Don’t Ever Ask An NFL General Manager For Money Advice

The NFL season never ends, and even though it’s been over a month since the Super Bowl, there’s always something going on.  Free agency and the upcoming draft are the current orders of business.  It’s a great model if you have any ties to the NFL!

One thing that I’ve learned is that general managers in the NFL are great with making money decisions for the purposes of managing the salary cap, but that the same types of decisions would make them awful at dispensing any sort of personal finance advice.

  • They’re always delaying things – You’ll often hear about general managers working players who ‘restructure’ their contracts.  This is a great benefit to the team this year because it frees up salary cap space.  The thing is that it merely shifts the money around so that more money is owed later on.  This would not be advisable for anybody’s household finances.
  • They lie – Many general managers sign players to contracts that they have no intention of fulfilling.  The thing is, in many cases, the players themselves know this, but go along with it anyways.  Since contracts aren’t guaranteed, a player can be cut, but for the purposes of salary cap management, the player will be signed for a longer period of time so that the bonus can be spread over a longer period of time, again making today’s obligation seems smaller.
  • Some of them cheat – More than a couple of teams have been penalized because they violated the rules of the salary cap.  It’s amazing to me that they would not see this during the actual moves that caused the problem, showing just how complex the system is.
  • They can’t relate – The salary cap for the past season was over $120 million dollars.  There’s virtually no way to tie that back to the average household income.

My guess is that the wives of most NFL general managers run their household finances.  Otherwise, the whole thing would be an overly complicated mess.

But, yay for the full time NFL season!

11 thoughts on “Don’t Ever Ask An NFL General Manager For Money Advice”

  1. Interesting way to make some critical points! … I’m actually trying to reach an NFL manager if anyone knows a way to get to one. I think we could help their players make better decisions while they’re earning money to cover them when they stop!

  2. Let me turn this around on you. Managing a salary cap is like sticking to a budget, and NFL general managers would be just like frugalists.

    Delay > Delayed gratification!
    Lie > My staycation is just as exciting as touring Italy!
    Cheat > Free meals by combing the isles of Costco.
    Can’t Relate > Can you relate to someone who hand washes their clothes to save a dollar?

    So maybe you should ask them for financial advice.

  3. The General Managers probably have Business Managers just like their players! Although the GM makes the decisions, the staff does all the number crunching. In many cases the GM has other talents than financial that helps them do their job. They like all other general managers rely on their staff.

  4. It’s funny. I’m not sure who I like less: management or the players. These guys are also completely oblivious to today’s average person. They throw a football and make millions of dollars. When they talk, there is an attitude of entitlement….like they’re so used to getting free stuff because of WHO they are, that they can’t believe someone wouldn’t just love them immediately.

    A close friend was advisor to a former Detroit Lion’s family. He said it was the worst client he could have ever imagined. He couldn’t get them to stop overspending their money, even though if I told you the name, you’d probably know exactly who it was and just how much money they made. Millions!

    • I’ve learned long ago to take my admiration for what they do on the field and leave it at that. So many people get into almost worshiping athletes (or other celebs) and that’s just silly. Most of them don’t live in anywhere the same reality that we do.

  5. Lucky for those NFL general managers they make a lot of money! That kind of money can easily cover up some of their bad financial habits. 😉

    • True, though the shelf life on an unsuccessful GM is pretty short, so hopefully the bad ones save their money 🙂

  6. I’m definitely not a football expert, but ya I guess I would never go to a football manager for money tips lol

  7. This post immediately made me think of the Baltimore Ravens. They signed Joe Flacco to an extended contract and immediately started dumping their entire defense. To me that is like getting a new cellphone plan and having to shut-off your cable. You are right, if I ran my personal finances like an NFL team does things I would probably be sitting in the dark and unable to post this comment.

    • Yeah, that was a ridiculous amount of money for a guy that is not a Tier 1 quarterback (except in his own mind) and I think they’ll get exposed now that they don’t have the pieces surrounding him that allowed him to be more successful than his skills said he probably should have been. I’ve always hated Baltimore for the fact that I couldn’t stand Ray Lewis. Now that he’s gone, I’ll probably loosen up on them a bit, but I have a feeling they’ll be non-important for quite a while now with this contract in place.

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