The process was much lengthier than with other franchises, but the St. Louis Rams have officially gotten all of their 2013 NFL Draft choices to sign on the dotted line. Usually the reason that team delay the signings of their rookies is because there is some sort of contract stalemate over guaranteed money or extra option years, but for the Rams the issue was much less complex. The team just didn’t want to stuff the pockets of newly minted millionaires and set them loose on the world without some training.
As was reported here earlier in the week, the Rams were treating their entire rookie class the same. From the top 10 selection of Tavon Austin down to the many undrafted free agents that the club picked up, all of the players were residing in the same place with very little to differentiate them from one another.
And that outlook was a terrific approach to the process. The last thing the league needs is more ego-maniacal players that feel they are superior to other guys in the locker room. That holds especially true for players that have yet to prove anything out on the field at a professional level.
With the biggest check that was written belonging to the number eight overall selection in Austin, there was warranted concern about his financial outlook after a report earlier this offseason mentioned him already being contacted by several people from his hometown of Baltimore for money. His $7.6 million signing bonus could make plenty of people happy in the short-term, but thanks to the Rams’ financial planning help hopefully Austin invests that money for his future.
If you remember back to last year’s draft gamble on cornerback Janoris Jenkins, the Rams stipulated several provisions in his contract about financial planning and even insisted that he have a financial advisor at one point. That persistence paid off handsomely with a solid on-field and quiet off-field rookie season for the player once considered “undraftable” by some.
Now that the rookies all have their finances in order they will have around a month off prior to training camp getting started. That downtime will help them recuperate both mentally and physically before the real rigors of the season kick off. Thanks to the Rams’ diligence, hopefully this is the last time we hear about any financial concerns with any of these youngsters.