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Jason S. Kaner of Pond Lehocky Giordano. Jason S. Kaner of Pond Lehocky.

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court’s recent decision in Pittsburgh Steelers Sports v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Trucks), No. 1257 C.D. 2018 (Jan. 3, 2020), addressed whether former linebacker Anthony Trucks was considered a seasonal or year-round employee of the team. This decision is sure to arouse some questions as to what happens when an NFL player gets hurt.

Contrary to popular belief, although NFL players routinely sign what sounds like lucrative contracts, most of this money is nonguaranteed. Unless guaranteed money is provided for by their contracts, they are not entitled to the entirety of those widely publicized hefty sums. Soon after signing, teams often can release the player without any financial ramifications. It is very rare for an inexperienced undrafted player or a practice squad player to receive any guaranteed money. However, when a player is injured, a team shall not release them without accepting some degree of financial responsibility, regardless of whether their contract has guaranteed money.

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