What happens at the player's "exit meeting" today?

The NFL's “exit meeting.” You will hear about them throughout the day from the teams that aren’t headed to the post season. The players will go through very quick end of the year physicals (like stopping by your doctor’s office when you aren’t sick), head by the equipment room and meet with their position coach while walking around with a check list form to hand in at the end of the morning.

Tom Coughlin ICONTom Coughlin will host his last team meeting of the 2010 season today.

The final step? Sit in the team meeting room and listen to the head coach talk about why you weren’t good enough as a team to continue playing football in the post season. It is informal, the guys are in street clothes and there isn’t really any significant meeting behind what is said. The players know it—as do the coaches—because that team will be completely different the following season.

And, to be honest, most of the players will have their cars running in the parking lot, filled to the top with luggage as they begin to head south to Florida, Texas, Arizona, etc. for the winter. Time to get out of town and put the season behind them.

Very similar to that last day of school before summer break. You know as a player that you just have to get through one more day, one more session of “coach talk” before you can set your own schedule and routine. These players will lose that stress of the season once they leave the team facility today. Great plays, coverage busts, close losses, etc. That’s all over with. Add another year to your career and hit the road.

The players that won’t be back know it. They will get a call in early March and start looking for work elsewhere. And for the players who might be back, they still have to make it through free agency and the draft to see if they will be replaced or not. But, that’s in the future.

Today, turn in your gear, the playbook and shake the coach’s hand. It is time for vacation for the majority of the NFL’s players.

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