Thus, the Ravens rookie safety pulled off an unheard of accomplishment of negotiating his first NFL contract without an agent – no small feat.
The business-savvy rookie hasn’t stopped there, showing he’s got wits beyond his years. He’s already sponsored and has his own trademarked Twitter phrase “#EatGreedy” that he is rapidly spreading.
Head Coach John Harbaugh was impressed with Elam’s shrewdness.
“He got the same contract he would’ve gotten with an agent,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t know that anyone’s ever done that before, in the modern era. He did it and it was kind of interesting.”
Elam signed a four-year deal with a team option for a fifth year. According to The Baltimore Sun, Elam saved roughly $202,800 in commission fees over the course of a $6.767 million deal that includes a $3.301 million signing bonus.
“I saved a lot of money,” said Elam, who was taken with the final pick of the first round. “It was beneficial to me and my family.”
Elam enlisted the help of his older brother and former NFL player, Abe Elam, in working through his rookie contract. Abe was his primary advisor, but Matt also recruited more people for his advisory team. He said he got advice from former Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin (a friend of Abe’s) and Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry.
Working out a rookie contract has also become somewhat easier under the new collective bargaining agreement because the framework of rookie deals is set in place. But there’s still a lot of fine print. Elam said he came to learn all the language in the contract.
“I’ve reached out to a lot of NFL players to learn new things. I love to learn. That’s one thing,” Elam said.
“I felt like I built a great team that gave me knowledge and taught me a lot of great things I didn’t know. I knew all the language and everything about the contract.”
Elam hasn’t stopped there. He is also spreading his personal brand via a Twitter trademark he created, “#EatGreedy.” Elam often uses the hashtag on his account, @ElamVsElo.
“Basically, it means grinding major – making sacrifices to be the best that you can be at anything you do,” Elam said. “I like giving the kids the opportunity and make kids feel like they have a chance. I try to keep that going and let the kids know that they have a great opportunity.”
Elam already has the saying printed on T-shirts from Under Armour, the company he inked a multi-year deal with in mid-June.