In the old days, when NFL players didn’t make as much money in relation to the rest of the population and they hung up their cleats in December and pulled them back out in August, they had second jobs.
Those days could be returning.
“The reality is a lot of guys will probably work second jobs,” Browns cornerback Sheldon Brown told Scott Petrak of the Chronicle-Telegram. “If you were a smart man, you would go get an offseason job. It’ll keep you out of trouble for one and then it’ll help prepare you, because you never know when your last down is.
“If there is no offseason for this job to demand of you, what are you going to do with your time? The best thing for you to do is get a job.”
Browns defensive end Brian Schaefering already is looking for work.
“Tell your readers I’m willing to take any job,” Schaefering said. “I’m not picky.”
It’s a smart move by the players, since it will provide them with cash flow at a time when there otherwise would be none. Of course, for many players the amount of money earned on the side won’t come close to paying a mortgage and supporting a lifestyle otherwise premised on the ongoing receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, in annual income.
Still, it’s good preparation for that day when each player no longer can play the game at all.
“There’s a lockout coming for all of us,” tight end Benjamin Watson said, in reference to the concept of retirement. “This shouldn’t be something that all of a sudden we’ve got to be scrambling to save money.”
He’s right. But the idea that one of the years for prime NFL earnings could be disrupted if not eliminated should have players very worried — and they shouldn’t have to actually miss multiple game checks before they realize how much it will hurt if/when they do.