Ask the Expert: On players, Agents and financial pitfalls

by Gary Shelton on June 17, 2015 · 1 comment

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Wednesday, 10:17 a.m.

Jerry Angelo is a former personnel director for the Bucs and former general manager of the Bears. Each week, Angelo answers your questions regarding the NFL. Send your questions to with "ask the expert'' in the subject line. The most interesting question will be selected.

That 78 percent of NFL players are broke shortly after retirement is a travesty. The parasitic player agents that are sucking out their 3 percent never go bankrupt, do they? Exactly what do they do for that 3 percent? I understand that ultimately, the players are responsible for their money and certainly some would go bankrupt no matter what. But with the right guidance and caring from the agents, many of these players could be financially sound when they leave the game.

And the leagues could help by requiring personal finances training for the players. Or the colleges (or NCAA), for which the players made lots of money when they played there, could provide financial planners, etc. That would almost certainly be a win-win situation, because if the player is financially successful for the long haul, he has a high likelihood of being a generous alumni donor many years from now.

— Scott Myers

Scott, you are a little misguided on this matter. The good agent,  and most are, who make their living representing players earn their 3 percent. They do a lot of things for their clients that

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

scott myers June 18, 2015 at 9:24 am

Hi Jerry,

Thank you for educating me on agents vs financial planners and the influence that players’ families have on the situation. That certainly helps me to better understand this travesty.

Nevertheless, if an NFL player lasts 4 years, he earns a minimum of about $2.2 million. To add some personal context, looking back at my brief 44 year career in engineering and IT, adjusting for inflation, I had not earned $2.2 million until 21 years had passed. That 78% of these folks, many who made much more than $2.2 million, squander this huge head-start to financial security, is very sad.

I wonder if it gets hammered home enough that virtually all of these players will never make this kind of money in their post NFL careers. The high-cost lifestyles that many immediately assume are obviously not sustainable. The quicker the rise, the harder the fall.


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