Today’s column by Washington Post sportswriter Mike Wise points to a statistic you won’t read on sports pages:
“…78 percent of all NFL players go bankrupt or are in financial duress just two years into retirement.”
Whoa! That’s the kind of thing you expect to hear about boxers. Don’t NFL guys go to college (classes)?
Wise says that Joe Gibbs quietly returned to Redskins Park last month to coach a few players on money management and financial savvy. It’s like Gibbs to do that sort of thing. And the need is so great.
Wise points out that Albert Haynesworth is the target of several lawsuits. Mark Brunell filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after investments went bad. Gibbs himself faced a similar situation in 1981when he naively allowed others to commit him to bad business obligations. He was too busy trying to win Super Bowls. Read Wise’s story at washingtonpost.com.
Here at Redskins Hog Heaven, we spend a lot of time in thoughtful analysis about this team. Today we’re just pointing out that NFL teams are no different than other large employers who make their bucks through a talent-rich workforce. The Redskins failings in the Snyder era rise from poor organizational management. This may be one thing they are getting right.
It’s hard to find good help these days. It’s more costly to replace elite talent than to keep it. Whether you are a football team or consulting firm, when your high revenue players face trouble, you try to help them before you think about firing them. That’s a pure business calculation.
That’s why Albert Haynesworth is still here, though I’m not sure he wants to be helped. (No, he was not at the Gibbs sessions.)
It’s why the Washington Redskins are taking a chance with Larry Johnson who was every bit as disruptive to the Kansas City Chiefs last season as Haynesworth is now. Hey, General McChrystal was fired for making similar comments about his civilian bosses as Johnson’s did about his KC coaches. Both McChrystal and Johnson suffered similar fates.
Brandon Lloyd was an untalented diva. It was worth giving him two seasons to make a go of it in Washington. Clinton Portis was a talented diva; “was” being the operative word, we hope.
Employees are going to mess up. If they are worth keeping, they are worth helping, whether it’s for money management skills, or for a life out of control.
That’s just good management.