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Murphy: NFL Might Do "Too Much" For Players

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Murphy: NFL Might Do "Too Much" For Players

Mark Murphy recently sat down with Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics fame to talk about the NFL's labor situation. The entire podcast is worth listening to, but Murphy's answer to a querry about life-after-football for current NFL players really caught my attention:

You know, right now our current players if they’re vested, and you vest if you play three or more seasons, you get health insurance coverage for five years, which is great. But I look at it, too, and the transition for players from playing in the NFL to finding another career and establishing themselves is very difficult, and I really wonder, sometimes, if we do too much for the players. They’ve got severance pay and a 401(k) plan. I guess what I’m saying is that sometimes it’s not all bad, and going back and talking to some of the players who played for Lombardi in the ‘60s — you know, they worked in the off-seasons, and they made a very smooth transition into their second careers because they had to. And so I’m a little worried that if we do too much for players in terms of compensation after their career’s end, and health insurance — it’s not all bad to have an incentive to get a job. And, so those are just some of the things we’re thinking through and talking through.

Emphasis mine.

Murphy is out of his mind on this one. So let me get this straight - with all the evidence coming to light about the health problems many NFL players are facing later in life, Murphy thinks 5 piddly little years of post-career health coverage is "great".

I can't disagree with this assessment more. It's not "great". It's a travesty.

These guys are used and spit out by the league and left to fend for themselves when their gladiator days start catching up with them later in life. Of course, what these players SHOULD be getting is lifetime coverage, but that will never, ever happen.

To his larger point, about the NFL possibly doing too much for players in regards to holding their proverbial hands while they play football, thereby negating their ability to find a job when their careers are over - and using Lombardi era players to enforce his point - I would only say that Lombardi's guys went away at the end of the season in January and weren't seen again until mid-August. Today's players have their seasons end around the first few weeks of January and are expected back at voluntary-but-not-really off-season workouts starting in March. And Murphy wants them to try and fit in offseason jobs? Give me a break.

Murphy is on the frontline of this labor battle, and he has a unique perspective having been both a player and player rep during the last round of labor unrest between the NFL and its players union. But his comments to Dubner certainly seem to shed some light on how dismissive the league seems to be toward the players' concerns.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (82) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Norman's picture

I haven't listened to the podcast but I think Murphy's point is that you can't hand-hold these guys too much after they retire, they need to have an incentive to do something with their lives after the NFL, because they have a lot of years ahead of them. I don't think he's saying don't give them more health insurance, or make them get jobs in the offseason (but I think it is important for them to get jobs after they retire). Bad things can and do happen to people who are 'set for life' at an early age, and not just pro athletes (plenty of Charlie Sheen, Paris Hilton-types out there who prove that point).

Just my humble opinion.

packeraaron's picture

I agree with this but it sure didn't come across this way from Murphy. I totally agree you should limit the hand-holding, but then the NFL needs to stop with the ridiculously overbearing off-season schedule.

D.D. Driver's picture

What this comes down to is that Murphy is sort of a boob. From his first official act of trying to bribe Favre to the way he handled fan fest two years ago. Everything he does is completely tone deaf.

packeraaron's picture

Starting to agree...

Ruppert's picture

Right now, I wouldn't believe anything that came out of the mouth of anybody who is even remotely involved in these negotiations. If I were involved, everything that came out of my mouth for public consumption would be 100% calculated. BILLIONS of dollars are at stake here.

All we have heard for the last several years is how the league is neglecting the guys once they're out of the league. And NOW the CEO of a team comes out with something that basically takes a totally contrary point? Not that I just love Mark Murphy, but it just seems like his comments are too odd.

And I wonder if Brett Favre doesn't wish he would have taken that offer.

Norman's picture

Ridiculously overbearing off-season schedule? Isn't it just a week in April after the draft (and I'm not sure that all the veterans even have to attend that), a mini-camp in May, and then training camp in late July? And most guys have incentives in their contracts that pay them bonuses for attending the offseason OTA's, in many cases more money than a lot of us make the whole year.

If I didn't know better I'd swear you were a teacher Aaron, what with the griping about having to work more than 6 months out of the year and being underpaid and in need of better benefits!

(Calm down everyone, that last paragraph was just a joke!)

packeraaron's picture

Packers offseason workouts traditionally have started the second week of March. Ludicrous.

And you didn't get my point - Murphy is pointing to Lombardi-era players who worked in the "offseason". Its impossible for players to do so now with the ridiculous number of offseason commitments clubs have them attending. They need training camp - that's it.

Norman's picture

I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure he's using Lombardi-era players working the offseason to emphasize his point that players need to take some responsibility themselves to transition to a post-NFL life, and back in the day they didn't even wait until their careers were done, they even did it in the offseason out of necessity (no multi-million dollar salaries on those days). NO WAY is he suggesting that today's players should seek offseason employment.

And what's so bad about the offseason workouts starting in March, especially for the younger players and guys on the bubble? Look at how much the QB Camp helped Rodgers. I agree you don't need guys like Woodson and Clifton attending anything in March, but after the draft when you get the new team together for the first time I don't think it's too much to ask the veterans to take a leadership role and show up to set the tone that we take this very seriously and we want to be the best. One week every few months is hardly overbearing in my book; I'd love that schedule.

As complex as the game has gotten over the years I think it's necessary to put in more work in the offseason and those who are committed to winning championships are willing to do it. Other than training camp, I don't think any of the other OTA's are physically demanding; yeah you need to be in shape and you'll do a fair amount of running, but you're a professional athlete, you should expect that and you should invest the time to keep your biggest asset (your body) in shape, or you'll end up like Cleditus Hunt.

Franklin Hillside's picture

I wonder if there will be an editorial on packers.com regarding this topic.

packeraaron's picture

LOL

Farah's picture

This is very interesting. I'm not sure how I feel about how long they should receive insurance, and all the other specifics of the CBA. But I'm curious what kind of transitional program they do have in place, in terms of preparing a player to go into a different workforce. Do they have training programs or advisers to help facilitate the transition?

Most of us have to figure this out for ourselves, but most of us don't make NFL owners and others billions of dollars by putting our bodies and minds on the line for 16+ games a season, plus offseason preparation. For a profession that consumes your life in such a way, it would be nice to see them make their best effort to work with the players to make a smooth move out of the NFL and into whatever they choose to do afterward.

PackersRS's picture

I can see it now:
"we're spoiling these soldiers, giving them tanks, night vision, enough ammunition and whatnot. During WW2, soldiers didn't have those luxuries, and it eased their transition to the civilian life. Homeless, limbless veterans? It made them stronger!"
(no, I'm not comparing soldiers to football players)

packeraaron's picture

Rumsfeld-esque. ;)

PackerBacker's picture

Did I miss something? These are grown men. They know that playing pro football is bad for their bodies and minds. This isn't a new subject. They chose to play a game for hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions. Part of that decision is that they're bodies will be punished. However, they chose that. They could have gotten office jobs or construction jobs, etc., but they chose this. Why should the NFL be solely responsible for taking care of these guys for the rest of their lives. They made choices and those choices have consequences.

I know it's harsh, but at some point you can't expect someone else to do everything for you for the rest of your life.

packeraaron's picture

My whole argument, and I made it many times this weekend, is that many players have no clue about the long-term ramifications of what they are doing. Hell, nobody does. The long-term damage that is truly being done to these guys is only starting to come to light. This isn't working in a factory - its getting in a car crash, several times, every day they go to work. Think about that for a second. I absolutely think the league owes them more than 5 pitiful years of health coverage. But as I state above, that will never, ever happen.

ZUB's picture

With your point, why not take a % of their pay (contracts if you will) and put it into a fund with their SSN so they have good medical coverage the rest of their lives.

Make it mandatory for all players and is taken out of their checks before they can cash them.

These are men. Highly paid for their short careers. Truly the ones most hurt are the ones that only play 7 years or less for the league minimum and blow their money and live beyond their means.

I am sure the Manning family has the best medical care possible, without any help from the NFL

Oppy's picture

Minimum NFL salaries, 2010:

Rookie: $325,000

1 years exp.: $400,000

2 : $475,000

3 : $550,000

4-6 : $635,000

That totals up to "only" 3.65 Million dollars for those poor schlubs who "only play 7 years or less for the league minimum". If they live beyond their means, I have little sympathy.

Average NFL career is just about 3 years long. Even these bench warmers are totaling 1.2 million- about what the average American worker can expect to make during his or her entire professional career.

Honestly, I do believe the NFL should do a heck of a lot more for all the retired NFL alumni who played in the era where they didn't make the big bucks. But today's players? They have the information available. They've seen the vets from days gone by. They are getting paid premium dollars. Put aside some of that money for your future health care costs.

Do I think the NFL could do some more for this generation of player? Sure. But they certainly aren't victims, even those league-minimum players. They get compensated extremely well, and get the best health care available while they are active to boot.

dullgeek's picture

If lack of awareness of some players is the issue, why not instead just have the NFL create an awareness program for rookies on the long term ramifications of being an NFL player? Why is the only acceptable option to have the NFL fund health insurance?

Not that I'm saying the health insurance option is unacceptable. I'm just trying to understand if there's something that I'm missing.

PackersRS's picture

You're absolutely right that they're grown men. For that same reason some of us are surprised, to say the least, that Murphy is trying to feed us this BS of the league acting as parents and giving players "too much" benefits.

He's actually trying to put a positive spin in taking away employee's rights. Like Nagler said, you'd have to be delusional or ill-intentioned to believe in this line of thought. I mean, don't act like you're doing players a favor by taking away their privileges.

If he had gone out and said like it is, that the players are getting too much benefit, and is hurting the owners, he still wouldn't get my simpathy (not when talking about diminishing health insurance). But at least he would get my respect as a man of character.

But this? He's insulting everyone's intelligence.

Satori's picture

I am going to disagree with Aaron on this one

This isn't the best time to be advocating for additional "entitlements" to be laid at the feet of us fans.

Many of these players get a free ride in college, followed by an incredibly lucrative job in the NFL. They are very well paid and the benefits are nothing short of fantastic

Requiring the players to take some responsibility for their future isn't asking too much and they are all more than capable of paying for their own health insurance going forward.

They could even set up group coverage via the League, but I do not feel the need for the fans to prop them up for life

They chose this profession, they are extremely well compensated for it and they certainly have the means to write the check- if they so choose

I completely disagree that they should become our financial responsibility when they retire

Fame and fortune come with a price and if you deem that price too high, then good luck and best wishes - you've been given the gift of athletic talent, but its not a lifetime scholarship

The entire CBA mess is all about spiraling player salaries/costs exceeding the growth of revenue and here we have some advocating for even more compensation for the players....

Where do you think that money comes from to pay for their future healthcare ?

I would be on board with a re-allocation of existing funds, but I am 1000% against any of this costing us fans 1 penny more.

packeraaron's picture

"They chose this profession, they are extremely well compensated for it and they certainly have the means to write the check- if they so choose" - That is a gigantic brush you're painting with.

Satori's picture

Its the only brush I can afford...

Are you suggesting that modern day NFL players don't have the means to write that check ?

They earn hundreds of thousands $$/ year and insurance costs $10k tops

Maybe the League should take it out of their checks and handle it for them, but I can't fathom them coming up short on the healthcare affordability side.

I just don't think playing in the NFL grants you a lifetime scholarship on our dime

Lifetime support for our Military veterans ? No problem.

For NFL players, not so much.

packeraaron's picture

"Are you suggesting that modern day NFL players don’t have the means to write that check?"

Very few do, yes. A 7th round guy, used on kick coverage, plays three and half years, gets hurt, drops out of the league. Was paid a few hundred thousand dollars a year, and you expect him to be able to pay for the lifelong medical treatment that he'll need to address a litany of injuries. This is why a lot of guys end up bankrupt, not because of some mismanagement of funds, though of course there is lots of that as well.

Totally agree with your point about former players who never had the chance to make modern money - but lets not kid ourselves in saying that everyone who plays today should be able to afford to take care of themselves for life. That's just not the case, not even close.

Norman's picture

But with Obamacare all his medical costs will be paid for by the government (rolls eyes)!

packeraaron's picture

Because that has anything to do with what we're talking about.

SpartaChris's picture

No, but I expect that 24 or 25 year old kid who's done playing football to find another line of work that will presumably offer some kind of health benefits.

ZUB's picture

I agree with your big picture idea. Question who pays for it? NFL or the players?

OR a combination? In some ways the highest paid players owe a little something to those lesser players working for the league minimum taking the same risks. Those lesser players give the big stars their stage they work on, without them there are no stars.

Oppy's picture

Didn't see this thread, see my statements on how much these kids get paid.

Take into account that 1/3 of a kid's rookie minimum contract would pay for more than a decade of health insurance premiums out of pocket.

Take also into account that while some players do get crippled to the point they can no longer work, most somehow find a way to get by and work for the next 20 years after they've retired from football... After already making an average american's lifetime earnings.

Packersrule's picture

Lets do the math - I know that people don't like math. An drafted free agent (Sam Shield) got 8k signing money. He plays out his 3 years at 240K per year but gets hurt on the last year. The medical bills could easily cost more then he made in the 3 years.

PistolPete's picture

Great post, Satori. Completely agree.

The players today are educated, advised, and encouraged to wisely invest and save the absurd amount of money they make over a short period of their young lives so that it will last. They all know their career may end prematurely, whether they actually understand that or not is debatable. Many have college degrees to fall back on that cost the rest of us tens of thousands of dollars to earn. Others had that opportunity but chose themoney.

They are given every tool to succeed for the rest of their life.

How about the mason or miner, who we depend on more than the athlete, that are forced to retire with often debilitating injuries and shortened life expectancies. They have no degree to turn to, little money in the bank, no guaranteed health care besides Medicaid. They chose their profession as well, probably knew the consequences, and have to prepare themselves for life after their career.

Football players are no different, besides the hand-holding.

Lukas's picture

I think the issue is the public doesn't realize the long-lasting effects player's physical actions have on their bodies. They truly are sacrificed.

What the public does see is players talking about how blessed they are in post-game interviews, or Greg Jennings saying "To God be the glory," or a quarterback looking to the heavens after a touchdown. These players truly are blessed as well.

The public only sees one side of it though, and as we've all learned, the perception is the reality.

packeraaron's picture

"I think the issue is the public doesn’t realize the long-lasting effects player’s physical actions have on their bodies."

Bingo.

Oppy's picture

No Bingo.

The Bingo is that some of the public realizes that these players MADE THE DECISION TO PLAY A COMBATIVE SPORT FOR THE PAYCHECK.

Chad Toporski's picture

For those of us who struggle to put money away for retirement on a 5-figure salary, I don't see how it would be too much of a struggle to put money away on a 6-, 7-, or even 8-figure salary.

I know I might get lambasted for this, but part of the problem *is* that a lot of players have been fed the silver spoon of privileges upon entering college as a top athlete. There's a line to be drawn somewhere, but a line needs to be drawn between reimbursing the players for their service and "holding their hand" after they leave.

I'm not sure what the players get now, and I'd bet it changes from team to team, but yearly money management and post-NFL job security seminars would be a smart way to go, and probably a better use of funds.

Because if the players can't take care of themselves with the knowledge they have, then who should?

Packersrule's picture

I just think you went far enough. They should have to pay back "the free ride" from collage. The school only make billions off the players and take all the risks. I have to pay money to support collage so I should have to help pay.

We should start importing kids from the 3rd world and teach how to play football. The would have to right to live in America for a few years and then send them back. This would help the collages make even more billions.

We should called America the crybabies. You could be the leader.

Chad Toporski's picture

Pardon the language, but WTF are you talking about?

packeraaron's picture

Lol.

SpartaChris's picture

I believe the league minimum for active roster in 2010 is $320,000.

packeraaron's picture

And I believe the annual cost of care for someone diagnosed with dementia is $174,000. So they're fine.

Satori's picture

I had the chance to hang out with John Brockington here in San Diego, very well aware of the toll it takes on the former players

http://www.johnbrockingtonfoundation.org/about.php

The older former players do deserve a better deal on the healthcare. And the modern players make 10x -100x what the old timers got and they have the means to cover it themselves.

Maybe we can agree to re-allocate some of the millions that Russell/Stafford/Bradford pocketed and use it to help the old timers

Norman's picture

No disagreement on that point. The NFL wouldn't be what it is today without the old timers, and they made a pittance compared to today's players, some (many?) of whom never come close to earning what they're paid.

Oppy's picture

I've mentioned in the past season that for starters, the NFL could start taking all that money they're raking in for fines levied against illegal hits and start applying that DIRECTLY to aging NFL alumni with severe health issues.

foundinidaho's picture

A-freaking-men Aaron. I couldn't agree with you more.

What should also happen, and won't, is the NCAA should put more emphasis on the "student" part of student athlete so these guys at least have a degree when they leave football that can assist them in their future life.

WoodyG's picture

" It's a travesty. " ?? ...... You picked the wrong time to defend an elite segment of our society when the majority of middle-class 'Joe Smoes' are fighting to keep their pay, health benefits & pension plans intact ......

Spend some time in the Midwest ...... Learn the issues ..... You'll find very few are concerned about the NFL's millionare/billionare club ...... Myself & nearly everyone I've ever known have made sacrifices that would also entitle us to become wards of the state or instituton .....

You couldn't be more 'out of touch' .....

packeraaron's picture

Oh my god. You're right - because I don't live in the Midwest I am "out of touch". Talk about a Strawman...

WoodyG's picture

Regardless, defending an elite segment of our society using words such as 'travesty' & 'out of his mind' are overly-dramatic & laughable here in the Midwest ......

It's not my creation ..... That's just the way it is .....

packeraaron's picture

Only in the Midwest. Go it. So if I use such language in the Bible Belt, I'm in the clear.

Utterly absurd.

And I love how you keep using "elite segment of our society" to describe NFL players, as though getting into the equivalent of a car crash several times a day for your enjoyment is not worthy of any respect whatsoever on your part. You're right - the lifetime spent unable to bend over and pick something up off the floor is a reasonable exchange for a couple hundred thousand dollars for three years work. That's your (and several others') opinion. Cool.

packeraaron's picture

"Spend some time in the Midwest"

Will do - as soon as you spend some time reading up on this issue.

PackersRS's picture

Lemme get this straight.

You're bashing Nagler for posting something the President of the Packers said, in a Packers related website, in a time where this is the most important issue in the NFL?

And then you go off point and with a phrase like "Myself & nearly everyone I’ve ever known have made sacrifices that would also entitle us to become wards of the state or instituton" you basically say that if you don't have those benefits, then they don't deserve it?

WoodyG's picture

I didn't bash anyone .... I simply disagreed ..... That is allowed, right? ......

packeraaron's picture

"I didn’t bash anyone"

Right. Because "You couldn’t be more ‘out of touch’ …" was meant as a compliment.

WoodyG's picture

End of conversation ..... It is true ...... It's like talking to the wall ...... Another 20-30 years & you'll get it ....

packeraaron's picture

"It’s like talking to the wall"

At least we agree on something.

PackersRS's picture

A lot of people are missing the point.

This is not about whether the players deserve the benefits they get or not.

This is about someone trying to take away those benefits, and reasoning that taking away said benefits would actually be good for them, in an incredibly patronizing way.

dougie smooth's picture

as Nagler would tweet, "This."

G-Ren's picture

His point sounds an awful lot like my republican, somewhat racist father in law talks about when he describes poor people getting welfare. Not to call Murphy either of those things, but discussing coddling people with benefits and leaving them without any need to do anything for themselves is about the same.

It's true that these guys could have a kind of military type complex once they enter the real world, and not having a schedule placed in front of them anymore. But the type of benefits he is referring does not relate to people finding real jobs on the 'outside'. It has more to do with people taking care of health conditions resulting from employment in the NFL.

Also his comments regarding Lombardi's Packers is pretty presumptuous. I know a company in Milwaukee that was run by a former Packer that routinely hired ex-packers that had stopped playing and put them into the warehouse until they stopped showing up. The owner? He got the job as a spokesperson because he played for the Packers...and then bought the company because he made enough money after retiring.

Hands's picture

Wow, this generate some comments. OK, I believe that Murphy is correct in his ideals but not so much how he said it.
The NFL stands for Not For Long. Unless you are like Favre, most men spend only a few years in the NFL. That means unless they save a ton of money they need careers outside the NFL. Much like some of our teenages, sometimes they need to be kicked out of the nest to start their own career. That is what Murphy is saying, plan ahead to what and how you are going to spend the rest of your life doing. The NFL vets should get a decent paycheck and benefits in their next career. Those that can't get back into society because of damage that happened during their playing time, they need long term disability. That is what the Union should be monitoring and organizing.

FITZCORE1252's picture

"5 piddly little years of post-career health coverage"...

I know if I were to lose my job tomorrow I lose my coverage right then and there. My old man worked in a steel mill for 30+ years and was covered in black soot by the end of his shift, when it went under... no coverage. Who knows what health concerns could arise down the road from working in that hell hole and breathing that shit in (I know a couple of his buddies from the mill "mysteriously" have got and died from lung cancer). A portion of these NFL'ers will face health issues from their time at their job, just like many of the blue collar workers out there. Bottom line: a lot of people with jobs that could effect health down the road would be elated to have a 5 year buffer, me included. True.

GBP 4 LIFE

PackersRS's picture

Very, very true, Fitz, but two wrongs don't make a right.

FITZCORE1252's picture

No they sure do not. I just don't think anyone sitting in an office all day should trivialize the "piddly" F-I-V-E Y-E-A-R-S of health coverage and what it would mean to those doing jobs with just-as-many if-not-more long term ramifications as these poor millionaire football players.

packeraaron's picture

You really need to learn what you're talking about here - the VAST majority of football players are NOT "millionaires".

And bringing what I do all day into it does nothing to advance your argument. Yes, I sit in an office all day. Thereby I am not allowed to have an opinion? Or to (gasp!) write it on my blog? If you are so concerned about lifetime healthcare for coal miners, please, by all means, go and blog about it. I promise I won't show up and belittle your opinion. But I watch, and write about, football.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Look guy, I'm not trying to belittle what you do for a living. I guess it just hit a nerve when you called 5 years of post-employment health coverage "piddly". Maybe you were raised around a herd of desk donkeys, I was not. My dad, my uncles and basically everyone I ever knew growing up worked hard, dangerous jobs. My old man has had both of his knees operated on, had two hernia surgeries and blew out his rotator cuff... all from the mill. Much like NFL players, those injuries have/will effect the way he goes about his day-today for the rest of his life. And that's just the instantaneous shit, who knows what's lingering from that place in his lungs.

"You really need to learn what you’re talking about here"...

Yes, yes you do. I believe the minimum salary in the league for a rookie in 2010 was in the neighborhood of $325K (according to answers.com). Also on Answers.com the average length of an NFL career is 3.5 years. Let's see, I'm decent at math... $325,000 x 3.5 = $1,137,500. Sure these guys have to pay uncle Sam (who doesn't, maybe you should spearhead tax breaks for these destitute souls) and agents, but as far as I am concerned, the absolute bottom of the barrel NFL salary on the average lifespan of an NFL career will net these guys over 7 figs in their career "BOTTOM - BARREL - CONTRACT". Most of these kids will have netted A "MINIMUM" of $1,137,500 by the time they are 25 or 26. FYI - It would take the average $60K blue collar a hair under 19 years to get there. Oh, and they get a guaranteed 5 years of health coverage after their career is over... Really feel for these 20 something "Millionaires".

"If you are so concerned about lifetime healthcare for coal miners, please, by all means, go and blog about it."

Thanks for the go ahead! If I ever decide to blog (or even mention) "coal miners" (can't say I ever met one), it really warms my heart to know I have his Highness' approval ("Rolls-eyes").

packeraaron's picture

I'm sure that $1,137,500 will go far when they start paying (conservative estimate) $50,000 a year to treat the dementia that has taken over their body. And that is only ONE of hundreds of different issues NFL players have to deal with later in life, not to mention the whole concussion issue.

And again - what your or my family did or has done is completely irrelevant to my argument. Yes, 5 years of health care for guys who are basically killing themselves for our enjoyment is "piddly" - IN MY OPINION. You disagree? Fine. But saying "because others have it just as hard or harder" as justification makes zero difference to me. I don't have any connection to people I don't know. I have a slight connection to guys I see on the field every Sunday.

packeraaron's picture

Are coal miners shown doing their job on television for millions to see, making the miner owners billions of dollars in the process? Didnt think so. Always love the coalminer argument...

FITZCORE1252's picture

Always love the guy that knows he's wrong so he brings in an arbitrary argument that only proves it.

Except for the T.V. cameras, that's exactly what you have. And those miners, would LOVE to see a guaranteed 5 years after they get out of the mines. Not sure where you were going with that, but, THANKS!

packeraaron's picture

Sorry man - was reading your first comment on my phone while putting the girls down - you did not say coal miner. You said steel worker. My bad. My point remains the same.

And yes, of COURSE those miners would love to have 5 years health coverage. That doesn't change the fact that its a slap in the face to guys who put their bodies through the punishment the NFL dishes out.

FITZCORE1252's picture

"That doesn’t change the fact that its a slap in the face to guys who put their bodies through the punishment the NFL dishes out."

I guess you just don't realize how bad ordinary people fuck up their bodies at jobs you never even think about. I don't blame you for that. But dude, I blew out my L4 and L5 discs in my lower back a few years ago building an interstate overpass. I was in the office on light duty for almost 2 years, then I was told if I couldn't get back out in the field they may not have a job for me. Needless to say, I am back in the field, have a bottomless painkiller prescription (which I rarely use because I'm afraid they will get their hooks into me, so most of the time I'm in pain) and I don't know that I'll ever be able to do some of the things I used to enjoy (at age 32). As I stated above, if I lost my job tomorrow, I would have no insurance. Perhaps you can see why I am not as outraged as you at the "piddly" healthcare coverage these guys receive. And if not, no sweat off my back.

packeraaron's picture

"...how bad ordinary people fuck up their bodies at jobs you never even think about"

I BLOG ABOUT FOOTBALL. I THINK ABOUT ALL SORTS OF THINGS YOU'LL NEVER KNOW ABOUT.

But go ahead with your Strawman if it makes you feel better.

bogmon's picture

I have read all of this and have one simple thought.

To argue against that one group of workers deserves less because workers in another sector have received less is EXACTLY the sort of ULTRA-Conservative propaganda that is currently infecting popular opinion today.

Group A can't have it because Group B didn't get it...so NO ONE gets proper (*insert basic benefit)...
This is what the power elitists want you to believe.

"Kick and abuse a dog long enuff and he'll wag his tail for any scrap thrown from the table"

djbonney138's picture

Maybe we can take a % from the agents that take a % from the players and put that in a players health care plan. An industry that is full of people getting rich off of other people should really do a better job of taking care of these dudes playing the game. It would be nice of a team to say hey we are gonna really take care of our dudes and make sure they live a great life after they play for us. Retire with us and you are set, maybe you could lure free agents to an organization like that. Just ramblin' ...

Lukas's picture

I take issue with the idea that the NFL is somehow doing players a disservice. I tend to think the health risks and ensuing costs come with the territory.

So is the problem education? Perhaps a mandatory course should be implemented in the curriculum for all college athletes. Is the problem funding? Perhaps a small percentage of every player's salary should be taken out and pooled for all former players. Or maybe post-NFL benefits should be imbedded into contracts at a pay sacrifice. Before we take away some of their money, let's remember, playing in the NFL and living a healthy life aren't mutually exclusive.

A three-year-and-out pro has been painted a victim in this feed more than once. Ok fair enough. What about a kid playing Big 10 football for four years? You can't say that's not comparable.

packeraaron's picture

"...maybe post-NFL benefits should be imbedded into contracts at a pay sacrifice"

Totally on board with that.

bogmon's picture

They are very young men with alot of different "advisers' and influences in their lives.

To set up a mandatory health account (similar to 401-K) seems like a top notch plan.

If you need it then you can draw from it down the road....if not...wait until you retire to cash it out...tax free.

Lukas's picture

Is it realistic to think a 23-year-old college graduate who will likely play 3-7 years in the NFL will be willing to put away $10-$20,000 a year? I tend to think they'll take the money...

FITZCORE1252's picture

Curious how your "reply" button at times disappears Aaron. Almost like you always NEED the last word... Well, not while I can post here and still have something to say.

Strawman? Really? How about you and the miniscule # of players your take is really focusing on?

In the last 40 years there have been 4 deaths attributed to football, only 1 on the field by my count, although I thought Stringer went on the field (and no, it doesn't include some of the guys that off themselves 20 years down the road... ***NEWSFLASH***, people off themselves 20 years after they quit their jobs all the time, and most of them are depressed too. I know, I know... "but they're finding anomalies in these guys brains", jury's out)...
"San Francisco 49er backup offensive lineman Thomas Herrion died after a preseason game in 2005. Minnesota Viking offensive lineman Corey Stringer died of heatstroke after a training camp practice in 2001. Prior to that St. Louis Cardinal tight end J.V. Cain died of a heart attack in training camp in 1979 and Chuck Hughes, receiver for the Detroit Lions, died on the field of a heart attack during a game in 1971."

Speaking of "Strawman"... I don't feel like doing the research because I know it's not even close. But if you want to go find the # of highway construction workers killed in that same time vs. the NFL (and yes, we have a MUCH larger pool... still not close)... we can talk "Strawman". You're the one that went there guy.

"I THINK ABOUT ALL SORTS OF THINGS YOU’LL NEVER KNOW ABOUT." (A single tear rolls down Aaron's cheek).

Unfortunately the common man/woman making you and your family's life easier every day doesn't appear to be one of them. Kinda sad really. Some people just think they're owed all these conveniences they have... don't ever think about how they came to be or at what cost... But we gotta take care of those poor "millionaire" (think I proved that) 20 somethings who have some of the best genetics on the planet??? But wait, they may have to pay $50K a year to treat their dementia when they get older... I guess I never knew my grandma Clara played in the NFL, she's got dementia, and I'll be damned, the school she worked for 40 years isn't paying for a thing? Maybe people get Dementia without taking hits by a LB? NAHHH

"Yes, 5 years of health care for guys who are basically killing themselves for our enjoyment is “piddly”. You're right, it's a travesty those guys get on the field for those "piddly" salaries. Real shame...
So what does that make the health care for guys killing themselves for something that is actually important to our kids quality of life, or the infrastructure of our country? Seriously guy?

Many of these players have 4 year degrees in something or another (many free education). I'd think being a millionaire by 30 wouldn't hurt their long term prognosis? If you have a Bachelor's and 6 or 7 figs in the bank by 30, that's a good start, especially if you're gonna run into health problems down the road. One would think.

My hole gripe with you on this is the trivialization of what 5 years of health care coverage means to the average person.
And yes, you are talking football. I merely tried to interject a view of the overall American worker and what they put themselves through (365) vs. what the NFL player puts himself through as a bit of "REAL LIFE" perspective, that said... Give me $1,000,000 + by 26. All-day. Everyday. I've been the grunt on more than one job-site, I've seen a 26 year old kid get crushed in a trench (GREAT GUY TOO, one of the funniest dudes I ever worked with. He doesn't have to worry about Dementia when he grows older). I guess you wouldn't understand if you aren't out in it or haven't seen it. That doesn't make you a bad person, surely doesn't make me right, we just see it different.

Turn your "reply" button off, I'm done. Retort if you want, but that is the last word.

packeraaron's picture

"Curious how your “reply” button at times disappears Aaron"

Lol - I assure you, that's not of my making. Just something that happens when there have been x number of replies.

And you are more than welcome to have the "last word" on this subject.

bogmon's picture

“Kick and abuse a dog long enough and he’ll wag his tail for any scrap thrown from the table”

Chad Toporski's picture

Just a thought...

But saying "Group A" doesn't get it, so why should "Group B" be worrying doesn't necessarily amount to "two wrongs making a right."

I think it amounts more to "be thankful for what you have" or "if they can make ends meet, then why can't you?" Sure, it's not the best argument, but it helps put things in some perspective.

I still think there's a middle ground to this debate.

Bearmeat's picture

Wow - some of you really need to chill out... bottom line - this is all propaganda - people fight over $$ all the time. Why should the owners and players be any different. Both sides are full of crap... but they'll work it out. There's too much at stake.

Pack88's picture

I am a little disapointed in Murphy! I retired from the military and I have very afforadble health insurance, I get a pension for life (not 5 years) and I went to work the next day after I retired! So I wonder if Murphy thinks I should have to do more for myself??
Pack88

Joe's picture

These players have not sacrificed as much as you have sir. Athletes are not on the same level as Retired Military Personnel.

Joe's picture

This sounded horrible. It just came off bad. Shouldn't take away the health insurance the players already have.

On the other hand about the life insurance. Are we all forgetting that these athletes also got 3 to 4 years of college? They shouldn't have that much of a hard time finding a nice office job that doesn't require your body. I say keep the health insurance at 5 years and add a lifetime clause for players with head injuries and brain damage. If you can't find a job within 5 years with 3 to 4 years of college around your belt you weren't going to make it anyways.

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