The vast majority of retired NFL players have kept themselves in good shape, as the habits they likely picked up from their time playing have stayed with them. Whether it's healthy eating, continuous working out at the gym, or something else, many of these athletes continue to be athletic as they age.
However, there were still some that evidently decided to give up everything they knew and learned. The grilled chicken and rice for dinner was replaced with a double cheeseburger with everything in it. The protein shakes were replaced with milkshakes. Their trips to the gym were replaced with trips to Dave & Busters. It's amazing to see just how much these famous players have changed. Their work ethic seems to have totally left. It sounds like they have decided to rest on their laurels and their money and essentially give up years of hard work.
Overall, this is sad. Some of the entries on this list have serious health problems. Others are on the road to those health problems. At the end of the day, nobody wants these guys to be unhealthy to the point of using wheelchairs or canes before they're 60 years old. So, let's take a look at the top 15 NFLers who got fat after they retired.
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15 Bernie Kosar
A remarkably average quarterback has become a unremarkable overweight guy. Bernie Kosar didn't do a whole lot with his NFL career. He spent most of it with the Cleveland Browns, which says a lot. Although the Browns weren't the trash pile they are today, they were still coming off a 5-11 season when Kosar selected them as the team he wanted to play for. There's your evidence that Bernie Kosar is not a smart man. He was in good enough shape to make a Pro Bowl appearance back in the day, and actually won a Super Bowl with the Dallas Cowboys while backing up Troy Aikman. He then backed up Dan Marino with the Miami Dolphins.
Since retirement, he's filed for bankruptcy, lost property due to unpaid back taxes, and has pleaded no contest to a charge of reckless operation of a vehicle. On top that Bernie Kosar has put on some weight! This is likely due to the restaurant he owns and manages. A hamburger a day keeps the doctor away!
14 Bruce Matthews
If I were to tell you that there have been four men who hold the record for most Pro Bowls appearances in NFL history, I bet you could only get two. The easiest two are Tony Gonzalez and Peyton Manning. The other two are Merlin Olsen and Bruce Matthews. Man, how underappreciated are those offensive and defensive line positions? Even more impressively, Olsen and Matthews both made their Pro Bowls in consecutive years. Speaking of bowls, what kind of burrito bowl do you think Bruce Matthews gets when he goes to Chipotle? Something tells me that he isn't rocking the chicken, brown rice, black bean healthy-ish combo. I'm guessing Matthews is rocking the double steak, pinto beans, white rice combo instead. It's showing. Look at that jacket! It's much too long for him, so I wonder what he's hiding underneath. Matthews was a big guy when he was playing, but since he's retired, it seems that his belly has become broader than his shoulders.
13 Matt Millen
Hey look! It's everyone's favorite executive, Matt Millen! His career is the contrast of the majority of guys on this list. So many of these players were Hall of Famers or at least strong contributors. Matt Millen is not a Hall of Famer, and he wasn't much of a player. He made one Pro Bowl and finished his career with less sacks (11) than seasons played (12). Yeesh that's a rough statistic for a linebacker. Maybe if the other team's quarterback had doused his helmet in popcorn butter before coming on to the field, Millen would have had a better career. Of course, we can't forget his incredibly poor tenure as the President of the Detroit Lions. He "led" the franchise to the worst eight-year record in the history of the modern NFL with a 31-84 mark. I'm pretty sure that my Madden franchise skills are at least even with his. Since retirement, Millen has gotten larger and looks much bigger than his playing days.
12 Warren Sapp
Warren Sapp was one of the most feared defensive players in NFL history. He was a terror on the field and sparked terror in his opponent's heart. If you lined up across from Sapp, you knew you'd be in for a long and painful day. Currently, the mean, intimidating Sapp has been replaced by one of eating and other dumb activities. He was arrested on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute and assault in early 2015. That essentially ended his relationship with the NFL Network and his contract was terminated. Just a couple of weeks ago, Sapp was bit by a shark off the coast of Florida while he was lobstering. Of course he was. I wonder how many lobsters Warren Sapp can eat in one sitting. Four? Five? More than that? I'm willing to bet that it's more. Luckily for lobsters, they're not in any danger of growing extinct. However, if they do become more scarce in upcoming years, I'll know who to question first.
11 Willie Roaf
Willie Roaf was a fantastic player in his heyday and was a total beast on my Madden 2001 team. He was a consistent player and started 189 games as an offensive tackle. He made it to the Pro Bowl 11 times, which is exceptional. It's not surprising that he was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012. What is surprising is that he hasn't lost any weight, and in fact, looks to have gained more. He was a big guy when he was playing, but he looks a lot heavier than the 320 pounds he was listed as. It looks as if Mr. Roaf can't say no to extra meatloaf. It's so sad that all of these guys are on this list because they truthfully shouldn't be. There's no need to be eating 4,500 calories per day. They don't need to gain weight or build muscle. Roaf is 46 years old. He's middle-aged. It's time to start winding down the eating so he doesn't end up like William Perry. Right after retirement is the perfect time to change habits, but so many of these guys haven't done that.
10 Mike Holmgren
Although Mike Holmgren never played in any regular season NFL games, he was still drafted in the 8th round in 1970. I say that he was a professional and certainly an NFLer. He also retired from playing after realizing that he likely wasn’t going to get a starting job and quickly transitioned to coaching. Since then, Holmgren has become larger and larger.
Are we sure that Holmgren and Andy Reid aren’t related? They look like they could be twins, or at least brothers. Seriously though, why are so many NFL head coaches large?
9 Tony Siragusa
Tony Siragusa was a solid player throughout his NFL career. He was a big defensive tackle and was able to throw his meat around to the tune of becoming a Super Bowl Champion. Since his retirement, the only meat he’s been throwing around is another dozen links of sausages on his grill. Siragusa continues to get larger and larger. Seriously, he’s over 350 pounds. I get that he may not be able to work out as hard as he did when he was playing, but that doesn't mean he should've grown as much as he has. At least he’s going to have some extra time now that he isn’t working for Fox Sports anymore. Realistically, he should probably weigh about 100 pounds less than he does. If he doesn’t start slimming down quick, he could be in store for some serious health problems.
8 Rickey Jackson
Like many others on this list, Rickey Jackson was a terror on the field. He sacked a ton of guys, caused a lot of fumbles, and was basically making plays all over the field. He broke and still holds many records on the New Orleans Saints and he was the first person to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame primarily for his contributions as a Saint. Since his retirement, I think Jackson has decided that he doesn't need to work out anymore. He was a lean 243 pounds during his playing days and now has likely put on 40 pounds or so. He actually had to sell his Hall of Fame jacket on eBay. Maybe he couldn't fit in it anymore? Oh my goodness, imagine that conversation with his family. "Hey guys, I put my Hall of Fame jacket on auction because I can't stop eating pizza. Hope you don't mind that I won't have this token of my biggest accomplishment because I can't put down this delicious sausage pizza. Okay, hope you're all happy!"
7 Keith McCants
Keith McCants is one of the biggest draft busts on this list. He was a bust in the NFL and now, his belly is busting over his pants. McCants was an athletic freak in college, weighing 260 pounds, but had the speed of a gazelle. He looked to become a defensive stalwart and somebody that a team could build around. He was drafted fourth overall in 1990 and was out of the league by 1996. How disappointing. After retirement, McCants ran into problems with drug possession. Currently, he's clean, but has ballooned up in size. What happened to the crazy strong and crazy fast freak of nature that we saw in college and in the NFL? My best guess is that McCants got tired of having to work out all the time and watch his diet. He made a bunch of money and didn't have to worry about the cost of steak dinners and ice cream. Sadly, he was a subject of the 30 for 30 documentary "Broke," which detailed the financial troubles of athletes.
6 O.J. Simpson
I thought the majority of guys in jail were ripped! With their one hour of recreation time per day, most of them go out to the yard and lift weights or play sports, or otherwise move their body. What else is there to do? Simpson is probably trying to move his body to the cafeteria for a mid-afternoon snack. "The Juice" was at one point one of the best running backs in NFL history. Now, the only juice that he's drinking is apple, cranberry, grape, and orange. Of course it isn't some of that no sugar added, straight from the fruit itself juice. No, this is over-processed, add all the sugar possible until you start to see grains in the liquid juice. He's probably taking everybody else's juice when they aren't looking. He's smiling because he's thinking of how much juice he's going to drink at dinner. Did I mention he likes juice?
5 Albert Haynesworth
Does this entry really surprise anybody? When he was in the NFL, Albert Haynesworth was able to disguise his weight because he was a defensive tackle. The recipient of a massive contract from the Washington Redskins, Haynesworth did somewhere between "jack squat" and absolutely nothing for the franchise before leaving to make some more money. Luckily, other teams didn't make the same mistakes the Redskins did, and Haynesworth was out of the league before the 2012 season began. After his retirement, Haynesworth has plead guilty for reckless boating charges on one occasion. Of course, he loves to boat. With as much money as he made, he can afford to sit on his vessel and gorge himself on an unhealthy amount of food.
4 JaMarcus Russell
This entry can't be surprising to anybody either. My goodness. Russell was built like a big linebacker in college and, when he was in the NFL, he was built like a linebacker-defensive tackle hybrid. Yet somehow, he's a quarterback? If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, then it must be a duck. I get that he was a solid quarterback at LSU, but how many monstrous quarterbacks have there been in the NFL that were actually good? The answer is zero. At least with guys like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, you don't have to worry about them ballooning up 30 pounds in the off-season. It boggles the mind how Russell was supposed to be a franchise quarterback. A couple years ago, he slimmed down a bit and tried to make a comeback that didn't go anywhere. Now, he's still trying to get a tryout and has resorted to sending teams letters offering to play for free. Sadly, no one has responded.
3 John Madden
Similar to Mike Holmgren, John Madden was drafted into the NFL in the 21st round by the Philadelphia Eagles. However, he injured his knee in training camp and was forced to retire early. He never played a game in the NFL and quickly moved onto to coaching, where he become one of the most famous coaches in NFL history for the Oakland Raiders. Since this is my list, I consider him a "NFLer" and thus deserves a spot on this cavalcade of calories. I don't think that if Madden continued playing, that he would have gained so much weight. But if he continued playing, he might not have became the excellent coach and analyst he transitioned too. Madden was fantastic at his job, but his weight has me worried.
2 Joe Montana
He's one of the all-time football greats. He's one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. He's a four-time Super Bowl Champion. He's a two-time NFL Most Valuable Player. He's become fat. For some reason, he looks like a fat Pat Sajak (from Wheel of Fortune) in this picture. It's really strange. If Montana went on the show, he'd probably ask Sajak for a doughnut instead of a vowel. Granted, Montana was a quarterback from the 80s, so it's not like he was a shredded specimen, but I would have though he'd be in better shape than this. I understand that he's 60 and there's only so much you can do before your body starts breaking down, but that's not really an excuse for ballooning like this. Big linemen and thin quarterbacks are the most likely candidates for gaining lots of weight, so I can't be too surprised. Why do I feel like Montana will be on a season of Dancing With the Stars soon?
1 William Perry
One of the most beloved Chicago Bears in history has done nothing but increase in weight since he retired. Similar to Albert Haynesworth, Perry wasn't exactly known for his ripped physique, but "The Fridge" made up for his lack of abs with a great smile and strong play on the field. Since retirement, Perry has battled with his weight, often fluctuating between 300 and 425 pounds. Sadly, he checked himself into a hospital in January 2016 weighing more than 425 pounds, to receive treatment for his diabetes. Perry has claimed that he had no feeling in his feet and was scared of having his leg amputated. In addition to all of that, Perry has admitted to be an alcoholic. As we all know, alcohol doesn't have any nutritional value and is often a big reason for people putting on weight. That's likely one reason that Perry has had so many weight problems. It's hard to believe that he's only 53 years old. We wish him all the best and hope he gets the help he needs to get past this.
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