It’s an uncommon and unfortunate situation that occurs more often than not. Many former athletes who once raked in millions are now broke. According to an article from Sports Illustrated, an overwhelming estimate of almost 80% of NFL players file for bankruptcy or end up “under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce.”
NFL Athletes Who Have Gone Broke
There are many examples of beloved NFL players that are no longer in the same financial predicament they once were. For instance, embattled entertainer O. J. Simpson was once on top of the world when he played for the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers. Simpson was the first player to receive a hefty salary for his contract in 1969. He also had many endorsement deals, including with Hertz, and starred in films such as The Naked Gun franchise and No Place To Hide.
But legal troubles were soon to follow. O. J. Simpson had a sizeable monthly child support payment and a huge divorce settlement that he was ordered to pay. Soon, America’s one-time favorite ultimately became public enemy #1. Simpson became the number-one suspect in the death of his ex-wife and her friend. The years to follow would prove to be increasingly challenging for the ex-athlete, ultimately landing in prison for a 2007 Las Vegas robbery.
Former Baltimore Ravens star Chris McAlister once rode the high waves of the NFL as a cornerback. In 1999, he was the first-round pick. Then, in 2004, McAlister re-signed a contract with the Ravens worth $55 million for 7 years.
But Chris McAlister’s career took a turn that led him to retire. Two years later, a report from TMZ surfaced, which obtained court documents in a child support case with his ex-wife. While attempting to lower his $11K monthly child support, documents stated that he’d been unemployed since leaving the league and relocated to his parents’ house. There is one unique former NFL star who, despite his financial issues, made a vow to never go broke. That athlete is Chad Johnson.
Chad Johnson Signed To Cincinnati Bengals In 2001
Six-time Pro-Bowler Chad Johnson started in the NFL in 2001 as a wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals. The colorful athlete entertained and titillated fans onscreen and in the stadiums with his record-breaking plays. Sportsrac reports that the athlete formerly known as “Ochocinco” amassed close to $49 million in his 11-season NFL run. Football wasn’t the only thing keeping him afloat. Chad Johnson became one of the contestants on Dancing With The Stars in 2010, landing in the final four before being eliminated. He also guest-hosted WWE RAW in 2010 and was the star of his own VH1 dating show, Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch.
Chad Johnson Slept In a Stadium First Two Years Of His Career
Fans were surprised to hear that the athlete lived in the Bengals stadium for his first two years on the team. While being a guest on the Full Send Podcast, Chad Johnson shared that his reason for doing so was simply because he “didn’t want to spend any money.”
During that time, Johnson utilized the stadium’s food and amenities while being right where his job was. So for the former player, he didn’t see a need to find a house. But he admitted to the podcast hosts that when it came to his sexual activities, he wouldn’t do them at the stadium. However, Chad Johnson claims he never paid for the hotel rooms. Instead, the women would fit the bill.
Chad Johnson Has Been Broke Since 1978
Chad Johnson adopts the mindset that he’s been broke since the year he was born (1978). The athlete explained in an interview with Graham Bensinger that players aren’t the ones making money. Instead, it’s the “people signing the checks” that are.
He also admits that he’s incredibly “cheap.” With no shame in his game, Chad Johnson confesses that he flaunts fake jewelry. And although he’s owned dozens of exotic cars, those were purchased with “tv money.” The athlete is also known to drive a SmartCar, which he often shows off on social media.
In 2008 Reebok Required Chad Johnson to Pay Them $4 Million.
Although Johnson has been cheap, he has had his fair share of financial issues. For example, after legally changing his name to “Ochocinco,” he would have had to cough up the retail price to Reebok to buy back each jersey with the name “C. Johnson.” Reports stated that the estimated value could have cost him almost $5 million.
Due to financial issues, multiple attempts to legally change his name back to Chad Johnson went unsuccessful. But he was able to retrieve his name in 2012. Also, in 2017, Johnson suffered from foreclosure on one of his properties after defaulting on a loan. According to Bossip, the Miami Gardens home was reportedly purchased for one of his children’s mothers. However, it was later auctioned to the highest bidder at just $100.