Arizona Cardinals RB Rashard Mendenhall just retired from the NFL at the age of 26. In making this surprising announcement Mendenhall stated that he wanted to walk away from the game to pursue his outside interests while still in top health. Mendenhall made over $13 million during his football career, played six years in the NFL, had a 1,000 yard season and had hit the wall. He was smart enough to take his money and run. If he invests wisely and does not live a rock star life-style, he will be just fine. There are 10 other NFL stars who are getting ready to hit the “Mendenhall Wall”. 10 players who should also take their money and run before they get carried off on a stretcher, or will be issued a cane before they ever get their AARP card:

10. TE Jason Witten

The Cowboys are going to suck and suck for a while. Witten is 31 years old and is the Cowboys all-time leading receiver. He’s also had a concussion and a lacerated spleen and has spent 11 years running pass routes over the middle. He’s a sure-fire Hall of Famer and it’s not like the Cowboys are getting any closer to the Super Bowl. He’s made well over $30 million and should get out now. The Cowboys as a team are getting ready to hit the wall and Witten should see that the object getting larger in his windshield is the Mendenhall Wall; he might want to hit the breaks now.

9. QB Michael Vick

Hey Mike, you just signed with the New York Jets. How do you think that’s going to work out? Here is another memo, you’ve played 16 games in just one season (2006). You’ve been in the league for 11 years, you’re 34, and you’re completely and utterly banged up. Even with the two years spent out of the NFL (and in prison) you should have enough dough to limp away from this game. You’ve had countless concussions, a broken leg, and God knows what else. I know you claimed bankruptcy after the whole dog fighting scandal but you also received $40 million in guaranteed money. Walk out of this game before your bus crashes right smack into Mendenhall’s Wall.

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  1. This is kind of a ridiculous article, mostly because it’s misinformed. NFL players don’t “take home” anywhere near what their salaries are. In the case of Rasahrd Mendenhall, he made $13M in salary. He lost 40% to taxes + 4% to Agent commissions, in addition to union fees, insurances, retirement accounts which took a major hit during his career, etc. In the end, he’s lucky if he has $5M on hand right now and he has to live another 60 years. Which means he can live the rest of his life just like anyone else making $75k a year. But he’s certainly not going to be living the big life, like RIcky Williams found out after retiring for two years.

    • Carl Pfeiffer

      Mr. CPA thanks for the feedback and thanks for proving my point! You’re right, Mr. Mendenhall should have $5M (or more) on hand to invest and live comfortably for the next 60 years. Plus it is reasonable to assume that he will work and earn an income (he is only 26). Same goes for Mr. Vick – The lack of financial planning might be one of the reasons these guys are playing themselves into an early grave. Thanks again for the comment!!

  2. As for Vick… he hasn’t even taken home enough money yet to pay back his creditors by a long shot. Again, making $40M isn’t taking home $40M, which is what he owed them. Vick is 100% still in the red and in debt. How do you retire under those circumstances?

    • Vick owed 15M to his creditors and paid them off, Vick is going to walk away with 10-15 M in the bank…Eagle fan here, I know all the details into Vick deals…LOOK IT UP!!

  3. Mr. Obvious

    OK, your point is he has to live on 5 million for the next 60 years? Where do I sign up? How many people are sitting on 5 million net income by age 26? And let’s not forget, that’s just the salary for playing football. I’m guessing most of these guys have been doing endorsement deals. Maybe not bringing in millions or hundreds of thousands, but I’m guessing it’s an amount that the average Joe would view as significant.

    And, who ever said that retiring from football means they don’t need to or have to work again in their lives? Just because you played professional sports shouldn’t mean you are automatically entitled to move to Florida and play shuffleboard every day with all the other retirees. These guys have a multimillion head start on everyone else their age, not to mention fame and networks that mean if they have half a brain, they should have no problem finding work for another 20 years or so and then taking a nice early retirement. Hell, most of these guys can probably land a few thousand just to show up at a country fair for a couple hours and pose for pics and sign autographs.

  4. I’m sure if Mendy can string 2 sentences together he will get a job soon. ESPN,NFL network or another station will give him a chance. He will make a couple hundred g per year and live quite comfortably with his 5 mill. in bank or invested.

  5. The smart players completed their college academics in something relevent and have a second career waiting for them. These athletes for the most part are also smart enough to know that they won’t be making millions for long and do some fiscal planning.



  7. Think you absolutely right on as concerns Jason Witten, Tony Romo, Michael Vick, and Eli Manning. Don’t know about the rest but as a Cowboy fan, just wish Jerry Jones would read your article.