NFL quarterback Mark Brunell has played 18-years in the NFL and has made over $50m. Yet he is bankrupt. Brunell’s financial situation is so bad, that when he retires at the end of this season, he will go to work as a medical sales representative.
So how did Brunell get into such financial difficulties? Bad investment decisions and I don’t mean stocks and bonds either. Brunell invested his money into nine businesses, of which at least five have already gone out of business.
His worst investment decision was probably Champion LLC, a company that invested in high-end real estate properties. That cratering if the housing market killed that company. Brunell also invested in a Whataburger fast-food franchise, and ended up losing every penny he invested and even more according to financial documents. Brunell attempted to cover the loans with his own cash.
And to top it all off, Brunell is currently facing six lawsuits and is on the hook for $24.7 million, according to the litigation.
Brunell’s financial disaster is not a surprise to Ken Rutgers, a former Green Bay Packer who helps athletes transition to life after football.
“When you think about what they do for a living, and the risk that they take on their body and their lives to go out and play the game, they’re more inclined to want to agree to the most high risk type of investments out there,” Rutgers tells WAWS. “And so the consequences of that, when they’re wrong, can be very debilitating.”
Rutgers says within two years after retirement, nearly 80 percent of NFL players are either divorced, unemployed or bankrupt. Which is an incredible number.