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The 20 Wealthiest NFL Players of All Time

The 20 Wealthiest NFL Players of All Time


Across the board, NFL players get the short end of the stick when it comes to being paid for their unreal athletic ability and performances. Their contracts are largely unguaranteed, their career windows are short — probably because playing in a football game, even at levels below the National Football League, is comparable to a car accident — and their endorsement opportunities are generally slim.

In fact, aside from the handful of guys who get corralled by reporters after the game and those that are just flat-out massive human beings, there’s a good chance that when most NFL players take off their pads, helmet, and jersey and slip out into the night, they will go unnoticed.

But some of them are able to bankroll their fame and (relative) fortune into more fortune, and sometimes even more fame. From licensing deals to owning franchises to eventually owning an NFL team, à la the late Al Davis, the money’s out there if the player is savvy enough to seek it. Here are 20 of the savviest NFL players, both past and present — the guys who have been able to take their athletic acumen and turn it into continued financial success.

  1. Drew Bledsoe

Drew Bledsoe

Net worth: $48 million

Although quarterback Drew Bledsoe was once a No. 1 overall pick (1993 NFL Draft), he’s probably most known for being the guy whose injury paved the way for Tom Brady to take over the reins for the New England Patriots. To our surprise, however, Bledsoe also managed to earn himself another title; that of one of the wealthiest football players in history.

Thanks to a 14-year NFL career that included four trips to the Pro Bowl, Bledsoe compiled a net worth of $48 million. Imagine what this figure might have been had he not lost his starting gig in New England.

  1. (tie) Vincent Jackson

Net worth: $50 million

Now entering his 12th season in the league, Vincent Jackson has already put together quite a career, one that includes over 500 receptions, nearly 9,000 receiving yards, and 57 touchdown catches. For these reasons, it was hardly a surprise when the Buccaneers gave him a five-year deal back in 2012, worth over $55 million.

It may seem strange to see that Jackson is worth $50 million, but he’s been paid quite handsomely for his time on the gridiron. Now 33 years old, let’s see how much longer he can keep it up.

  1. (tie) Larry Fitzgerald

Net worth: $50 million

With nine Pro Bowls and a First-Team All-Pro selection under his belt, Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has established himself as one of the top players in the history of the position. For his efforts on the field, as well commercial appearances and a one-time stint on the cover of Madden (2010), Fitzgerald has more than helped his current worth.

Another top-tier NFL wide receiver, another individual worth $50 million —  not bad.

  1. (tie) Jim Brown

Net worth: $50 million

In Jim Brown’s nine-year NFL career, he averaged 104.3 yards per game, ran for a total of 12,312 yards, and had 106 rushing todays. He made nine Pro Bowls, was an eight-time First-Team All-Pro, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971, and is considered by many to be the greatest running back who ever lived. And yet, when it comes to making money, Brown took his talents off the gridiron as well.

After calling it quits as a football player, Brown showed his chops as an actor, appearing in films such as Rio Conchos, The Dirty Dozen, and Any Given Sunday, while also proving his worth as a smart real estate investor. His estimated worth of $50 million is nice, but it’s the respect he gets from the greats that make him a legend.

  1. (tie) Gale Sayers

Net worth: $50 million

Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers was a four-time Pro Bowler and a five-time First-Team All-Pro selection who only needed “18 inches of daylight” to make something happen on the football field. But off the gridiron, Sayers was a gifted entrepreneur, actor, and screenwriter, whose book “I Am Third” was the inspiration for the film, Brian’s Song. Thanks for all the tears, Gale. Thanks for all the tears.

  1. (tie) Aeneas Williams

Net worth: $50 million

Eight Pro Bowls, three First-Team All-Pro selections, and locking down some of the best wide receivers in the game helped corner back Aeneas Williams earn a spot in Canton in 2014. Yet, much of his $50 million net worth can probably be attributed to the work he put in off the field.

Aside from being a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team, Williams is the founding pastor of Spirit of the Lord Family Church, located in St. Louis, Missouri. Clearly life after football has been good to Williams.

  1. (tie) Michael Strahan

Net worth: $55 million

We don’t care that former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan is 44 years old, we honestly believe he could put on the pads and suit up today. The man is in that good of shape. Of course, when you think about how successful he’s become off the field, you can’t help but ask yourself one simple question: why would he even want to?

Strahan crushes it on Fox NFL Sunday, he’ll soon be working full-time on Good Morning America, and he’s always showing up as a presenter of sorts. We’ve seen the smile of a man worth $55 million — and it comes with a a gap in the teeth.

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