Vikings defensive end Jared Allen has made tens of millions of dollars in his NFL career, but he doesn’t look like it: He’s known for wearing jeans, tattered shirts and a haircut that looks like he did it himself. So when Allen sees NFL players who look like a million bucks but haven’t earned a million bucks, he does a double take.
In an interview on KTAR in Phoenix, Allen said he shook his head while watching the NFL draft and saw players who haven’t earned a dime playing football yet but have clearly spent thousands of dollars on watches and earrings.
“I think the bigger disappointment was to see the jewelry on these kids’ arms and ears,” Allen said, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “Are you kidding me? You haven’t played a down in the league yet and thousands and thousands of dollars on these kids’ arms and I’m like, ‘You guys understand you’re getting drafted into a lockout where you don’t know what rules you’re playing under or how much money you possibly might get?’”
Allen is right: Last month Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, who was drafted last year, was sued over hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid debts to jewelry stores, and he’s far from the only player who has had trouble paying debts related to gold and diamonds. Spending that kind of money on jewelry is, frankly, stupid.
Allen also acknowledged, however, that he’s a little biased against the players he saw on TV during the draft because he still has something of a chip on his shoulder over being passed over until the fourth round of the 2004 draft. And he said he was also bothered by the mere fact that players were embracing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on stage at Radio City Music Hall, noting that those players were hugging the man who is leading the lockout that’s preventing them from signing the lucrative rookie contracts they want.
“I don’t like anybody who was drafted ahead of me,” Allen said. “Kind of pisses me off. You know it did. I honestly think it would’ve been cool to see all of the players elect to not show up. I think that would’ve given a really big sign to the NFL. You want us to appease you guys by coming to this show — because that’s what the NFL Draft is on TV, it’s a show for their fans and a show for the league — you want us to do that? Then let’s get this deal done, let’s quit locking us out, and let’s get back to work.”
And until players do get back to work, Allen advises them to save their money.