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!