Someone really needs to explain this whole labor issue with me. O.k. maybe not. I may not be one of the more well informed about the issue and we all know what side of the fence I am on when it comes to this entire dispute but with word now coming out that players around the NFL are applying for high interest loans to get them through the lockout makes me want to question, again, why it is that the players and the owners are not getting something done with a new agreement?
While none of the Miami Dolphins players have been identified by name, an attorney told ThePostGame.com that players are being offered and accepting high interest loans without collateral to get through the lockout. The problem? Simple, there is no guarantee that the lockout will end any time soon, that the players will suddenly start getting paid from the teams, or that they will make the 53 man rosters once the labor dispute is over. In other words, they may not be able to pay back those loans when all of this finally ends.
As I have stated since this labor dispute arose, I cover the Miami Dolphins and the NFL when it is necessary. The labor issues and the lockout are news and affect the Miami Dolphins and the off-season coverage of the team. While I wish that we had something more fun to cover, and am currently working on NFL Draft articles, until this issue is resolved, it will be one of the forefront news items regarding the NFL. With that being said, your visits to this site are greatly appreciated and I only ask that if you have no interest in topics not related to the Miami Dolphins, specifically to the lockout, then please don’t read those articles.
So what does all that mean? It means that while the top elite of the NFL players, the ones that actually are “millionaires”, are easily enjoying an extended off-season, the guys that make league minimum or worse are sweating out a future with a 22 percent to 24 percent interest rate on a loan they may never be able to pay off.
I know, I know, it’s easy to say something like, “then the players shouldn’t do it”, but they are being led by “financial adviser’s” and agents. So of course they would trust these guys. The attorney calls it predatory lending. He has identified 6 teams who currently have players seeking these types of loans and the defunct NFLPA has yet to try and help these players avoid this kind of mistake.
“I know at least 16 different teams that have had players go out and have to set these [high risk loans] up,” an unnamed financial advisor told ThePostGame.com. “Guys on the Dolphins, Saints, 49ers, Panthers, Chargers, Bears, Vikings.”
At issue here is the fact that players are not getting paid and as the clock ticks closer and closer to the start of training camp, the realization is that many of these players won’t be able to sustain themselves for the long term and that the NFLPA Lockout money that will be paid back to the players who invested in it over the last two years may not be enough. Yet the NFL trade association still takes on the brutal front of not backing down in order to simply save face.
The former NFLPA stated that reasons they were decertifying was to help future players, to help retired players, and to help the lower waged players around the league. Yet the members of the lawsuit are some of the highest paid and elite players in the NFL including Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning. The lone soon to be rookie, Von Miller, figures to be a top 5 perhaps top 3 pick with millions guaranteed. In other words, his rookie deal will be worth more than many three year mid-row veterans. The same veterans who may be signing their names to these loans.
The bottom line is this. It doesn’t matter if your on the owners side, the league side, the players side, or the “FanSide“. This is all contentious BS that serves no other purpose to inflate someones ego and put more money into the pockets of attorneys. Consider that the owners and the players (who are led by an attorney) are following the advice of lawyers and not the common sense rule of what is in the best interest of the parties. In this case, face to face meetings that should have resolved this issue a month ago if not last year.
It’s hard to find sympathy for players in these matters especially when the lowest non-practice squad salary is 360,000 dollars for a second year player. Surely they have something invested or saved to get through this crisis that has been brewing for the better part of three years. In this case however, seeing what I can only assume is a 20 year old following the advice of his agent or a financial advisor that the the former NFLPA and the NFL had told players that they should hire and now getting into this mess is disconcerting.
Those making these loans are serving no ones interest but their own and it’s obvious they are praying on the ill-informed and it’s also likely that they are making the situation worse. In terms of the players case against the league, these types of issues will only serve the owners in this case whether they instigate it or not. Consider that, as the former NFLPA has pointed out many many times, the league is comprised of a handful of millionaires and the majority of the leagues players are at the bottom of that salary food chain.
Well, when the cracks begin to form and the players can not financially stand secure anymore, those cracks form at the bottom of that food chain and if what the players say is true, more of that foundation will face serious financial crisis before anyone near the top does. And these “loans” further show that players are already starting to get worried.
The mainstream media believes that the current round of judge ordered mediation will NOT immediately lead to a new agreement. I don’t believe that. While I don’t believe we will see a new agreement prior to the draft, I don’t think that the players can hold out long if the lockout isn’t lifted and the appeals process takes too long. These mediations will be presided over by a judge and that will hold a lot more sway than a federal mediator.
The players do need to keep an eye on this issue though. While they can condemn the loans, the truth is they can’t stop them from happening or the low man on that food chain from doing whatever he has to do to maintain his livelihood. Perhaps the “million dollar men” of the NFL should be handing out interest free loans to their teammates in need. Oh yeah, right.