In many ways, it’s a crash course in life as an adult in a new place. But the program also functions as a fraternity of sorts, giving players from every corner of the country a chance to gather in one place, and know they’re supported.
“The biggest takeaway for me is just the realization that we have all this help available to us if we need it,” sixth-round long snapper Thomas Fletcher said. “As rookies, we’re all new here in the organization, so realizing that all these resources are in place for us is amazing, especially the stuff beyond football.”
Jarrett has personal experience with how eye-opening it can be to walk into this situation.
A second-round pick of the Eagles in 2011 out of Temple, he played five years in the league (finishing his career with the Jets). And when he remembers his first season, he laughed and admitted he was caught off guard by the new complexity of tax planning.
“Little things, like the fact you’re getting taxed in every city and state you play in,” Jarrett recalled. “You have to be mindful, you’re going to play in NY or Cali, and when those taxes hit you, they hit you hard.”
He pointed out one of Felder’s favorite teaching points on the topic, a reminder that just because people see big contract numbers for the high picks when a deal is signed, that financial security isn’t something you can always assume.
“Gus does a great job with these guys, but he says it all the time, ‘The number you see on the internet is not what you bring home.'”