The stock market opened much lower this morning on reports that all 32 NFL teams cut jobs over the Labor Day weekend, trimming as much as a quarter of their rosters.
Job losses fell across all sectors, from quarterbacking and defensive line play to punting and kick returning. "No one was spared," said Geoff Tollefson, an analyst for Morgan Stanley. "Even those who probably felt secure, like valuable veterans or former top draft picks were let go. A guy I had even drafted for my fantasy team was released, which sucks."
While the recession of the past two years has hit rust belt areas hardest, NFL job cuts will be felt throughout the nation.
"This is another tough blow," said Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson. "The Browns are the biggest employer we have left in Cleveland. And it's looking like all the Indians will be laid off at the end of September. That will put our city's unemployment at 100-percent minus me, the Browns and the Cavaliers."
Many jobless players have found work in lower-paying jobs, such as the UFL or CFL, but others will be forced to go on unemployment until the job market picks back up next spring and summer, as many analysts predict.
"How much does unemployment pay?" asked Dre Bly, who was released by the Detroit Lions. "Is it enough to keep up the payments on my Ferrari?"
But while most see the job losses as further evidence of a double-dip recession, others stressed calm.
"NFL job losses mean very little to the overall economy," said Myron Dean, an analyst for Goldman Sachs. "Or maybe they do. Who the hell knows? If anyone actually understood the economy, they would have fixed it a long time ago. We're screwed. Or not. Whatever."