In a new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), researchers found that roughly 1 in 6 NFL players file bankruptcy within a dozen years of retirement. Interestingly, researchers found that the length of a player’s career and the amount of money he earned had little impact on whether he would file bankruptcy. The great football stars were as likely to file as the players who spent their careers on the bench.
Several high profile bankruptcy filings in recent years brought this subject to the public’s attention. Warren Sapp, the Hall of Fame defensive tackle, filed for bankruptcy in 2012. Sapp made more than $50 million dollars throughout his career, and filed bankruptcy less than five years after he played his last game. Players Vince Young, Andre Rison, and Mark Brunell also filed bankruptcy in recent years.
The researchers also found that while NFL players generally have career earnings of millions of dollars (the average yearly salary is $1.9 million dollars), they are about as likely as other people the same age to file bankruptcy. 1.1 percent of former NFL players file bankruptcy each year, which is about the same rate as the rest of the population files.
Though NFL players make much more money than the average person, they also have a unique set of challenges. While the average worker’s salary will slowly rise and then fall, a professional football player receives a large amount of money in a very short time. It is hard for many players to have the forethought to save enough money. Some players are taken advantage of financially, or just don’t have the knowledge and skills to effectively manage their finances.
No matter how much money you earn or what set of problems you are facing, if you are getting behind on your bills or getting calls from creditors, please contact one of our offices. One of our experienced attorneys would be happy to meet with you for a free consultation to discuss your personal situation.
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