• Documentary: A Personal Portrait of the NFL Lockout



    From the periphery it seems the pace towards labor peace is picking up, as multiple reports indicate another meeting is taking place between the negotiating teams of the owners and the players.

    ESPN's Chris Mortensen tweeted Tuesday morning that labor talks were taking place in the Washington, D.C., area today, and that both sides are in a "deal-making mode." Shortly thereafter, NFL Network's Albert Breer added meetings were happening somewhere along Maryland's Eastern shore.

    In addition to this third set of talks this month, NFL owners are scheduled to meet next Tuesday in suburban Chicago, with ESPN's Adam Schefter noting that a memo went out last night advising owners in advance to be prepared to stay overnight in the Windy City. Many believe the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement may be voted on around this period, but not necessarily approved.

    A Personal Portrait during the NFL Lockout:

    Ninety one days into the lockout it's clear the effort continues to end this labor dispute. With the calendar closing on the traditional scheduling of training camp and the NFL season, the risk of losing significant money is around the corner.

    In the meantime, there are many NFL families being affected by this impasse on a day-to-day basis. Rest assured that life hasn't stopped nor been put on hold as those who depend on an NFL check wait on the principal parties to come to terms.

    With that in mind, I decided to capture a portrait of the lockout that personally shows how this labor dispute has altered the lives of two NFL players during this waiting period.

    Broncos tight end Dan Gronkowski and punter Britton Colquitt opened the doors of their respective homes and the windows into their intimate thoughts to give the public a picture of how their daily routines have changed as a result. From readjusting to more time at home fearing about their futures, to taking charge financially of their own training schedules, to their significant others picking up second jobs for extra income, Gronkowski and Colquitt are helping us translate the reporting of the NFL lockout into real life in the video above.

    Comments 22 Comments
    1. Josina Anderson's Avatar
      Hello Guys.
      It's Jojo. I'm looking forward to connecting with you guys again from a brief respite as it finally feels like there's palpable progress on the labor front. I know both parties are not at the finish line yet, but I sense the gears are churning. I tell you what, with NBA over for a while, it was about to look real bleak out there. Smh.
    1. SpartaChris's Avatar
      Welcome back, Jojo!
    1. BroncosforumsTned's Avatar
      Hey JoJo,

      Loved the segment. I must admit that I'm guilty of thinking that even the guys making rookie or 2nd year minimum salaries are well enough off to weather the lockout. It's an interesting look into these guys that haven't signed the big contracts and how the lockout is affecting them.

      Great job!
    1. SpartaChris's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by BroncosforumsTned View Post
      Hey JoJo,

      Loved the segment. I must admit that I'm guilty of thinking that even the guys making rookie or 2nd year minimum salaries are well enough off to weather the lockout. It's an interesting look into these guys that haven't signed the big contracts and how the lockout is affecting them.

      Great job!
      Not to appear insensitive, but when minimum league contract is for someone on the 53 man roster is $310,000, these guys should be well off enough weather the lockout. Even if you took out 50% for taxes (If they're paying that, they need better accountants) and agents, that's a take home pay of $105,000 for a bottom roster guy. No, it's not a TON of money, but it's still almost two times higher than the national median income. And that's AFTER taxes. My guess is they probably pay closer to 40% for everything, leaving their take home at $186,000. If that's not enough to live on and not have to work for a year, then your expenses are obviously way too high, and you have no one to blame but yourself.
    1. msclemons's Avatar
      I agree Sparta but on the flip side the rookies and minimum wage guys aren't the ones pushing this. It's the owners, star players and union reps. Guys like Gronk and Colquitt are just caught in the middle of a fight between the big boys.

      JoJo, this was an excellent report but it didn't make me cry like the Burress/Jacobs report. You're gonna have to work on that.
    1. Josina Anderson's Avatar
      Appreciate you guys taking the time to watch it. Honestly, Dan Gronkowski inspired me to budget more. He seems really really disciplined. Listening to D.G. and watching the way he lives on his salary was inspiring.

      I always like to get to know the guys better through features like this in the offseason. Dan can be very introverted in the locker room at times, and there is nothing wrong with that-- especially as he steps up to the plate when requested. However, once we got started on this piece he was so involved. Spending time with Dan and his fiance Brittany Blujus made me see another side of him. He really is genuine. I mean getting up at 8:30am when you don't have a boss to answer to, and working out almost 3 times a day is impressive.

      You are right guys. Even the lower tier players should have a healthy savings relative to the average American, but it still takes structure to live within your means when it is so tempting no to.

    1. msclemons's Avatar
      I forgot to razz Gronk on twitter for burning the corn. I'll have to do that tomorrow.
    1. Josina Anderson's Avatar
      Gronk's corn on the cob was magically delicious.
    1. SpartaChris's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by msclemons View Post
      I agree Sparta but on the flip side the rookies and minimum wage guys aren't the ones pushing this. It's the owners, star players and union reps. Guys like Gronk and Colquitt are just caught in the middle of a fight between the big boys.

      JoJo, this was an excellent report but it didn't make me cry like the Burress/Jacobs report. You're gonna have to work on that.
      Oh I understand completely. The owners are looking for a long term deal they can live with. The players are looking for a short term deal they can live with. The bottom of the roster, not yet super star guys are saying, "Hey, we just want to play some ball!"
    1. Polishguy00's Avatar
      Well, look, you get nine comments in and I've got nothing great to add. The smart guys budgeted for this since the players were warned of the possibility last year. Gronk seems to be one of those smart guys. I did like the piece to see the family life of some players. I like to see things that always show that we are all the same in many ways. The guys in the middle are certainly the one getting sharp end of the stick.
    1. Jerry Jones's Avatar
      JoJo,
      I hope you are right about NFL labor peace beginning to appear on the horizon.
      The sooner the better. JJ
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      This should be required viewing for all players that are caught in the middle of the fight between the big boy players and owners. It really is good viewing for all players on how to structure a budget and stay on it. We all know a huge problem is players of all levels of earning power having no clue how to preserve and grow what they have. It is mind boggling how many players blow through so much money so irresponsibly. This has to be addressed.
    1. SpartaChris's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lapham View Post
      This should be required viewing for all players that are caught in the middle of the fight between the big boy players and owners. It really is good viewing for all players on how to structure a budget and stay on it. We all know a huge problem is players of all levels of earning power having no clue how to preserve and grow what they have. It is mind boggling how many players blow through so much money so irresponsibly. This has to be addressed.
      Well stated. I've felt for a long time that if the union values it's membership as much as they say they do, they would have these guys spend a few weeks during the off-season taking some basic finance courses. No one expects these guys to become investment bankers or anything like that, but I do think it is a reasonable expectation for these guys to learn how to spend wisely, save and plan for life after football. And I feel the onus should be on the players union, and not the owners, to make sure the players are prepared.
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by SpartaChris View Post
      Well stated. I've felt for a long time that if the union values it's membership as much as they say they do, they would have these guys spend a few weeks during the off-season taking some basic finance courses. No one expects these guys to become investment bankers or anything like that, but I do think it is a reasonable expectation for these guys to learn how to spend wisely, save and plan for life after football. And I feel the onus should be on the players union, and not the owners, to make sure the players are prepared.
      It is absolutely on the Union to educate their guys (they already do - just not well enough). Not to sport-jump, but look at Brandon Jennings (the basketball player who opted to go & play in Europe instead of doing the 'one & done' NCAA thing). I heard an interview with him one time during his rookie season. He said that the older guys in Europe taught him to respect his money and make it grow. Kid drives an American car, lives in an inexpensive apartment, banks his paychecks. Too bad all 20 year olds don't have that kind of fiscal discipline (I sure as hell didn't).
    1. SpartaChris's Avatar
      I too lacked discipline when I was younger. I didn't want to save, I only wanted to spend. I didn't truly appreciate the value of saving, certainly nowhere near like I do now. That's why I think the education needs to be ongoing. Make it a challenge, make it fun, and make it not seem like work. Hell, they can automate it now. Just do something...
    1. FootballFan's Avatar
      Not sure where to post this, so I picked here. Another interesting look at how the NFL labor situation affects football players.

      http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/06/...h-nfl-lockout/
    1. Josina Anderson's Avatar
      I hear reports of progress. I hear about the back and forth on numbers. At times I also hear about regression. Relative to where things were after the NFL Draft, and during the meditated "talks" in Washington, D.C., things are ahead.

      Although one player close to talks told me last week "don't believe the hype," as it relates to a deal getting done right this second when commenting on a report, communications are relatively less caustic. That's a good thing.

      Overall, the situation remains fluid and sensitive. That's today. Let's see where we stand tomorrow. Pushing the threat of the players' antitrust litigation is always a trump card for De, as is the threat of those same players missing game checks for the owners.

      In my humble opinion, the best time to really tap in for specifics regarding where we really are on an imminent lockout resolution is when we're closer to tangible season-markers for the fans, and significant money-losing deadlines for the league. Less static. Less posturing. More real talk.

      We'll keep listening daily.
    1. Josina Anderson's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lapham View Post
      This should be required viewing for all players that are caught in the middle of the fight between the big boy players and owners. It really is good viewing for all players on how to structure a budget and stay on it. We all know a huge problem is players of all levels of earning power having no clue how to preserve and grow what they have. It is mind boggling how many players blow through so much money so irresponsibly. This has to be addressed.
      I could not agree more. If seeing how Gronkowski lives isn't a wake up call with the relative money he has...I don't know what is. That is true money-saving discipline.
    1. Josina Anderson's Avatar
      I'm about to go cut some coupons.
    1. msclemons's Avatar
      Here you go JoJo.