Top 15 Retired NFL Players That Went Broke and Had to Find Regular Jobs

Being a professional football player is a dream that many people harbor in their hearts, even if they’re too shy to admit it. When an athlete is drafted to the NFL, this changes his life forever. Of course, there are the high-adrenaline games, complete with screaming fans, emotionally charged coaches and a host of family and friends. Players also have the luxury of staying in the best hotels when traveling and they’re often sought after to endorse products for a number of reputable companies.

Professional athletes are also known for their tendencies to party too hard sometimes and for being very popular with the ladies. There aren’t too many women who would pass up a chance to date or marry a football player who has millions of dollars.

There’s no getting around it. The role of NFL player is a coveted one. It’s hard work, but the perks that come with this job are pretty sweet. Unfortunately, there are some NFL players who are so consumed in the life that comes with being a professional athlete, that they forget to save for retirement. After all, being a football player is a full-time job and athletes should have a solid financial plan together for when they are no longer able to play professional sports. It’s also essential for NFL players to plan for their financial futures in case they are injured while playing football. According to Fortune, about 16% of players who retire from the NFL go bankrupt. Ouch.

The appeal that comes from living a lavish lifestyle is overwhelming for many, especially football players who come from humble beginnings. These athletes are finally able to have the life they’ve dreamed about and some are helping to improve the lives of their families. However, unorganized spending habits have caused some of these ex-NFL players to go broke and pick up regular jobs. Here’s a list of 15 cautionary tales.

15 Charlie Batch

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14 Bernie Kosar


13 Andre Rison


12 Vince Young


11 Lawrence Taylor


10 Raghib Ismail


9 Muhsin Muhammad


8 Luther Elliss


7 Dermontti Dawson

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

6 Tiki Barber

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

5 Mark Brunell

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

4 Chris McAlister


3 Warren Sapp

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

2 Deuce McAllister


1 Terrell Owens

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Once Terrell Owens was out of the spotlight for playing professional football, he tried his hand at reality television. Now, due to money issues and a series of misunderstandings, he’s no longer talking to his two former best friends, who also appeared on the show with him. A few of Owens’ condos even went into foreclosure, which is a clear indication that he’s having some serious money problems. Terrell Owens has recently signed a modeling contract in an attempt to reinvent himself professionally. Maybe his winning smile and dashing good looks can help to get his bank account back in the black. He was once worth around $80 million.

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Top 15 Retired NFL Players That Went Broke and Had to Find Regular Jobs