Cardinals rookie RB plans to spend much of his bonus ... on sister's student loans

Shutdown Corner

The stories of what rookie NFL players do with their first signing bonuses can be legendary. No, there still aren’t a lot of Lamborghinis in NFL parking lots, as some ignorantly might believe, but some rookies do splurge on something fun.

Arizona Cardinals rookie Chase Edmonds, a running back out of Fordham who was drafted by the team in the fourth round, is going to drop about $80,000 of his first rookie deal according to a report.

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Don’t worry, he isn’t going to blow it on some strange vanity purchase. Edmonds will make sure his older sister isn’t under the weight of her student loans anymore. It’s something he had been wanting to do with his first NFL check since he was in elementary school.

A promise from when he was 10 years old

A fun story by Josh Weinfuss of ESPN described the origin of Edmonds deciding to pay his sister Morgan Howell’s student loans, which were about $80,000. It wasn’t just a spur-of-the-moment idea, but something he had been thinking about since he was 10.

Arizona Cardinals’ fourth-round draft pick Chase Edmonds (L) paid off his sister’s student loans, fulfilling a long-held goal. (AP)
Arizona Cardinals’ fourth-round draft pick Chase Edmonds (L) paid off his sister’s student loans, fulfilling a long-held goal. (AP)

Edmonds’ mother told ESPN that when Chase was 10 years old he wrote in a school assignment that he wanted to make the NFL, and he wanted to pay off his sister’s student loans. The loans had been piling up too: She went to NC State for her undergraduate degree, then got a master’s in counseling from Arizona State. The loans are about $360 to $380 a month, ESPN reported. Edmonds can’t fix the ridiculous escalating cost of higher education in the United States, but he could help his sister. 

Edmonds’ mother told Weinfuss she thinks the idea to pay off his sister’s loans came from dinner-table discussions about where Morgan, six years older than Chase, would go to college.

Cardinals liked what they saw with Edmonds

The first part of Edmonds’ plan, getting to the NFL, came together pretty well.

Edmonds dominated in the Patriot League. He is the league’s all-time leading rusher with 5,862 yards, and would have had more had injuries not set him back as a senior. The Cardinals ignored that Edmonds played at Fordham and not a major college powerhouse. They also overlooked that he isn’t huge by NFL standards, at 5-foot-9 and 205 pounds, and drafted him in the fourth round. They’re hoping he develops into a reliable backup to star workhorse David Johnson.

The family got some good fortune with Edmonds’ landing spot too. Morgan Howell is living in Chandler, Arizona. and is a therapist working with teens. That’s about 30 miles from Glendale, Arizona, where the Cardinals play.

An act of generosity

Paying off his sister’s student loans isn’t a minor gift.

While certain people believe (and complain) that NFL players are all insanely rich, that’s not reality for most of them. Edmonds’ rookie deal is worth a little more than $2.9 million over four years, according to Spotrac, with a signing bonus of about $452,000. On paper that’s a lot of money, but as a fourth-round pick Edmonds isn’t guaranteed to get a second NFL contract. He’s not set for the rest of his life off that contract. But he made a promise and wanted to keep it.

There are plenty of cynical feelings about NFL players. Although almost all of them are unfounded, Edmonds’ generosity is a pretty fun one to get behind.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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