You Might Be Surprised to Learn How Often NFL Players File for Bankruptcy

Given that the average professional football player makes $1.9 million per year, it may come as a shock that a whopping 16 percent of NFL players file for bankruptcy within 12 years of retirement. But the reason for this is simple – athletes have a much different set of challenges than the average worker.


For example, many NFL players retire young. Players generally hit their peak lifetime earning amounts early, usually right out of college. Once retired from the NFL, it is unlikely that these players will ever earn money in the same capacity again. This is in vast contrast to the majority of Americans, where women’s peak earnings tend to rise until age 39 and men’s peak at 48. Athletes have a much shorter peak earning period than any other profession.

Regardless of this, though, financial experts tend to blame athlete bankruptcy, like many other bankruptcies, on poor money management.

NFL agent Leigh Steinberg points out that one of the most common big mistakes young NFL players make is hiring a family member or friend to manage their finances. This kind of nepotism can easily backfire, because often the friend or family member is not an expert in finances.

Additionally, the youth of these players can lead to problems with money management; according to a study by ING Direct, 87 percent of today’s teenagers claim to know nothing about personal finance. Once these young people reach college age and become involved in sports, they often lack the time or desire to understand and monitor their financial situations.

If you are struggling with your finances, filing for bankruptcy might be the best way to get back on your feet. A skilled bankruptcy attorney can discuss your bankruptcy options.

Judd Law Firm D.C. Bankruptcy Attorneys