10 Gaudiest Post-Payday Purchases in NFL History
Famous athletes and superstars may come across as obnoxious when they spend their earnings on superfluous items like jewelry and fancy cars, but with several million dollars to spend before being able to legally rent a car, even the most reserved would be tempted to have a little fun with their money.
In addition, many of these athletes come from inner cities and low-income families. Earning several million dollars so quickly can be overwhelming and drive players to spend with reckless abandon.
Here are some of the most gaudy post-payday purchases in NFL history.
DeSean Jackson's "Necklace"
At one point, I almost felt bad for DeSean Jackson.
After getting hit with the franchise tag in early March, Jackson was just one devastating hit away from missing out on a paycheck that would change his life. He could buy his mom a house, send his future kids to college and be financially set for decades.
As it turns out, despite a disappointing 2011 campaign, the Eagles gave him the benefit of the doubt and signed him to a five-year, $47 million deal.
Then, he bought that "necklace."
Now, I understand that these young guys are going to keep some money out of the piggy bank and get themselves something nice. But that thing wrapped around DeSean's neck is hard to justify.
If the necklace was about one-16th of that size, I could appreciate it. It is a nice design with his number 10 and the old Eagles logo.
Unfortunately, someone apparently forgot to tell DeSean that the the whole "big numbers around your neck" thing has already been done before.
Nate Clements' Camaro
This is one of my favorite splurges on the list.
After Clements became the highest-paid defender in NFL history in 2007 with an eight-year, $80 million contract with the 49ers, he found himself with some extra change to throw around.
Nate spent a considerable amount of dough on this slick-looking Camaro with Asanti rims and tinted windows.
Clements never did live up to his massive contract and wound up being released by the 49ers before finding his way on to the Bengals roster. After all, $80 million contracts are reserved for lockdown corners, and apparently, inscribing the word "lockdown" in a head rest is not enough to earn such a status, as Clements learned firsthand.
It sure is interesting, however, how he gave the car a red outline on the rims, hood and interior. I guess he wanted to remind himself of how he robbed the 49ers blind.
Devin Hester's "Donk"
After inking a four-year extension with the Bears back in 2008, Hester decided to make good use of his $15 million in guaranteed money.
Personally, it's not my kind of ride. But I would love to see Hester take a ride through New Jersey and get his gas filled by an attendant just to see the look on his or her face.
JaMarcus Russell's "Alternate Uniform"
You know, it would be easy to make fun of JaMarcus for spending so much money on a necklace that is a replica of his jersey, but I won't.
Instead, I look at this as a symbol of team spirit. Maybe this is JaMarcus' way of saying how dedicated he is to football. If he never cared about the fate of the Raiders, why would he subject himself to spending such an obnoxious amount money on a ugly piece of neckwear? Because he cares, that's why!
With a piece of ice that big, Russell could have some serious neck problems down the line. That's what I call dedication.
Chad Ochocinco's "Birthday Present"
Technically, this particular purchase from the NFL's favorite personality is not from a big payday, but I feel obligated to put this on the list.
For his birthday, Chad bought himself a truck-like machine of sorts.
This thing is almost so ugly and outrageous that it's beautiful, if that makes any sense.
Then again, is there anything that Chad Ochocinco does that makes sense?
Darren McFadden's Hologram Chain
Raiders running back and Arkansas alum Darren McFadden apparently had a blast in college.
In fact, he had so much fun playing for the Razorbacks that he blew $90,000 on a hologram chain. The chain morphs between the Razorback logo and the number 20, his number on the Raiders.
While that is a hefty chunk of change to be spending on a chain, at least it is modest enough to be worn in public and pays homage to his alma mater.
Darnell Dockett's Alligator
Imagine yourself having to block a 300-pound NFL defensive tackle. Frightening, right?
Now, imagine yourself trying to block a 300-pound NFL defensive tackle with a pet alligator.
Face it, you probably don't want to get in the way of people with pet alligators, especially if they happen to be professional football players. If you ask me, it just sounds like Dockett is looking for ways to get a mental edge on opponents.
I really can't figure out any other reason to own a pet alligator.
Michael Vick's Ride to Prison
I have never been to prison, but I have gotten a parking ticket. When the officer gave me the ticket, the last thing on my mind was what kind of ride I would be rolling up in on the way to the municipal building to pay my $25 fee.
If I had a few hours of freedom just before being locked up for a year-and-a-half, I would probably have spent it with family and friends. Vick chose to spend it with a rich car dealer.
It must have been an awkward sales pitch.
Chad Ochocinco's Fish Bed
It is only fitting that Chad finds his way onto this list more than once.
After signing with the Patriots, he treated himself to a new headboard, presumably to remind himself of who his new divisional rivals are.
Assuming that you don't have an inherent feat of drowning, waking up surrounded by a coral sea of fish sounds like a serene way to start the day.
Joe Namath's Fur Coat
There are not many older entries on this list simply because retired NFL players did not make the kind of money that gridiron stars do today.
Leave it to "Broadway Joe" to buck the trend.
Namath was famous for wearing a fur coat on the sidelines, making him stick out like a sore thumb when sitting among his teammates.
Not only was it a fashionable gesture from the diva quarterback, but it was also practical in keeping himself warm while his teammates shivered on the sidelines.