Steelers player rep urges players to save money for a work stoppage


The Steelers have already lost two key players to suspensions via the league’s substance abuse issue.

But veteran guard Ramon Foster, the team’s representative to the NFL Players Association, said “there are bigger issues than pot,” though his frustration led him to urge players to begin saving money for a potential work stoppage after the 2020 season.

The Steelers will miss wide receiver Martavis Bryant for the entire season, but running back Le’Veon Bell’s suspension was just negotiated down from four games to three. It’s future negotiations Foster’s more worried about, however.

Hit them in the pocket. That way, money always talks,” Foster said, via Jeremy Fowler of “For us to do that, we have to save on our end. We can’t be just blowing money and not realize what’s coming, especially with guys coming into the league now.”

That’s a bold statement — although with average careers shorter than four seasons, not all current players are going to have to worry about 2021 anyway.

Foster said players ought to be concerned with not only the league’s drug policy, but league control of punishments and post-career care and insurance are the kinds of things players need to be aware of as well.

And he cautioned players to be better prepared financially if they’re locked out, as happened after the 2010 season.

“It’s coming. They’ve hired certain people on their legal team, the NFL has, and we have to be the type of players and union that’s not borrowing money from banks and stuff like that to survive a lockout, a strike,” Foster said. “That can’t happen this time around. We have to be smarter this time around because there are a lot of things we’re going to be fighting for and a lot of things they are going to want and we’re going to want, too.”

There’s a significant difference between a strike and a lockout, and Foster’s other words are will clearly be heard as a threat by management. And the fact the threats are starting now can’t be a good sign.

61 responses to “Steelers player rep urges players to save money for a work stoppage

  1. Its more likely than not there will be no football for multiple seasons, at least the nfl will get a new, hopefully less insane commissioner though, so at least there’s a bright side.

  2. The players need to get a better deal from the owners. I hope they can hold out for a long time and push the owners for a fair compromise. Right now the owners are robbing them blind.

  3. I’m guessing this will be the first of over 1,000 headlines I will see regarding a 2021 work stoppage.

  4. Nice! Absolutely.

    As a fan of 35 years, I WISH for a strike and I support the players 100% with the fraud that is being committed to the NFL customer.

    Framing players, assisting certain organizations as a way to cheat, lying outright, covering things up, etc.

    There is no principle or consistency for anyone involved.

    It’s just this orchestrated push to try squeeze as much money down the pipe as possible as fast as possible.

    I bet they’re in a room right now wondering how Brexit will affect the Jaguars moving there in a few years.


    I refuse to support a corrupt operation any further.

  5. Good, I hope the players listen to him. But why wait till 2020? Goodell has already trashed the last agreement and decided to lump everything into conduct detrimental to the league. Strike now. Tear it up and start over.

  6. Yep, because it’s so hard to survive on even the league minimum. I suppose the 12 children and bling adds up, b ut, really, I doubt many fans will support rich divas whining…JMO

  7. 2016 season off to a great start: HOF game fiasco, pre-season drug suspensions, concussions, domestic abuse cases and now lockout talk. This league is on a fast track to extinction.

  8. Have to give the Steelers players credit. Only group to vote against the last CBA, and only one speaking up now to prepare for the work stoppage that will come without a doubt when this CBA is up.

  9. .
    Record profits for management + record profits for labor = impending irreconcilable impasse

    Face facts people, most of these owners either inherited their money or made it in other industries where customer service was non existent. They’re completely tone deaf to the public.

  10. Sage advice. Unfortunately, the players won’t listen and owners will again take them for a ride. I love how this is all Goodell’s fault. Wake up people, he is just doing as he is told by the owners and they think he’s awesome. They would have gotten rid of him a long time ago if they didn’t.

    Fan of teams that have been disciplined by him need to give it a rest. Especially NE!

  11. Good luck with that. We all know most players paid above the league minimum go and buy their Bentley first. Not very savvy financially….but flashy. Also, the players will have no leverage at CBA time. They can hold out, we will watch “scabs” play the game, the owners don’t care. And the players can kiss a year or more of paycheck and career goodbye.

  12. you all are unbelievable- why in the world would anybody want a strike? yeah, it’s certainly fun to rag on Goodell because he’s such a frickin moron but the players are paid extremely well and sure maybe they only have on average a 3.5 year career but so what? where’s it written they shouldn’t have to go out and get another job when that career is over? rest of us have to.

    if you all want to put all this energy into wishing for strikes why don’t you start organizing a fan strike, we are the one’s getting screwed by ALL the parties.

  13. This guy is a fool. The players will roll over for the $$$$. Period. NOT THE GUYS MAKING THE BIG BUCKS WITH THE LOUD MOUTHS WHO HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE. The guys supporting their families and realize PEDs, domestic violence, sexual assault take them all down and are thankful someone takes them to task.

  14. “That’s a bold statement — although with average careers shorter than four seasons, not all current players are going to have to worry about 2021 anyway.”
    The players that are gone by 2021 have even more to worry about than the ones playing then. These are the guys who will no longer be making the league minimum, somewhere around $400k. And they likely will no be able to rely on their degree from a Div 1 football school, even if they graduated, the degree is likely in some worthless major.

  15. wow what a bad idea. encouraging people to not spend there money is what caused the great depression. cant say im suprised to see the players union pulling tricks like this in search of a new deal. call it the black and gold standard.

  16. He is right. You gotta think the players are realizing how bad their deal is when they see how NBA and MLB players are getting paid while those respective leagues make less money. They also realize that Goodell can’t be given power because clearly he has a hard time being fair and making the right decision when it comes to discipline.

    Given the fact Goodell is a little baby girl who loves his power, there could potentially be no football season played in 2021. I am sure the owners will try to put replacement players out there like Shane Falco and we will be forced to watch less talented people play football for a few weeks until it becomes too much to withstand (like the refs) and the owners are forced to cave in. Maybe Goodell will push the envelop too far with his shenanigans that he will get fired. That is best case scenario to avoid an ugly 2021 season.

  17. players need 70% of proceeds. Owners make billions and do nothing. Most of them are failures. A chimp can run the NFL and make billions because of the fans.

  18. It is time for workers to stand up and take notice. It is not just NFL players who are getting screwed by the MAN look at where you are compared to your parents. And look at where your children are compared to you. STAND UP AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

  19. realtruthteller100 says:
    Aug 22, 2016 2:19 PM
    wow what a bad idea. encouraging people to not spend there money is what caused the great depression.

    It’s a good thing for every history and economics teacher you ever had that they can’t be tied your ‘education’ but, yeah, wow indeed.

  20. patriot420blog says:
    Aug 22, 2016 1:57 PM
    everyone can thank Roger Goodell when we can’t watch football in 2020.
    Lol the Pats hatred for Roger Goodell is comical. Roger has done a solid for the Pats in the past but the Pats pushed it and had to keep cheating.

  21. Weed will never be allowed in the NFL, period. It is going to be the biggest nightmare for coaches. If the NFPA wants weed to be legal, they need to assume all testing aspects, and that is two tests a week for every single player. They should pay for the tests as well. Why should the fans pay their hard earned money for piss tests? Seems to me that when a player like Brady gets caught cheating, the NFPA wants to call what the infraction is and the player then gets to pick his penality. Never gonna happen. Goodell is the only commissioner who has done his job. Granted, he was forced into it, but he has done his job. Prior commissioners turned a blind eye to game altering cheating, concussions, the black eyes and broken bones of hundreds and hundreds battered women. At least he has tried and has made several changes that have been for the good.

  22. 1) Players bargained for and agreed to the current CBA so they are every bit as responsible for the current status of the league!

    2) Players are mad because they can’t pass a drug test if they smoke weed….this is NOT a new development!!! Tell me one job that pays 6 figures and allows you to be a pot head?? No really tell me if you know of one cuz I will apply!!

    So a few years ago they signed an agreement they felt was acceptable and now they are mad because they are being held to it?? Either organize a strike, take notes so you are better prepared for next CBA, or shut up and deal with it. Either way I do not feel sorry for people being paid minimum $450k up to $30 mil a year to play a game!!!!!

  23. Good luck with that, Ramon. Players, like much of society, are impulsive and stupid. Give them a stack of cash and they’ll spend most of it. These young macho guys aren’t worried about 5 years from now. They should be but we know they aren’t.

    Owners have the players by the nads. They get TV revenue for 1 year even if a strike/lockout occurs. I seriously doubt players will let a year go by w/o a paycheck just to fix the drug policy. They would be fools to do that.

  24. They better hope they have a better ED than Demaurice Smith or they can expect to get taken to the cleaners again…He is so bad I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out he’s on the owners payroll, they couldn’t have pick a better stooge themselves….

  25. He is right as rain. When the NFL strikes in 2021, that’s the end of me and my 8 season tickets if I even last that long. Good luck finding another sucker.

  26. “encouraging people to not spend there money is what caused the great depression”

    Uh no. The stock market crash from a huge bubble, bank failures, reduction in purchase came only after the average person lost a lot in the stock market crash after investing with little knowledge of how it worked, America’s economic policy with Europe and drought conditions all combined to cause the great depression.

    And as I mentioned, reduction from purchasing happened only after the stock market crash and bank failures when the average person lost all their savings and many their jobs.

  27. Bad player reps will cause the players to lose $millions. The players never win when they strike. The public has no sympathy for millionaires that go on strike.

  28. Lock em out and KEEP them out. The league can find more athletes that WANT to play the game. I will find that very refreshing compared to today’s employees who only care about themselves, their stupid dances (for doing what they’re paid to do) and endorsements.

  29. Maybe the league can get popular in China and get many more Billions from there, I think the market is pretty tapped here and I for one don’t like the way Roger is running this show.

    It’s a constant fight to show who’s in charge versus what makes the most sense for all involved, pretty sad actually.

  30. A strike fund is a good idea. It worked for the MLBPA. But between the lower salaries, the shorter careers, and the lack of guaranteed contracts, this is an impractical plan.

  31. When will the players learn that the NFLPA is their problem? All this whining and moaning about an agreement that the NFLPA was part of developing and a membership that accepted it. Blame yourself for being stupid…you did it all to yourself! Your union is the problem.

  32. The worst move the NFL ever did was having scab football players.

    The second worst thing they did was having scab referees.

    The third worst thing they did was have a lockout.

    All three go to show you what the owners think of their chattel.

  33. Here is an idea, don’t do drugs, don’t cheat, don’t rape, don’t bully, don’t drink drive, don’t beat people up, don’t shoot yourself and you will be fine in most walks of life. Could have added a few more in there but hey ho you know what I mean.

  34. Tom Brady cheats and players couldn’t care less about Roger’s power, but try and take away their HGH and weed….. STRIKE!!

  35. Though patently impossible, it would be interesting to see what effect a fan boycott ahead of 2020 might have. Usually these strikes/lockouts, be they football or baseball or hockey, seem completely divorced from the source of all the revenue, ie. fans. Something tells me that if a strike/lockout had permanent consequences in terms of revenue (it never has before) both sides wide have an easier time finding common ground.

  36. We’re in a Great Depression now. There are 100 million working age people out of the work force out of approximately 200 million working age people. We’d have bread lines except for the fact that millions get food stamp cards, over half of all households get a government check, and millions use credit cards to pay at least a portion of their living expenses.

  37. If you’ve been making 6-7 figures for at least 1 year and you have to “borrow money” to get by during a work stoppage of 3-4 weeks, something is wrong.

  38. I’ve said for years that the bottom will at somepoint fallout. if it’s this CBA argreement or the next it’s gonna happen it’s inevitable.
    People are gonna stop paying insane prices that keep going up and up for Season tickets (PSL for some), concessions, and merchandise. This is not to mention most of the cities that are stuck paying the tab for stadiums after teams want new ones. Networks aren’t paying millions for TV rights anymore it’s now into the Billions, Which helps with the salary cap. But ESPN is already having layoffs and when the networks stop paying to air the games and the consumer stops paying to go then what happens to a soon to be trillion sport ?

  39. He is right. You gotta think the players are realizing how bad their deal is when they see how NBA and MLB players are getting paid while those respective leagues make less money. They also realize that Goodell can’t be given power because clearly he has a hard time being fair and making the right decision when it comes to discipline.
    MLB also has 81 home games and revenue sharing.

    Please do not make NFL players out to be victims. They are making a ton of cash too. I mean Ryan Tannehill just got paid! If some guys can’t pass a drug test that’s not Goodell or the owners fault. If I made $1m per year I’d do pretty much anything my employer asked.

  40. I used to respect the owners. People like the Rooney’s seemed honest.

    Then I realised they employed a liar and cheat named goodell.

    I have no respect for any owners.

    If they employ goodell then they are liars and cheaters too.

    So as much as I like football I hope the players make them suffer

  41. Let me see if I understand this correctly. About 2000 NFL players saving money for a possible work stoppage are going to bring about another depression? No where in the article does it state that the players shouldn’t spend their money, but rather to spend wisely and save what they can. Savings do NOT hinder economic growth, it gives financial institutions the money to invest, and keep the economy growing.

  42. I honestly think people get on Goodell a little too harsh… former players sue for head trauma, nfl changes rules, current players rip him and nfl for being weak because of changed rules. teams cheat, he is either an ahole for punishing too much or corrupt for not punishing enough. his hands arent exactly clean but neither are the players. The owners cheat the fans (subsidizing billionaires stadiums, PSL’s, Exclusive media rights, etc) and the players want their share of the ill-gotten gains, neither care about the fans.

  43. This is the best news I’ve heard in a while. I hope the players do strike and I hope the league is shut down for a whole year. Let all the owners and players go without the money rolling in and see how they all like it.
    So — here’s a vote for a strike!!

  44. everyone can thank Roger Goodell when we can’t watch football in 2020.
    ummm no. You can thank the NFLPA for striking to get back what they should never have given up in the first place.

  45. Why can’t the NFLPA be concerned about post-career care and insurance? The players get half the money, they can use it however they wish – including post-career care and insurance for retired players.

  46. Most American men would gladly trade places w an NFL player, make lots of cash for playing a game we played for free growing up. Can’t feel bad for these players who go broke after leaving football. The NFL was built by businessmen. Players come and go.

  47. The players should stage a wildcat strike the week before the opener. Demand Goodell be fired and demand the league office quit playing the role of judge, jury and executioner.

  48. Good luck in getting most of the black players to save their money for the next 4 years. They need to buy their bling and luxury cars that they go and put their names and numbers on.

  49. One thing he seems to be forgetting is that he’s 30. He’s a UFA in 2019 where he’ll be 33. He probably won’t be in the league anyway by 2021 and as he seems to be causing trouble now i can’t see a team picking him up. He’s pretty much just talked himself out of work.

  50. blackbug99 says:
    Aug 22, 2016 2:02 PM
    Yep, because it’s so hard to survive on even the league minimum. I suppose the 12 children and bling adds up, b ut, really, I doubt many fans will support rich divas whining…JMO


    You (and millions of other people) during and supported them after the last work stoppage. You’ll do it again.

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