Cris Carter’s New Book Going Deep Highlights the Power and Vulnerability of Wide Receivers

College football season has officially started and regular NFL season starts next week. Players should follow in the footsteps of wide-receiver Marqise Lee and purchase a total disability insurance policy for protection, should a career ending injury occur, says Frank N. Darras, leading expert on long-term disability.

August 30, 2013

NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter released a new book earlier this month titled Going Deep: How Wide Receivers Became the Most Compelling Figures in Pro Sports. Carter explores how the position of the wide receiver shifted from his start in the NFL in 1987 to his retirement in 2002. He explains how receivers went from being quiet and classy to being a "little twisted" with over-the-top personalities. Read an excerpt of his book here.

In an interview with FOX News, on August 13, 2013, a reporter noted that this position requires the individual to show up and risk getting seriously injured every game. Carter responded, "That's the difference between being a good player and a great player. A good player is available some of the time. A great player is available almost all of the time. And longevity no matter what you do and consistency should be rewarded," says Carter.

Top disability lawyer Frank N. Darras suggests that players should purchase an individual disability policy that protects them if sickness or injury prevents them from playing in college or professionally. These "occupation specific" policies can insure the bulk of their salary and pay monthly benefits even if the player could do some other work for gain or profit.

On August 30, 2013, in an article at ESPN.com ("Source: Marqise Lee insured for $10M") that USC wide receiver Marqise Lee has secured a $10 million total disability insurance policy. According to the article, the policy would allow Lee to collect a tax-free $10 million should he suffer a career-ending injury this season and not be able to return to the game.

The ESPN.com article also quoted the source that Lee could collect should he slip significantly in the NFL draft. Lee, who finished last season with 1,721 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns, is ranked as the No. 1 wide receiver in the draft on Mel Kiper Jr.'s Big Board.

"Picking the right insurance plan is tricky, but now is the time for high-profile college players and pro players to evaluate their options and secure their financial futures. It's important to evaluate the amount of individual disability coverage a player has in relation to his current standard of living. Insurance is a must for players who rely on the game and their talent to pay their bills," says Darras.

Disability insurance is a worthwhile investment for athletes and their families. According to The Concussion Crisis by Linda Carroll and David Rosner, football generates more concussions than any other sport. In one study more than half of the million boys playing youth football had suffered at least one concussion, with many of them experiencing multiple concussions.

"This study references youth football; correlate that to the NCAA and the NFL, where you have players over 6'5" and weighing more than 350 pounds making hits. It's no wonder players are starting to become educated on the importance of buying a stand-alone disability insurance policy for protection. And as Cris Carter points out, some players are becoming 'less classy' and more intense. These players are at serious risk of both physical and financial devastation," says Darras.

Quarterback Michael Vick is a prime example of the new personality that Carter discusses in his book. He states, "I think you got to take on a certain mindset that you're going to play the game all out," Vick said. "If you go into a football game not wanting to get hurt or trying not to get hurt, it doesn't allow you to play the way you want to play". (Bleacher Report, "Should Chip Kelly Unleash Michael Vick in the Running Game?" August 23, 2013)

"Vick himself injured his head, hand, and ribs last season. He missed five games due to a concussion last season. The pressures of competition, the desire to win, the financial gains and staff turning a blind eye are feeding into increased risk. More action needs to be taken for preventive care and more players need to invest in their financial futures. If a pro player doesn't have a private disability policy separate from the team, they are really putting themselves at risk of a financial crisis," says Darras.