Given the very temporary nature of NFL careers, it's always a good idea for draft picks to make good decisions with their earliest professional paychecks. This year, given the labor situation and that rookie salaries might be cut dramatically, it's even more important.
Via Alex Marvez and FOX Sports, that's exactly the point that the NFLPA is attempting to hammer home in its rookie symposium this week.
"These players have a tendency to get approached by a lot of people, family and friends," McDonnell told me and co-host Jim Miller on Sirius XM NFL Radio. "We've actually drafted a letter they can use that says, 'I'm going to take the next year getting used to being in the NFL. I'm not going to make any major commitments,' just to give them a little breathing room."
"One of the things we want these young players to realize is the decisions they make in the next one-to-two years are really going to impact their lives forever. We want them to get off to a good start."
Always sound advice, especially for the young player who isn't already independently wealthy by virtue of having played football at USC or Ohio State.
In other words, instead of the Maybach, maybe you go with a roomy little Nissan with decent gas mileage. Maybe the giant pendant with your uniform number could be zircon-encrusted. And maybe you should tell Cousin Elroy that he should find another financial backer to open the arcade/massage parlor/nacho bar he's always dreamed of.
Kidding aside, though, it's too easy to judge something like this from afar. "Oh, you've got too much money, boo hoo." But it's got to be a really difficult thing to be approached by so many people, especially ones you've known all your life, all of whom have ideas on what you should do with all this new money, which might have to last you for a while.
I can envision it being very easy to make one bad decision, or trust the wrong person just once, and then pay for it for a very long time.