He's keen on getting accelerometers into NFL helmets, as is now done in some college and high school programs. These tracking devices measure impacts and, says Guskiewicz, could help players modify behavior on the field and reduce concussions. But so far, he says, there's disagreement between players who want the information...
GUSKIEWICZ: I want to know how many times my head is impacted. I want to know if perhaps I should be winding down my career.
GOLDMAN: And those who don't, because the data might end up in the wrong hands.
GUSKIEWICZ: For instance, the general manager or the owner of a team that's going to say, oh, wow. I had 1,500 impacts this season, and my contract's up next year. And so that's going to come back to hurt me in a contract negotiation.
The risk of serious injury varies across players and over a player's career. If an injury was a certain consequence, just about everyone - players, teams, and fans - would want the player to retire. Incentives are aligned. But such things are never certain and knowledge of increased risk may be acceptable for a player even if it is not for the team. So to avoid revealing this information, some players want to keep from collecting the information in the first place. Moreover, if they are the only ones to refuse to have accelerometers, teams can infer that the player believes he is at greater risk. This leads the player to want to exclude accelerometers from all players' helmets. The contracting consequences for a few may be limiting implementation for many.