Charles Clay grew up dreaming about getting drafted by an NFL team then living the good life.
Clay achieved the first half of that dream when the Miami Dolphins selected him in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft in April. The "living the good life" part, however? Not even close.
With the NFL work stoppage past the three-month mark and no finish line in sight, Clay -- like other rookies -- lives in financial limbo.
To pay his bills, Clay has taken up day labor type work with a company called LPD, which has him cutting grass at oil wells and doing other various odd jobs, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
"It's hard times right now," said Clay, who starred collegiately at Tulsa. "I'm working little small jobs and things to get money. Not getting an income right now is tough, especially when I'm trying to have a facility to workout in, and have to pay for things like [trainers].
Clay concedes the pay for his side work is minimal, but it's better than the flat-broke alternative.
"It's tough, but at the same time you've got to get by somehow," said Clay. "I'm pretty sure there are other guys doing the same thing. Nobody is getting any kind of income. You have to get money some kind of way."
And in a reality that puts Clay's situation in perspective, he admits he hasn't taken part in the Dolphins' players-only workouts in Florida because he can't afford the trip.
"At one point I actually thought about going down there, but when you go down there and you have no source of income I'd just be down there," he said. "You also take risks of being injured."