The Miami Dolphins are holding their own “Combine” this week in New York. There will be no 40 yard times and no cones to run around. But what will happen at this combine will have a much longer lasting effect on those participating.
The NFL is a business and no one knows that better than the hundreds of NFL players and hopefuls that find themselves looking for work each year. The Dolphins are hoping to give some of those players an advantage when the world changes from football to life after the game
Credit the Miami Dolphins often criticized owner Stephen Ross. For the second year in a row Ross has invited members of his team to New York for a week-long “business combine”. The purpose of the event is to teach players about business opportunities so when the NFL no longer is employing them, they can thrive on their own.
It’s a valuable lesson as many athletes fall on hard times when the weekly checks stop coming in the mail. Now there is an opportunity to thrive after football.
Last season six players signed up for the event and this year 16 players have joined Ross in New York where he has connected the players to local business executives and walked them through real world real estate ventures all in an effort to help his players for life after the game.
While Ryan Tannehill and Camerone Wake are the most notable Ross didn’t simply keep this an A-list opportunity. Impending free agent Michael Thomas is part of the group as are free agents to be Andre Branch, Jermon Bushrod and John Denney.
The group also conists of Kraig Urbik, Sam Young, Spencer Paysinger, Jake Brendel, Terrence Fede, Mike Hull, Isa Abdul-Quddus, Donald Butler, Byron Maxwell, and Jelani Jenkins.
“This is really to create them and develop them so that when they do make the transition out of football they’re better prepared. I think every owner should have the responsibility of developing them (players) not only as football players but also after their careers and as people.
"“That way it’s better for them, it’s better for the team, it’s great to see these guys that are so passionate for what they do and the capabilities they have, how they use it to start the next level.” – Ross said Via the Miami Herald"
For Ross this is an opportunity for him to use his connections in the business world to give back to his players. Something that no other NFL team is currently doing. The Dolphins have put an emphasis over the years on giving back. The “Special Teams’ branch of the organization is a permanent fixture in South Florida’s charitable causes and one of the NFL’s leading organizations in that arena.
The event will last through the week and as it continues the list of participants will likely climb as well.