Ryan Grant Tempered His Excitement After Hearing Judge Susan Nelson’s Ruling On The NFL Lockout
April 27, 2011 – 8:15 am by Steven Cuce
The players received some positive news on Monday when Judge Nelson granted an injunction on the NFL lockout. It’s a slight step in the right direction for the players, but it most likely leads into another two or three months of court action as the NFL will ask for a ‘stay’ while they take their case to appeals court. Roger Goodell and the owners refuse to back down in the lockout case, which is the last thing the fans want to hear. Judge Nelson could rule for the lockout to stay in place while the case goes through appeals court or she can deny the request, thus starting free agency and cause an ensuing player movement frenzy on how teams should go about signing players without any idea of a salary cap.
At the end of the day the recent news of the lockout being lifted is really nothing to be too excited about. Ryan Grant described his mood when he heard the news as ‘tempered.’ He was also fired up about the NFL making it a bigger priority to teach their players on how to manage their money when they enter the league.
Ryan Grant joined WSSP in Milwaukee with The Big Show to discuss hearing the news of the lockout being temporarily lifted by Judge Nelson, if the players as a group know what the injunction means, his thoughts on mid-level players taking out a separate case against the NFL, where he gets his information for the lockout and does he feel that the NFL provides a sufficient enough education to the players on how to manage their money.
When you heard about the news of the lockout being lifted by Judge Nelson did you temper your feelings because you know there was more to come?
“I definitely tempered it because I do know the situation. I understood the next step on both sides. I didn’t jump for joy necessarily, but I understand if people did not know the situation, the masses were probably jumping for joy because initially they just think the lockout is over and everything goes back to what the normal set was, but when people understand that, especially when you’re dealing with legal matters there’s always an appeal for the most part. That is going to take some time. It still might be a little while and there still might be some confusion. I think people are still trying to get on the same page with what exactly the implications are meaning – guys have the ability to go to the facilities, but are they allowed to converse with the coaches? Do they have the means to get playbooks? Do they have the ability to start to workouts? What can the coaches enforce? What can the coaches start with the players? I think within the next few days you’re going to hear people with more detailed talks around those details ,specifically on what can be done now even while this appeal is being set up.”
As a group of players do you guys know what this injunction really means? You can’t pick up your playbook now can you?
“Not necessarily, no. This basically…what this means…what it should mean as long as they say the lockout is lifted and I don’t know exactly what has happened in the past 12 hours at this day, but basically they can’t lock us out. We have access to the facility, doesn’t mean they can start implementing the workouts, they can’t have organized activities and those types of things. If I wanted to go into my locker and get something from my locker I should have the ability to do it. If I want to go check my mail I should be able to do that. If I wanted to go into the weight room I should be able to do that. You know whether or not, honestly I don’t know the details yet. I probably will find out sometime tonight. The relationship with the coaches and how does that work. How much am I able to do with them? Honestly, there is a level of unknown around that and I think it has to do with just the spur of the moment ruling from the judge, which is understandable and we kind of knew. We are kind of waiting to get a specific detailed answer to okay what is next.”
What are your thoughts on the seventy mid-level salary players taking out a separate case themselves against the NFL? Is this going to be a weak link for the players overall?
“It’s funny you say that cause with anything if you’re not unified and you are not united together you’re going to have issues. There will be some sort of issue. I don’t necessarily agree with where it went, but I understand that’s part of the process where you have a group of guys and people don’t understand our league is not made up of superstars. Our league is not made up of guys at the end of the day that make millions and millions of dollars. That’s not the way the league is built. The league is built up of group of guys that every year try to make a team, special teams guys, guys who are working, phenomenal football players, guys who are in the mix, who are trying to get from year-to-year to those next contracts. I get it where they’re coming from and I understand that, but we do have to stay unified as a group. Our numbers… you know our strength is in our numbers. Our strength is in our ability to stay together. You know it’s one of those situations I get where they’re coming from. I wish people were totally educated to the situation as a whole and knowledgeable and I felt like that might help regarding people separating and going their own way, but it’s bound to happen at some point.”
How do you get your information on the lockout? From the media? From your teammates? The NFLPA?
“We get…each team is specific of course. Each team is different and it’s specific to each team. I get emails from the association, from our former union [NFLPA], so I get emails from certain people there. I built a relationship with certain guys that work for ESPN. It’s kind of inside stuff and we chit chat about certain things. I also have a relationship with Aaron [Rodgers], with Charles [Woodson], so I do have a communication from that place. I can’t say that everyone is getting that from the masses. We do have group emails. We have mass emails to kind of keep guys informed, but you know I can’t speak on behalf of everyone. We try to keep guys as informed as possible. I’m not a [player] representative, but I try to do my part. Some players have emailed me today asking, being specific, of exactly what is going and what is the next step. Especially the younger guys and that’s fair. Once we let them know we have a….we are taking steps…we’re gonna have a conference call tonight to get everyone on the same page. I think for the most part that is probably how teams are doing it.”
Do you think the education the NFL provides on how to handle your money is sufficient?
“Of course. Do I think it’s enough? Absolutely not. Do I think what the NFL provides? Absolutely not. The NFLPA tries to provide some assistance and provide some education seminar-wise and different things. Do I feel like the NFL provides enough? No. Honestly, I don’t know if that is one of their priorities. I can’t speak on that and I don’t even know whether it should or should not be one of the priorities. Of course you hear around the country how many guys go through their money and have financial situations. That’s not new to the league. That’s not new in our country, but I don’t know if they necessarily do enough. We are having issues right now regarding that. I know a lot of players are stepping up and helping some of the younger guys. You know some guys are trying. I think as a whole people want to be educated. Some of the young guys might not know how to go about and I think for me ideally you’d want to see more of a priority just like an enforcement priority you know. They make a lot of things mandatory in the NFL that I don’t see as necessarily mandatory, they’re not necessary as being mandatory. I felt like for that ideally it should be. Now at the end of the day you’re talking about an individual and they are adults. We’re not talking about children. There are certain things enforced in the NCAA that we have no choice as college students. You’re talking about professionals now, so how do you enforce that now so you have to be at these meetings, you have to have these dealings with your money, literally if someone said I want to burn my money every year how can you tell somebody you can’t do that?”
Listen to Ryan Grant on WSSP in Milwaukee here
Tags: 2011 NFL Lockout, Green Bay Packers, Ryan Grant, The Big Show, WSSP in Milwaukee