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Rams have a reason for waiting on rookie contracts

Tavon Austin, Alec Ogletree, Jeff Fisher, Les Snead AP

Even though the pace of draft pick contract negotiations is swift, not every team has joined the race.

With closing in on 200 of the 254 draft picks under contract, seven teams have signed all their picks, and 31 teams have signed at least one.

The Rams are the lone holdout, and they have a reason.

“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,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said, via Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It’s just that simple. We’ll get them all signed and we’re communicating with them. . . .

“It’s a life-changing event for them. We try to better prepare them for that.”

Fisher also added, jokingly: “They’ve got a roof over their head and three meals, and they’re doing fine right now.”

Rookies are housed in a team hotel and fed at the facility during offseason workouts, part of the Rams’ philosophy of team-building. There, they work with former defensive tackle La’Roi Glover, the team’s director of player programs.

“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,” said Kevin Demoff, executive vice president of football operations. “We get La’Roi Glover involved, and really taking a holistic approach to the maturation process of the rookies and the vets.

“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, 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. They’ll leave knowing the contract’s done, so they don’t have to worry about that headache when they go on vacation.”

Demoff said all the contracts would likely be completed before players leave for the summer break, so the focus could be solely on football when they return in late July for training camp.

And while their decision keep the money out of their players’ hands for a month, the plan they have in place may help those players hang onto some of it.

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25 Responses to “Rams have a reason for waiting on rookie contracts”
  1. vexey says: Jun 9, 2013 9:29 AM

    That’s actually a really good idea, I’m suprised more teams don’t do that

  2. bmorefootball says: Jun 9, 2013 9:38 AM

    Good Luck with all that…

  3. justintuckrule says: Jun 9, 2013 9:42 AM

    What a load of garbage. it’s indentured servitude what it is. Since draft picks are the team’s property, the players have no choice but to report to that team. Rams get free practice (work) from them. If one tears a knee, think those wonderful, honest owners will pay them their draft slot anyway or release them without compensation? These players better start unifying and sacking up by holding out for real! The owners are pulling this hardball nonsense more and more.

  4. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Jun 9, 2013 9:45 AM

    Yeah nice try, in the mean time interest on that money is accruing to the Rams bank accounts not the players. Plus if a player gets injured during team activities without a contract in place the rookie is up a creek without a paddle. Basically they are working for free right now while the Rams & teams like them hedge their bets & leverage their own finances

  5. darthvincent says: Jun 9, 2013 9:54 AM

    money is the main reason that they haven’t paid their players yet. Think of all that compound interest being generated by keeping the money in the team’s account.

  6. gixrider says: Jun 9, 2013 9:56 AM

    Excellent idea. Gold star for whoever came up with it.

  7. acoman89 says: Jun 9, 2013 10:10 AM

    rookies are compensated fairly if they are injured before signing a contract, these players are having all their services paid for so idk how you call this indentured servitude. interest accumulating? your literally talking about a couple weeks, your not getting any interest on that. just goes to show you that jets fans know nothing just like their FO.

  8. besdayz says: Jun 9, 2013 10:14 AM

    For 5 mill dollar rookie pool, compound interest won’t be that much compared to the cash they probably have on hand. So I doubt that’s the primary motivation.

    Seems more like a PR move to show the league they tried this when years later players sue the NFL for failing to let them know that money goes fast. That suit will be filled the day after the concussion suit is settled.

  9. jdvalk says: Jun 9, 2013 10:24 AM

    Yeah, excellent idea if it happened May 1st, which is as soon as is practicable for the life lessons to occur lest bad decisions occur right off the bat if financial responsibility is the true driving force. As plenty of biz deals occur without the money in hand, it’s infantile to suggest this waiting period for this magic class is all about what’s best for the players given the other factors at play that have already been listed in the comments section — interest, getting long looks at prospects without owing a cent, and so on. How does it make any sense for a player’s financial future to be a month and a half past draft day and not have a chance at a signed deal? Move the class date to May 1st, or have the NFLPA start crying foul.

  10. thebigtim2012 says: Jun 9, 2013 10:30 AM

    I think it’s a perfect idea. I few things though. Number one the people talking about the interest the money is accruing, don’t be stupid the owners have plenty of dough and the thousands they may be making on the interest is not worth the potential headaches. Injuries, I’m sure the agents have something worked out to take care of that or they wouldn’t let their players on the field big the players get hurt and don’t get paid the agents lose out too so I doubt they would risk it. Speaking of agents though, is their anything to prevent the players from circumventing this policy by borrowing from their agents? Just a few thoughts.

  11. osiris33 says: Jun 9, 2013 10:54 AM

    Rookies are covered by insurance policies during the time they practice & before their contracts are signed.

  12. FinFan68 says: Jun 9, 2013 10:57 AM

    We are talking strictly about signing bonus money IF any is even offered to the majority of these guys. Players are housed and fed during OTAs and camp and there is probably something along the lines of per diem as well. The contract money comes in the regular season in the former of game checks. Most of the arguments in the comments are invalid. There is nothing wrong with educating these guys before handing them a financial windfall. Too many players are broke after their careers and a bunch of them have defaulted on loans during the lockout even though no players lost any money to begin with. Good for the Rams. More teams should do something like this.

  13. stlfan92 says: Jun 9, 2013 11:04 AM

    This is genius. I will cry the day Snead and Fisher leave the rams

  14. legeisyaj says: Jun 9, 2013 11:16 AM

    Wait…so, these guys aren’t getting paid?

  15. CKL says: Jun 9, 2013 11:23 AM

    To all the people calling it indentured servitude, remember just 2 years ago when very few draft picks were even signed by now? It’s only since the new rookie draft pick wage scale that signings have gone quickly and mostly been done by training camp. So all those years, the servants slaved away under the same circumstances, for longer (unless they didn’t report at all until they signed).

  16. tedmurph says: Jun 9, 2013 11:23 AM

    Especially smart when you draft the kind of ‘character’ guys Fischer likes to bring in.

  17. middy8484 says: Jun 9, 2013 1:34 PM

    The Rams will be sure fire contenders in years to come

  18. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 9, 2013 1:39 PM

    So the Rams brass who has yet to master the game of football planning is now going to instruct these guys on financial planning? I’d like to see what their plans are for that, and I’m willing to bet I would find some points of contention. Just a hunch though.

  19. nflhof says: Jun 9, 2013 2:15 PM

    Jeff Fisher again proves he’s the biggest jag off in the NFL

  20. ramfanaz says: Jun 9, 2013 2:54 PM

    Strategyexpert-you think Fisher can’t game plan??? The players don’t have to be here they can go work at 7-11 if they want so stop the idiotic ” servitude” moments, just stupid

  21. beavertonsteve says: Jun 9, 2013 3:19 PM

    Actually it’s La’Roi Glover who is taking the lead on instructing these guys, and just to point out for the guy above me he does have degrees in public administration and sociology, in a addition to the whole “been there before” experience.

  22. markywahlberg says: Jun 9, 2013 3:25 PM

    This is more an indictment on the type of players the Rams are drafting under Fisher; taking chances on low character guys who slip in the draft.

  23. jerryd1 says: Jun 9, 2013 3:50 PM

    Love all the fans who don’t seem to follow football …

    The Rams draft picks under Fisher have led the Turd Watch by a wide margin … & its been pointed out repeatedly the picks this year have that same stank!!

    I’m a Rams fan … they’re trying to reign in the Turdlettes & make the stars instead of perps … derp!!

  24. truths4all says: Jun 9, 2013 3:58 PM

    This is the first really good report on the Rams operations we have all heard in years. This should be mandatory for every team to include, even if contracts are already signed, they would not kick in (no monies to the players or agents) until the OTAs and financial planning classes are done. Unless the player is a complete bust, drafted rookies should hang on to their spot with their teams for at least one season. Having the financial background training should at least give them the chance to keep most of their monies for that rainy day when they no longer be wanted by an NFL team.

  25. petehemlock says: Jun 9, 2013 4:41 PM

    Rams should use the money to buy lights for that dingy dim dusty dungeon the call a dome.

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