Offseason Athlete Rehabilitation

Ben Drago

With the NFL offseason beginning, players are engaging in their yearly routines to maintain their health and strength. Quarterback Russell Wilson was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 2012 and has been their starting quarterback since. During his time with Seattle Wilson led the team to back to back Superbowl appearances and 9 pro bowls. He was recently traded to the Denver Broncos for 3 high picks in the upcoming NFL draft along with 3 skill players. He was quoted in a recent interview that he spends over 1 million dollars every offseason to recover his body for the upcoming season. This large amount of money consists of a strength targeted diet, training, and overall recovery from the long NFL season. Overall, the large spending of athletes and specifically NFL players is done to increase the shelf life of their career. Through taking care of their body and mind in the offseason, these players are able to compete at a high level from year to year. Wilson is not alone however, experienced players like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers concede that they spend similar amounts every offseason. Even Lebron James spends around 1.5 million dollars on his own recovery every offseason. This shows that every athlete, no matter what sport, spends a large portion of their salary on rehabilitation.

However the exorbitant amount of money spent for recovery on these high priority players represents the inability for this amount of extensive recovery for less priority players. The offensive linemen position, which is those who protect the quarterback, is arguably the most important set of players on the NFL roster, excluding the quarterback. With both positions being of comparable importance, it is pertinent to analyze their difference in annual starting salaries. Starting quarterbacks, on average, make 22 million a year with the highest salary topping out at 50 million a year. Offensive linemen have an annual income of roughly 1 million dollars. The large inequality of the salaries leaves the players who make less to be more susceptible to injury, physically and mentally. It’s no coincidence that the most injured position is the offensive line. Their injuries sustained come as a direct result from the lack of resources to maintain their health. There needs to be a regulated offseason program to help the players have a more productive offseason and upcoming season.