What these former NFLers chose as a second career
(MoneyWatch) Linebacker Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens may be a divisive figure this week, but one thing is certain about his legacy: He'll play his last NFL game this Sunday at the Super Bowl. Many before him have spent their early retirement keeping busy (and making money) by commenting on the game they once played. Others have struggled to save their wealth for rainy days and end up bankrupt like former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Warren Sapp.
But some former players find success in areas seemingly unrelated to their pigskin pasts, including the following:
Restauranteur. A number of NFL greats, such as Lee Roy Selmon, have opened sports bars over the years with their names attached to them. But some NFL players-turned restaurant mavens have eschewed burgers and beers for more "outside the gridiron" choices. For example, in 2009 New England Patriot Matt Chatham hung up his cleats and picked up the books to complete an MBA at Babson College, then opened a creperie chain, Skycrepers. Those with a Super Bowl-sized hunger should try the 3-Ring Wing, which comes stuffed with buffalo chicken, provolone and blue cheese dressing.
- Olympian Jennie Finch on life after winning gold
- What famous celebrities studied in college
- Where are these U.S. Olympians now?
Politician. Whether it's the firm handshakes or the ability to work with teammates, politics is a popular second career choice for many NFL retirees. Some, like Minnesota Viking Alan Page, go from NFL stardom -- 1971 NFL MVP award, nine-time Pro Bowl selection, six-time NFL All-Pro and Hall of Famer -- to prestigious political posts. After becoming a successful lawyer, he served as assistant attorney general and now sits as a judge on the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Others saw success off the field that surpassed anything they ever achieved during a game. For instance, Heath Shuler was a first-round draft pick in 1994, but struggled to live up to his potential as a Washington Redskin and was injury-prone after being traded to the New Orleans Saints. Shuler returned to the public eye triumphant after being elected to the House of Representatives in 2007; recently he stepped down and accepted a lobbying position with Duke Energy.
Money manager. Eugene Profit's first major life move was to Yale University, a long way from his native South Central Los Angeles. After his Ivy League education, he went on to play for the New England Patriots in the 1980s and later with the Washington Redskins. After the final whistle blew on his NFL career, in 1996 he founded the Profit Investment Management. The financial advisory firm now oversees approximately $2 billion in assets.
Other NFL players, such as Super Bowl champion Ken Dilger, have achieved more modest accomplishments in the financial arena. Dilger works as a branch manager at Cross Country Mortgage in Indianapolis, where he once played for the Colts. Profit might have a little more in the bank, but Dilger's second career is a lot more of a win than the estimated 78 percent of NFL players who end up with next to nothing.
Popular on MoneyWatch
- Amy's Baking Company could face legal 'nightmare'
- Reverse cell phone lookup service is free and simple
- Forbes names most powerful women 2013 10 Photos
- Student loan defaults rising despite a way out
- Rent the cake? Unusual tips to cut your wedding bill
- Amy's Baking Company: Post-meltdown PR campaign
- Top 10 professional life coaching myths
- 4 Things Not to Buy at Costco