The NFL and the Players are at a crossroad and as a former player and someone who has an ongoing relationship with the Chiefs organization, I see, and somewhat understand, both sides of the issues, I am just not sure where its going and how quickly it is going to be resolved.
Of course as a former player I would love to see more attention payed to the benefits of the retired players, because one fact that does exist is that all the current players will, at some point in time, become retired NFL Players. Those great medical benefits they now receive will no longer be available once their football careers are over. If you played long enough to qualify for a pension then you most likely sustained many of the normal injuries that go along with the sport, shoulder, knee, back and head and sometime in the future, severe arthritic conditions. If that is the case, these players along with thousands of retired players, will find and continue to find it very difficult to obtain medical insurance. Insurance companies are just not willing to take on those preexisting conditions.
There are so many retired players who are suffering from major medical conditions who cannot get affordable insurance, if they can get any insurance at all. Adding to that, most of them cannot go back to their former employers for workers compensation. The facts are, most if not all of their disabilities came from their football careers. The most disappointing part of this is, the NFLPA and the Pension have more than enough money to take care of every retired players medical insurance and their premium expenses.
It’s just my opinion, but addressing these issues will go a long way in securing a strong CBA and a much needed closer bond between the active players, the retired players and the Owners.
Now addressing the Lock Out by the owners. It is simple, it is the money! I can’t say that I blame them. With the uncertainty of the CBA and with millions of dollars due for roster bonuses, restricted and unrestricted free agent player issues, it is difficult if not impossible for them to do business. The owners need clarity in order to operate.
The problem I see is that in the last CBA the owners made a bad deal and they realize it. Now they are trying to figure a way of turning the table around and restructuring the revenue splits. Time will tell the story on that issue. What I do think is that the addition of two regular season games is just a negotiating ploy. It isn’t a good idea, period and everyone knows it.
The next month or two are going to be very interesting. The guys I feel sorry for are all the new drafted players who are wanting to get their new careers started, the coaches and all the support staffs for all the teams, they are all caught between a rock and a hard spot.
There isn’t much we can do as fans, just hope that sound and logical minds get this settled, and soon!
The Outdoor Quaterback