In reply to: Money source? posted by joend85
I believe players are contractually obligated to license their name and image to a common entity (e.g. NFL Players Inc.), and then that common entity licenses the rights to Nike, Under Armour, etc. For non-merchandise, obviously the players can go out on their own. The NBA, with shoe contracts and what not, is probably different than the NFL.
Barry Bonds and Michael Jordan, for example, cut their own deals (big reason why Jordan wasn't on some popular games like NBA Jam and Bonds wasn't in Triple Play Baseball among others).
My general understanding is that on any given item that uses a specific player's image, that specific player gets a cut, but a cut also goes to the general pool for all players. Again, I'm not positive, but in the NFL, I think all teams split merchandising money (the licensing portion) equally regardless of how much an individual team sells. Generally speaking, the NFL is much more communist than other leagues. The NBA, NHL, and particularly MLB tend to be a bit more eat what you kill.