Highly paid celebrities who earn millions of dollars can still manage to lose their fortunes and accumulate massive amounts of debt. On the football field, there is no shortage of broke NFL players who started off wealthy but were unable to hold on to their fortunes.
According to an oft-cited Sports Illustrated report, nearly eight in 10 NFL players suffer from financial stress approximately two years after retirement. A paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research estimates that one in six former players are not just financially distressed, but actually file for bankruptcy.
A player’s career length and money earned have no impact on who goes bankrupt and who doesn’t, but four common themes are consistent throughout. Virtually all bankruptcies can be traced to one or more of the following: investing in bad business ventures, trusting unscrupulous money managers, paying for divorce and child support and spending recklessly due to peer pressure. Click through to see how these NFL players lost their fortunes. One thing’s for sure: Some NFL players are good at managing their money, and some aren’t.