In many dictionaries, the term "rookie" is defined as "a new recruit" or "a sports player in his first season". In the NFL, these definitions definitely apply. When many people hear the word "rookie", they think of a player who is inexperienced and makes many mistakes. This is not always the case in the NFL, because many players have years of experience playing football in teams prior to starting in the NFL. For example, a player might have played football for 4 years in high school and 4 more years in college prior to joining the NFL, so 8 years of playing organized football is hardly wet behind the ears when it comes to playing the sport. However, playing football in the NFL is an entirely different experience, so rookies will have to adjust to a lot of differences as they play through their first year of professional football.
Something you may not have known is that rookies by no means are paid significantly less than their experienced counterparts. Many rookies sign for average-sized contracts, if not more. Take for example Jake Long, who was a rookie for the Miami Dolphins. In 2008, he signed a 5 year contract for almost $58 million. Over $11 million per year is a pretty good income for a 23 year old! What are your thoughts on rookies? Are there any rookies that have impressed you with their gameplay? Leave a comment below.