This could very well be some of the more disheartening news I've heard since the lockout began. Some NFL players are reportedly turning to short term loans with huge interest rates as a way to cover their expenses during the work stoppage. The rates are rumored to be between 18-24 percent.
Although the story doesn't say exactly how many players have sought out these loans, ThePostGame.com cites a financial adviser that estimates it's as many as 10% of the leagues players including members of the Dolphins, Saints, 49ers, Panthers, Chargers, Bears and Vikings.
NFLPA rep Jay Feeley sounds upset about what he sees as predatory lending to needy players.
"Sounds like total B.S.," said Cardinals kicker and NFLPA representative Jay Feely. "I think it's predatory and unjust. I don’t think they should be charging those interest rates and I would encourage every player [considering high-risk loans] to look elsewhere. I think if you went to your bank, or outside lending agencies, you're not going to pay that kind of interest. That’s absurd."
By borrowing against their future earnings, these players are essentially taking the same kind of pay cut that they're fighting the owners over right now. In fact, you have to wonder what this means for future negotiations. For one, as players are forced to pay these loan shark style interest rates for loans to continue the lifestyle you might think they would be motivated to take whatever deal possible to just get back playing and drawing a paycheck.
However, if they're on the hook for 20% interest payments, they might just be even more against agreeing to any kind of deal that limits their salary growth over the next few years. This is very unfortunate news and just another example of how dangerous this lockout is to the league as a whole.