Superbowl Special: NFL Players Gone Broke

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 11:34am by

Steve Young, the NFL needs you back.

Not so much on the Gridiron per se, though your legacy as a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers will long be revered in the annals of football history, but as the voice of financial reason for dozens of players who can’t seem to manage their millions.

Indeed, Young, who earned his law degree between seasons during the 1990s and now serves as managing partner of a Utah-based venture-capital firm, is a rare example of post-career success.

Despite their median $900,000 annual salaries, a surprising number of NFL players (some estimate up to 80 percent) squander their fortunes in the years immediately following their retirement.

In 2010 alone, former Pittsburgh Steeler lineman Dermontti Dawson joined New York Jets backup QB Mark Brunell, who is still on the field, in bankruptcy court.

But they are hardly alone. The NFL is replete with tales of financial fumbles.

In most cases, the players made bad investment choices, spent frivolously, fell victim to predatory advisors or assigned their less-than-qualified friends or family to handle their affairs.

Some also blame their risk-taking DNA, which is an asset on the field, but a liability when it comes to managing money.

But Susan Bradley, a certified financial planner and founder of the Sudden Money Institute, who works with the NFL to develop life training skills, says it’s a fate that would befall most anyone forced to manage overnight wealth.

“Do they have a problem managing money in their professional career? Sure, you would too,” she says, noting players have a narrow window of opportunity (usually just a few years) to earn enough to last a lifetime.

They also face significant pressure to lead a luxury lifestyle and have virtually no free time to focus on finances with the rigorous demands of professional sports.

Too true. But it’s a challenge most of us would love to tackle.

By Shelly K. Schwartz, Special for

So this year, if Superbowl Sunday finds you facing financial problems you need to tackle, you’ll need a reliable Kansas City bankruptcy attorney who can help you execute a winning gameplan. The Sader Law Firm has more than 30 years of combined experience in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. Contact an attorney at The Sader Law Firm today for a free consultation at (816) 561 1818 to find out whether you qualify for bankruptcy and to learn more about the options available to you.

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