I thought this to be a timely message given we’re now into week 3 of the 2013 NFL regular season. Throughout training camp all NFL players were getting the assigned per diem for their credited seasons and unless a hefty bonus check was coming their way for any myriad of reasons that an agent can negotiate into an NFL contract, this was the first week following the standard paycheck distribution of most NFL clubs.
Signing and roster bonus checks are more like winning the lottery. Base salary (aka Paragraph 5) is the reality of slogging away in the trenches week after week. To experience the actual earning of a day’s wage in the manner these young men do for the first time can be beyond mind boggling and explains why so many are so unprepared for the moment.
Public Relations expert Gail Sideman offers up a handy checklist for players, and anyone else for that matter, in handling the responsibility of new found financial freedom through hard work and or good fortune.
The Football Educator
Smart NFL players focus. On their finances.
By Gail Sideman – Publiside.com
By now, National Football League players are all snug in their roster spots and cashing their multi-zero checks every two weeks…
Not so fast. Rookies and veterans alike are smart to keep their focus on the field with one eye and their brains on their bank and investment accounts. As countless stories have been documented, including in a powerful ESPN 30-for-30 feature, NFL rookie salaries do not go as far as some football players think when they look wide-eyed at their first contracts and paychecks. There are agents and advisors to pay, and don’t forget about long-lost relatives and best friends from first grade who appear at pro athletes’ doors asking for “loans.”
Estate planning attorney, Eido Walny, whose clientele includes retired NFL players and other professional and Olympic athletes, says these averagely paid individuals are often left to manage their own money and as a result are vulnerable to bad advice, worse money decisions and financial ruin.
The average on-field career span for an NFL player is 3.5 years. Many will go broke soon after their last down. Why? Professional athletes often see money that they’ve never before earned, and extravagantly spend on luxuries that include homes and cars that require hefty monthly payments. What they don’t consider is that one injury can end their athletic careers. That means that what seemed to be an overflowing trough of cash, suddenly evaporates.
Few agents will help guide their clients toward reliable financial professionals, even though it benefits them to do so. Some players report that after they are severely injured and/or released from teams, they can’t even get their agents to return their calls.
Walny offers a checklist of how NFL players may avoid the trap of rags-to-riches-to-rags again:
Gail Sideman is a self-described news hound that hustles to meet the needs of an ever-changing media universe. While the way that news is delivered has changed and expanded, Sideman insists that the basics and value of a great story are as entrenched in our desire to know, as ever. Stories that people want to share and hear, she says, is why delivery speed and social media has grown so popular.