to cash in.

Winless seasons

How many NFL teams have gone winless in a season? And what are the worst season records ever in MLB, the NBA and the NHL?

The NFL was formed in 1920, and winless seasons that first decade were common. Every year at least one team lost every game. In the 1930s, only the Cincinnati Reds (0-8) didn't win a game, though they folded with three games left in the season. In the 1940s, when rosters were depleted by World War II, winless teams were the 1942 Detroit Lions (0-11), the 1943 Chicago Cardinals (0-10), the 1944 Brooklyn Tigers (0-10) and the combined Chicago Cardinals-Pittsburgh Steelers team of 1944 (0-10).

Since World War II, only four teams have had winless seasons: 1960 Dallas Cowboys (0-11-1), our 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-14), the 1982 Baltimore Colts (0-8-1 in a strike-shortened season) and the 2008 Detroit Lions (0-16).

Other worst seasons by sport (post-1950):

• MLB: 1962 New York Mets (40-120).

• NBA: 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers (9-73).

• NHL: 1974-75 Washington Capitals (8-67-5).

What's in a name?

As the University of Phoenix is an Internet institution, what purpose does the stadium serve where the Super Bowl was played?

The University of Phoenix is the largest private university in North America, with nearly 200 campus locations, as well as Internet course delivery. The stadium is part of its advertising strategy. The University of Phoenix bought the naming rights to the stadium for $154.5 million for 20 years in September 2006. The parent company of the University of Phoenix had $2.3 billion in revenue last year, ranking it among Arizona's largest companies. The stadium, in Glendale, Ariz., hosted the 2008 Super Bowl and is also home for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals and the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

Q&A: NFL players get checks during the season 11/01/09 [Last modified: Sunday, November 1, 2009 3:30am]
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