As the last picks were selected in the 2002 NFL Draft, I was dismayed to see no CSU players were selected to the pinnacle of football. Not even the expansion Houston Texans took a chance on a Ram player! The Mountain West gets no respect, I tell you. However, my disappointment was tempered when I discovered three CSU players had signed free-agent contracts with teams after the draft.
So congratulations to Dallas Davis, Justin Gallimore and Pete Rebstock; the CSU class of 2002 has graduated into the NFL. Davis signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Rebstock decided on the Kansas City Chiefs and Gallimore will play for the Arizona Cardinals. These guys have worked extremely hard throughout high school and college and now it has all paid off. I’m sure a dream has been realized for these three. But what I found to be the most interesting aspect of the three players going to the professional ranks was the salaries they will be paid for their services.
Ah, it always comes down to money, doesn’t it? Two of the three players, Rebstock and Gallimore, will be paid the league minimum in their first year. That’s right, no multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts for these unproven rookies, just the minimum. But what might that minimum be? The NFL happens to have a six-figure minimum salary – $225,000, to be exact.
Compared to the salaries of the first round picks, that’s peanuts. But compare that to what the rest of us humble CSU grads will be paid in our first year out of school and – well, you get the point. These guys may not be living comfortably by NFL standards, but how many us can expect six-figures right out of college?
Not bad, guys – enjoy it.
Besides the minimum salary they will be receiving next season, Rebstock and Gallimore also managed to score signing bonuses. Rebstock received $12,500 for signing on and Gallimore will be paid $5,000 for his autograph. No more humble college living for these two. Clear those Ramen Noodles out of the cupboard, boys.
But while Justin Gallimore celebrated the news, his brother Jason was still waiting by the phone. The twin brothers that held down the Rams secondary in recent years may be separated if no franchise comes calling for Jason. Hopefully, a team will give Jason the chance to prove himself in the pros, but if not, he can be satisfied with the great football career he had as a walk-on at CSU.
Now I wonder what the first purchase will be for the newest NFL rookies. Will they splurge on some hot wheels? Buy a house for their parents?
Or will they get some new clothes with matching ice to go with new contract? Whatever it is, it’s none of my damn business, but I’d sure like to know. It’s funny that these are the things I want to know about, rather than how they will each fit into their new teams or what position they will play.
What I do know is that although these guys may not get a second of playing time in the 2002 NFL season, they can ultimately be proud of the accomplishment of making it to the NFL, and the wallet in their back pockets that will be a little fatter than it was during their CSU careers.
Jason is a junior journalism major.