Friday, July 30, 2010

Football Players Deserve Every Penny They Can Get!

There was an interesting article in USA Today about the financial woes of football players.  Generally speaking, people have a certain stereotype about what life is like as a pro athlete.  They live a rock star lifestyle that most of us wish we could have, while playing a kid's game.  Because of that, when most people hear pro athletes complaining about money and contracts, it garners very little sympathy from Joe and Jane Sixpack.  However, if you really stop and think about it, football players aren't that well off.  Seriously.

The article states that the average NFL career is 3.5 years, and the average salary is $1.9 million a year.  Now $1.9 million a year might seem like a lot, but is it really?

Based upon these figures, the average NFL player will earn $6.65 million over the course of his career.  If we take 10% off the top for the player's agent, we are at $5.985 million, but let's call it $6 million just to keep it simple.  Now let's say that the average player is going to live about 60 years from the time he enters to the NFL until his death.  That means that this $6 million has to support the player for 60 years.  Assuming that the money is invested at a rate that just keeps pace with inflation, the player will have about $100,000 per year in today's dollars for living expenses, before taxes of course.  $100,000 is still pretty good by middle class standards, but it isn't the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle that you think of when you think of a pro athlete.

Yes, there are exceptions.  The real superstars will make millions upon millions over the course of their career and they really will be living the high life for the rest of their lives.  However, for every Peyton Manning with a signing bonus there are 10 third string special teamers who will get a couple of paychecks and then fade away into relative poverty by the standards of our pro athlete stereotype.

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