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NFL replaces rookie symposium with new rookie transition program

Mike Florio talks about why the NFL decided to create the rookie transition program and hold it in place of the rookie symposium.

The NFL’s rookie symposium has come to an end.

The symposium, which brought every drafted player to one central location to learn about the off-field issues relevant to playing pro football, took some criticism when it was revealed that Cris Carter told rookies they should get a fall guy to take the blame if they get into trouble with the law. But that’s not why the NFL says the program is going away.

Instead, the league says that a new rookie transition program will be hosted by each of the 32 teams, provide local resources for a transition into the NFL, and carry the added benefit of including both drafted players and undrafted rookies.

“Our goal is to onboard every NFL rookie with the best resources and practices for a successful playing experience both on and off the field,” said NFL Vice President of Player Engagement and former NFL player Charles Way. “By shifting the model to the clubs from a centrally located program exclusive to drafted rookies, we can reach all of our rookies, introduce them to resources in their community, and afford them the experience from active and former players at their club who successfully transitioned into the NFL.”

Every team will have mandatory rookie orientation from June 20-22. Topics teams will address with players include social responsibility, respect at work, mental health, character and values and player engagement resources.