The NFL’s annual Rookie Symposium begins on Sunday, and while the Green Bay Packers draft picks won’t arrive until Wednesday, a pair of former Packers are guest speakers in the orientation session that provides presentations, videos, and workshops on player health and safety, decision making, mental health, substance abuse, non-discrimination and maintaining positive relationships.
Former Packers wide receiver Antonio Freeman and return specialist Desmond Howard are among a group of current and former NFL players aiming to assist the rookies making their transition from college to professional football.
Both were members of the Super Bowl XXXI winning team for the Packers, Freeman a former Pro Bowler and Howard a Super Bowl MVP.
“We believe in our peer-to-peer model that the more information these young men have on how those before them handled success, the better prepared they will be to meet expectations on and off the field,” said NFL Senior Vice President of Player Engagement Troy Vincent, who was a five-time Pro Bowl selection in his 15-year NFL career. “Through our speakers there is a story to be told, a lesson to be learned, a teachable moment, a message of success in conveying our number one objective which is to provide our rookies the tools to succeed during their NFL playing experience and beyond.”
The four-day orientation is being at the Bertram Hotel in Aurora, Ohio June 23-26 for AFC rookies and June 26-29 for NFC rookies.
Each AFC and NFC group of rookies will travel to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio for a history lesson and the Cleveland Browns training facility for a PLAY 60 youth football clinic with children as part of the Symposium.
Only players selected during the NFL Draft this past April attend the Rookie Symposium, not those who signed as undrafted free agents.