Antonio Cromartie is now the voice of fiscal reason

AP

This is the time of year when NFL rookies are learning about their new lives as professionals.

And Jets rookies have one of the best mentors they could possibly have.

Antonio Cromartie, of course.

Yes, the once-free-spending father of 10 (with eight different women) is now a role model.

I want to help others learn from what I did wrong,” Cromartie told Bob Glauber of Newsday, in an eye-opening look at how he’s turned his financial ship around. “I tell the young guys, ‘Don’t spend any money the first year and a half of your career.

“You don’t know what will happen after that. You might be released. You might be hurt. Just save your money.”

Cromartie admits he blew through $5 million his first two years in the league, on the usual suspects (cars, jewelry, friends with their hands out).

“Gone. Just gone,” Cromartie said. “I was out of control. I remember [former Chargers teammate] Quentin Jammer used to tell me to slow down, but I couldn’t do it. I just loved spending money.”

Now, he’s putting his four-year, $32 million contract in the hands of a new financial advisor, and Cromartie is proudly driving a Toyota Prius and bragging about how much he’s saving on gas.

“I can tell a lot of things to a lot of clients, but that doesn’t mean they’ll listen and accept what I say and practice that discipline,” said Jonathan Schwartz, who now handles Cromartie’s money. “[Cro] buys into it. He knows that a professional athlete’s earning period is limited, and that the best form of accumulating wealth is not to spend. His peers will go buy Rolls Royces and Ferraris and diamond jewelry, but 25 years from now, Antonio can still maintain his lifestyle, sit at the beach enjoying a cocktail and say, ‘I’ve earned it.'”

Schwartz said Cromartie’s retirement is now funded until he’d be 100 years old, and the investments should take care of all his children.

It’s a remarkable turnaround, and a remarkable lesson for young players on every team.

58 responses to “Antonio Cromartie is now the voice of fiscal reason

  1. Good for him.

    Some would say that stupid people make mistakes. I say that everyone makes mistakes, but stupid people don’t learn from them.

  2. It’s a real shame how people see their friends and relatives in the NFL as their “meal ticket.” Helping out ones immediate family is a given, but all the cousins, uncles, aunts, friends, etc..need to know that you’re not responsible for fixing their financial problems.

    If I were sitting on millions, I would probably start a business of some kind and employ those individuals looking for handouts instead. You’re gonna have to work for your money just like I did…

  3. Way to go. Always good to hear feel good stories. Must be hard to resist the urge to splurge when you’re 21 with a few millions though.

  4. This is a really good story and I hope more people (not just NFLers) pay attention. If you are good enough to make serious $ make sure you save for when you are not so fortunate.

  5. Dang. Cromartie just took all the fun out of making comments about him. If other players catch on like Cromartie has, PFT could be out of business.

  6. It’s great to finally hear a good story like this, I hope he can be a good influence on the younger generation.

  7. If he wants to stop other players from making the mistakes he did, how about preaching the benefits of pulling out every now and then?

  8. Wow, this is a stunning turnaround. From being the NFL off-field poster child for “what the hell was he thinking” to the rational person described in the above story, I wouldn’t have thought it possible frankly. Stay the course Antonio.

    Props to Cromartie, and Jonathon Schwartz, for getting this done, how they did it is worthy of a big promotional effort by the NFL. Certainly the best story coming out of the Jets this off-season, I look forward to seeing how Antonio’s on field performance is positively impacted by him getting his personal life together.

  9. I think this is the first positive story involving the Jets I’ve read in two years.

    Glad he smartened up before the well was dry.

  10. I used to love dogging on Cro. Well…Like a lot of other people. But I have to admit, this story brings me a bigger smile than the shi that made me laugh. Once you hit your 30’s you should be “graduating” from certain phases in life. And he has. Good for him.

  11. Clicked on the headline thinking “What bonehead move did Cromartie make now” but instead was pleasantly surprised to find the headline was not sarcastic. Good for you Cromartie. I used to think you were the ultimate dumba$$ who couldn’t keep it in his pants. But I’m glad you are taking care of your kids. Hopefully you remember their names now but Im still pissed at you for being a lousy tackler that let Shonn Greene run right by you in last playoff game. Alas, there are more important things in life and being smart with your money to take care of your family ranks highly on my list.

  12. I’ve enjoyed cracking wise about Cromarte as much as the next Jet hater…but nothing but props that he’s trying to help others by educating them on his mistakes.

    He should probably do the sex education class, too.

    BOOM!

    Sorry…couldn’t resist.

  13. As much as I hate the Jets, good for him. Nice to see a (relatively) young man who nows how to manage his money.

  14. He does realize he has ZERO credibility with these younger players ….. right?

    And why would they listen to him any more than he listened to Jammer?

  15. He is not a role model NOW. He was ALWAYS a role model. The salient difference is, he presently has a chance to be a POSITIVE role model, and that makes ALL the difference in the world. Listening Janoris?

  16. I’m guessing they’ll be plenty of snarky comments for a guy that’s made do many poor choices. But good for him on righting his own ship. A lot of pro athletes never learn that lesson.

  17. As an NFL player you could life fat and happy after your whole career by following 2 rules.

    1) Keep the baby mama total under 4.

    2) Only blow half your money.

    Those are some pretty easy goals to hit.

  18. When Cromartie came to the Jets he needed a 500,000 advance for child support payments. Now he’s set till he’s 100, gotta love it

  19. Good luck trying to get young players to drive a Prius. I am financially sound and if I was making the money those guys are I still wouldn’t drive one.

  20. Good for you. I am so glad you saw the light before you left the game. Take care of your children and God will continue blessing you.

  21. Tonights weather report from Hell –

    Temperatures well below freezing with blizzards and ice storms throughout the realm

  22. What is this world coming to when guys like Cromartie and Keyshawn Johnson are the voices of reason?

  23. Future headline: Cromartie’s Financial Advisor Steals Food Out of the Mouths of his 10 Children…

    Right now, it sounds good… Cromartie was/is clearly clueless.

    He’s an easy target for a “financial advisor” just looking to “help”.

  24. At least he’s still making good money to support them kids and realizes his past mistakes. Travis Henry…now that’s a different story.

  25. He’s now the model of fiscal responsibility after he hires someone to put him on an allowance.

  26. I’m not sure how all states work on child support, but the one I’m in caps out on the lower-middle class and after 4-5 kids. I would think his child support, unless agreed to by him or facing back penalties is proportionally in his favor (again depending on the state law(s) in which those kids were born)

  27. First Keyshawn Johnson is driving a Prius. Now Antonio Cromartie?

    What the heck is going on here?

    I’m almost speechless though, regarding the article itself. I don’t like to make fun of people, but I always shook my head at this dude and wondered how someone can not have a clue.

    It’s really amazing to hear that he found himself a financial advisor and realizes there is a life after football.

  28. I always get a good laugh when someone says “If I had that kind of money I’d start a business.” That’s probably the #1 mistake that NFL players do. It takes money and knowhow to start and run a business. Even with the proper capital and a sound business practice it is still easy and common to lose money in a business venture.

  29. Good for him! He learned his lesson the hard way, but unlike TO, he’s still up for at least one more NFL contract. That should give him further security.

  30. Another guy follows in Adam Jones footsteps, and I mean that in a good way. Learned the heard way, but learned. And yes maybe most guys won’t listen to him just like he didn’t listen to Jammer, but if he helps even a handful of guys who will listen, it’s worth it.

    I did get a chuckle out of the last line of the story where he says he’s going to put custom rims on the Prius. 🙂

  31. After all the negative news about Cromartie, this story sounds unbelievable. If the story is true then I wish him the best. If he sticks to his budget and does not increase his family size, then he will be one of the few people on earth that can support all the kids he has and live a great lifestyle that many of us wish we could have.

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