Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Apr 2011

Players Begin Arriving At Team Facilities

Hours after U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled in favor of the players and enjoined the lockout, the NFLPA emailed players, suggesting they report to work on Tuesday. Though the NFL filed a motion for a stay with Judge Nelson, and plan to appeal to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court in St. Louis if that stay request is denied, the league informed teams to allow the players into the building.

For now.

This morning, players have already begun arriving to their team facilities. Carolina Panthers kicker John Kasay, who also serves as the team’s player advocate, was the first to arrive, Mike Cranston of The Associated Press reports.

Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger reports that New York Jets guard Brandon Moore (also a player advocate), left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and defensive lineman Mike DeVito showed up at the team’s Florham Park, New Jersey headquarters. Jets linebacker Bart Scott also made an appearance, as did wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, who’s recovering from back surgery and showed up to use the cold tub, Rich Cimini of ESPN New York reports. The tub was off-limits, so Cotchery left.

Like all players signed by the Carolina Panthers, as well as players for the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens, Kasay does not have a lucrative workout bonus written into his contract. Moore ($250,000), Scott ($250,000), Cotchery ($325,000), DeVito ($350,000), and Ferguson ($750,000) are five of the over 60 NFL players with workout bonuses worth in excess of $250,000 this off-season.

Workout bonuses are paid based on the player’s participation in a percentage of the team’s organized workouts. Due to the lockout, dates for those programs may not be established. Until there is a more definitive resolution to the labor dispute, players may not be allowed to actually workout at the facility, but that won't prevent players with large workout bonuses from checking in to lay the legal groundwork for claims on those funds.

Posted by: Brian McIntyre on 26 Apr 2011

5 comments, Last at 26 Apr 2011, 3:36pm by JasonK


by andrew :: Tue, 04/26/2011 - 11:14am

Assuming they have to let them in the facility, what exactly does a team gain by not letting a player with no workout clause work out?

And even if they do have such a clause, I mean, really? what exactly are you gaining here? This seems petty. They showed up, tried to work out, you didn't let them. Yeah, that's going to hold water in court.

Heaven forbid this working out be about a player actually working out and being in proper condition than about money.

by loneweasel (not verified) :: Tue, 04/26/2011 - 11:18am

If the players get injured in team facility, say John Kasay dropped a dumbell on his toe in the weightroom, the team would be liable financially. That's a more immediate consequence than the lawsuit, which is in the distant future and frankly will not likely be decided before the dispute is settled.

It's a similar situation to when McNair was about to be traded by Titans and was prohibited by the team from working out on team property.

by andrew :: Tue, 04/26/2011 - 11:45am

Yes but that was a case of a player a team intended to get rid of.

As long as they were on board that would be a normal risk taken under normal circumstances by any team on a daily basis.

The NFL teams are not intending to get rid of all the players who show up to work out, are they?

by BaronFoobarstein :: Tue, 04/26/2011 - 2:32pm

Whatever stance I may have on the overall conflict, I'm willing to give the owners the benefit of the doubt on things like workouts for a couple of days. The judgment just came down. Before that these activities were on hold. That means equipment could be in storage, trainers could all be on vacation/unreachable, training schedules may not have been worked out, etc. I can understand it taking a couple days to "spin up" and to get logistics in order.

The way Ryan Clark was talking during his interview it really came across as there's this business thing between players an owners and then there's the task of preparing for a season of football as a team. He talked about meeting with his various coaches and managers. It sounds like the business thing will be what it will be, but absent a strike or lockout they'll just kind of carry on with things.

by JasonK :: Tue, 04/26/2011 - 3:36pm

The Giants have let DT Chris Canty use their workout facilities. (He was one of 3 Giants to check in, but the other two-- Brandon Jacobs & Mario Manningham-- didn't stick around.)