According to Sports Illustrated, 35% of NFL players are in financial trouble within two years of retirement. Typically, it’s due to poor money management and not having a plan in place for when they retire. But that wasn’t the case for legendary NFL running back O.J. Simpson. After growing up in a San Francisco housing project, O.J. negotiated the most expensive rookie running back contract in NFL history at the time. He has both a Heisman Trophy and an NFL MVP Award to his name. After retirement, O.J.’s net worth had grown to over $10 million, equivalent to $18 million today. But by 1995 his Brentwood estate was foreclosed and bulldozed. After serving nine years in prison, O.J. appears to be floating by with the help of his millionaire friends. Here’s how “Juice” earned and lost his millions.
O.J. Negotiated The Biggest NFL Running Back Rookie Contract In NFL History
From the very beginnings of his football career, O.J. was focused on building his fortune. The young man who grew up in a housing project in San Francisco believed in and recognized his superior athletic talent as a running back. When he was ready to throw his hat into the ring for the professional league, O.J. insisted on being paid more than any rookie in the history of the NFL.
In his 1969 NFL rookie season with the Buffalo Bills, he negotiated a contract of $650,000 over five years, with an additional investment of $500,000. It had never been done. The owners argued that his contract request was too high but O.J. stood his ground and got what he wanted.