Old Money: 15 NFL Players Who Were Already Rich Before Football

Today’s NFL is mainly filled with players with tons of new money. This means most of their wealth was accumulated by themselves. Many got little to no inheritance at all from their family and built their own wealth. This is one of the many reasons players in the NFL go broke after they are done playing. Their families rely on their income so much that it bleeds them dry. One unfortunate example of this is former first round pick Trent Richardson. After a few subpar seasons he had trouble staying in the league and by then his family had already taken a lot of his money.

The players on this list have never had to deal with any problems like that. These players were born with a silver spoon in their mouths and it helped them on their path to the NFL. Most of the players on this list come from a football family and most of their family's wealth was generated from their fathers playing in the NFL. Other players find themselves on the list because of old money in different places. It could be from a long running family business or even from oil money. This list consists of the 15 most notable players that came from wealthy families. They all made solid money as professional football players, but they would have been fine if they had no football talent at all.


15 Larry Fitzgerald

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Larry Fitzgerald might not have the most wealthy parents on the list, but his father was connected in the NFL community. Being a popular sports writer in the Minnesota area, writing for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder has allowed the Fitzgerald clan to be fairly well off. This career did not make them as wealthy as they are now but they were still well off. It also gave Larry access to the league, players, and coaches that he would not have had otherwise. Larry Sr.’s close relationship with Minnesota Vikings coach Darrell Green allowed Jr. to be the ball boy for the Vikings in the late 1990s. Growing up around Chris Carter and Randy Moss, it is no wonder why Fitzgerald is one of the all time greats at receiver. Larry Sr. was also the first sports writer to cover his son in a Super Bowl back in 2008.

14 Johnny Manziel

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It is hard to imagine that someone who got the nickname Johnny Football would be out of the game so early into his career. Yet here he is, Manziel is pretty much a laughing stock around the league at this point and it is highly unlikely that he will get another shot at starting in the NFL again. He could not even catch on in the CFL, so his playing days are probably behind him. Lucky for him he has his family wealth to fall back on. His family obtained their wealth through the petroleum industry that dates all the way back four generations. It was pretty obvious in college and early in his career that partying was more important to Manziel than his career. At least now he can live off his family wealth and party for the rest of his life.

13 Clay Matthews III

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Clay Matthews III might be the most recognizable face in his family, but he comes from a great football background. He is cousins with the last player on the list Jake Matthews and both his grandfather Clay Matthews Sr. and his father Clay Matthews Jr. played in the NFL as well. Clay Matthews Sr. was drafted way back in 1949 and eventually retired in 1953. Clay Matthews Jr. was drafted in the first round of the 1978 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns. He made four Pro Bowls and one All-Pro selection with the team and ended his career with the Atlanta Falcons. All this family success definitely meant no one went hungry in the Matthews household. Clay played very well USC and was apart of the Pete Carroll dynasty. This lead him to be drafted 26th overall by the Green Bay Packers in 2009 and he has been one of their best defensive players ever since.

12 Matt Simms


Matt Sims is the third NFL quarterback to come from his family, but he is the least talented of the three. He is currently a free agent, but last saw action with the Atlanta Falcons. His brother (Chris Simms) is now an analyst for Bleacher Report and after he starred at Texas he was drafted in the third round of the NFL draft in 2003. Their father Phil is by far the best quarterback of the bunch. He won a Super Bowl with the Giants in 1987 and was one of the best quarterbacks in the league for a stretch in his career. He even came into the league with more hype than both his sons put together. Simms proved all his doubters wrong and had a successful NFL career that allowed him to become a multimillionaire. He has also been a big part of the broadcasting team at CBS for a long time.

11 Andrew Luck

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Some people are just born with all the Luck (bad pun intended) and Andrew is one of those people. Not only is he blessed with the athletic ability of a Pro Bowl quarterback, he was also born into a wealthy family as well. Andrew's father was a successful business man and became CEO of the Houston Sports Authority after getting his degree in Law from University of Texas School of Law in 1987. Luck was also a successful general manager in Major League Soccer, and his team (the Houston Dynamo) won the MLS Cup in 2006 and 2007. What many people do not realize is that Oliver also played quarterback in the NFL for the Houston Oilers. Many people do not remember Andrew's dad as an NFL player because he went 2-14 in his one year as a starter and then backed up Warren Moon for the rest of his four year career.

10 Matthew Slater

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Matthew Slater is best known for being the special teams ace for the Patriots for the last decade. Slater has yet to make the same impact in the NFL that his father had when he played in the league. His father Jackie Slater was so impressive during his 20 year career that he ended up in Canton in the Hall of Fame. He was a great right tackle for one of the best offensive lines in the league for many seasons for the Los Angeles and St. Louis Rams. Playing for such a long time as one of the best players at your position definitely means he was compensated well for his play. This means Matthew likely had a comfortable childhood growing up in Los Angeles. He even got to attend and play wide receiver at University of California Los Angeles.

9 Chris Borland

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He is no longer an active NFL player but he easily still could be considering his age. In his one season in the league, Chris Borland made a lasting impact. Not only did he have a terrific rookie season statistically, he also was one of the first players to step away from football early in his career because of fear of concussions that would lead to worse medical problems in the future. Borland’s family real estate investment business made it a lot easier for him to make that decision, yet he may have paved the way for other players to walk away from the game a little earlier than they might have otherwise. Now working for The Borland Group, Chris is proving that he can make money in other ways besides football. It is hard to blame him for retiring at such an early age with all he has accomplished.


8 Chase Coffman

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Chase Coffman is by far the least recognizable name on this list. He is currently a free agent, but he was chosen in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He went to college at the University of Missouri where he dominated college football and won the John Mackey Award for best tight end in America in 2008. His college success unfortunately did not follow him to the NFL. In 7 seasons he played for 6 teams and only caught two touchdowns. His dad (Paul Coffman) also played tight end in the NFL playing for the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Minnesota Vikings for ten seasons from 1978 to 1988. He was by far a better professional tight end than his son. He had forty more touchdowns than his son and was also selected to 3 Pro Bowls and even inducted into the Packers Hall of fame in 1994.

7 Maxx Williams

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Injuries have plagued Maxx Williams throughout his short NFL career, but if he decided to retire today his career earnings combined with his family's would provide him with enough financial stability. Both his father and his grandfather played in the NFL, so Williams actually has old football money. His grand father was selected number 2 overall by the Chicago Bears in the 1951 NFL draft. Williams' father on the other hand went to Minnesota, the same school that Maxx starred at. His success at centre there allowed him to be a first round pick as well. Being a second round draft pick, Maxx could be considered the worst player of the three. However he likely got a bigger rookie contract than both his grandfather and father combined. If you have two people in your family who were first round draft picks, then you are pretty much set for life.

6 Christian McCaffrey

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Christian McCaffrey might already be a more well-known football player than his father Ed because of his terrific play at Stanford, almost taking home the Heisman Trophy. Ed McCaffrey was a great receiver in his prime for the Denver Broncos and had a very long and successful career catching passes from legends like John Elway. He was a three time Super Bowl champion and was named to his only Pro Bowl in 1998 with Denver. This professional career allowed McCaffrey to make millions of dollars and let Christian grow up around NFL locker rooms. Like his son, Ed also attended Stanford University and he even made the All-American team in 1990. If Christian has a comparable career statistically to his father he might be a little bit disappointed considering the hype he entered his career with.

5 Jake Matthews

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Jake Matthews comes from a rich NFL bloodline, and perhaps the most impressive of any except maybe the Manning family. He was drafted sixth overall in in 2014 by the Atlanta Falcons. Since then Matthews has shown great improvement in his career. In his second season he made a rapid improvement and he was rated the third most improved player in 2015. This is no surprise because his father Bruce Matthews is one of the best offensive lineman of all time. He was drafted 9th overall in 1983 by the Houston Oilers after his career at University of Southern California. Bruce ended up playing for 19 season and played every position on the offensive line along the way. He is widely considered one of the toughest players to ever play the game and he was eventually inducted into the pro football Hall of Fame in 2007.

4 Nick Foles

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Nick Foles has earned an impressive amount of money for someone who is under 30 years old. However in his family he not even close to being the top bread winner. He was born into a very rich family because his father is a multimillionaire from his successes in his restaurant business. He co-founded Eddie V's Prime Seafood and sold it for a whopping $59 million in 2011. Foles has been wealthy his entire life and he might have needed to fall back on some of that dough if he did not get reinserted as the eagles starter this season. Foles fell off of the map after his one amazing season with the Eagles early in his career. He was then traded to the Rams and was a major disappointment there. After Carson Wentz went down many people thought the Eagles were doomed, but he has lead the team to two victories in his absence.

3 Chris Long

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Chris Long cemented a solid NFL career with a Super Bowl title last season playing for the New England Patriots. He definitely fulfilled a life long dream winning one just like his father Howie did for the Raiders. Chris is actually very similar to Howie. They play the same position and were both highly touted prospects when they entered the league. Chris was drafted high in the first round and Howie went in the middle of the second. All of Howie’s NFL success and later his endorsements and television appearances made Chris have a well off upbringing. This allowed Chris to focus on football and have a great collegiate and pro career just like his dad. He will not be a Hall of Famer like his father, but he certainly did not fail to live up to the Long legacy.

2 Kyle Long

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Chris’s brother Kyle also reaped the benefits of having Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long as a father. It must have been hard for him to creep out of the shadow of both Howie and Chris who both are very well known defensive players. However, Kyle has developed his own niche in the family as an offensive lineman. Kyle was drafted 20th overall in the first round of the 2014 draft by the Chicago Bears. The past couple of seasons he has had to battle through injuries to his shoulder and his ankle. Two weeks ago the Bears placed Kyle on season ending injured reserve for the second season in a row. With all the injuries piling up so early in his career, Kyle is lucky that he has tons of money in the family to fall back on.

1 Eli Manning

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If you are a football fan chances are you have heard of the Manning family. Both Eli and his brother Peyton have won multiple Super Bowls in the past two decades and are two of the best quarterbacks ever to play for the teams that drafted them. Their father Archie Manning was a solid NFL quarterback himself and that is how Eli was so well off during his childhood. Professional football contracts were nowhere close to what they are today, but being the best player on the team made Archie one of the top earning players back then. It is truly amazing that two out of Archie’s three sons followed in his footsteps and became more famous and wealthy than he was. The Manning family is definitely royalty when it comes to the NFL.


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