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Thread: Wagoner: Rams Will Have Rookies Signed Soon

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    Wagoner: Rams Will Have Rookies Signed Soon

    Rams will have rookies signed soon

    June, 10, 2014
    By Nick Wagoner | ESPN.com

    EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams are the only team in the NFL not to sign any members of their draft class. That will change soon enough.

    For those that have followed the team's approach to signing the rookies under coach Jeff Fisher, it should be no surprise the Rams will be the last team to strike deals with their 11 drafted rookies.

    It's all part of the team's plan to educate the rookies before handing over what for many will be life-changing money.

    "With the new rookie cap and everything its really not difficult to get the deals done," Fisher said Tuesday. "So we just felt like this time would be better served putting them in situations from an educational standpoint, financial planning, those kind of things. Weve done a lot of that."

    Indeed, since the emergence of the rookie salary cap, the contracts for draft picks are essentially slotted into certain price tags. No amount of hold outs or negotiations is ultimately going to change rules that were collectively bargained in 2011.

    Where rookie holdouts used to be a summer staple, they are now a thing of the past. In looking around the NFL, most teams already have the majority of their draft classes under contract. Even first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney has already signed with the Houston Texans. Under the old CBA, it wouldn't be unusual to see top overall picks unsigned deep into July, even missing their share of training camp practices.

    But with the new setup, the more pertinent question might be what's the rush?

    Frankly, the Rams' approach to handling the rookie deals is both logical and intelligent. For all rookies entering the NFL, this is their first real occupation. Sure, they might have had jobs along the way but none that come with the payday of an NFL contract. (Insert joke about the payroll of your least favorite college football power here).

    Taking it a step further, the vast majority of rookies don't have much experience with how to handle wealth. So the Rams set out to offer a variety of classes intended to further educate players before handing over lucrative signing bonuses.

    Included in the education are sessions on financial planning, home ownership, investing and other tasks associated with every-day life. On Tuesday afternoon, former Rams tight end Ernie Conwell spoke to the rookies. Conwell is now a regional director for the NFLPA.

    The Rams have even traditionally done a rookie week in which they offer the class an opportunity to see their new hometown by taking them out to eat at local restaurants and offering chances to mingle with other young professionals in town.

    In the meantime, the rookies aren't left wanting for everything. They stay in a local hotel and are fed meals at the team facility.

    It's all done with the idea of providing the smoothest transition possible for young players who are about to take on the difficult task of playing in the NFL. If the Rams can provide a better chance for them to do that, all the better.

    Last year, the team announced the signing of its entire rookie class in one day, the final day of organized team activities. With OTAs halfway finished and scheduled to end next week, all indications from the Rams point to this year's draft picks signing their deals around the same time.

    "We have got another meeting or two left to go and I would think well get these things done here pretty quickly," Fisher said.


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    Re: Wagoner: Rams Will Have Rookies Signed Soon

    One of the best things about the new rookie scale is that we no longer have issues regarding signing the rookie class. I remember having to worry about rookie holdouts. Now, its a non-issue.

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    Re: Wagoner: Rams Will Have Rookies Signed Soon

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    One of the best things about the new rookie scale is that we no longer have issues regarding signing the rookie class. I remember having to worry about rookie holdouts. Now, its a non-issue.
    One of the best, if not the best decision the NFL has ever made.

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    Re: Wagoner: Rams Will Have Rookies Signed Soon

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    One of the best, if not the best decision the NFL has ever made.
    Agreed!! I hated the fact some hot shot rookie who thought he was god's gift would make the team go crazy. Get in, get paid, prove yourself then negotiate a new contract when the time comes. Sooo grateful for this to be a matter of fact issue and not a are they going to be training camp.
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    Re: Wagoner: Rams Will Have Rookies Signed Soon

    rookie holdouts were very painful.......nice to see that go away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by macrammer View Post
    rookie holdouts were very painful.......nice to see that go away.

    Amen. Even nicer to see the Rans have an actual management team in place.

    The changes in the last 2 years are nothing short of phenomenal.
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

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    Re: Wagoner: Rams Will Have Rookies Signed Soon

    Nice to see the Rams operate this way with the rooks as Fisher likes to call them. I'm sure other teams have this process too, but I'm glad we have a coach and FO who understands these are people who need to go through an adjustment before we can expect them to heroes each Sunday. Yes the new CBA is great to remove the signing issue from the off-season "to do list".

    Go Rams!

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    Re: Wagoner: Rams Will Have Rookies Signed Soon

    Taking it a step further, the vast majority of rookies don't have much experience with how to handle wealth. So the Rams set out to offer a variety of classes intended to further educate players before handing over lucrative signing bonuses.

    Included in the education are sessions on financial planning, home ownership, investing and other tasks associated with every-day life. On Tuesday afternoon, former Rams tight end Ernie Conwell spoke to the rookies. Conwell is now a regional director for the NFLPA.

    The Rams have even traditionally done a rookie week in which they offer the class an opportunity to see their new hometown by taking them out to eat at local restaurants and offering chances to mingle with other young professionals in town.
    I don't know if this is standard practice for all NFL teams or just something the Rams do, but it sounds like a fantastic idea.
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    Re: Wagoner: Rams Will Have Rookies Signed Soon

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I don't know if this is standard practice for all NFL teams or just something the Rams do, but it sounds like a fantastic idea.
    It's specifically a Fisher thing. He brought the idea over with him from Tennessee and it's something he believes in from his playing days. Having heard interviews from the first two rookie classes regarding this the players come to appreciate the Rams putting the effort in to educate the young men as well. Classy move that helps our young guys out a lot.

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