Last week while the Las Vegas Raiders were in Sarasota, Fla., preparing for the Jaguars, a trio of Raiders were in New York City preparing for next season.
Tackle Brandon Parker, linebacker Micah Kiser and undrafted rookie running back Sincere McCormick made a trip to the East Coast after the Raiders Player Engagement Department organized a visit to the NFL league office for players currently on injured reserve.
While at the office, they were able evaluate their future opportunities on and off the field, while meeting with multiple departments such as Sponsorship, Officiating, NextGen Stats, Player Engagement and Player Operations. Additionally, they had the chance to sit down with league representative and former Raider, Usama Young – who assisted the Raiders in coordinating the visit – and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
"As our players asked insightful questions that provided them with a deeper understanding of opportunities outside of football, it was amazing to see their lens for future opportunities widen in real time," said DeAngelo Shears, player engagement coordinator for the team. "Although our trip was centered around understanding different careers and being prepared for life after football, it was awesome to see how all three guys were fully locked in to their rehab and are very inspired to come back healthy and help impact our organization."
The trip was an eye opening experience for Brandon Parker. The offensive tackle, who'd like to pursue engineering after his playing career is over, is recovering an injury suffered in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in the preseason. The offensive tackle played all 17 games last season, and was an integral part of the team's playoff push.
"I truly was able to see just how much goes on behind the scenes that I never would have known about," Parker said. "My experience made me realize how special it is to be a player, and how many people put effort into making the game stage ready to play every Sunday. It's no secret that it takes all of us, and as the league continues to evolve, the platform will only expand."
Arguably no one took more from the trip than rookie Sincere McCormick, as he's still in the process of navigating the NFL before playing a snap. The running back has been progressing with his rehab, and was excited to get to know more about the business side of football. He's expressed interest in getting into real estate or the transportation industry after his playing career.
"I was introduced to many people who opened my eyes to how everything works behind the scenes, from sponsorships to social media platforms," McCormick said. "The amount of endless connections for success has help me gravitate to a far much better perspective on what I can do with my opportunities.
"I'm extremely grateful and hopefully, this can be the next step in helping future NFL players grasp the aspect of the business side of the NFL."
The Raiders hit the practice field at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center as they prepare for their Week 10 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.