My husband, who is only interested in football as it affects me (and thus has learned not to make rude remarks about the team when they lose) mentioned Terry Bradshaw's comments about Ben, which he had actually read. The thing that struck him was Bradshaw's comment that back in the day the player's salaries were not sufficient to allow them to do quite so much stupid stuff. (I'm paraphrasing his paraphrase.)
This got my husband to thinking. He said that of course it isn't realistic to assume that the salaries could ever return to some "reasonable" level, but perhaps they could be deferred. In other words, the team would pay active players some sort of better-than-living wage, but the rest of their deal would go into a trust fund that they would receive only after they retire. (There would have to be some rule - three years, five years, whatever - about how soon they could change their mind and come back. No Brett Favre stunts...)It's an interesting idea. It would prevent players from retiring with essentially no money. It would at least delay the handouts to newly-discovered friends and relations. And it would hopefully keep the players from having so much money to throw around that they were either a target or enabled to do really stupid stuff, for a while, anyhow. And if they haven't learned any better sense once they retire, it's their own problem, rather than that of their team and the NFL.
He made me promise to post this and see what you all think. I have to admit that it has attractive elements, although it seems inconceivable that it could ever get past all the various groups that wouldn't like it. So what do you all think? I'll pass your thoughts along, at least those that are printable... : ) And for those of you that like to keep it simple, here's a poll. I forgot to add an "other" option before I saved the poll, and can't seem to change that, so if your choice is "other" explain in the comments.