MIAMI (AP) — Preparing for life after football, 16 Miami Dolphins players began a five-day business seminar in New York on Monday arranged by team owner Stephen Ross.
The seminar is designed to help players with an interest in real estate, technology, investing, and business operations and development. Among players participating are Ryan Tannehill, Cameron Wake and Byron Maxwell.
"I'm sure there are people who would love to be elbow to elbow with a guy like Stephen Ross," Wake said. "And here I am doing it."
Players will sit in on meetings at Ross' companies and tour Hudson Yards. They'll meet with Equinox Fitness CEO Harvey Spevak, Warby Parker co-founder Dave Gilboa, businessman Maverick Carter, actor Mark Wahlberg, former NBA player David Robinson, and Michael Rubin, co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils.
"This is to give them an insight into what business is about," Ross said. "Every owner should have a responsibility to develop them as players, but also their after-career and as people. It's better for them; it's better for the team."
Ross, a billionaire New York real estate developer, said NFL players have attributes that make them more likely to succeed in business world.
"These are people who are probably the top half of one percent of people who have played football," Ross said. "They succeeded because they have the passion, the drive and also the ability. When people attack something with such passion to become the elite, they certainly have the capability to do many things in life."
Players pay own travel expenses as required under the collective bargaining agreement, Ross said.
The Dolphins held their first such seminar a year ago, and six players participated.
"I'll really be happy when we have the entire roster," Ross said.
Wake said he's eager to take part because he's behind former college classmates when it comes to his next career.
"I have to do whatever I can to leverage the opportunities the Miami Dolphins and NFL present, so I can make that transition smoothly and catch up to the guys who have been doing this and may have a master's degree, the same way I have a master's degree in football," Wake said.
The seminar also gives the Dolphins an edge when it comes to football, Ross said. It allows for team bonding, he said, and provides a selling point in free agency.
"That's great for our brand," he said. "We want to be the best in class."