Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

nfl draft

So, What Do NFL Rookies Spend All Their Money On?

Remember when you graduated from college and signed that seven-figure contract for your first job? Neither do we. However, unlike the rest of us, NFL rookies cash in on mind-blowing bonuses and paychecks before they've played a single down. Leading up to the 2010 NFL Draft at the Verizon/NFL Draft Eve party at Abe & Arthur's, we asked former and current players about how they splurged once they made it to the pros.

A number of them invested in the people who had raised them, including jack-of-all-trades (and current NFL Network personality) Deion Sanders. "When I was 7, I told my mama I was going to make a lot of money and she was never going to have to work another day in her life," he says. Right after the Atlanta Falcons signed him to a $4.4 million, four-year contract, Sanders says, "Mama got a million-dollar crib, a Mercedes Benz, and the rest is history."

Retired San Francisco 49er Jerry Rice also bought his parents a house in their hometown of Starkville, Mississippi. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is playing it a little more conservative, despite his five-year, $50 million deal. "I still haven't bought a house or a car," he admits. "I just got a fishing boat for my dad. For my mom it's a massage here and there, a salon day with her girlfriends — she's easy."

Before he bought himself a burgundy Cadillac Escalade, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis used part of his six-year, $36 million contract to "make sure my mom was okay. I bought her a new house and a new Mercedes Benz truck. She's riding it until the wheels fall off."

Other players rewarded themselves for their dedication and hard work. Former Buffalo Bill and current co-host of ABC's Winner's Bracket Marcellus Wiley remembers, "Marv Levy called me on draft day (in 1997) and said, 'How'd you like to be a Bill?' I said, 'As long as you pay the bills, let's do this!'" Wiley used his $600,000 signing bonus to purchase "a 1998 Ford Expedition. I was riding down the block, Buffalo Bills flags in the window, bossing because I was richer than everybody else!" Dolphins Hall of Famer Dan Marino didn't need a flashy set of wheels, because he had just won some as the MVP of the Senior Bowl. So when the 22-year-old from Pittsburgh arrived in Miami with a four-year, $2 million deal, he "bought an apartment on the beach and the biggest stereo system I could."

Though his football career helped set him up for a financially sweet life, Rice is amazed at the size of the contracts this year. "The amount of money I got then compared to now is crazy," he says. "The No. 1 draft choice is probably going to be around that $46 million range just to sign his name." In comparison, how much was Rice's signing bonus as the sixteenth pick in the 1985 draft? A paltry $525,000.

0
Photo: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images