NFL players begin to pay their own healthcare expenses



With the average NFL salary around $2 million, players acknowledge they have much greater financial resources to weather a work stoppage than the average out-of-work fan. But as the NFL lockout enters its second week, some players are beginning to realize how expensive it will be to maintain their chiseled—and in some cases enormous—physiques to the standard they achieved when they had the run of NFL training facilities and weight rooms, breakfast and lunch spreads, trainers, therapists, physicians, and NFL-funded health-care coverage. In a significant blow for the NFLPA, an arbitrator ruled in February that the NFL did not have to provide health insurance coverage for active players once the most recent collective bargaining agreement expired in early March, even though the league had provided benefits to players during the 1982 and '87 strikes.
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