Now this is frightening – the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement hasn’t been resolved yet, and it doesn’t look likely that it will be soon. The NFL Players Association has been encouraging players to hoard cash, enough for at least two years. With the average player salary at $1.8 million, and a rookie’s starting salary of $320,000, this doesn’t seem like it would be difficult to achieve – but apparently, it is. Most players didn’t grow up with much, and once they make it, they want it all.
A surprising 20% of NFL players file bankruptcy. “Perhaps it’s the fear of going months without pay, or maybe it’s the notoriously high bankruptcy rate among retired NFL players — estimated at nearly 80 percent by Sports Illustrated — but “athletes are really starting to buckle down a lot more than they did 10 years ago,” said Steve Piascik, president of Piascik & Associates, a Richmond, Va.-based tax adviser to about 65 NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball players.
“They are taking more responsibility,” said Piascik, who added 12 pro clients — most from the NFL — in just the past six weeks. “The rookies, especially, are more aware of the situation and they’re trying to protect themselves. Boom, they see (ex-NFL players) going through financial scandals and they’re going to make sure that doesn’t happen to them.”