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Finley’s tax-free $10 million may not be so easy for him to get

Finley AP

From the moment agent Blake Baratz characterized tight end Jermichael Finley as facing what amounts to a choice between taking Door No. 1 and a $10 million no-tax disability policy or Door No. 2 and returning to football for whatever pre-tax salaries and bonuses he can muster, it all seemed to be a little too clean and tidy and simple.

Insurance companies love to take money in; they hate to pay money out.  Especially in $10 million increments.  Unless Finley forked over a lot more as the premium in order to secure for himself the ability in the insurance policy to choose to retire from football even if he’s able to still play and collect the money, the insurance company won’t be zealously bagging up the cash if Finley decides to not play.

Ultimately, the language of the insurance policy controls what Finley can and can’t get.  But the idea that he’s carrying around a $10 million golden ticket and the dilemma of cashing it in and retiring or giving it back and and continuing to play probably oversimplifies the situation.

One league source with direct experience pursuing disability benefits for NFL players explained that another player with a neck injury and a disability policy who received clearance from his doctor to play had to fight for two years to get the money.  Ultimately, the insurance company paid up because the player had never received any other offers from NFL team after the injury.  As a result, the source thinks Finley could end up trying to get the money — and eventually not getting it or at a minimum having to file a lawsuit.

In this case, Finley apparently has received multiple offers from the Steelers, whose team doctor performed the spinal fusion surgery on Finley and cleared him to play earlier this year.

“Pittsburgh have showed me a couple deals, but we all know the money ain’t what it’s supposed to be,” Finley recently told USA Today.

It’s entirely possible that Finley bought the Cadillac of disability policies, with language that lets him make the final decision between playing and not playing, even if he has been cleared to play and if he is receiving offers from teams that want him to play for them.  It’s also possible that Finley bought a far more standard policy containing language that allows the company to keep the premium and the benefits.

Whatever the specific language of Finley’s policy, here’s hoping that he knows what it is and that he understands the real decision he’s facing.  There’s a chance that, with clearance from Dr. Joseph Maroon and offers from the team the neurosurgeon works for, the decision already has been made.

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48 Responses to “Finley’s tax-free $10 million may not be so easy for him to get”
  1. logicalvoicesays says: Jul 16, 2014 1:42 PM

    Hes not a Redskin because Jordan Reed is the best TE in Footnall and we have superior depth.

  2. lowdownmofo says: Jul 16, 2014 1:43 PM

    “But the idea that he’s carrying around a $10 million golden ticket…”

    Did someone say golden ticket?
    Harbaugh just wants his Cake, and he wants it NOOOW!!!

  3. hawkfan72 says: Jul 16, 2014 1:43 PM

    Yeah, if he has been medically cleared and is receiving offers, that means he can play. No way that an insurance company is going to pay out on a policy to cover that he can’t play anymore.

    When he started talking about his offers from the Steelers, I knew he was only hurting his case.

  4. lowdownmofo says: Jul 16, 2014 1:44 PM

    logocalvoicesays: Don’t thumbs up your own post bro. I know that was you. Hahahaha.

  5. bassplucker says: Jul 16, 2014 1:45 PM

    Insurance = the textbook definition of a “necessary evil.”

  6. bsreed says: Jul 16, 2014 1:49 PM

    whats footnall?

  7. stellarperformance says: Jul 16, 2014 1:49 PM

    This ship has sailed.

  8. osiris33 says: Jul 16, 2014 1:51 PM

    Don’t worry Jermichael. I’m sure ObamaCare has a provision that forces those of us who do work to pay for your $10 million instead of the insurance company.

  9. lowdownmofo says: Jul 16, 2014 1:53 PM

    How’s RGIII doin by the way? Last I saw him, he jumped in a fountain and out popped RG IV, V, VI, VII… Insurance premiums for FedEx field must be crazy high.

  10. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 16, 2014 1:54 PM

    Well he could have built up tax-free cash value in an Indexed Universal Life policy and then he would have no restrictions and ultimate flexibility for any event. I hope he didn’t forget to fund one of those.

  11. GenXJay says: Jul 16, 2014 1:57 PM

    The very idea of Finley purchasing a large insurance premium on himself is ridiculous.
    Even more ridiculous, buying novelty stock.
    Cheesebay, a Know-it-All fan base for a bandwagon “team.”

  12. thevikesarebest says: Jul 16, 2014 2:00 PM

    The best TE in the NFC north resides in Minnesota,Kyle Rudolph the pro bowl MVP.the cheeseheads don’t have a relevant TE and jermichael doesn’t want to go back to that clown organization.SKOL

  13. lowdownmofo says: Jul 16, 2014 2:03 PM

    Even more ridiculous, buying novelty stock.
    Cheesebay, a Know-it-All fan base for a bandwagon “team.”

    _________________________

    “novelty stock”: Yes. It’s only around for a short while and holds mostly sentimental value for it’s fans. You are correct good sir.

    “Cheesebay”: Yes. There is a lot of cheese made here. It’s good. Try it sometime.

    “Know-it-All fan base”: Yes. Packer fans are very knowledgeable. Thank you.

    “bandwagon “team”: Yes. Hard to fall of the wagon when the wheels don’t come of. Indeed, they are a team as well.

    You are very astute GenX. Thanks for playing.

  14. whatjusthapped says: Jul 16, 2014 2:05 PM

    I don’t know if he’ll play again, I just know it wouldn’t be for the Packers. He drove everyone there crazy with his loud mouth antics and his drops.

    But good luck on with his next team. Finley might steal a page out of BrINT Favre’s playbook and sign with a divisional rival in an attempt to stick it to the Packers only to watch the Packers win a Superbowl while he sits home watching from this comfortable last place couch.

  15. cornerstone2001 says: Jul 16, 2014 2:07 PM

    osiris33 says:
    Jul 16, 2014 1:51 PM
    Don’t worry Jermichael. I’m sure ObamaCare has a provision that forces those of us who do work to pay for your $10 million instead of the insurance company.

    8 15

    Well, we know by this post so far, there are 15
    deadbeats that voted

  16. yohochecko says: Jul 16, 2014 2:08 PM

    From the exact same article linked in this blurb: “He can file a claim to collect the insurance policy one year to the day after the injury if he hasn’t played in four games.”

    If he hasn’t played in four games!? Sounds like he bought the cadillac

  17. ariani1985 says: Jul 16, 2014 2:09 PM

    I heard for every dropped pass he gets 1 million so by week 4 he will have it!

    #Stonehands
    #Clownmusic

  18. johngaltwho says: Jul 16, 2014 2:09 PM

    thevikesarebest says: Jul 16, 2014 2:00 PM

    “Jermichael doesn’t want to go back to that clown organization.SKOL”

    —————————————————–

    Ah, the Vikings offseason – hope springs eternal. They go into the season tied for the best record in the NFL.
    Unfortunately:
    SKOL – “Somebody Keeps On Losing”

  19. ghost26 says: Jul 16, 2014 2:13 PM

    It’s entirely possible that Finley bought the Cadillac of disability policies, with language that lets him make the final decision between playing and not playing, even if he has been cleared to play and if he is receiving offers from teams that want him to play for them. It’s also possible that Finley bought a far more standard policy containing language that allows the company to keep the premium and the benefits.

    Florio,

    He has a disability policy that pays him if he can’t play again due to an injury. As someone who sells insurance for a living, this is a smart policy to purchase for any NFL player BUT if a doctor clears him to play he’s going to have problems collecting the money. Plus it will cost him a fortune in legal fees & his case could drag out for years.

  20. briang123 says: Jul 16, 2014 2:14 PM

    An insurance conpany doesn’t want to prt with money without a fight? I am shocked, shocked! to her that.

  21. pkrjones says: Jul 16, 2014 2:17 PM

    It only takes a couple of expert witnesses stating that they wouldn’t clear Finley for NFL-type contact because of risk of paralysis for him to collect his $10M. Just because his own surgeon (and Pitts team Dr.) cleared him doesn’t mean that there’s NOT a significant chance of permanent paralysis by a head hunting safety (insert your favorite cheap-shot safety here).

    He needs to shut-up, retire from injury, collect his insurance money, and enjoy playing with his kids and walking for the rest of his life.

  22. robertlseverson says: Jul 16, 2014 2:21 PM

    I note the phrase, “(We’ve been) showed a couple of deals”. To me that is Finley’s way of drawing a legal line of demarcation between the process of *looking to* be given a chance to play versus actually being given an offer TO play.

    If I am wrong, and any such preliminary steps toward a potential contract are able to be actually defined as an offer, you can bet his family and possibly his agent are about as happy as a burlap sack full of wet wasps with his yapping about it.

  23. tjacks7 says: Jul 16, 2014 2:21 PM

    Insurance companies are nothing but thieves. Pay up.

  24. steelerben says: Jul 16, 2014 2:26 PM

    You know, just the other day I was thinking that with all the offseason changes the only hole left on the Steelers was, “tight end with a serious neck injury and concerns about drops.” Good to see the front office has made several offers to Finley to fill that hole.

  25. electricboogalo says: Jul 16, 2014 2:26 PM

    Insurance only works if you don’t use it.

  26. stellarperformance says: Jul 16, 2014 2:40 PM

    I don’t care if he takes the money, stays healthy, and plays with his kids for the rest of his life. I just wish he’d shut up.

  27. lovethebills says: Jul 16, 2014 2:44 PM

    that’s why the official mascot of the insurance industry is the weasel

  28. themeccalambeaufield says: Jul 16, 2014 2:47 PM

    hawkfan72 says:
    Jul 16, 2014 1:43 PM

    Yeah, if he has been medically cleared and is receiving offers, that means he can play. No way that an insurance company is going to pay out on a policy to cover that he can’t play anymore.

    When he started talking about his offers from the Steelers, I knew he was only hurting his case

    Just because one doctor ok’d him does not mean its all over and he can play. I can guarantee for every 1 doctor that says he is fine to play a violent sport after spinal fusion surgery he could find 4 that would say not to play.

    Its a shame PFT doesn’t sweep out the garbage with the insulting childish posts from Viking fans about a guy that is fighting for his livelihood after a very serious injury. He has a wife and children for Gods sake. Show some class for once, no wonder everyone in here has no respect for you.

  29. purpleguy says: Jul 16, 2014 3:08 PM

    I hate insurance companies even worse than the Packers. Heaven forbid there are insurance company executives that are Packer fans.

  30. davisacross says: Jul 16, 2014 3:09 PM

    Perhaps the agent was talking about the Publisher’s Clearinghouse letter claiming Mr. Finley to be the winner! It has about the same chance of paying off so he could have been confused.

  31. leatherface2012 says: Jul 16, 2014 3:09 PM

    if hes a packer, he has to be the best ever at that position…..correct packer fans? best ever in the history of the league

  32. iamedreed says: Jul 16, 2014 3:14 PM

    ive always said these policies are a waste of money, can you show me anyone who actually collected on one of these policies?

    its very rare for anyone these days to sustain a true career ending injury

  33. clashpoint says: Jul 16, 2014 3:20 PM

    I’m pretty sure the Steelers offered him a vet minimum, and it was before the draft. It probably isn’t there now. In the draft, Steelers took a late round flyer on a te named Rob Blanchflower who will probably get the third te spot on the roster behind Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth. Injuries knocked him down a few rounds, but he’s healthy now. Interest in Finley says the Steelers have probably given up on David Paulson. Last year the Steelers kept 4 tes on the active roster and usually three on game days though, and someone’s always going to get hurt. You have to figure on that in the NFL and plan ahead for it. Ah well, go Steelers :)

  34. jimmysee says: Jul 16, 2014 3:26 PM

    Good call, Florio — Finley has not done himself a whole lot of good hopping around the country trumpeting that he’s been cleared to play — if in the end, he’ll make a disability claim that he’s not!

  35. sbchampsagain says: Jul 16, 2014 3:31 PM

    Pittsburgh wants this guy?!

    #LOL@Colbert

  36. pkrlvr says: Jul 16, 2014 3:57 PM

    What a stupid comment about Obamacare. I work my butt off five days a week but based on my income and number of family members I was able to get excellent insurance (by far the best I’ve ever had) at a rate 1/4 of what I used to pay. The problem everyone has with obamacare stems directly from Fox News and misinformation. In reality it is now working as planned and helping people who need it. You shouldn’t have to be rich to get good healthcare in the USA and the only people fighting it are the supposed christian right who for some reason hate helping the poor…ironically. To the original poster who slammed OC, I wonder if your rates or taxes went up or are you just brainwashed buy fox news? I’m constantly amazed how easily an over-zealous greed factory like the GOP can talk so many sheeple into voting against their own needs.

  37. pkrlvr says: Jul 16, 2014 4:00 PM

    “We all know the money ain’t right”.

    Seriously? You were slightly above average when healthy and now you are a huge ? coming off life changing neck surgery and you expect Jimmy Graham money? Dude is lucky that someone is even kicking his tires!

  38. leatherface2012 says: Jul 16, 2014 4:17 PM

    Its a shame PFT doesn’t sweep out the garbage with the insulting childish posts from Viking fans about a guy that is fighting for his livelihood after a very serious injury. He has a wife and children for Gods sake. Show some class for once, no wonder everyone in here has no respect for you.

    i thought the stock made them invincible

  39. icallbs81 says: Jul 16, 2014 4:33 PM

    hhehehe… deadspin article about the writer… hehee.

  40. ariani1985 says: Jul 16, 2014 4:47 PM

    themeccalambeaufield says:
    Jul 16, 2014 2:47 PM

    Its a shame PFT doesn’t sweep out the garbage with the insulting childish posts from Viking fans about a guy that is fighting for his livelihood after a very serious injury. He has a wife and children for Gods sake. Show some class for once, no wonder everyone in here has no respect for you.
    ———————————————-

    I know, we viking fans come on here to wish him well and you Packer trolls can’t contain yourself…
    Just rember children, insults and putdowns are from jealous Turd Bay fans and are not needed…
    I think it goes like that?

  41. badgerinwis says: Jul 16, 2014 4:48 PM

    This is why you never purchase extended or additional Warranties. Because they will fight you every time you claim something.

  42. aldante66 says: Jul 16, 2014 5:35 PM

    Makes one wonder why would an insurance company even offer a policy that if you decide not to play they pay you ten mill? That in itself sounds stupid.
    I mean I could have an acl and decide, I don’t want another one so I’m retiring now after ten years and cashing in. Ya it can’t possibly work that way or all the older players would do it just before they hang it up.

    I think he is basically screwed and getting wrong advice somewhere. He is cleared to play and been offered a contract so he has no recourse.

  43. slippery1 says: Jul 16, 2014 6:09 PM

    Pittsburgh has “shown him a couple offers” and his reply was, “the money wasn’t there”, so he is refusing work. His insurance covers him if he cannot play, not if he doesn’t want to play for the offer given. Someone in the front office at his insurance company has a slight smile on their face right about now.

  44. ezcheese says: Jul 16, 2014 6:10 PM

    Haha, I called this exact scenario in the post two days ago… An insurance company isn’t going to pay someone who’s cleared AND had offers… If these two things exist, there is no case for disability.

  45. corvetteman6 says: Jul 16, 2014 7:04 PM

    You know, I could understand bring Santonio back, but this guy?

  46. 1952vikefan says: Jul 16, 2014 8:36 PM

    the golden ticket just turned golden brown

  47. handsofsteelhartofstone says: Jul 16, 2014 10:45 PM

    Yeah he has no claim if he’s cleared and has offers. But most disability insurance companies are beyond immoral. Take my word for it.

  48. Doctor G says: Jul 17, 2014 1:28 AM

    If an injury prevents him from performing up to potential .. or the injury caused his earnings to go down then he has a case for collecting most or all of the 10 million . If other teams do not want to take the chance BECAUSE of his injury but would at a lower price then he has damages. He is at least and forever partially disabled.

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