NFL replaces rookie symposium with new rookie transition program

AP

The NFL’s rookie symposium has come to an end.

The symposium, which brought every drafted player to one central location to learn about the off-field issues relevant to playing pro football, took some criticism when it was revealed that Cris Carter told rookies they should get a fall guy to take the blame if they get into trouble with the law. But that’s not why the NFL says the program is going away.

Instead, the league says that a new rookie transition program will be hosted by each of the 32 teams, provide local resources for a transition into the NFL, and carry the added benefit of including both drafted players and undrafted rookies.

“Our goal is to onboard every NFL rookie with the best resources and practices for a successful playing experience both on and off the field,” said NFL Vice President of Player Engagement and former NFL player Charles Way. “By shifting the model to the clubs from a centrally located program exclusive to drafted rookies, we can reach all of our rookies, introduce them to resources in their community, and afford them the experience from active and former players at their club who successfully transitioned into the NFL.”

Every team will have mandatory rookie orientation from June 20-22. Topics teams will address with players include social responsibility, respect at work, mental health, character and values and player engagement resources.

14 responses to “NFL replaces rookie symposium with new rookie transition program

  1. Hopefully part of the program involves players having the number for a free ride home when drunk saved in their phones. A referral to a good money management firm wouldn’t be amiss, either.

  2. when I read the headline on the PFT home page, I immediately thought of Carter and the fall guy story.

    as usual, PFT didn’t disappoint when choosing the accompanying picture.

  3. @steelerben

    I think NFL Security provides pickup service for players, any time, anywhere, to keep them safe/keep the NFL out of the news for player DUIs.

    As for the money thing, I agree. I would also like to see if other teams take the approach Jeff Fisher does with his cube of money. He brings in $1m in cash for the rookies to see. Then he starts taking out required withholdings and fees. Shows the players how much of their game checks disappear before it even gets in their hands.

  4. “Our goal is to onboard every NFL rookie with the best resources and practices for a successful playing experience both on and off the field,”

    I’m really curious about the information, training, and practices they’ll be providing for “a successful playing experience OFF the field”!

    One unrelated question for Mr. Way: WHen did “onboard” become a verb?

  5. “By shifting the model to the clubs from a centrally located program exclusive to drafted rookies, we can reach all of our rookies, introduce them to resources in their community, and at the same time insulate the League office any future fall guy type embarrassments”

  6. The symposium was an ultimate failure. This will be too. It’s just a waste of time and money. These players are going to do whatever they want.
    Aldon Smith, Johnny Manziel, Josh Gordon… on and on.

  7. This way they get to meet each team’s former FBI agent on-staff to train the players on what to do when police arrive.

  8. Having a fall guy is still good advice, despite what those that restrict opinions have to say.

  9. Remember these rookies in most cases are not prepared for the money and fame. Some fail on the field because they fail off the field.

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