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Eric Winston raises a great point about lockout workouts

Matt Schaub, Eric Winston, Robert Ayers

It has been widely assumed that, once a lockout commences, players will organize informal workouts in order to stay ready for football.

But here’s the problem, as pointed out today by Eric Winston of the Houston Texans.  If a player suffers a serious injury while working out on his own, he can be placed on the non-football injury list once the lockout ends — and not paid a dime for the 2011 season.

Coupled with the fact that plenty of players won’t want to do anything to help the NFL field a watchable product absent a full slate of offseason workouts and minicamps and training camp, it looks like player-conducted practices could be the exception, not the rule.

That said, some teams could try to make it known to players on a wink-nod basis that any injuries suffered while working out on their own will be covered, and that players won’t be frozen out of their salary.  Such an approach would provide players with a blank check for attempting to get paid after getting hurt by doing something other than working out.

The full segment with Eric Winston can be seen at the PFT Live home page.

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17 Responses to “Eric Winston raises a great point about lockout workouts”
  1. waitingguilty says: Feb 28, 2011 4:01 PM

    I’ve had enough of the endless “what ifs” you keep talking about with the lockout.

    Can we just pretend there is no lockout and talk draft?

  2. tcostant says: Feb 28, 2011 4:06 PM

    I think it it is more like that players take advantage of no drug testing starting Friday. If you know what I mean.

  3. mmskin says: Feb 28, 2011 4:07 PM

    eric winston is so underrated this guy is a stud

  4. burntorangehorn says: Feb 28, 2011 4:09 PM

    Isn’t this why there’s insurance?

  5. thehatefulnerd says: Feb 28, 2011 4:11 PM

    Don’t most players insure themselves against such risk?

  6. cereal blogger says: Feb 28, 2011 4:22 PM

    Hey Eric, the owners don’t care about that stuff. The owners only care about lining their pockets off your labor. Injuries are trivial, to them you are just another replaceable piece of their inventory…get yours !

  7. radrhatr says: Feb 28, 2011 4:24 PM

    pretending that there isn’t going to be a lockout isn’t being realistic.

    As for the injury thing, if a player comes back from the lockout out of shape and ends his career by injuring himself because he has to play in 2 weeks and he’s not in condition doesn’t seem too good for his career either.

    My suggestion to the players is that for their own safety, they’d better stay in shape!!

  8. Kaz says: Feb 28, 2011 4:27 PM

    What a mess this all may become, but I won’t get critical until it actually happens.

  9. rcali says: Feb 28, 2011 4:32 PM

    Tough situation for some players. If you haven’t already made the big bucks, you have to train on your own so you can win a roster spot or get that new contract. Only the guys who have “made it” can do what they please.

  10. Patriot42 says: Feb 28, 2011 4:36 PM

    It will not take me long to look for other entertainment other than the NFL if this crap drags on very long. I love football but I’m sick of all the money it takes to watch one of these games. A family of four takes major money to attend and the owner and these players pretend they have the fans at heart but since the cost are spiraling higher and higher I expect it not to spot until it kills itself.

  11. hobbstweedle says: Feb 28, 2011 4:44 PM

    “If a player suffers a serious injury while working out on his own, he can be placed on the non-football injury list once the lockout ends — and not paid a dime for the 2011 season.”

    Or, he can work his ass off to stay in shape, like he should do every other off-season, where he would run the exact same risk. Sorry Eric – you need a new story, because that one just doesn’t get you very far.

  12. roscoepcoaltrain86 says: Feb 28, 2011 4:53 PM

    If J-Lo and kim kardashian can get an insurance policy on their big asses then these guys can get geico for their moneymakers.

  13. stanklepoot says: Feb 28, 2011 5:18 PM

    burntorangehorn says: Feb 28, 2011 4:09 PM

    Isn’t this why there’s insurance?
    ____________________
    Not in the case of a lock out. If there’s a lockout, their health coverage disappears over night, as does their access to free rehab facilities. It also means that since there are officially no football activities, then any injury during that time (whether training for football or not) is a non-football related injury and can cost them a year’s salary. Unless I was a player with a nice bank account and real job security, I wouldn’t put myself at that kind of risk. It’s got nothing to do with a desire to win, and everything to do with the fact that these are their jobs and not a hobby. The welfare of their families has to come first. Oh, and any wink and nod deal a team tries to make with their players (or any threat they could be cut if they don’t keep practicing during a lock out) will only fuel anti-trust lawsuits should the union decertify. That’s why the league itself has forbidden any team activities or training advice considered outside the norm, even before the current cba comes to an end.

  14. bunjy96 says: Feb 28, 2011 5:22 PM

    Every year some players get together on their own to practice and/or practice under the guidance of a tutor.

    What the hell is the difference?

    The smart ones buy insurance, just like the college kids do.

    The stupid one would rather whine.

  15. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Feb 28, 2011 5:27 PM

    Come on Union, take care of your guys. The union should pay the insurance premiums for any player that wants to participate in lock-out drills. That way if they get hurt and don’t get paid, as laid out above, then they will still get what they would have. They are in better shape and ready to go and the union might actually provide them with a benefit in a time of “need”.

  16. stanklepoot says: Feb 28, 2011 5:47 PM

    bunjy96 says: Feb 28, 2011 5:22 PM

    Every year some players get together on their own to practice and/or practice under the guidance of a tutor.

    What the hell is the difference?

    The smart ones buy insurance, just like the college kids do.

    The stupid one would rather whine.
    _____________________
    No, actually. In other years, all of the players are covered by health insurance provided by the teams, and have free access to the team’s rehab facilities. They are also actively under contract, so that an injury still leaves them with at least partial payment of their salary. Could some of the teams refuse to pay out because they weren’t official practices? Sure, but then they’d simply guarantee that no other players would practice like this outside of organized training and mini-camps. In the case of a lockout, however, the insurance and rehab access disappears, as does the idea that the team will pay them if injured. Doing so would be an admission of a team’s involvement in the process, and lead to sanctions against the team.

    Reading a lot of these comments, it’s obvious that many of you are so invested in the myth of football players that you can’t see reality. You talk like they’re all a bunch of multi-millionaires. that’s far from the truth. Yes, the stars are getting paid big time, but most players in the league play for league minimum or close to it. While that’s still quite a bit of money, it’s nowhere near what we tend to think of when we think about pro football players’ salaries. Nor does it take into account what those players lose to taxes, agents, business advisers, etc. It also doesn’t take into account the limited number of years most pro careers last. Football may be just a game, but for the players it’s their career, and not an exceptionally long one for the average player.

  17. stanklepoot says: Feb 28, 2011 5:57 PM

    thereisalwaysnextyear says: Feb 28, 2011 5:27 PM

    Come on Union, take care of your guys. The union should pay the insurance premiums for any player that wants to participate in lock-out drills. That way if they get hurt and don’t get paid, as laid out above, then they will still get what they would have. They are in better shape and ready to go and the union might actually provide them with a benefit in a time of “need”.
    _______________________
    I get what you’re saying, but look at it from the players’ perspective for a moment. The players have only so much leverage in the case of a lockout. One source of that leverage is the disruption to the game that a prolonged lockout (meaning no training camp and no preseason) would mean for the league. That being the case, why would the union or the players spend their own money so that the players could lessen any downside to a prolonged lockout?

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