The July 4th weekend wasn’t a quiet one off the field for a few NFL teams as it’s been reported that Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants and C.J. Wilson of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers both suffered injuries while shooting off fireworks.
While the status of the hand injury suffered by Pierre-Paul is still unknown as it relates to the severity, Wilson reportedly lost two fingers in his accident, according to the Lincoln Times-News. While we certainly hope for the best when it comes to both players, if Wilson’s injury is as severe as reports are indicating, his career could be over.
While several people tend to believe that contracts signed by players aren’t really fair when it comes to guarantees, you have to wonder if teams should be protected when it comes to money paid to a player if said player severely injuries himself in a manner that both Pierre-Paul and Wilson suffered their recent injuries.
Sure, both of these injuries were the result of accidents, but were they not accidents that resulted from a known dangerous activity?
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger nearly lost his life several years ago while riding his motorcycle on the city streets and while I don’t know for sure, one would could easily speculate that he now has stipulations in the contracts that he’s signed since then that strongly discourage him from ever riding a motorcycle again until he retires.
Riding a motorcycle is of course different from shooting off fireworks. Additionally, one could easily suffer a significant hand injury by merely closing a door or by performing any other routine daily motions associated with life.
I understand that football players risk very serious injury every time that they step on the field, but they are compensated, some more than others, for taking those risk.
Wilson was originally signed as an undrafted free agent so there’s currently no signing bonus involved with his contract. In other words, the Buccaneers will suffer no consequences from a salary cap perspective should they ultimately have to part ways with the young cornerback.
As for Pierre-Paul, the Giants reportedly rescinded a long-term deal they had on the table for him immediately after his accident took place. However, the last I heard, they hadn’t pulled the unsigned $14.8 million franchise tag off of the defensive end.
I plan on asking a few agents that I know if high-dollar contracts include some sort of fireworks clause or something similar associated to hazards such as that.
This whole discussion might seem a bit trivial, but being as two NFL players were injured while shooting off fireworks on the same day, I figure it’s worth talking about and I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the topic as well.