Many high school and college football players aspire to play in the National Football League. The financial benefits might be great, and the recognition can be rewarding. But did you know that several professional players go bankrupt after their careers? Let’s find out why this happens and how players can avoid going bankrupt.
Within two years of retirement, up to 78 percent of former NFL players file for bankruptcy or suffer from serious financial difficulties. Players are typically not able to manage their finances effectively enough to last the remainder of their life.
How Much Does an NFL Player Make?
NFL players earn different annual incomes. It actually would depend on the player’s position in the team.
The lowest-paid NFL players are the running backs. They are offensive players who either can run with the ball or catch the quarterback’s pass. Despite being the players who get tackled most of the time, they only earn an average of about $1 million annually. (Source. Rookie Road)
Next would be the Kickers. By their name, they are only brought in the field if the play has to kick the football. Interestingly enough, kickers get less action as running backs but earn more. They average at $1.7 million annually. (Source: Chron)
Defensive players come in next. Depending on their specific position in the field, defensive players can earn an average of $2.6 million per year.
And the highest-paid football player is the quarterback. They are the stars of their respective teams. These players usually start with the ball and call at every play. Since quarterbacks carry this enormous responsibility, they are compensated for doing so. Quarterbacks earn an average of $15 million.
Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, earns roughly around $66.9 million in a year. That means he makes approximately $8.7 million per hour he plays. (Source ATT Savings)
Why do most NFL Players go Bankrupt?
A large signing bonus is given to draftees, thereby front-loading their careers while still getting their feet wet in the industry. As a result, many adopt a luxurious lifestyle that includes million-dollar automobiles, mansions, costly parties, and other extravagances.
Players are already struggling to maintain their previous opulent lifestyles without bonuses by the third or fourth year of their careers. Before players even reach retirement age, this unsustainable situation escalates out of control and becomes a financial burden.
Lack of financial wisdom due to youth and inexperience is one reason why this happens. Even older players, who should know better than to spend their salaries so carelessly, struggle with personal expenses and lose money by leading an unsustainable lifestyle.
Another reason is that players lack financial guidance. Successful athletes in the NFL and other high-paying professional leagues account for a small percentage of the industry. They have minimal access to systemic support and mentorship. (Source: Kiplinger)
Tips to a Healthy Financial Standing
Ron L. Brown, the co-founder of Athlete Essentials and president of R.L. Brown Wealth Management, provides a few tips for NFL players to have a more healthy financial health. Anyone can also use these tips.
Work with a Budget
Set a budget and stick to it. Having a significant income does not equate to having a lavish lifestyle. Create a budget you are comfortable with and be consistent. You will be able to save more or do more with your money.
Hire a Financial Advisor
It is pretty challenging to stick to a strict budget when there’s so much money flowing in. Financial advisers are the missing link in efficient asset management and future investments.
Wise and wealthy athletes retain top financial counselors to assist them in regulating their spending habits and invest the majority of their earnings in a secure, profitable investment portfolio.
Treat Yourself, But Learn to Save
It’s almost as difficult to resist the impulse to splurge as it is to give in to it. Pressure is bound to get to these rookies, and the goal is to keep it under control. As a result, draftees can decide whether or not to spend a lot of money on meaningful assets like houses or art with the help of a trusted adviser.
They will have a greater chance of holding off and saving money once this controlled buying spree is done. Plus, as part of their investing portfolio later in life, these assets can be leveraged. (Source: Kiplinger)