Tom Brady may have his name on the antitrust lawsuit filed by the NFLPA*, but he’s not a great example of the typical NFL player. There are a lot more guys like Panthers second-year defensive back R.J. Stanford.
In an interview with Peter Schrager for Esquire, Stanford described how his life has changed during the lockout. He was on the practice squad for most of last year, then earned a few weeks of active roster pay that he tried to save.
“With my 401K contributions, all my health-benefit deductions, and my bills — I couldn’t save much last year,” Stanford said.
So without the guarantee of any income on the way, Stanford has changed his lifestyle a bit.
“The nightlife thing has completely changed. I wasn’t ever an extravagant guy, but now it’s really toned-down,” Stanford said, before describing his new meal plan. “I’ve gone back to basics. I had to. It’s like I’m in college all over again. I’m eating Ramen noodles, Cup-a-Soups, peanut butter and jelly, and oatmeal for dinner.”
Stanford may be exaggerating about the food, but he was serious when talking about watching his money. He says losing his $400-per-week offseason check is significant. He scaled back his vacation plans, and decided to rent for another year instead of buy a condo in Carolina.
We want to point out Stanford wasn’t looking for sympathy; he was just answering questions. He just wants this strange and embarrassing offseason for the NFL to get back to normal.
“I’m bored. I just want to get back to work,” he said.