NFL players might be socking away their paychecks soon to get ready for a lockout that could cost them their entire salary in 2011.
The pro football players’ union has advised its members to save their last three game checks this year in case next season is canceled. In a letter to the players that was viewed by the Associated Press, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said the union’s “internal deadline” for agreeing to a new collective bargaining agreement has passed.
“It is important that you protect yourself and your family,” he wrote in the letter, which was dated Wednesday.
NFLPA spokesman George Atallah declined to elaborate on what effect the passing of the self-imposed deadline would have on negotiations, saying the letter was an “internal communication.”
But copies were strewn across a table on Saturday in the New England Patriots’ locker room, where they were visible to players, reporters and team officials.
After a reporter asked players about the letter, a Patriots spokesman flipped the copies face-down.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello called the news of a deadline “disappointing and inexplicable, especially for fans.”
Leonhard’s season ends
New York Jets safety Jim Leonhard was placed on injured reserve, ending the season for one of the team’s defensive leaders a day after he broke his right shin in practice.
A stabilizing rod was placed through Leonhard’s tibia during surgery Friday night at Morristown Memorial Hospital, located a few miles from the team’s training facility. The Jets announced that Leonhard is tentatively scheduled to be released today or Monday, and is expected to make a full recovery. He had no damage to his fibula, ankle or knee.