Rams educating rookies about “financial planning” before signing their contracts
Following the implementation of the 2011 collective bargain agreement this hold out seems a little strange, since the new rules limit negotiations, thus preventing contract talks from stretching out into training camp. St. Louis Rams executive vice president of football operations Kevin Demoff aired further mystery to the holdout following his recent comments on the situation.
“It’s a little bit like you have the answers to the test when they hand it to you,” said Demoff. “It takes a lot of the guesswork out of it.”
From what it appears this collective holdout is a team brass decision, and one of the many quirks of being on Rams head coach Jeff Fisher’s squad.
“We just feel like they’ll be better suited if we can take them through step A and B of Financial Planning 101 before we give ‘em the money,” Fisher explained the reasoning behind the holdout. “It’s just that simple. We’ll get them all signed and we’re communicating with them. . . .”
Then Fisher added jokingly: “They’ve got a roof over their head and three meals, and they’re doing fine right now.”
It’s a wise move if you consider the past record of majority of the NFL players, who have trouble adjusting to the life of a pro player, and often make questionable financial moves that leave them broke even before their NFL career come to an end.
“It’s a life-changing event for them,” said Fisher. “We try to better prepare them for that.”
“A big focus of our entire program, with an emphasis from Coach Fisher and (general manager) Les (Snead) is on player development and skill development,” Demoff added on the subject “We get (former defensive tackle current St. Louis Rams director of player programs) La’Roi Glover involved, and really taking a holistic approach to the maturation process of the rookies and the vets.”
Thus, during the early offseason workouts programs, rookies are provided accommodation in a team hotel and fed at the facility as part of the Rams’ philosophy to encourage team-building.
“One of the things that we think is important with that is bringing the rookies in as a group, having them live together as a group,” said Demoff, “and not having any real differentiation between the first-round pick and the undrafted rookie.”
“They’re in the hotel together. They’re eating meals together. They’re doing things together. And then [by the time] they all scatter, we’ll sign their contracts,” continued Demoff. “They’ll leave knowing the contract’s done, so they don’t have to worry about that headache when they go on vacation.”
The Rams hope that the rookies return for July’s training camp as one unit and with a spring in their step after making the early adjustment to the NFL life with the help of the team.