Per Andy Nesbitt of Fox Sports, Baltimore Ravens 2013 1st round pick, safety Matt Elam, is spending 20 hours a week during the off-season working at a shoe store. When asked why he was working there, he gave a reason that showed he is a forward-thinking man, realizing the NFL really does stand for Not For Long and he won’t be in the league forever; he wants to open his own sports merchandise store and he is getting first-hand knowledge.
I just need to get retail knowledge. That’s basically what I’m doing. I’m getting that knowledge for when it’s time. I know you can’t do football forever. I’m going to use it to benefit me when I’m doing so that my kids won’t have to worry about this. I take a lot of pride in that because I feel like a lot of kids are blind to this, and don’t have these opportunities, and don’t have the knowledge. I hope I can open a lot of their eyes.
As a part-time sales associate, Elam works the floor and stocks the shelves. He said he isn’t even sure how much he makes an hour.
Everybody was surprised when I started. They were like, ‘Why? You got enough money.’ But it’s not about the money. It’s just me building.
Elam also returned to his college to finish his degree, further demonstrating his maturity and commitment to ensuring he has a plan for life beyond the NFL.
Elam was drafted by the Ravens in the first round of the 2013 draft out of the University of Florida. He played all 16 games this season, totaling 77 tackles and one interception to go with two fumble recoveries.