NFL Stars Who Prove Long-Lasting Love Is Just A Touchdown Away

Athletes | 1/19/21

With their busy training schedules and hectic on-the-road games, it’s hard to imagine professional football players and even some of the coaches having long-term relationships. Well, the tabloids don’t get everything right (or anything).

When it comes to ever-lasting love, former payers like Joe Montana and his wife make it work, while quarterback Patrick Mahomes proves that some highschool romances are made to last. Keep going to learn which NFL stars are winning the long game on and off the field.

J.J. Watt And Kealia Ohai — Together Since 2016

J.J. Watt And Kealia Ohai -- Together Since 2016
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Power couple J.J. Watt and Kealia Ohai have been together since 2016. Now, this is one couple whose athletic abilities aren’t fair. While Watt is a three-time AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award, Ohai is a professional soccer player, playing for the Chicago Red Stars since 2020.

These two aren’t afraid to flaunt their love, posting pictures of their vacations together. It was only a matter of time before they tied the knot, which they did in February of 2020.

Zach Ertz And Julie Ertz — Married Since 2017

Zach Ertz And Julie Ertz -- Married Since 2017
Allen Berezovsky/FilmMagic
Allen Berezovsky/FilmMagic

Zach and Julie Ertz, aka one of the biggest power couples in sports, have been together since they were collegiate athletes playing their respective sports at Stanford University. There, Julie played for the woman’s soccer team while Zach played football.

Ironically, their friendship began as mutual respect for one another’s athletic ability on the field, something that led them both to professional careers. But that respect soon turned into a romantic relationship, and the two were wed in 2017.

Joe Montana And Jennifer Wallace — Married Since 1985

Joe Montana And Jennifer Wallace -- Married Since 1985
Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images
Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images

Also known as “The Comeback Kid,” former NFL quarterback Joe Montana had quite a life in the league. Having won four Super Bowls, three MVP awards, as well as Sportsman of the Year in the latter year, it’s safe to say Montana made the most of his 16 seasons in the league.

But arguably, one of the highlights of his time was meeting his future wife, Jennifer Wallace, while working on a Schick razor commercial together. They wed in 1985 and have four children together.

Osi Umenyiora And Leila Lopes — Together Since 2012

Osi Umenyiora And Leila Lopes
Karwai Tang/WireImage
Karwai Tang/WireImage

As a two-time Super Bowl champion, it’s ironic that former defensive end Osi Umenyiora had never heard of American football until he was around 14-years-old when he moved from Nigeria to the States.

As it turned out, it was a great move not only for his career but his love life, too. During Fashion Week in 2012, Umenyiora met Leila Lopes, immediately hitting it off. A year later, he popped the question. The two married in 2015 and have one child together.

Peyton Manning And Ashley Manning — Married Since 2001

GettyImages-75366814
Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

After playing in the NFL for 18 seasons, former quarterback Peyton Manning decided to hang up his jersey in 2016, much to football fans’ displeasure. But after one Super Bowl win, 14 Pro Bowl appearances, and winning five AP MVP awards, it was time.

But if there is one person who helped him during his long years in the NFL, it’s his wife, Ashley. Together since 2001, the couple was introduced the summer before Manning left for college. Now, they have twins.

Tom Brady And Gisele Bündchen — Married Since 2009

Tom Brady And Gisele Bündchen -- Married Since 2009
Kevin Mazur/MG19/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue
Kevin Mazur/MG19/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady has been in the NFL for over 20 years. Spending most of his time as the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots, Brady is wildly considered one of the greatest QB’s to ever come through the league.

But what’s fame when you have no one to share it with? That’s where former model Gisele Bündchen comes in. The two met in 2006, nurturing their relationship for a few years before tying the knot in 2009.

Howie Long And Diane Addonizio — Married Since 1982

Howie Long And Diane Addonizio
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Friars Club
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Friars Club

Former defensive end Howie Long spent 16 seasons in the NFL, all of which he spent part of the Raiders franchise in both Oakland, California, and Los Angeles. During his time in the league, Long appeared in eight Pro Bowls and helped the Raiders win the Championship title in 1984.

A few years before that Super Bowl, Long met his future wife, Diane Addonizio; the two were attending Villanova. They wed in 1982 and have been happily married with three sons.

Patrick Mahomes And Brittany Matthews — Together Since 2013

Patrick Mahomes And Brittany Matthews -- Together Since 2013
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Leigh Steinberg
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Leigh Steinberg

It’s not entirely clear when Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes and his fiancé Brittany Matthews officially got together. But one thing is clear; the two met while attending Whitehouse High School in East Texas. And, obviously, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback is smitten.

The two continued dating after high school, even though they enrolled in different colleges. But that didn’t stop these high school sweethearts from staying together for the long run. In September 2020, the same day Mahomes received his Super Bowl ring, he proposed.

Russell Wilson And Ciara — Married Since 2016

Russell Wilson And Ciara -- Married Since 2016
Paras Griffin/WireImage
Paras Griffin/WireImage

After a year of dating, Seattle Seahawk’s starting quarterback Russell Wilson married R&B singer Ciara back in 2016. A low-key wedding wasn’t in the cards for these two superstars. Instead, they were married at a castle.

But when they aren’t in England being married at an extravagant castle, Russell is busy helping bring another Super Bowl win to the state of Washington while Ciara cheers from the sidelines. In 2020, the two announced they were expecting their second child.

A.J. Feeley And Heather Mitts — Married Since 2010

A.J. Feeley And Heather Mitts -- Married Since 2010
Robin Marchant/Getty Images for ESPN
Robin Marchant/Getty Images for ESPN

Apparently, some professional athletes gravitate towards one another. In this case, it’s former NFL quarterback A.J. Feeley and professional soccer player and three-time Olympic gold medalist Heather Mitts.

The two met while each of their respective roommates at the time was dating. During an interview, Mitts say their initial meeting was actually king of funny, considering she had no interest in dating another athlete, let alone a football player. Well, they hit it off and were married in 2010.

Eric Decker And Jessie James Decker — Married Since 2013

Eric Decker And Jessie James Decker
John Lamparski/Getty Images
John Lamparski/Getty Images

Even though Eric Decker played in the NFL for eight seasons, his life got a bit more interesting after his retirement. In 2013, he married country singer Jessie James Decker and, as fate would have it, was thrown into the world of reality television.

For three years, Eric and his wife Jessie were the faces of the E! reality show Eric & Jessie: Game On. The series chronicled their marriage as well as their firstborn.

Tim Tebow And Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters — Together Since 2018

Tim Tebow And Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters -- Together Since 2018
Kent Phillips/Disney Parks via Getty Images
Kent Phillips/Disney Parks via Getty Images

After meeting at a Tim Tebow Foundation charity event in 2018, former Broncos and Jets quarterback Tim Tebow and former Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters had a whirlwind romance. The two officially began dating the summer of that year, becoming engaged soon after.

It’s like Tebow to jump headfirst into his passions, though, as he famously switched from the NFL to join a minor-league baseball team a year before meeting his future wife. The two were married in January 2020.

Kurt Warner And Brenda Warner — Married Since 1997

Kurt Warner And Brenda Warner
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night

After struggling to make it into the NFL, Kurt Warner went on to become one of the best-undrafted players in NFL history. During that time, his college sweetheart, Branda Warner, never left his side.

It wasn’t until 1998 when Warner was brought on as the quarterback for the St. Louis Rams, a year after he tied the knot with Brenda. It seemed like marriage was the start of a great life for the two, as Warner went on to have a terrific 12-season career.

Antonio Gates And Sasha Gates — Married Since 2011

Kurt Warner And Brenda Warner
David Livingston/Getty Images
David Livingston/Getty Images

Former Chargers tight end Antonio Gates retired in 2020 after playing for the organization for a whopping 16 years. During that time, he was in a very committed relationship with now-wife Sasha Lee.

According to Sasha, after the two met at a hotel bar, sparks flew, and the rest was history! During an interview with Exquisite Weddings, she said, “there was an undeniable instant attraction.” The two have been married since 2011.

Rob Gronkowski And Camille Kostek — Together Since 2015

Rob Gronkowski And Camille Kostek -- Together Since 2015
Paul Marotta/Getty Images for BCRF
Paul Marotta/Getty Images for BCRF

Rob Gronkowski, aka “Gronk,” flipped back and forth between retiring from the NFL and playing a few more seasons as a tight end for the league. But there is one thing he hasn’t flipped back and forth with since 2013, his partner.

After meeting Camille Kostek at a New England Patriots Thanksgiving event in 2013, the two didn’t actually begin a relationship until 2015. But, since then, the three-time Super Bowl champion and model have been going steady.

AJ McCarron And Katherine Webb — Married Since 2014

AJ McCarron And Katherine Webb
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for DirecTV
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for DirecTV

While Texans quarterback AJ McCarron and model Katherine Webb have been married since 2014, their relationship goes back to 2012. That year, the two met after a mutual friend mentioned their names in a tweet, of all things.

From there, phone numbers were exchanged, and their relationship took off. After tying the knot in Alabama, McCarron and Webb welcomed their first son in 2016 and their second a few years later in 2018.

Christian Ponder And Samantha Ponder — Married Since 2012

Christian Ponder And Samantha Ponder -- Married Since 2012
Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

From 2011 until 2016, Christian Ponder was a quarterback for various NFL teams, including the Vikings, Broncos, and 49ers. And while playing football for a living wasn’t exactly a spur of the moment decision, marrying ESPN personality Samantha Ponder in 2012 kind of was!

In 2012, the two met via Twitter. Two months later, they eloped and had their wedding night dinner at a local Arby’s. As of 2021, the two have welcomed a baby boy and girl into the mix.

Aaron Ross And Sanya Richards-Ross — Together Since 2003

Aaron Ross And Sanya Richards-Ross -- Together Since 2003
Ray Tamarra/Getty Images
Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

For some athletes, they’re just attracted to people with the same competitive mentality. For former NFL cornerback Aaron Ross, his other half came in the form of a track and field star he began dating while attending college at Texas, Sanya Richards.

While she might not be in the NFL, Richards was named the number one runner in the world from 2005-2009 and again in 2012, not to mention she’s a four-time Olympic gold medalist. The two married in 2010, after years of dating.

Tony Romo And Candice Crawford — Married Since 2011

Tony Romo And Candice Crawford -- Married Since 2011
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Dom Perignon
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Dom Perignon

In the summer of 2009, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo began dating the 2008 Miss Missouri USA-winner Candice Crawford. It wasn’t until a year later that the former beauty queen scored the ultimate touchdown in the love department, saying “yes” to Romo’s proposal.

Of course, it’s a bit hard to say no to a legendary quarterback who happens to be holding a 4-carat diamond engagement ring. The two were married in 2011 and, as of 2021, have three sons together.

Troy Aikman And Capa Mooty — Married Since 2017

troy-aikman-catherine-mooty
Gary Miller/Getty Images/Peter Larsen/WireImage
Gary Miller/Getty Images/Peter Larsen/WireImage

After playing in the NFL for 12 seasons, former quarterback Troy Aikman decided it was time for retirement, hanging up his Dallas Cowboys jersey in favor of a career in sports broadcasting. But that’s not the only thing that shifted for this former professional.

Once named the most eligible bachelor in Dallas, Aikman found love in Catherine “Capa” Mooty, a high-end fashion retailer. The two moved fast, becoming engaged in June of 2017 and married in September of that same year.

Nnamdi Asomugha And Kerry Washington — Married Since 2013

Kerry Washington Hosts
Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)
Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)

Former NFL cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and actress Kerry Washington kept their relationship pretty quiet when they first began dating. The two actually met in 2010, three years before tying the knot, when Washington was starring in a Broadway play, Race.

According to Washington, it didn’t take long for the two to form a connection. They were married in June of 2013 in Hailey, Idaho, and now have two children together, a son and daughter.

Colin Kaepernick And Nessa Diab — Together Since 2015

Colin Kaepernick And Nessa Diab -- Together Since 2015
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Hearst
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Hearst

Playing in the NFL for six seasons before becoming a free agent, quarterback Colin Kaepernick is no stranger to the public eye. So, that might be why he opted to keep his relationship with MTV Girl Code host Nessa Diab kept their relationship a secret for some time, finally going public with it in 2016.

Even though they kept the public in the dark, fans wonder if the two plan to tie the knot in the near future!

Sterling Shepard and Chanel Iman — Together Since 2016

Sterling Shepard and Chanel Ima
Jackson Lee/GC Images
Jackson Lee/GC Images

In the 2016 NFL draft, wide receiver Sterling Shepard was the New York Giants second-round pick. Little did Shepard know, but he was about to meet his future wife that same year. After meeting at a birthday party for one of his new teammates, Victor Cruz, Shepard and model Chanel Iman pretty much immediately started dating.

Two years later, the football star and Iman tied the knot, saying “I do” in 2018. As of 2021, the couple has two daughters together.

Curtis Conway And Laila Ali — Married Since 2007

Curtis Conway And Laila Ali -- Married Since 2007
Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for HollyRod Foundation
Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for HollyRod Foundation

Former NFL wide receiver Curtis Conway met quadruple crown super middleweight champion Laila Ali in 2005, during a party he hosted at his house. The two felt a connection right away.

Conway didn’t waste much time, popping the question to the daughter of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. After a year-long engagement, the two were married. Now, the pro athletes are the parents of two healthy children, both of whom have some good genes and are most likely going to go on to make waves in the sports world.

Andrew East And Shawn Johnson — Together Since 2013

Andrew East And Shawn Johnson -- Together Since 2013
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

While brotherly advice might not always work out, it did for NFL long snapper Andrew East. In 2013, East’s brother introduced him to Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson.

After dating for a few years, East worked up the courage to pop the question. In 2016, the NFL player and Olympic gold medalist tied the knot in an outdoor wedding in Nashville, Tennessee. As of 2021, the two have one daughter together. Perhaps an up and coming balance beam expert?

Rodney And Holly Robinson Peete — Married Since 1995

Rodney And Holly Robinson Peete -- Married Since 1995
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for HollyRod Foundation
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for HollyRod Foundation

Former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete proves that even with a hectic game and training schedule, true love will always find a way to last. Ironically, it didn’t start that way. When Peete was introduced to his future wife in 1993, actress Holly Robinson wasn’t overly impressed.

It took one more meeting for the two to hit it off, but Peete finally decided to propose. And in no way was it subtle! He proposed very publically on an episode of her sitcom Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper. In front of everyone, she said yes.

Tim And Elisabeth Hasselbeck — Married Since 2002

Tim And Elisabeth Hasselbeck -- Married Since 2002
Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Scholastic
Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Scholastic

After playing eight seasons in the NFL, former quarterback Tim Hasselbeck retired from the field and set up shop above the pitch as an ESPN sports analyst. During that time, he was actually in a solid relationship with college softball player turned television personality Elisabeth Filarski.

The two met while attending Boston College. After graduation and a few years into their respective careers in the entertainment and sports industry, they tied the knot.

Fred Robbins And Tia Robbins — Married Since 2009

Fred Robbins And Tia Robbins -- Married Since 2009
Joe Kohen/Getty Images for PR/PR
Joe Kohen/Getty Images for PR/PR

Before tying the knot in 2009, former NFL defensive tackle Fred Robbins and his now-wife Tia dated for a whopping nine years. Needless to say, they are very committed to one another.

And while they are all-in when it comes to their relationship, these two believe they are the exception. A year after the two wed, they began a company, Off The Market, to sway the public perception of “athletes are all cheaters.”

Matt Schaub And Laurie Schaub — Married Since 2008

Matt Schaub And Laurie Schaub
Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon
Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon

After 17 seasons as a quarterback on various teams throughout the NFL, Matt Schaub decided to hang up the towel, announcing his retirement in 2021. And while he walked away from the NFL as a two-time Pro Bowler and a Pro Bowl MVP, he also left with a wife.

Meeting during a Baltimore Ravens event, former organization cheerlead Laurie didn’t believe Schaub was even on the team! Of course, she soon found out he was the new quarterback. After dating for a few years, the two were married in 2008.