The NFL collective bargaining agreement doesn’t expire until after the 2020 season, but already Steelers player rep and offensive guard Ramon Foster is giving NFL players some advice: Save your money.

Indeed, if there’s a work stoppage in 2021, players could potentially miss game checks, so Foster wants players to be ready – because anything could happen.

What should we make of these comments?

“Well, I thought the same thing I’ve been thinking, which is, ‘Yeah, dudes should be saving their money,’” senior NFL writer Will Brinson said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “But you know what happens? If you take a random sampling of 5,000 people in the population and you give them all a million dollars and you say, ‘All right, in six years, you’re going to need to have some of this money left,’ I bet 50 percent of the population of the sample won’t have any money left. That’s how humans operate. It’s hard to save. If you give somebody $5 million, a bunch of those people are not going to have any money left when that five years is up, and it’s even worse for professional athletes because you’re talking about guys who are typically in the range of 20 to 25. You’ve got people who, a lot of times, are having other people try to take money from them, whether it’s family members who need money or whether it’s people who are trying to take advantage of them. Its not easy or guaranteed to hold on to that money.

“So yeah, he’s 100 percent right,” Brinson continued. “If the players want to use the next CBA negotiation to do something other than strip Roger Goodell of his power – which is going to happen no matter what, but it’s going to be a bargaining chip from the NFL. (They’ll say), ’Oh, well, I guess we’ll give up Roger’s power.’ It’s like, yes, of course you are. They’re going to try and distract from stuff. Same thing with marijuana. So if the players want to get anything meaningful out of the next CBA, yes, Ramon Foster is 100 percent right. They are going to have to be willing to save money now and be willing to miss paychecks when the season starts. That’s the hardest part about the lockout and the hardest part about why I don’t think that we’ll ever see guaranteed contracts in the NFL.”

Brian Jones wonders why Foster and other players are being so vocal now. After all, 2021 is a long way away. Why not just focus on the here and now and see where things stand in a couple of years?

“I think they’re just putting it in motion now,” Brinson said. “These owners are ready. They’re all billionaires. They don’t care about missing paychecks. They don’t care about potentially missing a week’s worth of NFL games. But the players are in a different situation. If you’re a player and you miss that Week 1 game check because the whole league is sitting out, it might drastically alter whether you can pay your bills or not. That’s not going to happen with Jerry Jones or even the quote-unquote poorest owner. So I think the players union understands that they have to get ahead of this now, and even then it’s hard because of the haves and the have-nots in terms of the way that the NFL salary structure works.”


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