Joe Gibbs has given talks to Washington Redskins players about money management since he left the organization following the 2007 season.
Now, the Hall of Fame coach will address the 2011 draft class at the rookie symposium that is being put on by the NFLPA this week in Bradenton, Fla. About 125 players are expected to attend.
Gibbs can speak from experience. He suffered financial misfortunte but rallied to become a very successful NASCAR owner. He was invited to participate by NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, according to Nate Davis of USA Today.
“A player would be upset with his contract, (and) we'd be in serious discussions,” Gibbs said. “And during the conversation, it dawns on you, 'Are you in financial trouble?' That happens over and over again.
“It played out a lot.”
The NFP’s Jack Bechta has highlighted the pitfalls that so many players fall into during their careers – or shortly after they’ve ended. They’re real-life stories and they’re sad. In most instances, they’re preventable.
“We did kind of a pilot study with the Redskins,” he says. “I really felt like the guys that participated really, really benefited. They were really excited about it. Having seen that, I starting thinking, ‘Wouldn't it be great if we could take this throughout the league.’”
Also participating will be former Detroit Lions defensive lineman Luther Elliss, a first-round draft pick who estimates he earned close to $20 million in a 10-year career. He’s filed for bankruptcy.
“Within three years, 70 percent of these guys are broke, homeless and divorced,” says Elliss. “It catches your attention but it doesn't stick; (you think) 'I'm not gonna be one of those statistics.'”
But Elliss is one of those statistics and now he and Gibbs will try to help some of the newest entrants into the NFL.
Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs
Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune