A guy on the lower tier of the team or a guy that has aged or has had to deal with a season ending injury may have to consider that his life will possibly change and maybe he will have to look beyond what his career has been for a majority of his working life and search for a new beginning. This could be with another team or it might be a totally new arena where he may have to start as a rookie all over again.
This energy can be gripping and can even spring up while the season is going on. Let's say that a guy has not dressed for a game because he is on the inactive list. What is his future? If he is a young guy, maybe he is being developed and just biding his time. But if he is an older player that can't crack the 53-man roster, he might be recognizing the signs that his career is coming to an end.
The league that I work in and the one you know is one of constant transition, fueled by the salary cap and the need to find quality players for cheaper deals. That means that there are a lot of jobs that could go to older, more stable athletes that are for sale. The league itself is getting younger and the parity will keep rising. Did I say jobs for sale?
So how do you handle a situation like this? How can you produce under this type of pressure and try to ensure that you have a better opportunity the following year? The best thing is for each player to focus on the things that he can control. His attitude towards the job and the work environment is crucial. If he can do this, he can produce. But sad to say there are no guarantees.
So yeah, a job is on the line all the time and if the player is wise, he will go about each day with this awareness in the back of his mind. Doing his best everyday and for each precise moment is the only way to go.
Okay, here are a couple of guys that might be staring down the barrel. Sam Gash: He didn't play a lot this year and was deactivated some but the good thing is that he played well when he was given the opportunity. Dameon Hunter: He did not dress for 15 out of 16 games and didn't play that well in the preseason. I hear the world league calling. Let's watch and see what happens around the league as well as at home. Jerome Bettis might be a candidate to call it quits. Remember Jamal Anderson? Now he's working on ESPN countdown, interviewing players in the Jam session.
Now that you are armed with this perspective, keep an eye out for these types of happenings. When one of your favorite players just suddenly disappears on you, the salary cap or injuries my have played a part in his demise. It's a sad thing but it is true and it happens all the time.