As Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks finishes a contract year that hasn’t done much to put him in line to get a huge payday, Nicks acknowledges he previously passed on the chance to get a huge payday if he suffers a serious injury.
Via Jordan Ranaan of NJ.com, Nick opted not to purchase a disability policy.
“It got brought my way but, honestly, I never really thought about it. I heard the good about it, I heard the bad about it,” Nicks told Ranaan before an abdominal injury sidelined Nicks last Sunday.
“The bad is you have to pay $40,000 to $50,000, and then if you don’t get hurt, you don’t get your money back,” Nicks said. “That’s not a win-win situation in my book. I’d rather keep my money and pray about it and ask the Lord to keep me healthy.”
There’s a more practical layer of wisdom in Nicks’ decision. The insurance payment comes only if the injury ends his career. How often does an injury actually end a player’s career? Short of a serious neck injury, a player will be able to continue playing, even if the injury leaves him seriously diminished.
While having disability insurance may give some players the peace of mind to play with the same reckless abandon that helped put them in line for a big contract in the first place, the truth is that a torn ACL or a ruptured Achilles or any other injury that would wipe out the free-agency payday won’t trigger the insurance payment. So if Nicks had purchased a disability policy based on a career-ending injury and torn an ACL, he would have lost the premium and he would have received no insurance payment.
Policies based on career-limiting injuries also are available. They’re a lot more expensive and a lot more likely to lead to litigation, because insurance companies love to collect money but hate to pay it out.
For Nicks, the more pressing problem is that his play has dipped to the point where he’ll have a hard time getting anyone to pay him huge money next March. And there’s no insurance available for that.