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Basketball or not, Ravens could decline to pay Suggs after his injury

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Some have attached a high degree of significance to the possibility that Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs suffered a torn (full or partial) Achilles tendon while playing basketball.

Technically, it doesn’t matter.

If a player suffers any injury while doing anything away from the supervision of the team, the condition is regarded as a “non-football injury.”  As a result, the player’s team could choose to not pay the player until the injury has healed.

It doesn’t matter whether Suggs was playing basketball or running or jogging or lifting weights.  Injuries sustained while a player works out on his own are “non-football injuries.”

That said, the manner in which the injury was suffered could cause a team to decide to not pay a player, especially if the player’s team has made it known generally among the players that, if they get hurt playing basketball, they’re on their own.  But that would be a surprise.  Many football players play basketball in the offseason, and most teams don’t complain because it’s better than having them sitting on the couch, eating pork rinds and watching bowling.

It would be a major surprise if the Ravens try to stiff Suggs, given that receiver Torrey Smith, running back Ray Rice (who technically isn’t under contract), and defensive tackle Terrence Cody participated in a charity basketball game in March.

Still, any player who hopes to find a way to stay in shape without risking his salary should work out only at the team facility.  Any injuries that occur at the team facility are regarded as “football injuries,” and if the player can’t play in the coming season, he still will be paid.

Finally, as to the possibility that player contracts expreslly prohibit playing basketball, they don’t.  The standard player contract states at paragraph 2:  “Player will not participate in any football game not sponsored by the League unless the game is first approved by the League. Nor, while this contract is in effect, will Player play football or engage in activities related to football other than for Club or engage in any activity other than football which may involve a significant risk of personal injury without first obtaining Club’s prior written consent.”

Though some teams could take the position that basketball is an activity that involves “a significant risk of personal injury,” that would not be a popular position in 32 locker rooms — and it would likely be difficult to prove before an arbitrator that a player violated this language by doing something that thousands of young men (and women) do on a regular basis, with serious injuries being relatively rare.

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34 Responses to “Basketball or not, Ravens could decline to pay Suggs after his injury”
  1. 2dollarpbrs says: May 4, 2012 8:57 AM

    T sizzled

  2. autumnwind999 says: May 4, 2012 8:58 AM

    “… it’s better than having them sitting on the couch, eating pork rinds and watching bowling.”

    (Scratch)
    You been spy’n on me again, Florio?
    (Scratch)

  3. kevo126 says: May 4, 2012 9:01 AM

    Considering the fact that the ravens have a basketball court right next to the weight room and encourage their players to play basketball, I don’t think they really care about how he got hurt.

  4. exibitsman says: May 4, 2012 9:02 AM

    No I don’t think the ravans should be responsible for suggs playing a pic up basketball game he knows the consiqiences no paychexs for this morON.!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. talkintrashallday says: May 4, 2012 9:05 AM

    I bet they don’t pay Suggs and trade him ASAP

  6. mikebe1 says: May 4, 2012 9:08 AM

    How dare he play basketball. I say they trade him to the jets since he loves rex so much that will show him who the boss is.

  7. souldogdave says: May 4, 2012 9:09 AM

    It’s not like he was riding a motorcycle…

  8. Steeley McBeam says: May 4, 2012 9:10 AM

    0-16

  9. sonnyboychris says: May 4, 2012 9:16 AM

    Man players user basketball to stay in shape during the off-season.

    It’s not like he was injured in a bar fight.

  10. spellingcopfather says: May 4, 2012 9:19 AM

    Mount Cody ballin nice, i doubt even shaq could post him up tho!!!

  11. threeifbyair says: May 4, 2012 9:25 AM

    … whereas other sports have indeed classified basketball as such an activity.

    The most obvious example is the New York Yankees, who had made it to the World Series in 2003 on the strength of a home run from Aaron F. Boone. Aaron tore his ACL playing basketball in the offseason and the Yankees terminated his contract — and then traded for A-Rod to replace him.

  12. klutch14u says: May 4, 2012 9:26 AM

    So if I get injured at home playing Wii my employer should pay my salary still even though I can’t do my job?

    Sounds ridiculous but how’s it really any different? I don’t care what he was playing. He got hurt outside of work and can’t do his job.

  13. meytonpanning says: May 4, 2012 9:29 AM

    I wouldn’t stiff him simply because I wouldn’t want him to kill me.

  14. draftazoid says: May 4, 2012 9:44 AM

    The Ravens should pay him. That way they cannot use his salary to upgrade their team this year.

  15. tomtravis76 says: May 4, 2012 9:46 AM

    Thanks for the information, but do you really think the Ravens are going to tell the Defensive Player of the Year they are not going to pay him while he rehabs?

    This is Suggs opportunity to coach up the young guys, just like Ray and Reed have done during injuries. Suggs is on his way to getting his statue at M&T when the playing days are over.

  16. mike83ri says: May 4, 2012 9:49 AM

    Who cares if it’s not popular? The players specifically bargained for shortened off-seasons. Getting that without any of the risks that come with it is like double dipping.

    Maybe something like this will make them realize that D Smith is an idiot, and that the ‘worst deal in the history of sports’ was actually a better option for them then the one they got.

  17. frustratedbucsfan says: May 4, 2012 10:10 AM

    Move the ravens to los angelos

  18. okiny says: May 4, 2012 10:30 AM

    Obviously this is a bit off topic, but Mariano Rivera just tore his ACL shagging fly balls. The common theme between him and Suggs is that they were both doing something that has kept them in shape and at the top of their game for X+ years, and it doesn’t seem like anyone cared until it caused an injury. Yes, maybe Suggs’ injury could’ve been prevented had he not played ball in the off season, but surely that’s what he has been doing to keep in shape since he came in the league. Maybe when all these guys are too scared to go for a run, play a pick up game, or lift weights on their own, they will all come in to camp overweight and out of shape. Then their franchises can find a way to weasel out of paying them for being 70 lbs overweight and out of shape.

  19. daysend564 says: May 4, 2012 10:30 AM

    Stick a fork in him, he’s done.

    He’ll play again next year, but he’ll never be the player that he was (even before last season). A guy in his 30s (October) trying to rebound from a torn achilles is not good. He could battle back from an ACL, but unlikely an achilles.

    http://www.lowerextremityreview.com/article/return-to-football-after-achilles-tendon-rupture

  20. rayguyreturns says: May 4, 2012 10:31 AM

    “Many football players play basketball in the offseason, and most teams don’t complain because it’s better than having them sitting on the couch, eating pork rinds and watching bowling.”
    ___________________________________
    So, are you implying you have something against the pork industry and professional bowling?

  21. twigsandberries says: May 4, 2012 10:38 AM

    Why are Raisin fans so worried, you have the best QB in the league in Flacco to carry you the SB. As far as paying him Ozzie Newsome doesn’t want Ray Ray coming after him with a gun..they’ll pay Suggs

  22. ernie ernie says: May 4, 2012 10:40 AM

    If I was a surgeon and permanently damaged my hand playing tennis or something, do you think my employer would keep paying me for non surgeries?
    Not!
    The rule of almost all employment contracts is that you get paid for work done. If you have sick time or vacation you can take that to keep getting paid, otherwise you SOL.

    Suggs screwed around and made himself unavailable to play, why would they pay him for non performance? That would be a very bad business decision.

  23. godzilla111111 says: May 4, 2012 10:44 AM

    rustratedbucsfan says: May 4, 2012 10:10 AM

    Move the ravens to los angelos
    ———————————————
    What a meaningful comment.

  24. stoicfan says: May 4, 2012 11:03 AM

    Pay the man.

  25. fsf7 says: May 4, 2012 11:07 AM

    exibitsman says:
    May 4, 2012 9:02 AM
    No I don’t think the ravans should be responsible for suggs playing a pic up basketball game he knows the consiqiences no paychexs for this morON.!!!!!!!!!!!

    —————————————–

    I wonder what the consequences are for not being able to spell the team name correctly?

    Would it be a “non-football injury” if he slipped on his pencil taking a class on proper grammar?

  26. mikemcdorman says: May 4, 2012 11:08 AM

    Lewis and Reed are too old, Suggs is hurt.

    TRich, Weedeater, and our top ten D comin for ya Baltimore…

  27. sudz28 says: May 4, 2012 11:11 AM

    If the Ratbirds try to use any kind of technicality to get out of paying the man and keeping him on their payroll, they will be run out of Baltimore on rails by the natives. He’s been gold for this city, and it’s not like he injured himself doing something stupid. Keep him on the roster, give him his money, hope he can come back and be productive next season.

  28. frustratedbucsfan says: May 4, 2012 11:40 AM

    Move the ravens to los angeles.

  29. thelongestgoodbye says: May 4, 2012 2:53 PM

    @ exibitsman says:
    May 4, 2012 9:02 AM
    “No I don’t think the ravans should be responsible for suggs playing a pic up basketball game he knows the consiqiences no paychexs for this morON.!!!!!!!!!!!”

    You sir lose the right to call anyone a moron when you made that many spelling errors in one short sentence.

  30. sundevil1982 says: May 4, 2012 3:53 PM

    I hope they stiff him and he comes back to AZ to retire as a Cardinal!

  31. LogicalConsideration says: May 4, 2012 3:54 PM

    In response to all those who think the Ravens should not pay him and keep trying to compare it to injuring themselves and then trying to get their own employer to pay up, you are comparing apples and oranges.

    Playing a professional sport at a high level REQUIRES year round training and conditioning. During the season, the nature of the game, recovery and practice means that you are working in some manner nearly every day for weeks and months on end. If you wear down, you can’t just put in for a week of vacation, go someplace warm, sleep and relax. That’s why teams are limited by the CBA in what they can require of players in the offseason. They need the time off to recover physically and mentally. BUT, they still have to keep in shape if they want to be able to make the team for the next season. It is ABSURD to say that any injury incurred during exercise not conducted at a team facility is non-compensable. They are doing their job by staying in shape. Besides, don’t cry for teams. They carry insurance on their long term player contracts. So, if the player gets hurt, most of the remaining salary gets paid out from an insurance company. If you want to ban various high-risk activities like skiing, ATVs, motorcyles, etc, I’m okay with that. But workout and participating in cross-training sports? You are nuts and, I suspect, more than a little bit jealous of these guys.

  32. themiller7anthreequarter says: May 4, 2012 4:11 PM

    I guess T-Sizzle from ball so hard university balled too hard

  33. kungfubillysims says: May 4, 2012 5:40 PM

    Ball Softer University in now accepting applications

  34. infectorman says: May 4, 2012 9:11 PM

    autumnwind999 says: May 4, 2012 8:58 AM

    “… it’s better than having them sitting on the couch, eating pork rinds and watching bowling.”

    (Scratch)
    You been spy’n on me again, Florio?
    (Scratch)
    _____________

    It’d be more apt to say that the Ravens players would be ” sitting on the couch, eating pork rinds and watching the Superbowl “.

    Bahahahhahahaha!!!!!!

    With love,
    Patriot Nation

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