Across the board, NFL players get the short end of the stick when it comes to being paid for unreal athletic performance. Their contracts are largely unguaranteed, their career windows are short — probably because playing in a football game, even at a level below the NFL, is comparable to a car accident — and their endorsement opportunities are generally slim. Unless you’re one of the guys who gets corralled by reporters after the game, there’s a good chance that you can take off the pads, helmet, and jersey and slip out into the night unnoticed. Aside from your general size, that’s it.
But some of them are able to bankroll their fame and (relative) fortune into more fortune, and sometimes even more fame. From licensing deals to owning franchises to eventually owning an NFL team, à la the late Al Davis. The money’s out there if the player is savvy enough to seek it out — and they don’t succumb to CTE first.
Here’s seven of the savviest NFL players, both past and present — the guys who have been able to take their athletic acumen and turn it into continued financial success.