A career as a pro athlete can lead to fame and fortune. Unfortunately for some, the riches don’t last. Despite all the money that NFL players make during their careers, many of these guys have gone on to declare bankruptcy. When you're done checking out the misfotunes of those listed below, it's worth checking out 15 Absurdly Huge Mansions of NFL Players – You Won't Believe Brady's. First, here are the players who have lost it all:
Former wide receiver Terrell Owens was no doubt a great player, but he was renowned for his flamboyant touchdown celebrations and public persona as he is for his talent on the field. T.O. caused controversy with every team he played for and had many league fines and team penalties. After his retiring, Owens made some poor investments, owed the IRS over $400,000, failed to pay child support, and just generally had a rough time financially.
Ray Rice was boasting a successful career with the Baltimore Ravens as their second all-time leading rusher when he was arrested for assaulting his then-fiancee. Once the Ravens got wind of his history of domestic violence, they released him from the team and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. With all of the money he made previously tied up in legal fees and penalties, Ray Rice is now broke and jobless, although he somehow retained the girl.
New York Giants Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor had a great football career. But during his stardom, Taylor also partied hard and used cocaine. After failing drug tests and too many drug related arrests, Taylor lost it all. The IRS eventually caught him committing tax fraud and he filed for bankruptcy in the 1990’s.
Former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber made a considerable amount of money during his NFL career. After retiring, Barber became a sports analyst at NBC, continuing to make a solid living. However, it was exposed that Barber was being unfaithful to his wife with an NBC intern, whom he eventually left his wife for. Barber’s indiscretion caused him to lose his job with NBC due to a morality clause.
Warren Sapp had such a successful and prominent career in the NFL when he played for the Buccaneers and the Raiders that he was invited to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, life after the NFL got hard. Sapp blew his money on clothing, mansions, and sports cars and in 2012 he filed for bankruptcy and had to auction off most of his possessions to pay the IRS, lawyers, and the government.
Michael Vick was holding down a solid career with the Atlanta Falcons and probably would’ve gone on to make more money had he not been found guilty for harboring a dog fighting ring at his home in 2007. Vick went to prison and his $130 million dollar contract went out the door and he lost everything. Vick has since been trying to make a comeback but nothing is the same.
Back in the day, Dan Marino was a prominent quarterback. During his career as a Miami Dolphin, he broke many records, earned awards and made a lot of money. After retiring, the nine-time pro bowler became an analyst and accumulated more money, which he ended up losing by investing in a company called Digital Domain. Marino purchased 1,575,525 shares, causing him to lose $14 million when the company went bankrupt.
JaMarcus Russell had an amazing career as an LSU Tiger and was thus selected by the Oakland Raiders as their first overall draft pick in 2007. Russell got a $61 million contract, but unfortunately his college career didn’t carry into his NFL days. After two years of a consistently poor track record, he was let go. He has since been arrested for drugs and lost most of his money. Russell is considered to be the biggest draft bust of all time.
Cleveland Browns QB Bernie Kosar was a long-time fan favorite before he retired in 196. After his retirement, he became part-owner of the Florida Panthers and opened a steakhouse. But his businesses didn’t pan out and in 2009, he filed for bankruptcy with $18.9 million dollars in debt and owed the state of Ohio over $173,000 in taxes.
Back in the day, Johnny Unitas was a stellar quarterback who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Baltimore Colts, and the San Diego Chargers. For 53 years, Unitas held down the record for the most consecutive games with a touchdown pass. But after football, Unitas made failed investments and a business he had stake in collapsed, causing him to file for bankruptcy in 1991.
Raghib “Rocket” Ismael played for the Canadian Football League for two years before playing on various NFL teams for a decade. Over his career, Ismael is estimated to have earned some $20 million. After his retirement, Ismael dabbled in business, making poor investments that caused him to lose nearly all of his money.
It’s a sad day when you see someone go from NFL to high school football coach. Quarterback Mark Brunell made an estimated $50 million from his contracts and salary alone during his career in the NFL. But after retiring from football, Brunell used a majority of his earnings by investing in real estate in Michigan, as well as fast food chain Whataburger. Brunell ended up filing for bankruptcy in 2010 before becoming a coach.
Former defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions and then the Denver Broncos Luther Ellis lost nearly all of his money as a business investor. Just six years into his retirement, Ellis went from multi-millionaire to an average Joe filing for bankruptcy.
After six years in the NFL, running back Travis Henry lost it all. Although Travis Henry never officially retired from the NFL, he was released after failing multiple drug tests. In 2008, Henry was busted for trafficking cocaine. Henry also has around 11 children with 10 different women, and was briefly imprisoned because he could not afford to pay child support.
Archie Griffin was one of the best running backs in college football. But his stardom never transferred. In 1976, Griffin received a seven-year contract from the Cincinnati Bengals. In those seven seasons, Griffin only seven touchdowns. In 1982 he filed for bankruptcy due to his failing shoe business.
Back in the day, prominent and successful wide receiver Andre Rison signed a $17 million contract with the Cleveland Browns. Excited about his new riches, Rison blew through large sums of his money and in 2007, he was ordered to file for bankruptcy after failing to pay for child support.
An eleven-season veteran of the NFL, former Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister ended his football career having earned some $45 million dollars. Despite this, he managed to spend most of the money and ended up having to file bankruptcy when he couldn’t pay his child support that was just $3,000.
Former Saints running back Deuce McAllister was a great football star, but not so much a business man. After his career he purchased and set up his own Nissan Dealership in Mississippi. Not too long after, the car dealership had to file for bankruptcy. dditionally he was sued by Nissan because he apparently defaulted on payments and was also sued by the Whitnet National Bank for failing to pay around $1.8 million on his mortgage.
Dermontti Dawson served as the center for the Pittsburgh Steelers for 12 long years. Dawson was even elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame back in 2012. However, after spending a few years as a developer, his real estate business failed. In 2010, he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy where he had $69 million in liabilities and debts, but only just $1.5 million in assets.
After four years in the Army, Dick “Night Train” Lane became one of the most prolific defensive backs during the 1950’s and the 1960’s, even joing the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But after retiring from his lengthy football career, Lane fell into drinking, bad business deals, and illicit drugs, which caused him to lose that vast majority of his fortune.
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