Do NFL Rookies Get the Gravity of Money?

Official Chicago Bears Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman / August 16, 2018

He gets it. Cleveland Browns defensive lineman Carl Nassib shares his thoughts on investment with teammates on HBO’s Hard Knocks.

“We got a lot of money right now, right? This is the easiest equation to make you rich. You have a million dollars and after seven years getting 10% of the money every single year, you are making money off of it, you’re going to double it after seven years. You’re gonna double it every seven years for 42 (expletive) years, you get 64 times your original (expletive) money. So if you got a million dollars you’re gonna end up with 64 million dollars by the time you retire.”

Drafted by the Browns in 2016, Nassib signed a 4-year contract worth $3.2 million, with a signing bonus of $890,000 dollars. Now, let’s assume he lives off of just the signing bonus, which is $222K, and invests the rest, he can have a very nice financial cushion upon retirement.

For this idea to work, endorsements are key. Ask 29-year-old Rob Gronkowski, tight end for the New England Patriots. Here is a young man who has not touched a dime of his NFL money. According to a recent interview on “UNINTERRUPTED-Kneading Dough”, Gronk confirmed that he has saved 100 percent of his salary. He further stated that he lives off of his endorsement deals and that $44.5 million sitting in the bank, at 10 percent interest, is GENIUS. Chew on that for a little while.

Another young financial wizard is running back Marshawn Lynch. Drafted in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks, he tucked away all of his on-field salary. That is just shy of $50 million. Add the $9 million from the Oakland Raiders and the 32-year-old can retire from football at any time. His endorsements from Nike, Activision, Skittles, Progressive, and Microsoft have him living comfortably. If he is smart, he should not touch that money until the age of 50.

These young players have to be smart. In an article written in 1985 regarding rookie salaries, Chicago Tribune reporter Don Pierson wrote this:

“The Bears first offered No. 1 choice William Perry an average of $330,000 a year for four years. This figure included what the defensive lineman could earn in weight clauses if he watches his figure. It also included a signing bonus of $300,000 on top of annual salaries of $100,000, $125,000, $150,000, and $175,000.”

Taking to account that in 1985, the household annual income in the United States was around $17,000. If Perry had left his money alone, compounding interest, and only living off of his endorsement deals and television guest appearances he would not be in the situation he is in today. If you recall, he had pawned his ring at a low point of his life and it ended up on a sports auction page. It was returned to him by a young boy who bought it for $8,500. He has since auctioned off the ring again in 2015 for $203K. Moral of the story: Don’t be like Perry.


The NFL is fickle. Making good choices that last a lifetime is worth the sacrifice. Nassib has only been in the league for three years but felt it was necessary to urge his teammates to make wise choices with their money.

Hopefully, Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack will make those same wise choices when they get their monies.

 

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