The Puzzle of the NFL Machine

Retired NFL player Thomas Jones is making a documentary about the players, the fans, the money, the concussions, the suicide and how all these parts are like a "bad puzzle where none of the pieces fit together."

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[Thomas Jones] So that's why it's just a tough situation. Because you have investors, and then—you know—you have guys like us who get paid money to do a job, and then there's concussions, and CTE, and suicide that's mixed in with it. Then you have fans who see the money we get who don't care about the concussion, CTE, suicide because we make the money that they're not making, so they're wondering why we're complaining. It's just like a bad puzzle where none of the pieces fit—you know. That's what it is and that's why at least with the documentary that I'm trying to do, I'm trying to give people an idea of—of everything mixed together and from the player's perspective, not the talking heads. But from guys that actually played. People that are actually experts that studied this stuff. Not just people with opinions. But people who can actually pull something up and say, "Look." You can ask me any question about the NFL, any question. On field. Off field. Business-wise. Whether it's being traded. Whether it's being released. I was traded after I had 100 yards in the Super Bowl in Chicago. I was released by the New York Jets after my best season. I was second and third in the NFL in rushing and touchdowns, and I was released because I was owed a $3,000,000 bonus. I was released the day before I was supposed to get the bonus. The money that I earned—there's nothing you can tell me that I don't know about the NFL—the ins and the outs. And so that's why I'm trying to put all the information together and put it in this documentary mainly for the players to learn, but also for the fans to be able to hear it from us. Teams will sacrifice winning for money. You know—because that's your money. Usually the owner's money is money that's passed down from generations. Whether it's Johnson & Johnson. Whether's it's Kraft. I mean—you know. I mean it's the family's money. That's the family's—you know—lifeline. And trust me, that's not going to be sacrificed for one player. Players come and go. The teams don't. The team—the NFL shield will never go anywhere. And the teams are right behind the shield. The players—I mean—there's millions of us. There's always someone out take less. Always.
Posted on BrainLine August 19, 2013.

Produced by Noel Gunther and Erica Queen, BrainLine.