It’s all about leverage.

The league realizes that the longer they force the players to go without receiving paychecks, the more leverage they’ll have. And that’s why stories like these have to put smiles on the faces of Roger Goodell and his 32 owners:

As the NFL lockout enters its second month, players from at least 16 teams have already sought out extremely aggressive short-term loans with high interest rates, has learned.

According to a financing source, these interest rates range from 18 percent to 24 percent, and upon default, they can rise as high as 36 percent.

Two weeks ago, the players preemptively smashed open their piggy banks by tapping into a lockout fund that, by all indications, was supposed to be used in the event of a long-term work stoppage.

It’s starting to appear as though there’s a significant group of players that can’t afford to maintain their lifestyle without regular paychecks. It all correlates with what CNBC sports business expert Darren Rovell told me in February:

“For some reason they don’t get the message that this money does go quickly. And although this time the union is trying to advise them to save their money, in some cases — if they don’t have that income stream and there is a lockout — it’s almost a little too late with how many cars they have in their garage.”