By Ross Kelly
The NFL rookie symposium apparently does get through to some people.
Detroit Lions receiver Ryan Broyles heard the stories of athletes going broke back when he was a rookie in 2012 and that reality stuck in his mind. Thus, dating back to his rookie year, Broyles and his wife have operated like an everyday, middle-class family on a $60,000 annual budget rather than living the lavish life of millionaires. Broyles signed a four-year, $3.67 million contract in 2012 with $1.42 million guaranteed. For the 2015 season, assuming he isn’t cut before Week 1, Broyles will make $1.17 million.
Coming out of Oklahoma, Broyles was one of the most accomplished receivers ever. He set the FBS’ all-time record for receptions as a senior in Norman but then the injuries started to mount up. He tore his left ACL in his senior season in 2011, tore his right ACL as a rookie in 2012 and tore his Achilles in 2013. With the average length of an NFL career being 3.3 years, the fourth-year pro is now playing with house money.
Broyles seems to have a plan to set himself and his family up for the future. He and his wife both drive Mazdas and he still has the same 2005 Chevy Trailblazer that he had while in college. He also hasn’t been shy about reaching out to people who have more experience, and more wealth:
“I got the mindset of a businessman off the field, I’ll tell you that. I studied as much as I could. Talked to people wealthier than me, smarter than me. So that definitely helps. When I come to work, I don’t think about the money, man. I can tell you that, without a doubt. There might be some guys that do but I put myself in a position where I come out here and have fun.”
If only more NFL players, and athletes in general, could have the same knowledge and mindset.