Jed Collins is uniquely qualified to offer money advice to NFL rookies.
Before he began his second career as a financial adviser, Collins spent seven years bouncing around the NFL with nine different teams as a journeyman fullback. His most prominent stretch came with the New Orleans Saints from 2011 through 2013, when he started 26 games and scored seven touchdowns.
So how does a fellow pro like Collins get his message across?
With turkey dinner, ice cream and Starbursts, of course.
Those were just some of Collins’ props as he explained the principles of gross and net income, the progressive income tax code and compound interest to rookies and first-year players with the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions this spring as part of the NFL’s orientation programs.
“I try to be an entertaining educator,” said Collins, who’s a director of financial education for wealth-management firm Brighton Jones in the Seattle area.
During his presentation on insurance, Collins also flashed pictures of various celebrities, asking players to guess which body parts they had insured for millions of dollars.
“When you speak over someone’s head, they immediately tune out,” said Collins, who was an accounting major at Washington State and first dreamed of coming back to the NFL one day to teach players about money when he realized his brothers, who studied law and engineering at Harvard and Berkeley, didn’t know much about managing money.
“It’s all of us,” Collins said. “Football player, journalist, astronaut, engineer, dance — nobody is learning this. And I looked at it as, ‘I am interested in this field, I am passionate about helping people, and what I’m finding is kind of my secret to success at the moment is I like people, I can talk to people and I’m a good storyteller.’
“When you’ve had the pressure of being in the Superdome in front of 70,000, 80,000, it’s not as intimidating to be in a room with 30 or 40 people there asking you questions about a 401(k).
“And I don’t have to hit anyone.”
Collins said he actually first wrote in his journal when he was an undrafted rookie with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008 that he would love to come back one day and teach a class about money to NFL teams.
But that dream got put on hold for another one when he lasted longer in the NFL than he ever imagined. He bounced around on offseason rosters and practice squads with the Eagles, Bears, Browns, Chiefs, Cardinals, Browns (again), Titans and Saints before he finally appeared in his first regular-season game in 2011.
All the while, Collins spent his offseasons studying to become a certified financial planner, tackling one of the CFP exams every offseason. After he finished his career with the Lions and Cowboys in 2014 and 2015, he took his final exam and started working in service and sales for Brighton Jones a few months later.
Collins said he has transitioned away from the sales side of things, however, so he can pursue his passion of being an educator.
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When asked (as he often is) what’s in it for him, Collins said he is hoping to build his brand so he can do it on a bigger stage. He has a book coming out this fall titled “Teach Me Money,” and said his mission is “to empower a million people to own their financial stories.”
Collins said NFL locker rooms provide the perfect audience, and his dream job would be to become a financial educator to the whole league. He said he is also hoping to speak with some Major League Baseball teams.
“Jed is doing a great job of being one of the speakers because he understands the game, he played at a high level, but now he’s actually performing at a high level off the field in that financial space,” said Collins’ former Saints teammate Usama Young, who now works for the NFL in player engagement and was on hand for his talk with the Seahawks.
“He can speak to it from experience,” Young said. “To say, ‘Hey, I’ve been through this before. I’ve seen these checks. I know how it feels to get a playoff check. How it feels to get money that is unaccounted for in a bonus. … I also know how it feels to get paid for 17 weeks in a season and then not get paid at all and say, “Oh man, I should’ve been able to budget a little better.'”
“You know, you get a certain level of appreciation or respect that some people don’t get initially. Some people have to earn that.”
Maurice Kelly, the Seahawks’ vice president of player engagement, said Collins did “an outstanding job” with the team’s young players and that the Seahawks plan to bring him back at some point to do a presentation with the veteran players as well.
“He commanded the room,” Kelly said. “I think it’s marvelous that he’s doing what he’s doing, and it definitely resonates with the young guys. It’s one thing for me to talk about it, or to have a business finance person come into the room and say, ‘Hey, don’t spend all your money, make a budget …’
“But he could speak on their level. And a journeyman like Jed has been, even though they don’t want that to be their reality, that will be the reality for a lot of them.”
These types of team-by-team talks have replaced the NFL rookie symposium, which used to gather all of the league’s draft picks (but not undrafted free-agent signees) in one place for a series of presentations.
“He likes to joke about being a fullback in this league … about coming from the old world of football [when there was more physical contact], and the guys kind of laugh about it,” Young said. “But he put up that clip of him shaking Kuechly and I was wondering, ‘Hey, Jed, that doesn’t look like old-school football to me.’
“But even though he’s old school about it, the way money is involved hasn’t changed.”
Panthers owner David Tepper, frustrated by latest loss, says he won’t accept long-term mediocrity
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper would not address the future of coach Ron Rivera and general manager Marty Hurney during a Monday meeting with Charlotte-based reporters, but made it clear he will not accept long-term mediocrity.
Tepper also made it clear no decision has been made on the future of quarterback Cam Newton, saying that can’t happen until the first pick of the 2015 draft is completely healthy.
Newton, who has one year left on his contract, recently was placed on injured reserve with a Lisfranc injury that sidelined him after an 0-2 start.
Tepper’s meeting with reporters was held 24 hours after the Panthers fell to 5-5 with a 29-3 loss to Atlanta that put a big dent in their playoff aspirations.
Tepper said he didn’t sleep well after the Atlanta loss, the second time in four games the Panthers were blown out by an opponent. They were beaten 51-13 at San Francisco on Oct. 27.
“Every time we have a loss, my mood is s—-y,” said Tepper, adding that he never accepted losing on the business side, where he accumulated a $12 billion net worth as a hedge fund manager.
The Panthers have a 13-14 record since Tepper purchased the organization for an NFL-record $2.275 billion from former owner Jerry Richardson in 2018. If they post a losing record this season, it will be the second in a row and third in the past four seasons since reaching the Super Bowl in 2015.
Carolina’s record against NFC South opponents since 2015 is 7-14, compared to 14-4 in the three previous seasons.
Tepper’s frustration over losing was evident as he continually said long-term mediocrity would not be accepted. He also said fans, many of whom left the stadium early on Sunday, were smart enough to recognize long-term mediocrity.
Rivera, who this year surpassed John Fox as the winningest coach in team history, has an overall record of 76-61-1. The Panthers have a record of 195-198-1 since becoming a franchise in 1995.
Tepper made wholesale changes to the business side after purchasing the team from Richardson, who put the team up for sale amid allegations of sexual and racial workplace misconduct. The NFL fined Richardson $2.75 million after a lengthy investigation.
Tepper did not make changes to the football staff last season after a 7-9 record following a 6-2 start because Newton’s sore right shoulder played a factor in a seven-game losing streak.
Newton’s shoulder healed after offseason cleanup surgery, but he suffered a Lisfranc injury in the third preseason game and re-aggravated it in the second game. Tepper said that ideally Newton, 30, will recover fully from the injury and perhaps one day lead the Panthers to a Super Bowl.
Tepper said Newton has done a lot of good for the team and Charlotte, calling him one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
Tepper also made it clear he liked Newton’s replacement, Kyle Allen, suggesting the second-year, undrafted quarterback has played above expectations despite throwing four interceptions against Atlanta and nine in the past four games.
The Panthers are 5-3 under Allen this season and 6-3 overall dating back to a victory in last season’s finale at New Orleans, where the Panthers play on Sunday. Allen started his career with a 5-0 record, making him the seventh quarterback in NFL history to get off to such a start.
Tepper defended the organization’s decision not to go to Colin Kaepernick’s workout in Atlanta on Saturday, saying the team has a young quarterback in Allen, a third-round pick in Will Grier, and Newton, so there was no interest in signing a veteran quarterback.
Tepper also said he has a copy of the video of Kaepernick’s workout, so attending the session wasn’t necessary.
Neither Rivera nor Hurney were a part of Tepper’s meeting. Earlier in the day, Rivera expressed hope the Panthers still could make a playoff run. He said they still control their own destiny with two games left against the Saints (8-2), a rematch against Atlanta (3-7) and contests against Washington (1-9), Indianapolis (6-4) and Seattle (8-2).
“Probably the biggest thing is we control it,” Rivera said of the team’s playoff hopes, even though the Panthers currently stand ninth in the NFC playoff hunt. “It’s one game at a time. It’s one focus at a time. That’s probably the biggest thing we have to do, is focus in on the next opponent.
“That’s just getting ready for New Orleans.”
Tepper’s focus, with future plans to move the team headquarters to a state-of-the-art facility in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and ultimately get a new stadium in Charlotte to host the Panthers and an MSL team, is to give fans hope and end the long-term mediocrity.
While he didn’t mention Rivera or Hurney, he appeared to be putting them on notice.
As Tepper indicated the day he was hired, his first priority is winning.
Raiders ink Preston Brown to 1-year deal
ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders have been searching for a prototypical middle linebacker for their 4-3 base defense since the NFL suspended Vontaze Burfict for the remainder of the season after Week 4.
They believe they have found one in Preston Brown, unemployed since last Tuesday after the Cincinnati Bengals cut him nine games into the three-year, $16.5 million contract ($4.8M guaranteed) he signed there this offseason.
The Raiders, who are 6-4 and riding a three-game winning streak into playoff contention, signed Brown to a one-year deal Monday and reportedly will be on the hook for the remainder of his base salary, estimated to be about $400,000.
“He’s 27 years old,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said of Brown. “We really liked him coming out of Louisville. He had [four] straight 100-tackle seasons as a Buffalo Bill, went to Cincinnati and, obviously, things didn’t work out.
“But he has the intangibles, first of all, that you look for in a middle linebacker. He’s charismatic, he’s intelligent, a physical guy, football junkie and he’s been productive in the league. We’ll put him in the room with [linebackers coach David] Lippincot and [defensive coordinator Paul] Guenther and see if he can get caught up quickly and we’ll try to fast-track him.”
The Bills selected Brown in the third round (No. 73 overall) of the 2014 draft. He led the NFL with 144 tackles in 2017. And he had 54 tackles with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in nine games (eight starts) for the Bengals this season.
With so many injuries, the Raiders have added defensive pieces over the past few weeks in linebacker Will Compton, safety D.J. Swearinger and edge rusher Dion Jordan. All three played key roles on Oakland’s 17-10 defeat of the Bengals on Sunday.
In the corresponding roster move, the Raiders placed return specialist/receiver Dwayne Harris on season-ending injured reserve. He has been limited to only three games with ankle and foot issues.
Eagles to host HS game interrupted by shooting
PHILADELPHIA — Following a shooting at a New Jersey high school football playoff game between Pleasantville and Camden Friday night that injured three and suspended play, the teams were in search of a neutral site to finish the game.
That’s where the Philadelphia Eagles stepped in.
The Eagles have offered to host the game at Lincoln Financial Field Wednesday, opening their doors to two teams affected by the unfortunate incident.
Each high school will be provided a defined number of free passes for distribution to players’ parents and family members. The game will be closed to the general public.
“It’s extremely unfortunate that a senselessly violent act has impacted this game, and there will certainly be a wide range of emotions along both sidelines. However, thanks to the Eagles’ generosity and community spirit, Pleasantville and Camden student-athletes and their families will have an opportunity to write their own ending to this game,” said Larry White, executive director of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association in a statement. “They’ll compete on a world-class stage, sending a clear message that violence will not win.”
The game was stopped with about 17 minutes remaining Friday when gunshots rang out at the stadium in Pleasantville, near Atlantic City.
Three people were shot including a 10-year old boy who was critically injured.
Five people have been arrested in connection with the shooting.
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