Yes we see them poppin’ bottles and making it rain in the clubs… but perception is everything! Only a few ballers are truly ballin’ and the rest… well… aren’t any different than your average Joe working at your local plant… living paycheck to paycheck. According to a news report from MSNBC… 20% of NFL Players are living paycheck to paycheck! And here is why…
“Though a lockout has been threatened for years — and despite an apparent rise in the number of football stars safeguarding their millions — roughly 380 of the NFL’s near 1,700 players still live paycheck to paycheck, according to financial experts familiar with the league.
“Therein lies the leverage these owners have to potentially use as an excuse to force the Players Association … to sneeze first,” said Reggie Wilkes, a 10-year NFL linebacker and now a financial adviser who preaches “lifestyle management” to more than 20 NFL clients. “If (union chief) DeMaurice Smith doesn’t have guys saving their money, it’s going to be difficult for them to withstand a potential lockout.”
There is a wide variation in NFL players’ salaries. The average player salary for the 2009-10 season using USA Today’s numbers is $1,870,998. But the number isn’t particularly meaningful since superstars can earn far more and second- or third-stringers far less. The league rookie minimum salary is $320,000.
Barring a late agreement between the union and owners, players could be locked out of NFL facilities as soon as Friday.
To bolster solidarity — and, as Scott says, to “protect the players from themselves” — the NFL Players Association has been urging its members to stockpile cash for two years. The association also withheld union dues and royalty checks to build an emergency fund that will pay members about $60,000 each over the course of next season if their game checks
Many players have, indeed, heeded the union’s warnings by hiring money managers, sticking to precise monthly budgets, living with roommates, and postponing big buys (new homes) — or even small ones (new neckties), said several NFL players and their accountants.
Perhaps it’s the fear of going months without pay, or maybe it’s the notoriously high bankruptcy rate among retired NFL players — estimated at nearly 80 percent by Sports Illustrated — but “athletes are really starting to buckle down a lot more than they did 10 years ago,” said Steve Piascik, president of Piascik & Associates, a Richmond, Va.-based tax adviser to about 65 NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball players.
“They are taking more responsibility,” said Piascik, who added 12 pro clients — most from the NFL — in just the past six weeks. “The rookies, especially, are more aware of the situation and they’re trying to protect themselves. Boom, they see (ex-NFL players) going through financial scandals and they’re going to make sure that doesn’t happen to them.”