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Rookie symposium message: Most of you will be gone in three years


The 254 players selected in this year’s NFL draft will gather for the rookie symposium next week, and one message should resonate: There’s a good chance your NFL career will last less than three years.

NFL V.P. Troy Vincent told the Associated Press that an important message of the rookie symposium is that NFL careers don’t last long, and players need to prepare for post-NFL life.

“We are not here to be dream killers,” Vincent said. “We have to be realistic, though, and you are now on the clock. So, of the drafted rookies, less than half will still be around three years from now. That doesn’t mean life stops; it better not. While we are introducing them to the NFL, we’re also talking about life after football. And there will be nothing these young men who come from all different walks of life have been through that one of us has not been through. There are life lessons that need to be learned right from the beginning.”

It’s a tough thing for a young player to hear, but NFL careers can disappear quickly. At the rookie symposium three years ago, Raiders first-round pick Rolando McClain probably didn’t think a series of legal issues would have derailed his career by 2013. Lions first-round pick Jahvid Best probably didn’t think a series of concussions would have derailed his career by 2013. Broncos first-round pick Tim Tebow probably didn’t think two teams would have sent him packing and he’d just be trying to earn a roster spot on a third by 2013. But that’s how quickly things can go wrong for NFL players.

And those three examples are first-round picks. Late-round picks are even less likely to last in the NFL.

So it’s good for rookies to hear that many of them won’t last in the NFL. Even if every single one of those 254 rookies probably thinks he’ll never be one of those guys who washes out in three years.

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37 Responses to “Rookie symposium message: Most of you will be gone in three years”
  1. sellout1983 says: Jun 22, 2013 3:30 PM

    Also, don’t shoot anyone in the back of the head and ten destroy your cell phone and home security camera system.

  2. jtbaudendistel says: Jun 22, 2013 3:31 PM

    When you finally get to the top there is only one way to go from there… The stip club to make it rain

  3. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Jun 22, 2013 3:32 PM

    “Okay, Freshmen- look at the person on your left, and then the person on your right. None of you will graduate together”.

    This held true for me and literally everyone else I know that went to college, but on that day no one thought it would apply to them.

    Same as NFL rookies, human nature being what it is.

  4. apkyletexas says: Jun 22, 2013 3:37 PM

    I wonder if Aaron Hernandez thought that in 3 years he would be demolishing his cell phone and home security system?

  5. hedleykow says: Jun 22, 2013 3:37 PM

    On the other hand, most PFT commentors will still be right here in three years from now, dumb as we ever were, making the same lame comments week after week. The one thing we have in common with the Rookie football players that will be gone from the NFL in three years: the NFL players will be broke just like us in 3 1/2 years from now.

  6. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 22, 2013 3:38 PM

    In lieu of a lot of boring lectures on comportment, the rookies were shown live coverage of Hernandez being taken down.

  7. helladonks says: Jun 22, 2013 3:43 PM

    This kind of stuff NEEDS to be said to these players. Might just save a few from issues such as debt, crime, etc

  8. tramonisland says: Jun 22, 2013 3:44 PM

    I heard the same message at the sports journalist symposium this year.

  9. dougydougdoug says: Jun 22, 2013 3:47 PM

    Only fitting they would choose a photo of a Raider for this article.

  10. rhamrhoddy says: Jun 22, 2013 3:52 PM

    “Which means that in 3 years, the other half of you will be richer than your wildest dreams! So let’s practice MakinitRAIINNN!!!!”

    “PAC-Man! Knock it off!”

  11. rdrs68 says: Jun 22, 2013 3:59 PM

    Not here and will be wishing that you actually a real college education instead of that worthless degree from the football factory which rented your services for four years.

  12. filthymcnasty1 says: Jun 22, 2013 4:04 PM

    It’s not so bad for the Packer rookies, because the marginal players can always find a home in MN.

  13. monstersofthemidway545051 says: Jun 22, 2013 4:18 PM

    “Which means that in 3 years, the other half of you will be richer than your wildest dreams! So let’s practice MakinitRAIINNN!!!!”

    Made me laugh out loud. Great addition.

  14. randygnyc says: Jun 22, 2013 4:23 PM

    And some will be in prison, for murder (see Aaron Hernandez).

  15. jgg1 says: Jun 22, 2013 4:24 PM

    Don’t forget a lucky few who are good enough to play in the NFL, but get released for let’s say issues will get picked up by the Bengels!!!

  16. fdugrad says: Jun 22, 2013 4:25 PM

    I hope this approach brings home the message to these players. The overriding problem is the fact, that there are a large percentage who are not going to LISTEN. There are so many that have been enabled, coddled trouble makers from the time in jr high school when their abilities set them apart from the other “regular” kids. They were passed through high school and accepted into institutions of higher learning when they should have been rejected. They do not go to class, many of them repeat their trouble-making behaviors, which are glossed over, covered up and enabled throughout their years of eligibility by a cadre of baby-sitters and coaches, until, of course, their playing days are over. With this kind of mindset and attitudes, many of these young men are telling themselves ( if they are actually paying attention ), that the information you are imparting does not apply to them, because as their lives have demonstrated, they are “special.” They simply refuse delivery of these kinds of messages. If this wasn’t the case, brutes like AH and all the other chumps that populate police blotters so frequently would lessen in number and frequency rather than GROW. Good luck NFL, you have quite the task ahead of you. Archive this article PFT, so you merely need to change names next year when you rerun it.

  17. carolinajimbo says: Jun 22, 2013 4:30 PM

    And yet Tebow will survive. Without breaking the law.

  18. lonespeed says: Jun 22, 2013 4:38 PM

    Pfffttt…That won’t be me yo. I gots mad game, you know what I’m sayin? Maybe all these other cats should be listen’n ya know. All these old dudes are as dumb as all them teams that passed on my ass for three rounds. They’ll be making a bust of me in Canton for the class of 2030. Where is Canton anyways…that place somewhere in Illinois? Maybe I should buy my ticket to Illinois before prices go up, you know what I mean? Damn this some boring $&@! we gotta listen to. Just point me to the field.

  19. bcgreg says: Jun 22, 2013 4:38 PM

    Unless you stay away from Ray Lewis and Aaron Hernandez. Then maybe, you gotta shot!

  20. seaeagle707 says: Jun 22, 2013 4:44 PM

    Are you sure he was talking about rookies? Are you sure, real sure, he wasn’t talking about the whole Farty Whiners TEAM?

    I’ll bet he was.

  21. doner80 says: Jun 22, 2013 4:45 PM

    @filthymcnasty your a**packers better start drafting better because my giants own their ass and they know it!!!

  22. seaeagle707 says: Jun 22, 2013 4:45 PM

    lonespeed- Canton is in the great and sovereign State of O-hi-o.

  23. bigredgoog says: Jun 22, 2013 4:49 PM

    It’s a myth that the average Pro Football Career is 3 years long. It is a big lie perpetrated by the Union and Agents and unwittingly parroted by announcers, commentators etc.

    I don’t know if the statistic in this article, which is a little different, is accurate however.

  24. saints4life57 says: Jun 22, 2013 5:42 PM

    There are a few golden rules to follow when entering the NFL! Don’t kill anyone, Don’t kill yourself, Don’t do or sell drugs, and don’t beat your baby’s mama and you stand a good chance of having a decent career in the NFL! Oh and also don’t be named Tim Tebow! lol

  25. orivar says: Jun 22, 2013 5:48 PM

    And that’s the one issue with football, there’s not enough room for the talent pool.

  26. peytonwantsaflag says: Jun 22, 2013 6:12 PM

    Not saying the symposium is a waste of time at all, there are lessons to be learned I’m sure, but much of how they come out of this football life is determined early in their life. A good upbringing lays a strong foundation.

  27. jmack1979 says: Jun 22, 2013 6:19 PM

    It’s good they are teaching them that, obviously NFL players are not currently prepared for life after football

  28. phinfan says: Jun 22, 2013 6:28 PM

    Will the Cleveland owner need to attend a ‘NFL owners symposium?’

  29. norwegianwud says: Jun 22, 2013 6:28 PM

    If it hasn’t already been said, this is a message that should be hammered home well before these kids ever get to the NFL. The NCAA and NFL could resolve a big problem here by having a moving symposium and employing humbled ex-NFL players that have had their careers cut short due to various reasons within the 1st-3rd yr. The message being that maybe you should think about your education while you have the chance… Or you could turn out to be a…

  30. bballnut50 says: Jun 22, 2013 6:29 PM

    Because all packer rookies only wish they were drafted by the Vikes and not some backwater hellhole!

  31. securb2013 says: Jun 22, 2013 6:38 PM

    I think Aaron Hernandez skipped this meeting his rookie year.

  32. pancaketaco says: Jun 22, 2013 6:44 PM

    Glass half full…as of 2007 the league minimum salary were…
    1st yr. $285,000
    2nd yr. $360,000
    3rd yr. $435,000
    Total $1,080,000

    Average US house hold income in 2011 ~$50,000. By my calculations that’s about 21.6 years of work at a job you probably hate and oh yeah you’re working 50 to 60 hours a week.

    Moral of the story live like an average American you have a pretty good life…if not oh well your problem no pity coming from this guy.

  33. nunpuncher says: Jun 22, 2013 6:47 PM

    I liked the message a few years ago better when the NFL lead 2 dozen smoking hot modelesque women into the room and told the players that 85% of them have sexually transmitted diseases.

  34. jayquintana says: Jun 22, 2013 6:59 PM

    Fortunately, they all have a college education to fall back on. Since they spend a minimum of 3 years at a university, surely they must learn a lot.

  35. 1historian says: Jun 22, 2013 11:01 PM

    There was a point late last season at which Notre Dame was #1 in the country both in their football ranking and in their student/athlete graduation rate ranking. Never been done before and if it is ever done again Notre Dame will probably do it.

    In April’s draft there were 6 ND players chosen and another 7 signed FA contracts.

  36. dirtydrew says: Jun 23, 2013 1:04 PM

    Save your money kids.

  37. nofunleague says: Jun 23, 2013 2:33 PM

    Buy a 600,000 house not a three million dollar house. By two 60,000. cars not 4, 100,000 cars. Get married rather than hangin’ with hos. Cost the same but less STD about. Don’t raise dogs, or visit night clubs in Atlanta. Dump your homies from high school, they are nothing but trouble. Tell your high school if they name the football field after you to use water colors and not oil based paint . then you should be ok.

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