Advertisement

 Matt Ryan isn't apologizing for benefiting from a system that allows top NFL draft picks to receive massive contracts. Even so, he appreciates where Roger Goodell was coming from last week when the commissioner questioned paying millions in guaranteed salary to rookies who have yet to play a down in the league.
``You can also understand the other side of it, the concern of veterans who have been in the league 10, 12 years and proven themselves but not seen the money,'' Ryan said in a phone interview Tuesday. ``I can understand both sides.''
The third pick in this year's draft, the quarterback signed a $72 million, six-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons that included $34.75 million in guaranteed pay.
All that money means first-year players need to quickly develop a lot of financial savvy. On Monday night, Ryan and his fellow draft picks participated in a presentation by Visa about credit scores during the NFL Rookie Symposium in Carlsbad, Calif.
Ryan said players were chatting afterward about the concept of assets vs. liabilities - how some purchases, such as a house, generate wealth, while others decline in value over time.
Most people can afford to make some financial mistakes early in adulthood because they'll have a long career and their peak earnings won't come for a couple of decades, said Lisa Withers, Visa's national financial literacy educator. But for professional athletes, there's little room for error, since their highest incomes may come for a few years in their early 20s.
Withers was impressed by all the hands that flew up around the room as she gave her 45-minute presentation to players Monday. At the end the rookies were divided into two teams, the Patriots and Giants, to play a game to test their financial knowledge.
``They were talking smack back and forth just like if they were in a football game,'' she said.
Withers emphasized that a low credit score can burn a player no matter how much money he makes. Veteran quarterback Drew Brees learned that the hard way early in his career. In a phone interview Tuesday, he recalled how he failed to pay a cell phone bill and it went to collections.
``It took me my first couple of years in the league to learn through experience,'' he said.

Recent NFL Discussions

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Seahawks' Season Win Total Prediction Will the Seattle Seahawks win at least 11 games in 2015 after falling short in the playoffs last season?
Thumbnail Packers Season Win Prediction After failing to win the NFC North last season, will the Green Bay Packers get back on track this season?
Thumbnail Bucs vs. Jaguars Free Pick Will tonight's Buccaneers and Jaguars game at 7:30PM ET be high-scoring for preseason bettors?
Thumbnail Broncos welcome 49ers to Mile High City For those who thought the Broncos’ internal quarterback debates were a thing of the past, guess again.
Thumbnail Panthers vs. Titans Free Pick Will the Titans beat the Panthers today at 3:45PM ET and pick up their second straight win in the preseason?
More inNFL Articles  

NFL Team Pages