Can NFL players manage their money well enough to make it through a lengthy work stoppage and afford to pay their bills? Or will the players’ union buckle quickly to the owners’ demands because union members simply can’t afford to miss any paychecks?
That’s one of the fundamental questions as the owners and the players continue their negotiations toward a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. And a story told by one NFL player suggests that the players simply aren’t prepared to play hardball with the owners.
Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham tells Philadelphia Sports Daily that he has had teammates come to him and say they’re broke, asking for loans of as much as $100,000.
“They try not to make it awkward. They’ll come to you like they’re joking, but they’re serious. They’re trying to feel you out, to see what you’ll say,” Graham said.
Graham says that if his teammates can’t manage their own money, there’s no way he’s lending them any of his money.
“I’ll be like, ‘What are you going to do with it, other than blow it?’ I don’t want to be beefing with guys on my team because they owe me money,” Graham said.
Graham is smart to put his foot down with his teammates. If the union leadership is smart, it’s been giving a tough message to its membership about the importance of saving money for a potential lockout. But if those members haven’t been smart with their money, the union is going to have a hard time staying strong once the paychecks stop coming.