Hundreds of former NFL players have been given the illustrious honor of being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But believe it or not, some former players have gone on to achieve even more in their lifetime after they have decided to hang up their cleats for good.
From Politicians to media personalities to entrepreneurs, a number of former NFL players have taken their own unique paths to a successful career after football.
Listed below are 15 people who spent a significant amount of their lifetime playing professional football and then went on to exceed at a job that did not require them to wear pads. Some are still involved with a team in the NFL, but most on this list have been able to find success outside of the sport that gave them their very first taste of nationwide notoriety.
15 Eddie George - Broadway Actor
Acting is a common profession that a good portion of professional athletes try after retiring from their sport. But it is usually the kind that is done in front of a camera, not on a stage.
After a successful nine years in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans and the Dallas Cowboys, George made his debut as a Broadway actor in 2016 with a role in the play ‘Chicago’. This particular role in the play required him to sing on stage for the first time during his career as an actor.
Before appearing on Broadway, George previously acted in several Shakespeare plays from 2010 to 2015.
In addition to his new career as an actor, he also owns a restaurant in Ohio, founded a landscaping company, taught a course at Ohio State, and also contributes as a studio analyst for Fox’s college football coverage.
Net Worth: $2 Million
14 Dhani Jones - TV Host/Entrepreneur
After stints with four teams in 10 seasons, Jones retired from the NFL in 2011. Having already hosted the show 'Dhani Tackles the Globe' from 2009 to 2010, he remained in the world of television media as a host of numerous programs after he retired from football.
His most recent role as a host was for the shows 'Adventure Capitalists' and 'Spartan' which are both part of the NBC programming family. Jones was even lucky enough to contribute to NBC's coverage of the Rio Olympics in 2016 as a reporter.
Aside from his involvement in the media, he is also a partner with two of the country's biggest advertising agencies, PROCLAMATION and VMG-Creative. Somewhere in the middle of all of his activities and media gigs, Jones also finds time to fulfill his duties as the chairman of the investment fund Qey Capital Partners and as the CEO of Hyur Staffing Services.
Net Worth: $4 Million
13 Jon Runyan - Politician
After 15 years in the NFL as an offensive lineman, Runyan decided to enter the world of politics in 2009. In 2010, he was elected to Congress as a U.S. Representative for New Jersey.
By doing so, Runyan became the fourth former NFL player to ever be voted into Congress. He was re-elected in 2012 but decided that he would not be running for re-election once again in 2014.
During his tenure in office, Runyan helped enact various legislations that decreased payroll tax and also increased the amount of funding for emergency response teams. It was probably hard to vote against the requests of a 6'7, 300-plus pound former professional football player.
Just like when he was in the NFL, Runyan did his best to protect others from suffering major injuries during his time in Congress.
Net Worth $7.1 Million
12 Ahmad Rashad - TV Host
For people who are currently under the age of 30, some may only know Rashad from his former gig as the host of the popular show ’NBA Inside Stuff’. But, he actually spent 10 years in the NFL as a receiver with the St. Louis Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, and Minnesota Vikings.
While with the Vikings, Rashad enjoyed the most success of his time in the league and played in one Super Bowl during the 1976 season. Coincidentally, he would later go on to help cover the Super Bowl as part of NBC’s NFL team during the 1990s.
His work over the years as a sportscaster and analyst for various major sports has earned him multiple Emmy awards. His current Twitter bio lists him as a studio host for NBA TV.
Net Worth: $8 Million
11 Bill Goldberg - Professional Wrestler
After starring as a defensive tackle at the University of Georgia, Goldberg went on to play in the NFL with the Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons from 1990 to 1994.
After his NFL dreams were shattered by an abdomen injury, Goldberg moved on to the world of professional wrestling. In 1997 with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) where he made his television debut on ‘Monday Nitro’.
Until 2004, Goldberg had a successful career and earned multiple championships as a professional wrestler in WCW, All Japan Pro Wrestling, and the WWE. After his time in wrestling, Goldberg has enjoyed stints as an MMA color commentator, podcast host, and an actor in various television series and movies.
In 2016, he returned to WWE programming to accept a challenge from Brock Lesnar and wrestle in one more match.
Net Worth: $14 Million
10 Terry Crews - Actor
When taking a look at the physique of Crews today, it does not seem too far fetched that he actually spent time playing in the NFL. From 1991 to 1995, he appeared in a total of 32 games as a linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers, and Washington Redskins.
After his career in professional football did not go as planned, Crews moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. Compared to his NFL career, his time as an actor has been much more successful.
Crews has appeared in numerous feature films including ‘Friday After Next’, ‘White Chicks’, ‘The Longest Yard’, and ‘The Expendables’ among others. The physique he has maintained since retiring from football also helped him land the gig as a spokesman for Old Spice.
Currently, Crews spends a majority of his time playing the role as Sergeant Terry Jeffords in the Fox television series ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’.
Net Worth: $20 Million
9 Lynn Swann - Athletic Director, Politician
After being a part of four Super Bowl winning teams with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1974 to 1982 and then getting inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001, there was not much left to be achieved by Swann right? Well maybe for some people, but not for the former wide receiver.
Following his playing career in the NFL, Swann went on to work in sports broadcasting with ABC until 2006. During his time with the network, he was able to be a part of the network’s coverage of the Summer and Winter Olympics, the NFL, college football, and horse racing.
Swann left the world of television in 2006 to run for the Governor of Pennsylvania. His previous successes did not help him in this race however, as he lost the election to the state’s current Governor at the time in Ed Rendell.
In April of 2016, Swann was named as the athletic director at the University of Southern California.
Net Worth: $20 Million
8 Jim Brown - Actor
Finding success after having arguably the greatest professional football career ever may seem like a hard task for most people. But Jim Brown is not most people.
The hall-of-fame running back acted in his first film in 1964 and has been apart of over 40 feature films since. Most recently, he played himself in the movie ‘Draft Day’ in 2014. As an actor, Brown has also appeared in a number of television series including ‘The A-Team’, ‘Knight Rider’, and ‘CHiPs’.
In addition to his roles as an actor, Brown also had stint as a color commentator for CBS’ NFL broadcasts in 1978 and he also had the same role in 1993 for the UFC, working on the company’s very first six pay-per-view events.
Currently, the 80-year-old Brown is a special advisor for the Cleveland Browns.
Net Worth: $50 Million
7 Gale Sayers - Entrepreneur
Despite only playing in the NFL for just seven seasons with the Chicago Bears, Sayers was still voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. It might have had something to do with the fact that he scored 54 touchdowns during his first five years in the league.
Unfortunately, Sayers career as a professional football player was cut short due to a series of injuries. But it did not take very long for him to find another role off of the field.
In 1984, Sayers founded a computer supply company that today is known as Sayers 40, Inc. Currently, the company mainly focuses on being a technology consulting firm that works with Fortune 1000 companies throughout the United States.
When he is not overseeing his company, Sayers has remained active in helping those in the community of Chicago, Illinois. His charity, appropriately named the Gale Sayers Foundation, aims at helping improve the quality of education for children within the Chicago area.
Net Worth: $50 Million
6 Michael Strahan - TV Host
Although he is still technically working in football as a member of the Fox NFL Sunday team, the former member of the New York Giants has become quite the media mogul since retiring from the league after the 2007 season.
After filling in as the co-host for 'Live! with Regis and Kelly' in 2010, Strahan became a permanent co-host of the show in 2012. In early 2016, the former professional football player announced that he was leaving 'Live! with Kelly and Michael' to begin a new role with 'Good Morning America'.
In a addition to working on 'Good Morning America', Strahan was also named as the host of the ABC network's revival of the '$100,000 Pyramid' game show in 2016. He has excelled in the world of television since he left the NFL and he has multiple Daytime Emmy awards to prove it.
Net Worth: $65 Million
5 Joe Montana - Media Personality
More than 20 years after his NFL career, Mr. Joe Montana can still be seen starring in television commercials in 2016. Most recently, Montana has starred in campaigns for Papa John’s Pizza, AT&T, Skechers, and Hugo Boss.
In combination with his endorsements, Montana also is also awarded around $50,000 every time he asked to speak at a public event. Not too bad to just show up and talk to a group of people.
When he does not have any public speaking engagements or commercials to film, Montana likely spends some of his free time operating his own winery in Napa Valley, California, known as Montagia Wines.
Having won four Super Bowls while playing for the San Francisco 49ers during his professional football career, Montana is no stranger to success. So to see him still raking in the big bucks after his playing days should not come as a shock to anyone.
Net Worth: $80 Million
4 Brett Favre - Media Personality
It is very hard to turn on a television in 2016 and not see a commercial that includes Mr. Favre. From Jeans to razors to heartburn medication, Favre has been a spokesperson for a variety of products.
Over the years, he has endorsed companies such as Wrangler, Prilosec, Nike, Sears, Remington, and MasterCard among others. Passing yards are not the only thing that this former quarterback knows how to rack up.
When he’s not filming commercials, Favre oversees the operations of his own steakhouse in Green Bay, Wisconsin, as well being an advisor for the Sqor Sports app.
Recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the former quarterback has a wealth of knowledge and insight from his days spent in the league. Luckily for the public he talks football and shares some of his favorite stories on a weekly basis when he appears on the ‘SiriusXM Blitz’ radio show every Tuesday.
Net Worth: $100 Million
3 John Elway - General Manager/VP of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos
Following two Super Bowl wins in the final two seasons of his 16-year NFL career, all with the Denver Broncos, Elway found his way back in the league in 2011 as Denver’s executive vice president of football operations. In 2012, Elway also took over the duties as the team’s general manager.
Since their former quarterback has been in the front office, the Broncos have yet to miss the playoffs and they won a Super Bowl for the third time in the franchise’s history in 2015.
Elway has also found success outside of the league, owning two restaurants and a number of car dealerships in California and Colorado. He used to own even more dealerships, but sold a majority of them in 1997 for over $80 million.
The hall-of-fame quarterback is one of the few former players in the history of the NFL to have achieved success both on the field and in the front office.
Net Worth: $145 Million
2 Roger Staubach - Real Estate Mogul
Another player who still would have been thought as a successful person due to leading his team to multiple Super Bowl wins and getting inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Staubach has achieved more than almost any former NFL player has after their career has ended.
In 1977, before his days on the field were even over, he started a commercial real-estate company known as The Staubach Company (super creative name). Over the next 30 years, the company worked with big name clients such as McDonald’s, AT&T, and K Mart.
In 2008, Staubach sold his company to Jones Lang LaSalle for an impressive $613 million. Today, the 74-year-old is enjoying the retirement life and spending as much time as he can with his 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Net Worth: $600 Million
1 Jerry Richardson - Owner of the Carolina Panthers
Having only participated for two seasons in the NFL as a player, playing football is not where the current owner of the Carolina Panthers gained his fame and success.
After his brief stint in professional football, Richardson went on to become very successful businessman in the world of food service. As one of the co-founders of Spartan Foods, Richardson and his business partner owned over 150 Hardee’s restaurants throughout the United States.
Spartan Foods was later sold for $80 million and Richardson remained within the industry as the CEO of TW Services. The company would later be come to be known as Flagstar Companies, Inc. and run top franchise restaurants such as Denny’s and El Pollo Loco. He would eventually resign from the company in 1995.
As the only owner the Panthers have ever had, Richardson has said that he wants his family to sell the team when he passes away.
Net Worth: $1.1 Billion