Rookies face tough decision whether to practice without contract


NFL rookies, like so many others, are in a tough spot this offseason.

They haven’t even signed contracts, but many want to practice with their new teammates despite lacking any protection if an injury should happen.

Browns second round wide receiver Greg Little got advice from his agent Andy Ross to focus mostly on weight training and film work when he practices with his teammates next week.  Little isn’t listening.

“It’s Andy’s job to give me advice, but at the end of the day, it’s still my decision and I will probably choose to take part in everything,” Little told the Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. “I think my teammates will take notice of that. They don’t want to injure themselves either, but they’re out there doing the drills.”

Thankfully no players have been seriously hurt in the player-only practices. Let’s hope that keeps up, and a labor agreement comes before an injury occurs.

11 responses to “Rookies face tough decision whether to practice without contract

  1. What happens if there is no season, and, therefore, no rookie contracts? Do the rookies enter the draft again next year? Don’t teams only have one year to sign them?

  2. I believe every player participating in these workouts is taking a major risk. If one of these guys suffer a major injury and they are under contract, a team likely could put them on the non football related injured list and they wouldn’t have to pay them. There would likely be an arbitration hearing, but since it isn’t a team sanctioned practice, I don’t see how the player would have a leg to stand on.

  3. This wins points with the fans but is a very stupid thing to do. You don’t get many chances to sign a contract in the NFL. Most don’t get a 2nd one. I wouldn’t chance anything to get that payday. You wouldn’t be participating in OTA’s right now without a contract why would you go to these practices? Hell why are any of the players doing this since they want less OTAs anyways? Not very smart, not very smart at all.


  5. players usually don’t sign contracts until July/August… however i think the players are protected under some kind of injury clause (at any other point than during a lockout)

  6. Sergio Kindle fell down some stairs and cracked his skull last year and still got paid. I’m thinking these guys will also get paid (although not as much) if they are injured during these workouts.

  7. @oumoonunit: Rookies have exactly one football season (think it’s one football season and not a calender year) to sign their rookie contracts or they re-enter the draft.

    @vtsquirm: I think you’re right, I think it’s a $1mil protection clause due to injury once you’re drafted.

    I could be wrong on both cases, but I’m pretty sure I’m not. 😀

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