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When T-Rich got rich, friends and family had their hands out

2012 NFL Draft - First Round Getty Images

As Trent Richardson attempts to get back into the NFL, he’s reflecting on some of the things that went wrong as a he flamed out with the Browns and the Colts. One problem, he admits, is that he got lazy. Another is that as soon as he started making money, his friends and family treated his money as their money.

Richardson told that friends and family asked for money so often that dealing with all of those requests exhausted him and made it harder for him to focus on football.

After signing a four-year, $20.5 million contract with the Browns, multiple people asked Richardson to buy them cars. He obliged. Five different people came to him with sob stories about how they couldn’t pay for a family member’s funeral, and so Richardson picked up the tabs for five different funerals, each costing more than $12,000. Richardson took family on a week-long trip to Disney World, not that they were grateful.

“And people still had the nerve to complain about the trip,” Richardson said.

Richardson now says he has cut off most of the people who had their hands out. That’s wise. Although Richardson has already made more money than most people make in their entire lives, it’s easy for NFL players to go broke when their friends and family treat them like piggy banks. And as Richardson tries to break back into the NFL with the Ravens, he’s going to need to focus on football, and not get stressed by constant requests for money from people who view his financial windfall as theirs.

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101 Responses to “When T-Rich got rich, friends and family had their hands out”
  1. paulieorkid says: Mar 26, 2016 1:17 PM

    Very true. An otherwise huge pile of money can get small real quick with a flock of vultures ravenously picking at it.

  2. edelmanfanclub says: Mar 26, 2016 1:18 PM

    I think this is an odd general consensus for a lot of families. My boss claims if his first cousin signed a huge contract it implied the whole family was rich and he would never have to work again. That is crazy of course since the money technically only belongs to one person. I don’t think this had an affect on his football skills but it does stink to have greedy relatives.

  3. tommykramer9 says: Mar 26, 2016 1:19 PM

    He gave them money, they gave him food. Isn’t it obvious?

  4. mogogo1 says: Mar 26, 2016 1:20 PM

    Every cousin you never knew you had suddenly appears out of the woodwork.

  5. boogerhut says: Mar 26, 2016 1:21 PM

    Set your parents up with a trust that reverts back to you when they pass. Other than that, ask yourself who was there every day when you were grinding and sweating and hurting. That list won’t be big.

  6. Ferdinand says: Mar 26, 2016 1:22 PM

    And this is why the Rookie Symposium has the “Beware of Leeches” lecture.

  7. lingsun54 says: Mar 26, 2016 1:26 PM

    Every NFL player has that problem to one degree or another. You have to say no to everyone. Help who you want whether they give you a sob story or not.

  8. abninf says: Mar 26, 2016 1:27 PM

    My sister is a multi-millionaire and I would feel like a low life loser for asking her for $20.

  9. jackedupboonie says: Mar 26, 2016 1:32 PM

    More than the money, I’m still stuck on the simple fact he can’t cut it at running back. This isn’t a position where you can regenerate yourself years down the road. There are hungry workout willing guys all over ready to take the rock through the trenches.

  10. trollaikman8 says: Mar 26, 2016 1:34 PM

    I’m sure Cris Carter and Warren Sap have pearls of wisdom that they could share on this topic at the next Rookie Symposium

  11. thefatlazygamer says: Mar 26, 2016 1:39 PM

    Must be a real pain to have to go through all that…

    Then again, other first rounders have had to deal with that for years. He simply couldn’t cut the mustard…probably because he was too busy eating all of it and everything else. That is why he’s been a failure.

  12. mongo3401 says: Mar 26, 2016 1:39 PM

    Go get em Trent. Tear it up big man. All the best and congratulations on your return to the sport you love.

  13. packerbackernj says: Mar 26, 2016 1:41 PM

    This guy sure does have a lot of excuses for why he’s a failure.

  14. guitarfreak21 says: Mar 26, 2016 1:41 PM

    I would just say no, and then look for ACTUAL friends, and worthwhile family…

  15. motleytrap says: Mar 26, 2016 1:43 PM

    It’d be the same for any of us if we won the lotto.

    Once you start giving away cash it’s hard to know where to stop.

  16. staffordsyear says: Mar 26, 2016 1:50 PM

    I would love to fall into that much money (obviously), nobody would get a dime except a few people in my circle.

  17. coltzfan166 says: Mar 26, 2016 2:08 PM

    Two guys that I went to high school with and played on the same team with are now in the NFL, and I would feel like a lowlife if I ever asked for a penny. Sadly, some of their “friends” probably do it

  18. milkcan44 says: Mar 26, 2016 2:14 PM

    Will be interesting to see if he turns into a very good back if all these distractions are behind him.

  19. weepingjebus says: Mar 26, 2016 2:16 PM

    The biggest mistake you can make in life is to confuse money with wealth.

    The second is wearing a Jets hat.

  20. heeeeelzfan says: Mar 26, 2016 2:22 PM

    Kinda like the money he stole from Cleveland and Indy?

  21. chinahand11 says: Mar 26, 2016 2:28 PM

    I recall one NFL player saying that after he was drafted, family and homies got in cars and made a caravan up to his new city. He ended up with two mortgages, one for him and one for them. Sheesh.

  22. bigbens69taintedlove says: Mar 26, 2016 2:32 PM

    It’s that generational welfare mentality that permeates most black communities

  23. flaccosmoustache says: Mar 26, 2016 2:33 PM

    So how would his family pay for those funerals had he never made the NFL? I feel bad for these young athletes. It’s not a good spot to be in and it’s completely classless for their family and friends to ask for handouts.

  24. coachglove says: Mar 26, 2016 2:36 PM

    So it is everyone’s fault but his own. Got it. Haven’t heard him take actual responsibility yet.

  25. vusnu says: Mar 26, 2016 2:40 PM

    Hardly an excuse for his poor play on the field.

  26. devindenv says: Mar 26, 2016 2:46 PM

    As long as you have an excuse, Trent. Seems to me, you should have worked HARDER, rather than be lazy. With all of those hangers-on to feed.

  27. fordmandalay says: Mar 26, 2016 2:50 PM

    Whatever the Ravens are paying him is basically charity. Hope he looks at it that way and that whatever he gets from them in this probable single year of his last NFL contract is what he’s going to have to live the rest of his life on.

  28. jtm12180 says: Mar 26, 2016 3:00 PM

    The NFL should add rules into rookie contracts about obtaining a financial manager their first 5 years in league. Too many of these guys going broke. I have no financial background and could help these guys, investing in conservative mutual funds is not rocket science.

  29. f1restarter says: Mar 26, 2016 3:10 PM

    And if these parasites who show up with outstretched hands can’t get free stuff from NFL players, they can always get it from Bernie Sanders.

  30. cheeseisfattening says: Mar 26, 2016 3:12 PM

    When E-Lacy got rich, friends and family had their forks out

  31. nflrule says: Mar 26, 2016 3:17 PM

    Mo problems

  32. lrical says: Mar 26, 2016 3:20 PM

    You need to watch ESPN broke

  33. Johnny Drunk says: Mar 26, 2016 3:25 PM

    Hopefully he saves every penny this time. Might be his last contract.

  34. montrealraider says: Mar 26, 2016 3:37 PM

    I dont think he is making an excuse for himself with that aspect of his story. It certainly was a big distraction tough.

  35. greenbaychicksarefat says: Mar 26, 2016 3:42 PM

    Never draft a Alabama RB. They all stink at the next level.

  36. dcbronco says: Mar 26, 2016 3:49 PM

    Looking at some of his plays from the Colts last year I think Baltimore just got a bargain. It doesn’t look like Trent Richardson has lost any ability. He still made some great runs. But he was traded and let go in Indy for a reason. He admits to getting lazy and being dragged down by family and friends. The inability to say no is as hard as any other addiction. If he can overcome it and focus on football he will be an asset to Baltimore. If lack of consistency got him cut, getting in shape should fix that. Admitting the issue, especially publicly, goes a long way toward correcting it. And Ozzie Newsome has some history with correcting personal issues.

  37. Della Street says: Mar 26, 2016 3:55 PM

    My brother is a multi, multi millionaire. He has never offered any siblings any money, nor have any asked. We just schlep at our 9-5 jobs.

  38. conormacleod says: Mar 26, 2016 4:00 PM

    I have one rule for my money. If you ask for any, you don’t get any. I choose who to help.

  39. fofrenchy says: Mar 26, 2016 4:11 PM

    it ain’t easy being green

  40. tfarr45 says: Mar 26, 2016 4:12 PM

    I remember seeing stories like this in the documentary ” Broke “. Some of this can be attributed to the athletes and reckless spending , but some of the stories involving family and friends were unbelievable. A must see .

  41. simplec72 says: Mar 26, 2016 4:32 PM

    He also flamed out with the Raiders. Friends and family wanted money? Makes you wonder about the type of family he has and his friends be surrounded himself with. Says a ton about him.

  42. cheeseisfattening says: Mar 26, 2016 4:47 PM

    greenbaychicksarefat says:
    Mar 26, 2016 3:42 PM

    Never draft a Alabama RB. They all stink at the next level.
    There is some truth to this but not it is not entirely true. Alabama RBs have been essentially running behind a Pro OL these past years that does make them appear better than they are however both Richardson’s and Lacy’s horrible conditioning and lack of motivation have more to do with where they ended up than where they came from.

  43. richardernsberger says: Mar 26, 2016 5:09 PM

    Why doesn’t this story surprise me…..

  44. fmckenney says: Mar 26, 2016 5:25 PM

    Must be Bernie Sanders supporters…let’s spend other peoples money!!

  45. oscarxray says: Mar 26, 2016 5:27 PM

    Resting on his laurels,half heartedly showing up,taking money for nothing.

    Yeah,that’s Mike Holmgren for ya. The guy who taught Trent Richardson how to be a pro.

  46. farfig says: Mar 26, 2016 5:36 PM

    He couldn’t say no to anyone – especially opposing linebackers who needed to tackle T-Botch or not make their bonus….

    T-Botch was always very accommodating…….

  47. rcali says: Mar 26, 2016 6:04 PM

    Well, what kind of cars did he buy them? With $20 mill, even after uncle Same takes his share, you could be 15-20 people a nice used Toyota corolla with money in your couch. Cheap to own and insure….but why do I think this wasn’t the case? Helping out people is one thing but being smart about it is another.

  48. genericcommenter says: Mar 26, 2016 6:16 PM

    Sounds like he’s finding out what it’s like to be a man in America. Many spend years doing the equivalent of the Disney trip things- where you give and give to ungrateful “family” until they use you up. Some learn sooner than others. And, frankly, in all cases- baller or middle-class family man alike- it’s our faults for not being strong and setting boundaries from the beginning. Good luck on the next phase.

  49. ppc50 says: Mar 26, 2016 6:24 PM

    Smith from Dallas had to disown his family because they began to threaten him, evidently. I would never ask for a cent, unless living on the streets and it would be minimal and I would have to be a close relative

  50. bigbroncomama says: Mar 26, 2016 6:33 PM

    A fool and his money are soon parted. Loved the part that it was all the friends/family fault that he gave it away. Really?

  51. brentspeckmannbutthumps says: Mar 26, 2016 6:33 PM

    I hate to bring up politics, but this kind of sounds like our government and the welfare system

  52. billytodd2013blbaad says: Mar 26, 2016 6:35 PM

    wow…what a crazy story.. hope the kid takes advantage of this opportunity and makes something of his career.

  53. patswhatsup says: Mar 26, 2016 6:35 PM

    I can honestly understand that. Family drama will sap your strength and nothing is more dramatic than money.

    The funerals I understand asking for help because those costs are nothing but a burden to survivors and most people can’t just cover 10k-12k funeral costs. I got the cheapest everything for my dad’s funeral (per his request) and it still cost $9K. Cars and trips? Be grateful you SOBs!

  54. LuckyOz says: Mar 26, 2016 6:49 PM

    The number 1 rule taught to rookies should be, “never give a penny of your salary to anyone, including family”. Invest it, and then give away some of the investment proceeds.
    Giving away salary is a fast track to poverty. Typically anyone that asks for money, doesn’t need it.

  55. thefatlazygamer says: Mar 26, 2016 6:51 PM

    “Well, what kind of cars did he buy them? With $20 mill, even after uncle Same takes his share, you could be 15-20 people a nice used Toyota corolla with money in your couch. Cheap to own and insure….but why do I think this wasn’t the case? Helping out people is one thing but being smart about it is another.”

    Its probably because the leeches wanted custom paint jobs that looked stupid and rims that spin as well.

  56. bert1913 says: Mar 26, 2016 6:56 PM

    at least he didn’t buy his family a lifetime supply of ciggarettes…*HONK* *HONK*

  57. pft264 says: Mar 26, 2016 7:11 PM

    Trent, practice this in the mirror… “Sorry, you may not have any of my money.”

  58. widerightyouloseagain says: Mar 26, 2016 7:36 PM

    The problem is that they promise each other that whoever makes it has to take care of everyone else, thinking the money can’t run out.

  59. wyrdawg says: Mar 26, 2016 7:52 PM

    “Had their hands out…”

    Dude. YOU didn’t have your hands out. If it was THAT bad.. you should’ve picked the right hole to run through!

    Man. Until you “finally” deliver on your promise, you should really shut the hell up. If I were a GM, I would not sign you. You don’t focus, nor do you care about the team around you.

    Go call Tony Mandarich. He’ll tell you the same.

  60. daytontriangles says: Mar 26, 2016 8:10 PM

    Make a list of the people who were constantly there for you when you had absolutely nothing to offer them in return.

    Help the people on that list as you see fit. Cut off all the rest.

  61. kissmysandwich says: Mar 26, 2016 8:14 PM

    Why is Richardson the sob-story of the offseason? Seems to me he is just stupid and lazy. Why are people writing about him? No one is really falling for this idea that he’s going to actually be productive this fall, are they?

  62. jmethane says: Mar 26, 2016 8:25 PM

    Marshawn Lynch is better than Trent Richardson TODAY and Marshawn just retired.

    Any takers? This is a rb not a qb.

  63. citiciti says: Mar 26, 2016 8:34 PM

    you can’t fix stupid.

  64. egomaniac247 says: Mar 26, 2016 8:34 PM

    We as a society love to tear people down.

    I get it…we wish we had the talent and we’d never take it for granted if we could play a game for 1/5th the salary these guys get.

    That said, I’ve had my fill of dogging out T-rich. I’m cheering for him to salvage a career now. He actually looked promising his rookie year.

  65. gonzoatcampcourtney says: Mar 26, 2016 8:35 PM

    Nice picture Trent……you owe all of us Browns season ticket holders as well!! My you be as big of a bust with the Ravens as you were in Cleveland.

  66. tucsonpackfan says: Mar 26, 2016 8:42 PM

    Sounds like a bunch of liberals.

  67. granadafan says: Mar 26, 2016 8:58 PM

    “fmckenney says:
    Mar 26, 2016 5:25 PM
    Must be Bernie Sanders supporters…let’s spend other peoples money!!”

    That’s as true as saying that all Trump supporters are uneducated racist and fascist rednecks.

  68. drunkraider says: Mar 26, 2016 9:14 PM

    The only person you should be paying is your fall guy. He is the one that is going to save you money in the long run.

  69. fmckenney says: Mar 26, 2016 9:21 PM

    To be clear I am not a Trump fan (he was a true democrat until just recently and I would have supported his remaining one). But generally speaking Republicans earn money andd Democrats spend it. Sanders wants to spend other peoples money like no other democrat in history. Would you want to be responsible for your earned money or have the government determine how to spend it?

  70. camdenyard says: Mar 26, 2016 10:17 PM

    Nice picture Trent……you owe all of us Browns season ticket holders as well!! My you be as big of a bust with the Ravens as you were in Cleveland.


    I don’t think there is any comparison. Clowny drafted him #3 overall. Ozzie picked him up for a bag of used footballs.

  71. corporatemediaprostitute says: Mar 26, 2016 10:29 PM

    Richardson’s experiences notwithstanding, people dislike you, Smith. Sorry.

  72. saberwolf335 says: Mar 26, 2016 10:37 PM

    The average professional athlete when it comes to managing money = grade A stupid

  73. codiablo says: Mar 26, 2016 11:24 PM

    United States – it’s like India & China, only lazier

  74. bostoncollie says: Mar 26, 2016 11:27 PM

    I’m sure his “friends” weren’t settling for Honda Civics.

  75. honalulublue says: Mar 27, 2016 12:23 AM

    Buy them all fishing licences and be done with it.

  76. bchap17 says: Mar 27, 2016 12:32 AM

    This isn’t a position where you can regenerate yourself years down the road.
    Not normally, but it’s not unheard of. Tiki Barber comes to mind.

  77. imsorryyoufeelthatway7 says: Mar 27, 2016 1:10 AM

    I know this is a different sport, but has anyone heard of Jack Johnson of the Columbus Bluejackets? I don’t know the exact details, but basically his parents basically spent all of his earnings on themselves. It’s sad that an active pro athlete is able to claim only 50,000$ in assets while being nearly 15 million$ in debt due to their parents.

    Granted, that is on the far end of the absurd, but it’s not that weird to hear that this happens to some athletes

  78. carp0056 says: Mar 27, 2016 4:06 AM

    Pure money grab. Guy needs to go away already.

  79. 1historian says: Mar 27, 2016 4:48 AM

    Best of luck to him

  80. fishyinalittledishy says: Mar 27, 2016 5:04 AM

    It does amaze me how some people have the neck to ask for money.

  81. pphins4life12 says: Mar 27, 2016 5:54 AM

    I like something Tracy Mccrady said a few years back. When he got his first contract he gave his closest friends (the maybe three or four he grew up with) and all of his aunts and uncles $50k. He made it very clear, don’t come back for any more.

  82. 1down2fortheshow says: Mar 27, 2016 9:42 AM

    One of the hardest things in the world is to find a true friend. These athletes need a true friend who they can turn to for guidance and more importantly, gatekeeping.

    A true friend is someone who wants nothing from you and everything for you. I grant you, it’s a very limiting statement, but I do feel it’s true.

  83. Seprix says: Mar 27, 2016 10:21 AM

    This is why if I get rich somehow, nobody is ever going to now about it. Money makes otherwise normal people act psycho.

  84. czello says: Mar 27, 2016 10:48 AM

    Good luck

  85. bigwinintx says: Mar 27, 2016 11:04 AM

    If I should ever win a lottery, the first thing I’ll do is change all my phone numbers {wife and kids too}.

    No one ever had a huge tax bill suddenly appear without warning and nobody needs a brand new anything without working for it their damn selves!

    Lesson learned, albeit with some serious wounds to heal.

  86. revren10 says: Mar 27, 2016 11:35 AM

    Bernie sanders agrees with Trent Richardson lets give other people your money who haven’t earned it

  87. patsfan4lifesbchamps says: Mar 27, 2016 11:35 AM

    He should learn to be a cheapskate like Brady who was whining about an $8000 swimming pool maintenance bill in his released emails.

  88. ajas95 says: Mar 27, 2016 12:04 PM

    Wow it’s really sad that T-Rich had to deal with these unique problems, and that’s why he failed on multiple teams.

    Apparently he spent all his money building an Excuse Factory, and I bet we’re going to hear more of them.

  89. orangeraider says: Mar 27, 2016 12:06 PM

    Richardson is the average tax payer
    All those beggars, crud and other takers are the welfare cheats, various governments, etc.
    Demanding big chunks for doing NOTHING.

  90. stinkymcmulligan says: Mar 27, 2016 1:00 PM

    Handouts because folks think they ‘deserve’ it.

    Typical of liberal ideaology. Disgraceful.

  91. jmdanieli says: Mar 27, 2016 2:34 PM

    patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    Mar 27, 2016 11:35 AM

    He should learn to be a cheapskate like Brady who was whining about an $8000 swimming pool maintenance bill in his released emails.
    Fake Patriot fan: they are so in your head. you comment on the 4 time world champs on EVERY article.
    By the way those emails were not released, they were LEAKED by the NFL. Which explains why Tom would not hand over his phone, the phone wells said he did not need.

  92. thetooloftools says: Mar 27, 2016 2:42 PM

    Sounds like the NBAer Delante West’s story to a T.

  93. Voidhelix says: Mar 27, 2016 3:12 PM

    Tyron Smith went through exactly the same thing. He burnt out too. Oh…….wait….he`s the best LT in football, and a multi-All Pro. Shut up whining, Richardson.

  94. 1trojan33usc says: Mar 27, 2016 4:24 PM

    Richardson needs to pipe down and “grow a pair” ! He had plenty of options to muffle his family, such as hiring a personal assistant to screen his messages while changing his cell number. That way, he’s only forwarded the important phone calls. Regardless, that doesn’t account for his lack of discipline to properly “train” for his profession !!!! What, he’s so inundated with phone calls that he can’t get to the gym, or run on the track?? He then becomes so frustrated that all he can do is run to IHOP to escape and slam pancakes down his throat?? C’mon Man !! Save it for the suckers………………….

  95. senatorblutarsky says: Mar 27, 2016 6:25 PM

    He’s just weak-willed and a soft touch.

  96. mrfrostyj says: Mar 27, 2016 7:16 PM

    It’s one of those things where you do something nice for one person then everyone wants something. The 20 seconds the Browns had that Travel channel reality show they showed the house he bought for his entire direct family to live in and how they could afford to have a real Thanksgiving dinner for the first time and how emotional he was about it.

    The kid was super humble and seemed to get really attached to the city of Cleveland especially since he wanted to be there from day 1 so I wasn’t surprised that he tanked in Indy since I’m pretty sure he went into a deep depression especially finding out he got traded on ESPN at the same time as everyone else.

    The saddest part is they traded a guy who wanted to be there so bad that he walked out on his new team without telling anyone because he just didn’t care just to draft a kid like Manziel who could care less about the team, fans, or anyone else.

  97. dedelvis5757 says: Mar 27, 2016 10:24 PM

    Blowing through money stupidly and then blaming others in a naked attempt to shirk responsibility? T-Rich is the Republican Party of overrated running backs.

  98. warringtonfloridapensacolaplanejames says: Mar 28, 2016 1:42 AM


  99. scotthochsdramaticweightgain1 says: Mar 28, 2016 6:12 AM

    This kind of leeching is very, very common among the Obama Zombies, most of which are unemployable and have no shame. Take it from me Rubes, when you get filthy, stinking rich… keep it to yourself.

  100. John Harbaugh Is A Sad, Whiney Middle Aged Woman says: Mar 28, 2016 7:17 AM

    “… as soon as he started making money, his friends and family treated his money as their money.

    What’s the old saying? No one can advantage of you without your permission. These folks were only treating your money as theirs because you allowed it.

    You’ve got about as much backbone as do playing talent!!!! LOL!!!

  101. julianvincente says: Mar 28, 2016 1:43 PM

    Trent I fully understand what you are going through.

    This is my life! I worked hard and was blessed to have made enough money to retire a 36, but this blessing for the longest was a curse. Weekly for years I received calls from close/extended family and friends with weak sob stories about how they needed to borrow thousands of dollars. Once I realized that I would have to go back to work by the age of 50 if this continued…I made the decision to cut them off.

    Since then I haven’t received another call from nearly all family and old friends. I mean not a birthday call/card or an invitation to dinner or any other social gathering. This despite having loaned out over $100k in 4 years (unrepaid).

    …be careful what your ask for!

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