Why NFL Players Go Broke

By Paul Grossinger

Do you remember when you raked in $10 million, spent it, and went broke?

No? Yep, neither do I.

But, for three out of four NFL Players, that might jog their memory.

Within two years of retiring, three out of four NFL players are under financial stress or bankrupt. The average NFL salary is $1.9 million and the average NFL career lasts seven years, so, if you do the math, 75% of NFL players blow $15 million in less than a decade.

And, even under a Democratic administration, you can’t blame all of that on taxes. So, where does the money go?

For Deuce McAllister, the former star running back of the New Orleans Saints, nearly $70 million went to bad investments, including an ill-advised car dealership. Shortly after his career, McAllister was $7 million in debt.

Of course, some stars don’t lose it all on car dealerships. Going for notoriety, Michael Vick lost nearly $130 million in earnings to his sensational dog-fighting scandal and jail time.

Vick must really have loved fighting dogs to sacrifice 3 years of his NFL prime and nearly $100 million in endorsements to watch pit bulls bite one another in an underground ring.

November 11, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) passes the ball against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half at Lincoln Financial Field. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 38-23. Photo Courtesy By Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports.

Fascinatingly, Vicks’ incredible misstep and jail time were not even career killers. Shortly after his release - and deeply in debt - Vick found God and spent a few weeks with former coach and therapist-on-demand Tony Dungy, before declaring himself a changed man. The Eagles bought it and committed for almost $100 million after his near-MVP season in 2010.

Today, you can ask Andy Reid how that contract turned out. If you hurry, you might even catch him packing his bags for San Diego, when the Chargers have already fired former coach Norv Turner and are waiting with open arms for when the Eagles pull the plug.

The NFL is filled with these stories. For more, check out this detailed info-graphic:

Benched and Broke Infographic
Courtesy By AccountingDegree.com.

Shocking, no? For these guys, it was clearly all just fool’s gold.

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