NFL player's awesome reason for working at shoe store during offseason
FEB 26, 2014 8:35p ET
Elam, a first-round pick in last year's draft who started 15 games last season, is working 20 hours a week at a shoe store in a Gainesville, Fla., mall.
So why is Elam doing it?
Since Elam was a kid, he has wanted to eventually open his own sports merchandise store and saw this as his way to get some first-hand experience.
"I just need to get retail knowledge," Elam said. "That's basically what I'm doing. I'm getting that knowledge for when it's time."
Elam is a part-time sales associate, clocking about 20 hours per week. He works on the floor and occasionally stocks the shelves in the back.
The extra income is a nice little supplement to his NFL paycheck, but Elam joked that he isn't even sure how much he makes an hour.
"Everybody was surprised when I started," he said. "They were like, 'Why? You got enough money.' But it's not about the money. It's just me building."
Elam is also attending classes at the University of Florida to finish up his degree.
There's one perk at his new gig, but Elam isn't taking full advantage.
"I get a discount, but I barely use it because I don't want them to think I'm just trying to use them," he said. "I don't want to give them that idea."
That's pretty cool.
This quote from Elam is also pretty cool:
"I know you can't do football forever. I'm going to use it to benefit me when I'm doing so that my kids won't have to worry about this," Elam said. "I take a lot of pride in that because I feel like a lot of kids are blind to this, and don't have these opportunities, and don't have the knowledge. I hope I can open a lot of their eyes."