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Murphy’s comments on retired players angered NFLPA

mark-murphy Getty Images

Earlier this year, before the NFL and the players began the process of finding a middle ground (after trading middle fingers) and working their way toward a new labor deal, a couple of owners were the subject of reports regarding potentially polarizing conduct during negotiations.  Panthers owner Jerry Richardson reportedly disrespected Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Colts quarterback Peyton Manning during a pre-Super Bowl session.  Cowboys owner Jerry Jones reportedly used some tough talk and then made some sort of hand gesture during a meeting in Washington, at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

While talking with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith during Thursday’s PFT Live, I stumbled across another situation that arose earlier this year.  Though Smith was guarded in his words, it was clear based on a couple of questions regarding the role of former player and current Packers president Mark Murphy that the players have a high degree of animosity toward Murphy.  So, after the show, I started snooping around.  (I bought one of those really big magnifying glasses at the dollar store.)

Per multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, the players handling the negotiations prior to the lockout became significantly angered by comments made by Murphy on the Freakonomics podcast regarding retired players.

Said Murphy:  “You know, right now our current players if they’re vested, and you vest if you play three or more seasons, you get health insurance coverage for five years, which is great.  But I look at it, too, and the transition for players from playing in the NFL to finding another career and establishing themselves is very difficult, and I really wonder, sometimes, if we do too much for the players.  They’ve got severance pay and a 401(k) plan.  I guess what I’m saying is that sometimes it’s not all bad, and going back and talking to some of the players who played for [Vince] Lombardi in the ’60s — you know, they worked in the off-seasons, and they made a very smooth transition into their second careers because they had to.  And so I’m a little worried that if we do too much for players in terms of compensation after their career’s end, and health insurance — it’s not all bad to have an incentive to get a job. And, so those are just some of the things we’re thinking through and talking through.”

The comments, we’re told, made former NFL linebacker Cornelius Bennett, a non-voting member of the NFLPA Executive Committee, livid.  According to the sources, some of the players thereafter didn’t even want to be in the same room with Murphy.  Said one source, “It was very real.  It could have gotten ugly.”

When players-and-owners-only talks began in May, the sources say that the players asked Murphy to be excluded.  And he was indeed absent from the process, until the very end when nine of the 10 members of the league’s labor committee participated in the final stage of face-to-face talks.

It all subsided until recently, when Murphy was interviewed by Tony Walter of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.  Though the full article seems to be fairly tame, the players interpreted it as an effort by Murphy to claim partial credit for getting the deal done, when in reality the belief from the NFLPA side of the table is that Murphy was counterproductive. And that stirred up emotions that had flared before the lockout.

The Packers, through spokesman Aaron Popkey, declined to provide a comment.

It’s possible that the players’ complaints are simply part of the inherently contentious bargaining process.  Murphy was involved in two 1980s strikes as a player, and he had the unique perspective of former player and current owner.  Which made Murphy’s words potentially more persuasive to the players involved in the talks.

And so perhaps for the same reason the owners hated NFLPA lawyer Jeffrey Kessler, the players didn’t like Murphy.  Perhaps both were despised because their opponents because they were effective.

Regardless, while it appears that the players have no hard feelings in the wake of the 10-year labor deal toward Jerry Jones and Jerry Richardson, the same can’t be said for their feelings about Mark Murphy.

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72 Responses to “Murphy’s comments on retired players angered NFLPA”
  1. waitingguilty says: Jul 29, 2011 9:46 AM

    This is a very interesting post.

    But between this and the NFLPA saying they’ll be closely monitoring player rep cuts, I have decided that don’t want to know any additional information that makes these players look so clueless, sensitive and out of touch.

    Who knew these guys were such cry babies?

  2. kingjoe1 says: Jul 29, 2011 9:47 AM

    Finally someone who makes sense. Murphy is 100% correct.
    Why on gods green earth do NFL think they should work for 5 or 6 years and be able to retire. Many folks have multiple careers.

  3. purpleguy says: Jul 29, 2011 9:47 AM

    That will be good for relations with players, particularly aging vets.

  4. medtxpack says: Jul 29, 2011 9:48 AM

    considering Murphy was a player i think he has a right to say what he wants about it.

  5. derekjetersmansion says: Jul 29, 2011 9:50 AM

    Interesting.

  6. jw731 says: Jul 29, 2011 9:51 AM

    Wasn’t he one of the most pro union guys when he played for the Redskins…….????…….Talk about two faced…….They have every right to be pissed…

  7. firethorn1001 says: Jul 29, 2011 9:52 AM

    Where Jones and Richardson are pure owners, the are probably more pissed off at him because they probably viewed him as ‘one of us’, but then realized he wasn’t and viewed that as some type of disloyalty.

  8. benh999 says: Jul 29, 2011 9:52 AM

    Murphy is probably right. When a guy is pampered his entire NFL career, of course he will have have trouble moving into a new career where he will have to work his tail off just to hit a six-figure salary again.

  9. kane337 says: Jul 29, 2011 9:53 AM

    Mark Murphy makes some valid points. Nothing to get stirred up about. However, the players needed more than just 5 years of health insurance after football. They put their bodies through hell for the business and sport of football. They should be taken cared of longer than 5 years.

  10. melonnhead says: Jul 29, 2011 9:53 AM

    Maybe Manning can drag his butt and rectum across Murphy’s face.

  11. sakatak says: Jul 29, 2011 9:54 AM

    The truth hurts.

  12. mightymightylafootball says: Jul 29, 2011 9:54 AM

    He’s right.

  13. andyreidisfat says: Jul 29, 2011 9:55 AM

    So i am sure all the right wing tea party nuts that infest this site will love this guy, what he said DURING a lock out situation where HIS side is trying to get more is about as counter productive as it gets.

    And you know what, If you play NFL football for 3 years or more your body is so broke and you deserve to not have to go out and get job. You chose a career that is short and also shortens your life and that should come with great reward. Thats the trade off.

    Of course i am a pinko commie union loving (union member) tree hugging hippie (but i shower daily) So who knows.

  14. jimmysee says: Jul 29, 2011 9:57 AM

    It’s true that player in the past had jobs during off-season — but they were not expected to keep in shape like players today.

  15. alphaq2 says: Jul 29, 2011 9:59 AM

    The nerve of Murphy. Who does he think he is? Aren’t we all entitled to retire in our early 30’s?

  16. CKL says: Jul 29, 2011 9:59 AM

    And this guy was HUGE HUGE HUGE in the union when he played.
    I always wondered how weird it must have felt for him to be on the other side.
    F Cornelius Bennett, he’s a scumbag criminal. Maybe being a garbage person who assaults people would limit your career options dude…look at yourself first.

  17. pigeonpea says: Jul 29, 2011 10:01 AM

    Murphy made a good point that the Packers that played for Lombardi not only had to find new careers after football, but often had to work a second job in the offseason to support their families. Then again, this was long before the days of $700,000 veteran minimums and added roster bonuses. Now we have benchwarmers making obscene amounts of money for basically doing nothing, yet complaining they couldn’t afford health care during the lockout. Seriously… If you can’t afford health care when you make in excess of $100,000 a year, you need to both tone down your million dollar lifestyle and seek some serious financial advice. I guess Murphy hurt their feelings by thowing a bucket of reality on the dreamworld some of these guys have locked themselved into.

    Typical whining from union monkeys. Nothing to see here.

  18. rpiotr01 says: Jul 29, 2011 10:08 AM

    The fact that Murphy is a former player not all that far removed from previous labor issues speaks volumes.

    If anything he’s guilty of saying one of those things that, while insightful and thought provoking, is also politically incorrect in the current NFL labor climate.

    I actually agree with him in some respects. Back in the day players had to know that football wasn’t a life long career. Even during the off-season they had to work regular jobs. They knew that back then and if they didn’t act properly that was their own fault.

    Nowadays players expect to be able to live the rest of their lives off of football, but that only really happens for a few of them. The rest still need to plan for a career after football, and realize that their playing days just give them a leg up towards financial security down the road. In other words, the reality of what life was like for players post-football really isn’t too different than it was 30 years ago, but the expectations have changed dramatically.

    That said, the league needed to do something about healthcare for former players. 5 years wasn’t enough, especially since most of their problems aren’t going to happen until 10-20 years down the road. The NFL could afford to give them health care for life, they did it, it was the right thing to do.

  19. bigdogsylas says: Jul 29, 2011 10:08 AM

    I am 33 years old and have already changed my career due to changes in the job market. Why should players get to “retire” in their thirties and never work again. Most have been to college and have a degree. They are trained and educated.

    The job market is tough for all. They make millions over a career, they should be saving/investing some of it. Barry Sanders retired (early) and we don’t see him in the news broke and complaining of needing help.

  20. mvp43 says: Jul 29, 2011 10:09 AM

    He’s right.

    Just because he’s a former player doesn’t mean that he’s required to tow the company union line his entire career………Now that he’s on the other side of coin, he can offer a unique perspective on issues such as this.

  21. stellarperformance says: Jul 29, 2011 10:10 AM

    If any of you reading this article have ever been involved in employee negotiations, particularly union negotiations, then you know that it is not new news when you learn the rank and file dislikes upper management. There are two sides to every story, and the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. This is not news…it is anti-Packer inflammatory bait for the haters.

  22. gdeli says: Jul 29, 2011 10:11 AM

    hey packers fans and team…let this fester. ha The demise of the pack! love, the vikings.

  23. smoothjimmyapollo says: Jul 29, 2011 10:14 AM

    “You chose a career that is short and also shortens your life and that should come with great reward. Thats the trade off.”

    The trade-off is the high salary. The trade-off is that whether or not you chose to take advantage of it, you were at one point likely offered a free college education. If you were one of the few who did not receive a scholarship or if you were one of the many who chose to not take advantage of it, all you need to do is save your first NFL paycheck and there is more than enough money to cover your education to go out and get the necessary skills after retirement. Politically, I’m pretty liberal so don’t lump me in with the tea baggers, but there’s no way I’m feeling sorry for guys who made 6, 7, or 8 figure salaries and blew their money on hookers and blow. I agree there should be some exceptions for the NFL helping guys out for example guys like Dennis Byrd or Mike Utley or guys who became damaged from numerous concussions.

  24. deathspiralx says: Jul 29, 2011 10:18 AM

    The difference between now and Lombardi’s time is a few billion dollars and the wear/tear of the game.

    The NFL is a multi-billion dollar entertainment business that wears out peoples bodies, and probably, quite often, damages their brains…

    * It is a smart business decision and keeps the bad PR away. Especially when you have the fiscal capacity to do so.

    * Not everyone may feel this way… I think there is an obligation to take care of the guys that built the game, but didn’t enjoy the financial benefits the modern player receives. If not an obligation, it is certinaly the right thing to do. Especially when the NFL has the fiscal capacity to do so.

    That’s not to say there will be irresponsible former players who wreck their lives through poor decisions. They are responsible for their own actions.

    -DeathSpiral

  25. kidzaround says: Jul 29, 2011 10:18 AM

    Playing in the NFL IS a retirement plan. After agent fees, taxes, and the rest, players still make enough to stash away money for after football. If a player is financially responsible, he can retire after football and be taken care of.

    Now, if a player was hurt before he could make his money I’d be willing to say the NFL should take care of that player as a form of workers comp. Let’s say a rookie is drafted and gets horrifically injured. I’d say the NFL should then be providing for him.

    However, if you’ve had the chance to accumilate wealth and you blow it, that’s your fault.

    That aside, why is it so offensive to make a statement that someone should get a job instead of relying on their old employers to provide for them?

  26. whynotusecommonsense says: Jul 29, 2011 10:20 AM

    kane337 says:Jul 29, 2011 9:53 AM

    Mark Murphy makes some valid points. Nothing to get stirred up about. However, the players needed more than just 5 years of health insurance after football. They put their bodies through hell for the business and sport of football. They should be taken cared of longer than 5 years.
    ——————————————————-
    Your first two sentences are great, but then you go a bit off track.

    As far as players are concerned, the players chose to play football. They had the opportunity to do other things. They chose to enter a career they know is hard on their body and they know is short term in order to make some good money. Smart players start planning for post career employment well before their career ends. Those that don’t, shame on them. Why isn’t anybody held accountable for their decisions anymore? The sense of entitlement today is disgusting.

    Most of america would kill to have post employment health benefits for 5 years. Instead we have COBRA where we have to pay and it only lasts 18 months.

  27. bigd9484 says: Jul 29, 2011 10:22 AM

    @gdeli, why would this be the demise of the pack? Sounded like an incredibly educated statement to me. The only thing I would edit about the offer, is the players get health care for life in regard to injuries suffered while playing football. For 5 years, they could get full health care while they go for their 2nd career, and after that, they need to prove out their medical bills are from playing football, and it could be covered. As for people not having drive and work ethic when you give them free money, take a look at the inner cities of this country, and you can realize that Murphy is dead-on. When you can sit on your rear-end and get a paycheck, why would you go bust that same rear-end at a place of employment?

  28. wannabeqb says: Jul 29, 2011 10:24 AM

    wah wah wah why should the players get to retire after 5 years but I don’t waaaaahhhhh

    Maybe because they do a job that pays extremely well but you are not qualified/talented enough to do it? The owners think they are worth the money they get paid and as the comments during the lockout show, everyone on PFT is a hardcore capitalist, so whats the problem?

  29. PackersHome.com says: Jul 29, 2011 10:25 AM

    These players (most of them) get a free ride in college and when they enter the pro’s they are making over 400k a year. After an average of 4 years, they’ve banked about 1.6 million dollars at age 25.

    It would take the average American about 30 years to earn the amount NFL players do in less than a half decade.

    If these kids would STAY IN SCHOOL (that most didn’t even pay for) and get their degree, they could land a career after football, PLUS have a lot of coin to fall back on.

    I think the players should worry more about getting money management advice than worrying about getting a free and/or assisted ride in life after football.

  30. panther17 says: Jul 29, 2011 10:26 AM

    firethorn1001 says: Jul 29, 2011 9:52 AM

    Where Jones and Richardson are pure owners, the are probably more pissed off at him because they probably viewed him as ‘one of us’, but then realized he wasn’t and viewed that as some type of disloyalty.

    ______________________________________

    Richardson is a former player who took his money, made more money, and then bought a franchise. He is far from a pure owner. So your argument isn’t valid as why they are mad at Murphy but on good grounds with Jerrys.

  31. bahoto34 says: Jul 29, 2011 10:27 AM

    Man, as much as i hate the packers, i have to admit, murphy makes a whole lot of sense. money management, stop spending like you’re going to make that salary for the rest of your life. i’ve got very little pity on athletes who are buying yachts and lamboghinis and are broke three years later

  32. poprock48 says: Jul 29, 2011 10:28 AM

    bigdogsylas says:
    Jul 29, 2011 10:08 AM
    I am 33 years old and have already changed my career due to changes in the job market. Why should players get to “retire” in their thirties and never work again. Most have been to college and have a degree. They are trained and educated.

    The job market is tough for all. They make millions over a career, they should be saving/investing some of it. Barry Sanders retired (early) and we don’t see him in the news broke and complaining of needing help.
    —————————
    If you were as good at your professions as NFL players are at theirs.. then you wouldn’t need to work past your mid 30s either .

  33. philtvc65 says: Jul 29, 2011 10:28 AM

    Are you trying to blow things up again ? It’s in the past, leave it alone. It’s time for football not BS politics, just move on !!

  34. sdspec says: Jul 29, 2011 10:32 AM

    You know how many people don’t even get drafted or have to fight tooth and nail to get a chance to “put their bodies through hell”.

    Give me a break, these guys know what they are getting into. And they are being very well compensated. I would love to leave my job and get health benefits for 5 years.

  35. sagnam says: Jul 29, 2011 10:34 AM

    Funny how angry people get when you threaten to take away their welfare checks.

  36. clintonportisheadd says: Jul 29, 2011 10:34 AM

    “Murphy was involved in two 1980s strikes as a player, and he had the unique perspective of former player and current owner. ”

    ———————–

    Murphy may be many things but he is NOT an owner. He is the hired help. And given Green Bay’s majority of blue collar working folks his comments went over like a lead turd in punchbowl.

    More galling was his invoking of the Lombardi era players. Believe me, for every Willie Davis there are 10 Willie Woods ( a Hall of Famer reduced to living in squalor with tens of thousands of dollars of medical bills due to his football related injuries)

    Murphy needs to shut up. Now.

  37. possiblecabbage says: Jul 29, 2011 10:43 AM

    Regardless of whether Murphy made anybody angry, he does have a point.

    Specifically, it’s probably in the best interest of NFL players to actually go out and do something after their NFL careers, not just for their financial health but also for their mental and emotional health as well. It’s something to worry about, whether the benefits that the NFL hands out are actually an impediment to post-football careers. After all, sometimes you help people more by “helping” them less (c.f. Clinton-Gingrich era wellfare reform, and its effectiveness.)

  38. poprock48 says: Jul 29, 2011 10:43 AM

    sdspec says:
    Jul 29, 2011 10:32 AM
    You know how many people don’t even get drafted or have to fight tooth and nail to get a chance to “put their bodies through hell”.

    Give me a break, these guys know what they are getting into. And they are being very well compensated. I would love to leave my job and get health benefits for 5 years.
    ————————————
    If you were one of the less than 2k best at “your job”” in all of the country… then you could probably negotiate that.

  39. realtimeeyes says: Jul 29, 2011 10:47 AM

    Why do people try to compare their everyday jobs with professional athletes. If you were given the extremely rare attributes to play in the NFL, you would be saying the same crap. they make this kind of $$ because we pay to see them play. Essentially, we are enablers to their egos.

    Do you hold a grudge against lottery winners? Should they have to get a job even though the are rich? Most people in this country make bad choices with money! More power to them. As long as they don’t show up on my doorstep looking for a hand out, more power to them!

  40. robf2010 says: Jul 29, 2011 10:47 AM

    “Murphy made a good point that the Packers that played for Lombardi not only had to find new careers after football, but often had to work a second job in the offseason to support their families. ”

    And when their bodies were broke and Lombardi was done with them, he threw them out like yesterday’s trash. Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung both ended up with the Saints when their bodies were shot.

  41. imjinbrdgr says: Jul 29, 2011 10:48 AM

    In 2009 the average salary for a guy who played 3 years was $410,000. So if he lasted the 3 years to be vested he has made $1,230.00. He is probably 25 or 26 years old and most of them have either a degree or at least a good start towards one plus the name recognition of having played in the NFL.
    If someone can’t take a head start on life like that and transition it into a pretty nice life after football then they don’t really deserve a life after football.

  42. mhs8031 says: Jul 29, 2011 10:54 AM

    sick of news from CBA–do not want.

  43. animals1977 says: Jul 29, 2011 10:55 AM

    Who cares what Murphy’s take was when he was a player and younger – he’s 100% correct. No one forces these guys to play pro football for a living. If they don’t like it, they can go get a regular 9-5 job and work for the next 40 years like the rest of society.

    Yes, they sacrifice their bodies and sacrifice time away from their families, but that comes with the profession that they CHOSE. End of story.

  44. infectorman says: Jul 29, 2011 10:59 AM

    So i am sure all the right wing tea party nuts that infest this site will love this guy, what he said DURING a lock out situation where HIS side is trying to get more is about as counter productive as it gets.

    And you know what, If you play NFL football for 3 years or more your body is so broke and you deserve to not have to go out and get job. You chose a career that is short and also shortens your life and that should come with great reward. Thats the trade off.

    Of course i am a pinko commie union loving (union member) tree hugging hippie (but i shower daily) So who knows.

    Ok so his comments were ill-timed.
    HOWEVER< God forbid you tell a pampered, elitist, self-entitled athlete who plays a childrens game for an absurd amount of money they need to think in terms of the REAL WORLD.
    Cornelus Bennett Was LIVID?

    Who The F&*$ cares what Cornelius Bennett gets angry about? PULEaase! This just shows that apparently many rich, (or formerly rich in many cases) overpaid, unqualified to do much of anything else ex-pro athletes cannot re-adjust to the real world after they've been cow-towed to their entire life. His reaction to Murphys comments proves that he is not living in the Real world.

  45. grandsonofcoach says: Jul 29, 2011 11:05 AM

    Wow. What an over-reaction to someone saying that players need to be prepared for life after football. Not every player can walk away, set for life with millions in the bank. And the NFL can’t be expected to set every player up for life.

  46. beltmerica says: Jul 29, 2011 11:12 AM

    How can anyone with half a brain argue with those comments really? Of course the players wouldn’t like it, he told them how the rest of the country should feel, you make millions while you play and of course want to never work again.

    I agree they should have plenty of heathcare for what they put their bodies through but I also think there should be differences in the benefits based on te length of their career.

    It’s just part of what the process to the NFL has turned into for these players. Once they make it, they feel like they’ve made it and should never have to work again (if they ever did) yet have no idea how to save money instead of buying 10 trucks and a ton of stupid jewelery or having 14 kids with 12 different women.

    I hope Cornelius Bennett is on the verge of filing for bankruptcy.

  47. duanethomas says: Jul 29, 2011 11:15 AM

    Willie Woods. Mark Murphy needs to shut up.

  48. atthemurph says: Jul 29, 2011 11:22 AM

    Murphy only announced the fact that he is an nemy to the entitlement mindset. For that he will need to be attacked, vilified and smeared if his insane ideas about personal responsibility gain traction.

    How dare anyone suggest that someone, who knew the rules when they were employed somehow is not deserving of added pay/benefits/perks asfter retirement. Hell, I think I should get free health insurance because I worked full time in a factory operating a punch press for 3 months when I was 18 years old.

    What am I entitled to?

  49. pkrlvr says: Jul 29, 2011 11:24 AM

    Andyreidsfat, while I hate the tea-baggers too, you have to remember that unions only benefit the workers and they pay hell on the employer and the local industry. Having spent 18 years in GB, I grew to hate unions and I think you’re wrong on this one. These guys make anywhere from 400k to 23 million a year. If they’re too damn dumb to invest and save their money, I don’t think the NFL should have to take care of them once they’re done playing. Maybe a decade of health insurance, but nothing else. These guys make more than 99% of us, they don’t need our pity or more money.

  50. imjinbrdgr says: Jul 29, 2011 11:24 AM

    infectorman says: Jul 29, 2011 10:59 AM

    And you know what, If you play NFL football for 3 years or more your body is so broke and you deserve to not have to go out and get job. You chose a career that is short and also shortens your life and that should come with great reward. Thats the trade off.
    _____________________________

    Your post seems to go in both directions so I’m not sure where you really stand.

    A guy that plays 3 years has made at least 1 million dollars.

  51. voiceofrealism says: Jul 29, 2011 11:32 AM

    Murphy makes a realistic comment about how players transition after football, and Bennett has to leave the room to avoid getting physical. Grow up. Murphy is right, and you have the emotional maturity of a 12 year old.

    You know it is good to have something to do with your life. Being retired at, say, 28-30 isn’t a good idea. Look at how much trouble players got in during the lockout alone.

  52. santorin4 says: Jul 29, 2011 11:36 AM

    Most military vets don’t get the kind of medical coverage that the retired players are bitching about. Kind of makes you think……

  53. Scott says: Jul 29, 2011 11:39 AM

    “…if he lasted the 3 years to be vested he has made $1,230.00. He is probably 25 or 26 years old and most of them have either a degree or at least a good start towards one plus the name recognition of having played in the NFL.
    If someone can’t take a head start on life like that and transition it into a pretty nice life after football then they don’t really deserve a life after football.”

    You are right, and it’s not just that. The NFL provides many programs to the players for post-playing careers. If the player is interested in business, they can intern during the offseason with NFL assciated business. If they are interested in media, they can intern and learn from the NFLs media dept or NFL films or NFL network, Radio…etc. If they need help with money management, the NFL has people that will help the players with that. When is enough enough? When will the players “smarten” up?

  54. bigdogsylas says: Jul 29, 2011 11:40 AM

    poprock48 your comment makes zero sense. The average american worker makes around 50,000 a year. What is starting salary in NFL…900,000? The financial comparison isn’t present to support your statement:

    If you were as good at your professions as NFL players are at theirs.. then you wouldn’t need to work past your mid 30s either .

    I was very good at my profession, but was part of 4,000 employees cut from a health system this past year. That is why I was able to quickly obtain a new job and training.

    The NFL players know they are most likely only going to play 10 seasons. They don’t need multi-million dollar homes and expensive cars. Pay your debts off first, then find a comfortable home once your employment is secure.

    I didn’t buy my house until I had two years in a job and had paid off my student debt. This mentality of immediate gratification needs to stop.

    Again, look at Barry Sanders.

  55. nineroutsider says: Jul 29, 2011 11:40 AM

    I don’t think Murphy said anything offensive or outlandish. However, it was misguided…as I have said before…the players are the game. They deserve to take parts in the fruits of their spoils, but much of what Murphy said is correct…they need to learn how to take care of their money and manage their fame and not do stupid sh@t. I wouldn’t state it as the ‘we do too much for them’. They are equals to me. I wouldn’t watch the NFL if they played like college kids (i.e. the talent wasn’t great), which I think is largely unwatchable except for the marquee match-ups.

  56. skimbell says: Jul 29, 2011 11:44 AM

    “kingjoe1 says:
    Jul 29, 2011 9:47 AM
    Finally someone who makes sense. Murphy is 100% correct.
    Why on gods green earth do NFL think they should work for 5 or 6 years and be able to retire…”

    Yeah, who the hell do these guys think they are…politicians?

  57. Deb says: Jul 29, 2011 11:50 AM

    Very interesting article. I supported the players in the labor action, and as an Alabama fan, will always have a soft spot for Cornelius “Biscuit” Bennett. But there was a lot of truth in Murphy’s comments. I read an article several years ago about Lombardi’s Packers and their post-football lives. Most had gone on to great success in second careers because they’d learned to expect more from themselves.

  58. CKL says: Jul 29, 2011 11:56 AM

    Scott says:
    Jul 29, 2011 11:39 AM

    You are right, and it’s not just that. The NFL provides many programs to the players for post-playing careers. If the player is interested in business, they can intern during the offseason with NFL assciated business. If they are interested in media, they can intern and learn from the NFLs media dept or NFL films or NFL network, Radio…etc. If they need help with money management, the NFL has people that will help the players with that. When is enough enough? When will the players “smarten” up?
    _______________________________
    Not sure if this will apply in the new CBA because I am guessing it’s one of those things that has to be negotiated post recertification, but the players have also had tuition reimbursement for any of them who wanted it. Imagine that…most guys get free rides to college, a lot don’t finish degrees and they are making that kind of $$ and get FREE TUITION to finish their degrees. So they don’t even have to pay to finish school. There is IMO not one good reason they can’t get their degrees.

  59. dellied says: Jul 29, 2011 11:57 AM

    First of all, Mark Murphy being a pro-union guy in his younger days does not at all contradict his current stance.

    In the 1980’s, the union was really just beginning to gain traction and the league was heavily in favor of the owners. The players were being shafted. Mark Murphy was correct to fight for a more equitable system.

    Now? Like how most unions work over time, the NFLPA had gone a bit overboard, and the system was unfair, tilted in the favor of the players.

    Secondly, Murphy is completely right. “Invoking” the Lombardi era means that he was invoking the Lombardi era in the general sense, not specific players. In that era, players were aware that they had to make money in the off-season, and to prepare for the future.

    Yes, a number of those players succeeded, and plenty of them failed in this aspect. Just like the rest of the real world. No one likes to see Willie Wood destitute, that’s for sure. But if he played in the modern era, made modern era money, and he still sat in his current position, I would not feel sorry for him one iota. He had his chance. The truth hurts.

    Mark Murphy even hired a very popular retired Packer, Rob Davis, our former longsnapper, on for a full time position to assist players in finding a career, to transition to “life after football”. Mark Murphy is just a very logical, blunt man that points out the elephant in the room.

  60. iowajagsfan28 says: Jul 29, 2011 12:24 PM

    I fail to see how players, not being money smart with their millions so that they have money after they retire, is the owner’s problem.

    They knew the job they signed up for.

    They can be mad at Mark Murphy all they want, but all he did was speak the truth. Actually, if you look at it, he was actually trying to HELP the players. He doesn’t want them retiring and going off the deep-end and being broke.

  61. nicopenelope says: Jul 29, 2011 12:32 PM

    I’m sure some guys are a little jealous that Murphy has success in a post football career. I can see his perspective. If you give people too much, are they motivated to prepare for life after football? Most people play for couple of years. Like the people who are on government assistance, but can afford tattoos, xboxes, flat screens……give people too much, they stop looking to help themselves.

  62. houndog50 says: Jul 29, 2011 12:52 PM

    kane337 says: Jul 29, 2011 9:53 AM

    Mark Murphy makes some valid points. Nothing to get stirred up about. However, the players needed more than just 5 years of health insurance after football. They put their bodies through hell for the business and sport of football. They should be taken cared of longer than 5 years.
    ————————————————-
    Geez, when I was laid off because I needed both hips replaced and could no longer do my job I was “given the opportunity” to purchase and PAY FOR my existing insurance policy under the Cobra plan @ $1,247 per month for 3 years total, after which I must find my own policy. I did it and I got my new hips. I just wish my employer had given me insurance for 5 years following my career, it would have saved me $43,892 in premiums over the past 3 years, plus deductibles of another $7K, while trying to live on disability or unemployment compensation. Now I see it, I guess Brady and Manning were right, at $1.2M per game, they ARE being taken serious advantage of. Poor Bastards!

  63. infectorman says: Jul 29, 2011 1:05 PM

    imjinbrdgr says:
    Jul 29, 2011 11:24 AM
    infectorman says: Jul 29, 2011 10:59 AM

    And you know what, If you play NFL football for 3 years or more your body is so broke and you deserve to not have to go out and get job. You chose a career that is short and also shortens your life and that should come with great reward. Thats the trade off.
    _____________________________

    Your post seems to go in both directions so I’m not sure where you really stand.

    A guy that plays 3 years has made at least 1 million dollars.

    _________________________________

    My comments begin at “Ok so his comments were ill-timed.”

    Everything above that is the repost of
    “andyreidisfat” earlier post on this topic above mine. Didn’t delineate it right…sorry

  64. Chuck Wood says: Jul 29, 2011 1:06 PM

    I understand that being a football player entails years of training, practice, hard work and even God given talent/skill. However- these guys are being paid MILLIONS to “play” a game that they love. You mean to tell me that they may actually join the American work force to support their lavish tastes, lifestyles and to nurse themselves through long term injuries they knew were likely?!? GO FIGURE.

    Way to tell it like it is Murph… maybe each team should be required to hire financial advisors to at least train these gladiators how to balance their check books. WTF!?!

  65. hscorpio says: Jul 29, 2011 1:32 PM

    The players seem to be very in touch with their feminine side.

  66. mrswissrobinson says: Jul 29, 2011 2:29 PM

    Meanwhile, workers at the Ground Zero can’t get their healthcare to cover the main part of their ailments: cancer.

    Perspective.

  67. ruvelligwebuike says: Jul 29, 2011 3:14 PM

    Work and personal responsibility….to some people those are the two most foreign words in the world. Murphy should realize who he is speaking to.

  68. stanklepoot says: Jul 29, 2011 3:42 PM

    kingjoe1 says: Jul 29, 2011 9:47 AM

    Finally someone who makes sense. Murphy is 100% correct.
    Why on gods green earth do NFL think they should work for 5 or 6 years and be able to retire. Many folks have multiple careers.
    ___________________________
    Well, seeing as how many of these players will suffer injuries or build up damage to their bodies that will effect them til the day they die (some earlier than they normally would), I don’t think continuing health care is out of bounds to expect. As for early retirement, soldiers qualify for full pensions after 20 years, meaning they can “retire” pretty young too. Most of these people (unless prevented by injury) will end up taking getting another job, but that doesn’t interfere with what they get from the military. They simply double dip. I see nothing wrong with that.

  69. stanklepoot says: Jul 29, 2011 3:48 PM

    mrswissrobinson says: Jul 29, 2011 2:29 PM

    Meanwhile, workers at the Ground Zero can’t get their healthcare to cover the main part of their ailments: cancer.

    Perspective.
    ____________________
    I wouldn’t call that perspective as much as I would proof of what happens to you when you don’t have any leverage. It’s stories like this that makes me approve of the players going after every benefit they can get in the CBA. If they don’t, it’s not like the league is going to fall all over itself to help them out if things go badly for them and existing or developing health issues ruin retired players’ lives.

  70. stanklepoot says: Jul 29, 2011 4:02 PM

    smoothjimmyapollo says: Jul 29, 2011 10:14 AM

    “You chose a career that is short and also shortens your life and that should come with great reward. Thats the trade off.”

    The trade-off is the high salary. The trade-off is that whether or not you chose to take advantage of it, you were at one point likely offered a free college education. If you were one of the few who did not receive a scholarship or if you were one of the many who chose to not take advantage of it, all you need to do is save your first NFL paycheck and there is more than enough money to cover your education to go out and get the necessary skills after retirement. Politically, I’m pretty liberal so don’t lump me in with the tea baggers, but there’s no way I’m feeling sorry for guys who made 6, 7, or 8 figure salaries and blew their money on hookers and blow. I agree there should be some exceptions for the NFL helping guys out for example guys like Dennis Byrd or Mike Utley or guys who became damaged from numerous concussions.
    _________________________
    Problem with your theory is that it’s rather hard to “prove” the source of a condition years later. For instance, my grandfather fought in WWII and was stationed in Panama for a little while afterward. While there, he contracted Malaria. When he came home and left the military, the military refused to cover his medical expenses because he couldn’t “prove” that he contracted malaria while serving in the military, despite the fact that outside of his time in the service, he was never anywhere that malaria was a concern. If the military denied payment for something that easy to demonstrate, how freely do you think the league would pay for medical care when the cause of the ailment is even harder to prove? Sorry, but I don’t trust anyone to pay anything they’re not contractually or legally obligated to pay.

  71. slick3 says: Jul 29, 2011 4:44 PM

    As a former Cheif Shop Steward with the Postal Mailhandlers Union, I have to admit, I agree with Murphy’s basic concept that too much generosity leaves to room for personal incentive. These guys retire at basically a young age and they expect to be taken care of for the rest of their lives. The average blue collar worker should have it so good.

  72. paulharghis says: Jul 29, 2011 7:00 PM

    It’s so funny to see the Packer fans defendanything Packer related.

    It’s even funnier watching them try to comprehend something that is obviously so far over their heads.

    Comparing their jobs to sports players, comparing the 1960s to the 2010s…..way to show your Wisconsin ignorance people. It actually makes me ashamed I have to live in this pathetic excuse for a state.(job)

    Stick to what you know Wisconsinites- Beer, brats and curds.

    Football and finances and law are not your forte.

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