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.”
Source — WR Bryant applies for reinstatement
Bryant sent an e-mail to league officials Saturday requesting reinstatement from an indefinite suspension the league imposed in December for Bryant’s repeated violations of the league’s drug policy.
Bryant, 27, was a fourth-round pick by the Steelers in 2014 but has missed 36 of a possible 80 regular-season games since then because of suspensions.
Last season, with the help of attorney Peter Ginsburg, Bryant was able to delay his suspension with an appeal by arguing that the league had failed to properly treat him for mental health issues including ADHD — a condition with which he was diagnosed as a child. Ultimately, the league rejected Bryant’s appeal and his arguments that his mental health issues were the reason he was unable to comply with the drug program and imposed his third suspension in four years.
Since the end of last season, a source said, Bryant has worked with the NFL and the NFLPA on ways to address his mental health issues and put him in a position where he feels his application for reinstatement has a chance to succeed. He has submitted to drug testing over the past couple of months and has consulted with the league and the union to get himself set up with mental health professionals and proper medication.
In May, the NFL and the NFLPA jointly announced the establishment of a new mental health and wellness committee as well as a new regulation for 2019 that requires every team to employ a mental health professional who works in its building.
At the same time, the two entities also established a joint pain management committee to conduct research into pain management and alternative therapies. That announcement has led many inside and outside the game to believe a change is coming in the league’s policy on and attitude toward drugs such as marijuana.
49ers reach deal with K Gould before deadline
Terms were not disclosed. The contract was announced as a four-year deal, but league sources told ESPN it’s a two-year, $10.5 million fully guaranteed contract that, including an option clause, could turn into a four-year, $19 million deal with $15 million guaranteed.
Gould’s deal, which his agent, Brian Mackler, and 49ers executive Paraag Marathe have been working on for months, reached a breakthrough over the weekend. At the start of the weekend, both sides thought it would be challenging to get it done, but they reached a compromise Sunday by installing an option clause.
The 49ers have an option in which they can pick up the remaining two years on Gould’s contract by the 17th week of the 2020 season, per a source. To do that, the 49ers would have to fully guarantee Gould $2.25 million at that time, then another $2.25 million on April 1, 2021.
The deal includes a $3 million signing bonus and a $3.15 million fully guaranteed base salary this season, then a fully guaranteed $4.35 million base salary in 2020, per a source. If the option is picked up, the deal would include a $4.5 million base salary in 2021 and a $4 million base salary in 2022.
“Over the years, Robbie has established himself as one of the best at his position in the NFL, which is precisely why we were so committed to working out a new contract with him,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement. “I would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this deal come to fruition. We are very happy to start off the year on the right foot with this agreement in place so that Robbie can get back with his teammates and focus on making the most out of the upcoming season.”
In April, an inability to come to terms on a long-term contract, combined with Gould’s desire to return closer to his Chicago home, prompted the kicker to shut down any further contract talks and to formally request a trade. The team said then it wouldn’t honor Gould’s request.
Gould, 36, had been living in a hotel near the Niners’ team facility in Santa Clara, California, the past two years while his wife and family remained in Chicago during the season.
In two seasons with the 49ers, Gould has been one of the league’s best kickers, making 72 of 75 field goal attempts. He led the league in field goal percentage (97.1) last season.
ESPN’s Nick Wagoner contributed to this report.
Deadline passes without new deal for Clowney
No trade is in the works for him, either, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Clowney is expected to miss most, if not all, of training camp, as he still hasn’t signed his franchise tender, which is worth $15.967 million for the 2019 season.
The Texans tagged Clowney as a linebacker ($15.443 million) rather than as a defensive end ($17.128 million). However, because players receive the higher amount between the tag value or 120% of last year’s salary, Clowney is poised to get an additional $524,000 this season. He made $13.306 million, including a $1 million bonus, while playing on his fifth-year option in 2018.
The NFL Players Association is anticipated to file a grievance against the Texans over the position the team assigned Clowney when they used the franchise tag on him, league sources told Schefter.
Despite being tagged as a linebacker, Clowney played most of his snaps at defensive end in 2018, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He logged 729 at defensive end, 101 at defensive tackle and 33 at linebacker last season.
Clowney, who was named to his third consecutive Pro Bowl last season, finished 2018 with 47 tackles, nine sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He also had 16 tackles for loss, which tied for ninth in the NFL last season, and he now has 53 tackles for loss over the past three seasons, which ranks third in the league.
Clowney, 26, the first overall pick of the 2014 draft, struggled with knee injuries early in his career, missing 15 games in his first two seasons. In 2016, he played through wrist and elbow injuries, appearing in 14 games and making the Pro Bowl for the first time. Since then, he has missed just one game over two seasons.
ESPN’s Sarah Barshop contributed to this report.
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