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Bills' Hangartner: Player issues with money go beyond lockout

ELMA, N.Y. -- Stories about NFL players having serious financial problems during the third month of the lockout are hardly indicative of a league-wide epidemic, according to Buffalo Bills center Geoff Hangartner.

Hangartner maintains that any player who has encountered difficulty with his finances -- i.e., Rich "Big Daddy" Salgado of Coastal Advisors, which advises pro athletes, posting on Twitter that an unnamed NFL player took out a $500,000 loan at a 23 percent interest rate -- would be doing so even if there wasn't a labor dispute.

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"I think you're just hearing more about the problem that guys have dealing with money in this league," Hangartner said Tuesday after participating in a player-run workout with 36 Bills teammates. "I don't think it's just a problem with the lockout. It's an underlying problem, regardless. I don't think a whole lot of guys have missed money at this point."

Other than players who are due workout bonuses that can range in the high six figures, what most players are missing, Hangartner said, is the $450 weekly stipend that teams pay players during team-supervised offseason workouts. Players don't begin receiving their salaries until the regular season.

"It's not like we're making the big bucks," the center said. "If you're having financial trouble right now, you'd have had financial trouble whether we were locked out or not. I mean, $450 ... you're not paying your mortgage and stuff like that (from that amount)."

Follow Vic Carucci on Twitter @viccarucci.

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