The litany of professional athletes, NFL players among them, who have blown their earnings has prompted much reflection on what causes millionaires to end up back where they started.
The reasons often cited are a desire to invest in startups (most fail), a line of family and friends needing financial help and general overspending on luxury items without planning for the future.
While stories of fortunes lost generate the buzz, many NFL stars walk away from the game set for life and even increase their wealth. Visa has even joined with the NFL and current players to help spread the financial literacy message in a program called Financial Football.
The website celebritynetworth.com catalogs the finances of the rich and famous using public information. While many on the list of NFL players are current players raking in mega-salaries, we decided to concentrate on those who played when salaries were not in the stratosphere. Check out 8 Ex-NFL Stars Worth a Fortune:
8. (tie) Deion Sanders
Net Worth: $40 million
“Neon Deion” was most famous for his exploits on the football field, but he carved out a baseball career at the same time for several Major League teams. In the NFL alone, he took home about $47 million. He also had endorsements for Pizza Hut, Nike and others as well as his baseball salary. A career as a TV football analyst has followed, and despite the electric nickname, Sanders has apparently stayed grounded on the financial front.
8. (tie) Fran Tarkenton
Net Worth: $40 million
Tarkenton was known for scrambling to avoid the fearsome pass rushers of the 1960s and ’70s. His quick feet helped lead the Minnesota Vikings to the Super Bowl, although he never quite grabbed the brass ring. The scrambling continued after he hung up his jersey for good and he was swept up in a securities fraud investigation. The Associated Press reported that Tarkenton agreed to pay $100,000 to settle the charges against his software company. That fine barely put a dent in Tarkenton’s millions, made in large part from various educational software businesses.
6. Michael Strahan
Net Worth: $45 million
Strahan’s strength allowed him to set the NFL record for sacking the quarterback in a single season. His $60 million in NFL pay (minus some lost in a high-profile divorce) allowed him to put away a nest egg. And don’t forget his second career as co-host of “Live! With Kelly and Michael” and as a regular on “Fox NFL Sunday.” His TV salary is pegged at $10 million a year, mostly from “Live!”
5. Gale Sayers
Net Worth: $50 million