Vince Young: Broke QB Should Serve as Lesson to Younger Players Around NFL
The quarterback was once thought of as a "can't-miss" prospect after leading the Texas Longhorns to a national championship in college. He was drafted with the No. 3 overall pick of the 2006 draft by the Tennessee Titans, earning a five-year, $58 million contract that guaranteed him $25.74 million (via ESPN).
Apparently, this was not enough.
After being cut as a backup quarterback for the Buffalo Bills this preseason, it was revealed that Young is broke, according to CBS News. When asked about his current finances, his attorney Trey Dolezal responded, "I would just say that Vince needs a job."
When dissecting Young's habits from earlier in his career, it is easy to understand how he lost his fortune.
Clay Travis of OutkicktheCoverage.com highlighted a couple of stories about the football player that detail his expensive lifestyle. Young used to spend $5,000 per week at Cheesecake Factory and once spent $6,000 at a T.G.I. Friday's. At one point, he purchased 120 seats on a Southwest flight.
Even with a multimillion-dollar salary, these types of expenses add up.
This is the sort of thing that young players need to understand—there is no such thing as an unlimited amount of money. Regardless of how good a player thinks he is, his income is certain to run out eventually.
Young earned the Rookie of the Year award in 2006 after taking over an 0-3 team and leading it to an 8-8 record. He was selected to the Pro Bowl that season and brought his team to the playoffs one year later. Unfortunately, he made only 22 more starts over the next four years, as his career has come to a screeching halt.
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It shows that careers can change instantly. Businessweek.com lists the average career of an NFL player at three and a half years. Too many rookies think that the ride will never end, when in fact the end may come very quickly.
There is a long list of players who have gone broke after making millions in football. From Lawrence Taylor to Deuce McAllister to Dick Lane, it is obvious that this is not a new occurrence. The unbelievable thing is that it continues to happen.
It makes sense that players want to go crazy with their first paycheck when they become a professional. Unfortunately, this leads not only to financial trouble, but problems with the law as well.
This season, the Dallas Cowboys set a bunch of rules for star wide receiver Dez Bryant to keep him out of trouble, according to Calvin Watkins of ESPN. These include an alcohol ban, a midnight curfew and a team security guard that must stay with the receiver at all times.
While this could be considered invasive, it is likely the best way for the Cowboys to protect their investment on the field. Just as important, it will be the best thing for Bryant in the long run.
Teams should create a similar situation around players that do not know how to handle their money. It would be difficult for the young men to agree to it, but it seems the rookie orientations are just not getting through to them.
The athletes of this caliber are playing a game for amounts of money that almost anyone else in the world would struggle to even dream about. Still, bad decisions cause that money to disappear faster than Usain Bolt out of the starting blocks.
It is about time these men start taking responsibility and better care of themselves. "Making it rain" does not last forever.
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