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After financial management training, Rams sign all their picks

Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey AP

At the start of this week, the Rams were the only team in the league that hadn’t signed any draft picks. Today, the Rams announced that they’ve agreed to terms with all of their picks.

It’s no accident that the Rams got all their rookie deals done at once, just as offseason work is coming to an end: As head coach Jeff Fisher explained it, part of the offseason work the Rams do with their rookies is giving them “Financial Planning 101″ to prepare them for suddenly becoming very wealthy young men. The Rams wisely don’t want to give rookies signing bonuses until they’ve also given those rookies some advice about how to invest those signing bonuses.

Hopefully, that means No. 8 overall pick Tavon Austin has learned to put away most of the $7.6 million signing bonus he’s going to receive. Austin noted last month that after he became a first-round draft pick, people started coming out of the woodwork asking him for money.

Austin is the second Top 10 pick to sign, following Detroit’s Ezekiel Ansah.

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40 Responses to “After financial management training, Rams sign all their picks”
  1. eaglesfan036 says: Jun 13, 2013 5:03 PM

    Good to see, hopefully this sets the precedent for other teams to follow in the future.

  2. reesesteel23 says: Jun 13, 2013 5:04 PM

    Good on Em

  3. chc4 says: Jun 13, 2013 5:10 PM

    And when 1-2 of these guys are broke in 5 years all we’ll hear is “the league/teams needs to do more to help these poor fellas”.

  4. computojon says: Jun 13, 2013 5:11 PM

    It’s a very good precedent, but their timing is a little suspect. If one of the draft picks had gone down during OTA’s, e.g. with a torn ACL, would they have been able to cut the guy without having to pay anything?

    Makes you wonder if it wasn’t entirely altruistic on their part.

  5. freepretzels says: Jun 13, 2013 5:12 PM

    Jeff Fisher is a sharp guy.

  6. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 13, 2013 5:14 PM

    Put it away, ok, but HOW are they teaching them to put it away? Giving bad advice on where to put your money is also potentially a million dollar mistake. Are the people doing the training licensed, and licensed for what? What is their “opinion” of what proper financial management includes? The details of this training is the most important part of the story as it could be a really big story.

    If they aren’t giving them optimal advice, then they deserve to get hammered on for not advising these wealthy people on the very best way to manage their monies. It’s very difficult to determine that especially when everybody has their own unique situation and it’s debatable what the best method might be for various situations.

    We need more info on what this planning and management is all about. My hunch is the Rams are doing something wrong, either legally or ethically or professionally. I’d bet anything that I could find something they are doing that’s not right.

  7. whitdog23 says: Jun 13, 2013 5:23 PM

    @computojon

    old school thinking. since the new CBA basically slots all of the pay….there are no hard-line negotiations anymore.
    all of the players ARE covered in case of injury.

  8. fdugrad says: Jun 13, 2013 5:24 PM

    Finally, Finally, FINALLY, a team in the NFL INSISTS on financial education PRIOR to receiving Monopoly-type money. GOOD MOVE Rams! The never-ending parade of former players broke so shortly after their careers are over MUST be rectified. Education and dealing with reputable firms and experienced, professional representatives who will place bonuses in conservative, diversified funds and let the magic of compound interest work for the player can solve the insolvency problems permanently, IF the players will assume THEIR part of the agreed upon plan the firms put into place. Entourages, baby moms, greedy relatives, bling and lastly, invasion of the original principle being among the list of responsibilities of which the young men will assume.

  9. deathmonkey41 says: Jun 13, 2013 5:26 PM

    It was a good idea, but unfortunately MC Hammer was the instructor for the seminar.

  10. schmitty2 says: Jun 13, 2013 5:27 PM

    thestrategyexpert says:Jun 13, 2013 5:14 PM

    Put it away, ok, but HOW are they teaching them to put it away? Giving bad advice on where to put your money is also potentially a million dollar mistake. Are the people doing the training licensed, and licensed for what? What is their “opinion” of what proper financial management includes? The details of this training is the most important part of the story as it could be a really big story.

    If they aren’t giving them optimal advice, then they deserve to get hammered on for not advising these wealthy people on the very best way to manage their monies. It’s very difficult to determine that especially when everybody has their own unique situation and it’s debatable what the best method might be for various situations.

    We need more info on what this planning and management is all about. My hunch is the Rams are doing something wrong, either legally or ethically or professionally. I’d bet anything that I could find something they are doing that’s not right.

    Dude, will you give it a rest already? You are constantly on here trying to sound smart with your long winded paragraphs and you just end up sounding foolish (hence all the thumbs downs you always get) Did it ever occur to you they naybe hired “Certified” financial planners to assist them?

  11. granadafan says: Jun 13, 2013 5:27 PM

    First lesson to rookies: learn to say NO!

  12. hornbuckle says: Jun 13, 2013 5:33 PM

    That should be mandatory for every team. Well done Rams at least if they piss it away you gave them the tools to manage their money.

  13. bmore44 says: Jun 13, 2013 5:35 PM

    I don’t think Tavon wanted anyone know the amount of signing bonus. Lol.

  14. fredbull337 says: Jun 13, 2013 5:42 PM

    Being in the financial planning industry I think this is a great move by the Rams. I would imagine the Rams organization brought in a firm that they trust to educate these young men about investing. There are only so many places where you can put money (Life Insurance, Mutual Funds, Annuities, Real Estate, Mason Jar buried in your back yard, Black at the roulette table, Stocks, gold, etc) and I am sure that whoever the Rams brought in to speak to these guys were more so there to educate than to sell. There are strict compliance rules that regulate things like this so I would not imagine any shady stuff going on. There is simply too much to lose on all sides.

  15. thebigtim2012 says: Jun 13, 2013 5:45 PM

    For all the people griping about injuries and the way this benefits the team think about it for a second. Do you really think the agents would allow this if the benefits didn’t outweigh the negatives for their clients? I’ve never heard of s agent that willingly did something for the team that didn’t benefit their clients.

  16. mlenenski says: Jun 13, 2013 5:48 PM

    Jeff Fisher is doing everything he can to avoid having to deal with knuckleheads like Vince Young again….and he’s sure to bring that up.

  17. contract says: Jun 13, 2013 6:12 PM

    Of course all these guys likely got advances from their agents … putting them in a hole before they even signed.

  18. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 13, 2013 6:28 PM

    schmitty2:

    Yes it did occur to me. But did it occur to you that not all “certified” financial planners do things the right way? Just because one is certified does not guarantee they won’t break the law or make a mistake in giving proper advice.

    Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. But the Rams are putting themselves on the hook for vouching for them and enlisting them. I’m stating NOTHING for certain and simply asking for more details to clarify whether something is being done wrong or not. What’s wrong with that?

    I believe my approach is highly intelligent and responsible and the right attitude to have in this very questionable set of circumstances that the Rams have instigated. So no, I won’t give it a rest, your response amps me up to defend my point much more vigorously. Your comment and thumbs down perspective is my fuel for further analysis and rebuttal.

  19. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 13, 2013 6:32 PM

    I wonder what “schmitty2″ will be saying in these comments sections when news breaks in the future that one of these players fills suit against the Rams. It’s only a matter of time unless the Rams made some brilliant choices and safeguards, but how would we know? Nobody is reporting on this.

    I’m still waiting for the news and the coverage to show up for this hot topic.

  20. robbytfd says: Jun 13, 2013 6:42 PM

    @ thestrategyexpert
    You’re either a lawyer, politician or just a plain old dolt. You have to be pretty foolish to think something shady is going on. This was described as “financial planning 101″. I’m sure they brought in someone to highlight the different ways to save and invest. Just laying out options. Such as deferred compensation, Roth IRA, stocks, bonds, so on and so forth. I’m sure Jeff Fisher isn’t up there talking about piggy banks and savings accounts. Compliance rules are pretty strict about “selling” when you’re supposed to be “educating”. Your pessimism shines brighter than your realism. You must be stupid to think that the player’s agents and player’s association would let a team get away with something like this without a single word, unless everything is on the up and up. I am part of a workers association. My employers provide basic financial planning. And my association has no problem with it. I’m sure this is a similar situation. Get real man.

  21. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 13, 2013 6:51 PM

    robbytfd:

    Actually I’m neither of those, I’m in the Financial Planning business. And everything you say sounds fine, but only because you have built-in assumptions that I’m not willing to make based upon my expertise and experience in the industry of understanding what kinds of problems occur with those that like to give financial advice and instruction when they are doing it improperly.

    I’m as real as I can be, don’t know how I can turn up the reality further. And you are banking on the NFLPA being a responsible group when it’s clear to me they have proven otherwise. They didn’t catch the loophole that allowed Jay-Z to make them look like fools, and I don’t trust them despite the fact that you apparently do for some reason. That’s risky sir to place so much faith in this proven to be incompetent group.

  22. schmitty2 says: Jun 13, 2013 6:54 PM

    @thestrategyexpert

    I can’t even give you a rebuttal as you come off as a constant conspiracy theory loon. Did it EVER occur to you that the Rams perhaps had them sign a waiver claiming they were only providing free financial advice that they DON’T have to follow??

  23. jayniner says: Jun 13, 2013 6:57 PM

    Let’s hope they included a seminar on how to address all the “family” members and “cousins” that come out of the woodwork after they sign these contracts……

  24. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 13, 2013 7:02 PM

    schmitty2:

    Well it’s pretty hard to have a logical conversation as long as you think I’m an idiot and a conspiracy theorist. But yes those things did occur to me as did many other possibilities that you haven’t listed. I don’t see how just some of the theoretically possible scenarios in play that occurred to me is relevant to the areas where I have concern.

    All I’m asking for is the details and reporting to find out more about what this “financial planning and management” includes, and how it’s set up and the relevant details about the actual facts rather than assumptions or conjectures. To me it’s fascinating to see a team try to educate their players about money and I’d like to know what they are saying and doing that they believe is good advice, and I’m looking for verification that it’s all legal, ethical, and proper advice.

    This topic is both fascinating to me and under-reported on. I’m just in pondering mode until I get the facts.

  25. thefiesty1 says: Jun 13, 2013 7:10 PM

    First thing they must do in financial planning is to permanently dump their posse. Blood suckers are only after their money. Talk to a good broker and hope the bottom doesn’t fall out of the stock market.

  26. skitd says: Jun 13, 2013 7:15 PM

    thestrategyexpert has nothing to worry about in regards to his financial planning, he is the heir to the massengil fortune.

  27. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 13, 2013 7:32 PM

    thefiesty1:

    Or you could pick investments that aren’t heavily tied into the stock market. There are some Fixed Indexed Universal Life insurance policies that do wonders for helping set up tax-free retirement positions while also picking up much needed insurance that might be applicable to some of these players. I hope they are being taught about that and in a proper way.

    If the stock market crumbles, those accounts have interest crediting floors that look really great in hindsight for those worst case scenarios.

  28. antdam30 says: Jun 13, 2013 7:48 PM

    All these guys need is wealth preservation with modest growth. In Tavon Austin’s case, he’ll net around half of that bonus.

    If he invests $2 million and earns an average of 8% annually, after 25 years that investment would grow to $13.6 million. Set for life. Done and done.

  29. thefox61 says: Jun 13, 2013 7:59 PM

    Hey Austin! Can I have some money? Just askin’

  30. lakermetskins says: Jun 13, 2013 8:03 PM

    schmitty2:

    @thestrategyexpert

    Great points! I agree with thestrategyexpert in that sound, basic, professional advice can almost never be a negative thing, especially considering the amounts of money available to these guys. Kudos to the Rams.

    I also agree with schmitty2 that the advice given is only as good as the reputability/quality of the source. He also questions to who is the actual beneficiary of said advice; this is a direct result of the contentious relationships of non-trust amongst the players, agents, NFLPA, the League Office, team management, and Owners.

    I think the NFL in general and as a whole is trying to make life better for players in the long run. Roger Goodell doesn’t like “black-eyes” ruining the NFL brand and the statistics concerning players going broke is definitely a shiner. In my opinion, it appears the Rams are making a noble attempt to break this terrible trend.

  31. wardmanone says: Jun 13, 2013 8:06 PM

    I am extremely amused at the conjecture that one “thestrategyexpert” is inferring, might you step back and think objectively as to possibility of why the Rams are doing this and who they are doing it for and Fisher did this last year for a player to educate “help him” plan for his future and their was bit push back so it is not new stuff here. I believe the NFL has significant oversight relating to this, so calm down and go back to writing your financial blog in your basement. I am pretty sure you will get the call from Warren Buffett to advise him too.

  32. rondayne33 says: Jun 13, 2013 8:17 PM

    @thestrategyexpert:

    Gollie, lay off on the technicalities! When a cop pulls you over for speeding, do you ask for their badge, identification, class rank, etc. to verify that they are legally allowed to issue you a citation? Or when you buy a beer, do you ask the bartender for his ID to make sure he is of age to serve you booze? No way. As far as I can tell, you didn’t attend this financial training, so why do you give a scat about the credentials of the speaker and curriculum of the training/advice? Can’t you applaud the fact that a team cares enough to bring in someone to speak about the basics of money management? Considering half these guys won’t be on the roster in three years anyway actually says a lot about team management….

    We get it, you work in financial planning so you’re more educated on the subject. But just because I’m an accountant doesn’t mean I go around giving out tax advise to every I see at the grocery store. Take a step back into reality bud.

  33. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 13, 2013 8:31 PM

    rondayne33:

    No. No. I’m curious.

    And if given that the Rams are doing a good job in how they go about the “instruction”, then yes I give them an A+ for taking the initiative. If I had an NFL team I would be doing the same thing the Rams are doing.

    And I’m the last guy to deviate from the nature and logic of the real world. I’m immersed in it with dedicated focus.

  34. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 13, 2013 8:45 PM

    wardmanone:

    Sounds to me like you are making incorrect assumptions about what I am inferring, so I refute you comment on that basis.

    Also the NFL is squandering billion dollar opportunities that I think they should be going after imo. So for them to have oversight relating to “financial management” in any way doesn’t carry a lot of weight with me for the record.

    Plus my house is on a crawl space, I work from my couch, so you got that all wrong too.

    And I don’t think Warren Buffet knows who I am or has my number, so not likely that I’m going to get a phone call from him. Most of my expertise and experience revolves around using more conservative methods for planning, somebody like Warren Buffet has many investment opportunities that are categorically different than what I specialize in. My ignorance as to the full breadth of his available options leaves me in no position to give him much advice. It would take me months just to do the fact finding to begin to have a chance to have a strong opinion of what to advise him to do. Just another reason that he is unlikely to place that call.

  35. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 13, 2013 8:47 PM

    lakermetskins:

    Very intelligent post, that’s all I got in response!

  36. stevet321 says: Jun 13, 2013 10:12 PM

    imho:

    After reading thru these posts these few ideas seem to surface:

    At least some management inside the NFL are taking steps to help these young men avoid blowing a lifetime of money in the space of a few years.

    Some of us<>APPLAUD this act and encourage the attitude of education and preparedness to continue!!!

    Some are jealous that someone else is making one red cent more than they are and it comes out in their post.

    Some are just upset that they are not involved and have to say something…anything…to someone…to inject themselves into the situation so that their presence will improve whatever is going on…irregardless of the fact that it comes across as self-serving and disrespectful of other professionals.

    Some are just trolling for an argument and would disagree with the fact that the sun was going to rise in the morning…if they could troll someone else into the fight. They must lead a lonely and empty existence. Negative attention is better than no attention.

    Basic financial planning is taught even to our serviceman as they enter the military. They have Full time financial advisers just to help keep them out of trouble.

    Why should Professional Football Teams do any less? KUDOS!!!! to the Saint Louis Rams Professional Football Organization for leaning forward in the saddle and taking positive steps to advise, assist and inform their salaried team members.

  37. smstonerock says: Jun 13, 2013 11:30 PM

    Hey strategyexpert,

    You sound intelligent and reasonable enough, and obviously have experience in this field, but I see you on here a lot and have noticed you are generally a pessimistic person.

    I also know that you, like me, are a Lions fan. And I have to say that I absolutely disagree with just about everything you post about them. You point out obvious mistakes that the Lions brass make, ones that everyone can see in hindsight, and then go on long rants about what they “should” do to build the team, most of which are absolutely ridiculous and flat out wrong.

    My hobby is to simulate 30 years of franchise building in “Madden”, the video game. I’ve done this many times. (And before you discredit me based on the fact that I’m using a video game to reach my conclusions, remember that this video game is simply the most advanced computer simulation of real life football we have, nothing more, nothing less.) I’ve seen what works, I’ve seen what doesn’t. Simply put, your suggestions about what the Lions should do to contradict EVERYTHING I’ve learned. As a fellow fan, please stop giving your “advice” on this website. God forbid someone from the front office happens to read your nonsense and subconsciously implements one of your “expert strategies” at some point in the future.

  38. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 13, 2013 11:51 PM

    smstonerock:

    Well actually I see myself as quite the opposite. I’m the ultimate optimist at heart. I’m not sure why you perceive me as pessimistic, but that’s partly due to the fact that I’m not going to post “good job” on every ancillary thing that happens. If an NFL team makes 100 decisions a day on various things, and 1 of those is a bad decision, I’m critiquing the bad decision, not giving them high five for the 99 good decisions that I think should be routine.

    I also have one post that didn’t show up where I award the Rams an astound A+ for taking the initiative to do this pending they are doing it in an appropriate fashion which cannot be verified due to the lack of reporting on this topic.

    In terms of Lions-related posts I comment and have been for many years and have made probably 10,000 posts or thereabouts on the subject of the Lions, so I think that’s unfair for you to say you can disagree with almost everything I say if you haven’t reviewed the majority of my posts or engaged me in proper debate for anything that you may not be on the same page with me about. I also have a diary I have kept that includes nearly 100 tidbits of very niche things that I have noticed that the Lions have made errors on, and that’s only including stuff that isn’t high profile like a trade or draft pick that can easily be reviewed and tracked in the future, hence the reason why I wrote them down due to their obscurity. I bet you would be blown away if you saw my NFL Mistakes file that has over 60,000 characters of mistakes of all teams I have noticed over the last 5 or so years of the in-game tactical decisions I have found that I thought were important enough to record. I keep adding to that for the very purpose of showing somebody my thought process over the years as things happened rather and I expect no recognition for any comment that is based only on hindsight and I NEVER make comments based on hindsight.

    The ONLY time you would ever see a post that you think is a hindsight post is going to be a time where I had the foresight in advance to establish a set opinion before the future hindsight would back up my point. I assure you I have made zero posts you have ever seen that are made by using hindsight to prove a point if I wasn’t at that point well in advance.

    Also you are categorically wrong by suggesting my opinions are wrong. An opinion by it’s very nature can’t possibly be wrong. If you ever think an opinion is wrong, then that’s only a matter of improperly placing a label that said item is an opinion. You can’t refute this argument and need to study the word “opinion” further before trying to ever again suggest an opinion can be wrong. It’s flat out 100% impossible.

    I refute that you have any precise idea of “what I would do with the Lions”. Your post is completely inadequate to suggest that you understand what my viewpoints are. Just because you think you have me figured out, doesn’t mean you fully understand my football philosophies, and I have seen many times where people have bashed my opinions while proving that they have misunderstood my opinions. I find your entire post to be extremely rude and unfair and your opinion about the lack of quality of my opinion thus doesn’t mean much to me.

    Sorry but I think your entire post here is out of line and totally inappropriate and I stand by my football philosophies as being superior to that which the Lions have and I feel I have recorded proof that backs up my point of view extremely well. For the most part my strategies and theories hold water, and the Lions’ strategies and theories do not.

  39. ramcountry says: Jun 14, 2013 12:39 AM

    “If an NFL team makes 100 decisions a day on various things, and 1 of those is a bad decision, I’m critiquing the bad decision, not giving them high five for the 99 good decisions that I think should be routine.”

    You seem to have invalidated your own work.

    If one looks for the boogeyman behind every bush, they will find him.

  40. drez146 says: Jun 14, 2013 1:40 AM

    I don’t get talking crap about a team at least trying to teach these young guys about finances…there trying it’s better than most teams

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