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Manuwai tackles potential NFL lockout

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While some might save for a rainy day, former University of Hawaii football player Vince Manuwai is tucking away for a category-4 storm.

With negotiations at a standstill between owners of National Football League teams and the players’ union, Manuwai, like other players, is preparing for a possible lockout. The contract between both sides expires next month.

Manuwai, an offensive lineman who has played eight NFL seasons — all with the Jacksonville Jaguars — is following financial advice from union leaders.

"Early in the (2010) season, they told us: ‘If you don’t hear anything (about a new contract), make sure the last seven weeks, you start saving your money,’" Manuwai recalled. "That’s what I’ve been doing."

Manuwai, 30, is entering the final season of a five-year contract extension he signed on Dec. 24, 2006. The back-loaded deal is worth up to $20 million, which includes a base salary of $2.9 million for this year. He can earn roster bonuses of more than $500,000 each during various points of the year.

Manuwai, who regained his left guard’s job in October, has the sixth-highest base salary among the Jaguars. But he is the second-highest-paid Jaguars guard, behind Justin Smiley ($3.2 million base pay).

"I’m comfortable," Manuwai said. "It would be nice to play this season and get more comfortable."

Manuwai said he is concerned about the lockout.

"If you’re a vested vet, and you’ve saved a lot of money, it’s not as bad," Manuwai said. "You think (New England quarterback) Tom Brady is worried? It’s going to hurt the guys who just got into the league and started making the money. Now the owners are going to try and pull them apart."

Manuwai, who was drafted by the Jaguars in 2003, played four seasons before signing the five-year extension. He said he would like to play at least five more seasons.

"That’s the plan," he said.

He said he bought three houses — one in Kaneohe and two in Jacksonville. One of the Florida homes is paid off; the other he rents out. He has a mortgage on the Kaneohe property.

Manuwai has created an annuity for each of his six children; the youngest is 3. He also contributes to their college funds.

"You try to save as much money as you can," Manuwai said. "You definitely try to do what’s best for your family. I’m focused on what I have to do now, and make sure I have everything saved."

Then Manuwai, acknowledging his good fortune, added: "If you can’t live on $5 (million), $6 million, then something is wrong."

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