NFL teams pay a lot of money for their players. And when those players can make the difference between the failure and success of that team’s season, they might put things within player contracts that prohibit them from doing something dangerous.
One such example was when Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger had his serious motorcycle accident. The Steelers had warned Roethlisberger even before the accident that riding a motorcycle would risk portions of his contract.
The Steelers decided not to act on this but if they had fought it, there would be a chance they could. Roethlisberger’s contract was also vague and could be argued either way, leading to a potential bitter court battle.
The 49ers on the other hand, have left nothing to chance and specifically put in activities that their players cannot do. According to Boston Globe’s Ben Volin, who got a look at Jimmy Garoppolo’s and Richard Sherman’s 49er contracts, they include the following activities.
“Skydiving, hang gliding, rock or mountain climbing, racing of any kind including as a driver or a passenger, motorcycling, use of any off-road or all-terrain vehicle, professional wrestling, boxing, firearms, scuba diving, jet skiing, surfing, bungee jumping, diving, and snow or water skiing.”
It’s pretty easy to figure out why all of these activities are on the list. Everything on this list contains a risk of serious injury and/or death. I’m also pretty sure this isn’t a complete list and there’s a clause in there that it’s “not limited.” So that way if someone tried to argue that MMA fighting is different than boxing or professional wrestling, which is a fair argument, that it would still be included.
So don’t expect to see Jimmy Garoppolo in a WWE ring anytime soon. Maybe the Patriots need to put something like that in Rob Gronkowski’s contract. I just have a feeling Gronk wouldn’t worry about that.