D.K. Metcalf says the best advice he received as a rookie was to sit down last at team meetings.
Metcalf shared his experience as a first-year wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks with 547 players in the NFL’s first rookie webinar after the draft last month.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew and San Francisco 49ers linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair also were panelists on the discussion moderated by Mo Kelly, a former Seahawks defensive back and the team’s current director of player engagement.
Tracy Perlman, the NFL senior vice president of football communications and marketing, said two questions rookies asked most were focused on social media use and the best way to assimilate themselves into a locker room.
“I think Mo told us in our rookie meeting: ‘Don’t sit nowhere. Let everybody come in first and sit down. Then you find your seat last,’ ” Metcalf said. “So that really set the tone for the year and how to approach everything. Just wait my turn and soak up as much knowledge from the vets as I could.”
Kelly explained why he gives that advice.
“It’s a humbling experience,” he said. “These guys are the best of the best in college football and so they come into the league and everybody has a story. (But) really, nobody cares that you won a national championship before. You’re entering into a business world and into a world of professional athletes.
“So these guys were collegiate athletes and they come into this room and they used to be the best of the best, and now they have to sit back, observe and find a way to fit in.”
Metcalf warned rookies about their use of social media.
“I told them you can’t make everybody happy,” he said. “You’re building a brand and you have to protect that brand, so if somebody calls you out on Twitter or Instagram, you can’t respond. Use social media for a positive impact on your life and other people’s lives and not a negative one.”
Metcalf also cautioned them about finances.
“The easiest way to manage that is just to know where your money is going and who has control of it,” he said. “Be proactive and know where your money is going, how you’re spending it, get a budget.”
This year’s rookie class has unique challenges because of the coronavirus pandemic. Most pro days were canceled and team visits were held virtually.
“I told some guys it’s a good thing and a bad thing, because what I learned last year about the whole draft process is people are looking for something bad to point out about you no matter what it is,” Metcalf said. “So the less opportunity teams had to nitpick anything you did wrong was a better position for you. But for the guys who didn’t get invited to the combine, who only had a chance to show what they could do at pro day, that’s the other bad part about it.”
Saints release Warford
The New Orleans Saints have cut three-time Pro Bowl right guard Larry Warford, whose three-year run as a starter was cast into doubt by the club’s selection of interior lineman Cesar Ruiz (Michigan) in the first round of the NFL draft.
Warford started all 44 games in which he played for New Orleans since signing a four-year, $34 million contract in 2017 after playing his first four NFL seasons with the Lions.
The 6-foot-3, 317-pound Warford also was named to the Pro Bowl for a third straight season in 2019, when he started 15 games.
But the drafting of Ruiz 24th overall was one of several developments in the past year that made Warford expendable in New Orleans.
In 2019, the Saints used their top overall draft choice in the second round to take Texas A&M center Erik McCoy. Then in March, the Saints signed left guard Andrus Peat to a five-year, $57.5 million extension. And when the Saints drafted Ruiz two weeks ago, coach Sean Payton asserted, “We weren’t drafting someone that high to come in and be a backup. … He was one of the better interior linemen I’ve seen in a while.”
Burke Nihill was promoted to Titans president/CEO to replace Steve Underwood, who is retiring from a full-time role.
... Wide receiver Rashard Higgins’ signing to a one-year, $910,000 contract was made official Friday by the Browns.
... The Jaguars agreed to terms with quarterback Mike Glennon, giving them a veteran backup behind Gardner Minshew.