It’s a recurring theme for NFL players like Clinton Portis. At one point they’re on top of the sporting world, considered among the best to have played the sport. And then, years after they retire, fans are shocked to learn the millions of dollars these men made during their careers no longer exist.
USA Today wrote that 34-year-old Portis, who retired from the NFL in 2012, currently has $13.29 million in assets. However, “$10 million of that should have an asterisk.”
Despite making more than $40 million, Clinton Portis is now broke! pic.twitter.com/OP26OUVGni
— BookieInsiders USA (@BookieInsiderUS) December 19, 2015
The reality is that Portis simply does not have the millions of dollars he needs to pay off various creditors. This total reportedly includes a $500,000 debt he owes to his own mother, Rhonnel Hearn.
Deadspin went through court documents related to Portis’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, and including money owed to his mom, these are his “most notable” debts: $1,223,020 owed in mortgage deficiencies, $500,000 to an ET correspondent (Nischelle Turner), $412,000 to four different women for “domestic support”, and $457,178.56 combined owed to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and Borgata Casino in Atlantic City.
There’s also the matter of $390,000 or so owed in back taxes to the IRS. Clinton is actively disputing this amount.
Looking over the list and examining this situation paints a rather disturbing picture. Exactly how does a man who reportedly made $43 million during his nine-season career with the Washington Redskins end up flat broke barely three years after retiring?
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) December 18, 2015
The explanation is actually a rather simple one. Consider that Clinton Portis is someone who went from earning barely anything to being a millionaire rather quickly, a man who was suddenly getting paid millions of dollars per year. It’s apparent that his instinct was to begin to live a more flashy “baller” lifestyle, one filled with expensive cars (Portis reportedly also owes $175,000 for “BMW, Audi and Dodge automobiles”) and women (again, $412,000 owed to four different women).
USA Today wrote that this was a case of “extravagant living that couldn’t be curtailed once the big game checks stopped.” There’s evidence to support this claim. Clinton Portis has a current monthly income of $7,500. This means he would have a yearly income of $90,000. To go from making a few million per year to just shy of a six-figure-a-year income would require a drastic adjustment.
Portis currently spends $12,800 per month — or $153,600 per year. Case closed, right? Well not exactly. That doesn’t change the fact that Clinton Portis earned roughly $43 million during his career. Most of that money vanished, but it wasn’t entirely due to extravagant living.
— Complex Sports (@Complex_Sports) December 18, 2015
$10 million of Clinton Portis’s money went down the drain with bad investments. The retired athlete sank $8 million into a “failed casino venture.” He also lost $2 million to Jade Private Wealth Management. The company, which USA Today writes is now defunct, talked NFL players like Portis into dumping millions of dollars into what the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) later identified as a “Ponzi Scheme.”
So in actuality, there are two very simple and not at all surprising explanations for where Clinton Portis now stands: He gambled and partied away one portion of his money, and lost another share to bad financial advice. All of it can be blamed on a misunderstanding of how one’s wealth should be managed and preserved.
Clinton Portis wasn’t prepared for this reality when he was released by the Redskins in 2011, or when he retired in 2012. He admits that his financial troubles started at around that time.
“This been ongoing since 2011, 2012… we just gotta go through the court process. There’s nothing else I can do. My lawyers are currently dealing with this.”
Do you think the NFL should provide “intro” and “outro” counseling to its athletes on how to better manage their wealth, or should young athletes be solely responsible for their wealth management? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
[AP Photo/Richard Lipski]