18 NFL Stars Who Went Broke

Being a superstar football player is no guarantee of success in life. Yes, these players can make millions while they’re at the top of their game, but money management isn’t always their strong point. It doesn’t help that the average NFL career only lasts about three or four years. It’s a whirlwind tour to the top and it can be just as quick of a journey to the bottom for a lot of players. Here’s a look at twelve famous football players that went broke not long after their playing careers had ended. Some of these might surprise you.

Tiki Barber

This guy seemed to have it all, even after his retirement from the NFL. He’s photogenic and well-spoken, which helped him land a cushy analyst role on NBC sports football broadcasts, but he didn’t hold onto the job for long. After leaving his pregnant wife for an NBC intern, he was fired by the network for violating a morality clause in his contract.

Barber now claims he’s broke and can’t pay alimony or his divorce settlement. Apparently no one told him that how you conduct yourself in your personal life can actually affect your professional development as well. Somehow, it’s hard to feel sorry for a guy that leaves a pregnant wife all alone.



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Warren Sapp

Known for his punishing tackles and total domination on the field, Warren Sapp hasn’t had nearly as much success off of it. He’s been involved in a series of failed ventures, in particular a real estate venture to construct low income housing in Florida. When the bottom fell out of the real estate market in 2008, Sapp’s troubles really began. He soon faced having his wages garnished, and eventually had to declare bankruptcy. He went from a dominating force of nature on the field to a humble failure off of it, and his post-NFL troubles aren’t over – in April 2015, he was charged with domestic battery for assaulting his girlfriend in a hotel in Nevada. You have to wonder how much worse things can get for him, but some people never seem to learn their lesson.




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Lawrence Taylor

There are few athletes in sport that boast an on-field resume as impressive as Lawrence Taylor’s – at his peak, he was simply one of the best in the game, but he was never much of a success off of it. Even while he was controlling football games in the early ‘90s, his personal life was a shambles. Taylor was busted on numerous occasions for cocaine use while he was still an active player in the NFL, and his continued cocaine use after his retirement eventually led him to the poorhouse. To top it all off, in 2000, he was found guilty of tax evasion, proving he could actually sink even further.


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