Eagles’ Brandon Graham says broke teammate asked for $100K loan

Can NFL players manage their money well enough to make it through a lengthy work stoppage and afford to pay their bills? Or will the players’ union buckle quickly to the owners’ demands because union members simply can’t afford to miss any paychecks?

That’s one of the fundamental questions as the owners and the players continue their negotiations toward a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. And a story told by one NFL player suggests that the players simply aren’t prepared to play hardball with the owners.

Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham tells Philadelphia Sports Daily that he has had teammates come to him and say they’re broke, asking for loans of as much as $100,000.

“They try not to make it awkward. They’ll come to you like they’re joking, but they’re serious. They’re trying to feel you out, to see what you’ll say,” Graham said.

Graham says that if his teammates can’t manage their own money, there’s no way he’s lending them any of his money.

“I’ll be like, ‘What are you going to do with it, other than blow it?’ I don’t want to be beefing with guys on my team because they owe me money,” Graham said.

Graham is smart to put his foot down with his teammates. If the union leadership is smart, it’s been giving a tough message to its membership about the importance of saving money for a potential lockout. But if those members haven’t been smart with their money, the union is going to have a hard time staying strong once the paychecks stop coming.

56 responses to “Eagles’ Brandon Graham says broke teammate asked for $100K loan

  1. Why does it seem like half of these guys end up broke – either while they’re playing, or five years after they leave the game.

  2. It’s just sad that these grown men can’t manage their money well or invest it properly. Brandon Graham is 100% correct. Don’t let money ruin a relationship whether business or friendship. Man of these pro athletes are just not educated or smart enough to handle this kind of wealth.

    We can blame the NFL, teams, and agents for not properly prepping the players on how to handle the newfound wealth but he ultimate responsibility lies with the player himself for allowing himself to be taken for a ride by hangers on, greedy family members with their hands out, lifestyle, baby mommas, etc.

  3. If they don’t have $50-100k NOW what are they going to do when they retire? Someone needs to tell them to live like they make $100-200k so they can save to support that same $200k lifestyle once the checks stop coming in…for good.

  4. This is nothing to laugh at, do you think more than 5% of these players has had any training or experience in managing money? Why do you think they’re always getting ripped off by ‘Financial Advisors’, and I use that term lightly.

  5. Don’t players get relatively small stipends during the offseason (not counting roster and workout bonuses) and base pay only comes during the regular season in the form of game checks equal to 1/16th of base salary? If a guy needs a $100k loan this far from when game checks start coming in, isn’t it safe to say he would’ve been screwed regardless of a lockout?

  6. The paychecks have already stopped. Most of the players have been on their last check for almost 2 months now. I don’t see them making to September.

  7. “”bucsballer says: Feb 28, 2011 12:50 PM

    He’s a de/lb. That hybrid postion now a days””

    Not in a 4-3 scheme that the Eagles run. In a 3-4 you might have an argument…

  8. No problem. The Union will pull them out…..NOT If these guys can’t get along on what they make ….shame on em. By the way Brandon Grahm is neither a linebacker or a defensive end . at least so far….

  9. If the Gilbert Arenas situation hasn’t taught us anything, money being owed in the locker room can escalate to guns in the locker room.

  10. @randolph32

    actually they get that training in the rookie symposium, they get financial, legal, as well as how not to get ladies pregnant training. The guys who are dumb enough not to listen and pay attention deserve what they get. I will never feel sorry for a grown man who can’t manage his money if he makes 100k or more a year. That’s why they want pension benefits to increase because they can’t understand how not to blow money.

  11. The NFL requires all rookies attend a symposium that largely focuses on financial management. I know the Falcons have an adviser to consult players on these matters. Randolph 32 — you are way off. Have some knowledge about the issue before spouting off. Fact is alot of the guys are just stupid and don’t realize the spicket will eventually be turned off. They have no one to blame but themselves.

  12. I have zero sympathy for anyone making that much money who has just blown it, saved nothing and managed their money so poorly.

  13. The reality of this is only being revealed to the public now that the CBA is a big story. I heard a couple of ex-players running this down on NFL Radio the other day. They discussed the average player making the league minimum for three of four years. If you add it up over that period of time, it *can* be well over $1 million. Sounds like a lot of money, right?

    Of course, this doesn’t take into account taxes, agent fees and living expenses. If these guys don’t get the financial management direction many of them need, it’s easy to see how some of Graham’s teammates can be in a financial hole already. I was always under the impression that the league dealt with money management during a rookie player’s first summer with his team. But, I’m sure like most classroom training, they all secretly think “oh, this doesn’t mean me, I can handle my money.”

    Until they come to a teammate to borrow.

    Mr. Graham, by the way, speaks as though he isn’t going to experience those issues.

  14. Not surprising. Most pro athletes have no concept of what money is worth. Most never worked a real job other than playing games, so they don’t know how far a payday will go. I thought that the NFL had a mandatory program for players on money management?

    (The same can be said for lottery winners. How many of them go broke because they overspend and don’t know how to manage their winnings.)

  15. If you take a guy making average money–which is $750K (as about 75% of the league makes) and then you take off agents cut, taxes, the requisite $100K car, the entourage and family with their hands out I can see it very easily.

  16. This, more than anything else is likely to prevent a lockout from lasting any serious length of time. For every player who is responsible with their money, there are others who either because they want to live an expensive lifestyle and/or have family members and “friends” who basically are demanding money (not to mention those like Antonio Cromartie, whose situation has been well documented), and it’s those who either are irresponsible or in some cases are being “forced” (whether pressured or really forced) to give family members and others money that likely will cause the union to be forced to give in to the owners a lot quicker than might otherwise be expected.

  17. Its not the amount of money, it’s the mentality.

    There are people from all walks of life, and all different ranges of income, that don’t know how to manage their money. Just because you make tons of money doesn’t mean you’re all of a sudden going to know how to spend it. In fact quite the opposite I think would occur.

    And don’t forget these guys are trying to keep up with the Joneses. Just like in the real world, people live beyond their means, spend like crazy on things they don’t need, get themselves in debt, etc. These young players are probably even more pressured to show-off, because of who they are.

    Whether you make 30K or 30Mil, no one is immune to the consequences of money mismanagement.

  18. He should loan most of his paycheck out because he is a 1st round bust.Acutally maybe he should keep all the money cause he will never see a big contract again in his life…

  19. Congrats to B Graham for handling this type of stuff the right way. BUT….you know there are guys in the league that are loaning other guys money. There is sure to be some beef out there.

  20. 3octaveFart says:
    Feb 28, 2011 1:15 PM
    Don’t these players know you can do more with money than just spend it?
    They sound like my wife.

    LOL, can your wife play DE?

  21. I’ve always had the same approach to lending money. If the borrower didn’t care about messing their own name up with debts to banks, credit cards, or even gambling….why in the world would they care about mine?

  22. Although I have no tolerance for people who are careless with money, the money that the majority of players make during very abbreviated careers really isn’t that much when you consider taxes and the myriad medical expenses that usually exceeds what the NFL helps these guys with after their careers.

    If you’re a scrub, you’re talking maybe $750,000 or so to handle all of those issues, not to mention family concerns and a host of other issues for the rest of your life. It sounds easy to say, just get a regular job, but obviously a number of these guys aren’t equipped to do other work, not that they won’t try to do other work…look at how many of them fail at business who have business degrees.

    Even if you have a degree, that doesn’t make you qualified to take a job in that field, not to mention the studies that are showing how mentally screwed up most of these guys are from the toll their bodies and brains go through.

    Just saying, don’t criticize when you have no idea what they go through.

  23. And these are the same guy’s who complain about the veterans commitee asking them for money to help the guy’s who can’t walk, and don’t know they have PCS, because they made $6,000 a year. Let Ditka (big supporter of the struggling veterans)have a talk with the guy’s looking to borrow $100k. He’ll set them straight.

  24. This is nothing to laugh at, do you think more than 5% of these players has had any training or experience in managing money?


    Well most of them went to best Universities the country has to offer for free.

    If they didn’t learn anything then its their own damn fault for taking sociology/communication classes just so they could focus on football.

  25. no no they had it right.. Dudes a LB ,, the eagles just think he’s a DE..

    And they dont run a 4-3 .. have u seen the personel they put out there?
    they run a 2-5

  26. hank10,

    Just athletes and lottery winners? Try most of America, our government for decades, and anyone in between. Just because people make more money isn’t going to mke them be more careful with money…it often means exactly the opposite.

  27. He may have handled the situation right by telling them no but he just did the team wrong by saying those things. As far as I’m concerned he’s overrated.. He has a hefty rookie contract because we moved way up to get him and he hasn’t done anything. He should focus more on rehabbing that knee rather than releasing comments like this. It frustrates me to see guys like this run thier mouth when they have done anything, but guys like Desean Jackson get paid like crap but puts up numbers game in an out. So Graham if ur reading, how bout u produce on the field before you be asking to borrow money cause of being cut…

  28. This is what frustratesd me so much about the amount of money athletes get paid! I make less than 65K a year – my wife stays home with our 3 children. We have a nice home, 2 cars etc. By no means are we rolling in money, but if I lost my job, we would have enough to stay afloat for about 6 – 10 months.

    The lowest pick in the draft makes a hefty 6-digit income! Whoever is buggin’ Graham for money needs to learn how to have some self-control….stop buying so much STUFF, and you will have money when you need it!

    Good for you Brandon!

  29. There’s going to be a glut of Escalades and H2s with gold rims at every repo auction in NFL cities soon.

  30. One worries about the trickle-down implications at the area’s gentleman’s clubs.

    Pink slips surely coming for some of the ‘dancers’ on Delaware Avenue.

  31. I really liked Brandon Graham and was sad when the Eagles traded up for him.

    Then the patriots drafted Devin McCourty. Wasn’t sad after I saw him play. . .

    But on topic, I think this is just another example of a smart move on Graham’s part.

  32. This is nothing to laugh at, do you think more than 5% of these players has had any training or experience in managing money?


    What college kid has any experience managing big money? Maybe Reggie Bush. Allegedly.

  33. Funny how some of u knock him for his football endeavors when this isn’t about football….jealous? He has probably said the most intelligent things since this all started

  34. bucsballer says:
    Feb 28, 2011 12:50 PM
    He’s a de/lb. That hybrid postion now a days

    No he isnt hes 100% a defensive end.

  35. mdpickles says:
    Feb 28, 2011 1:56 PM
    Congrats to B Graham for handling this type of stuff the right way. BUT….you know there are guys in the league that are loaning other guys money. There is sure to be some beef out there.

    Handling it the right way? I dont think talking about teammates money problems or private conversations he has with them in the media is the right way to handle it. It doesnt matter if he didnt name names I bet everyone on the team knows who hes talking about. You say u didnt wanna lend money so u wouldnt be beefing with a teammate but telling the world about it is ok. Real smart. He should just keep that stuff to himself instead of looking for a pat on the back from the media for being “smart” with his money.

  36. ROMJAY, How is Graham considered a “bust” after only one season?? He didnt have a BAD year. He was no rookie of the year, but he made some big plays for us.

  37. I do not have an issue with Graham not mixing money and friendship or being frugal and smart with his money.

    What I do have an issue with is blatant violation of man law. If another man who is YOUR Teamate and is apparently in a bad enough situation to put his pride aside and lower himself to ask for a loan; say NO. COOl! ……But don’t run to the next media hound and throw your whole lockeroom under the bus just to make yourself look Good and Responsible. With short sided decision making like that YOU may be on the other end of that conversation one day.

    The two ton elephant here is the NFL is by far the most violent sports league that by definition creates the shortest careers and physical trauma that often has lifelong affect. And what makes that elephant pink is the NFL has minimal guaranteed contracts unlike those other leagues.


  38. Wanna bet Tim Tebow isn’t broke and will need a loan or two during a lockout. I only use his name because I’m sure he and his handlers have invested his money wisely. There are others, of course. Maybe even a few black players.

  39. Generally agree with the comments regarding players who are broke RIGHT NOW.

    However, once their careers are over, they are likely subjected to medical costs FAR beyond anything the average American will ever see.

    Take a player earning $1M per year for the average 4 seasons… Even if he saves $3M of that, the league does not have a health plan.

    Now you have a person who, almost by definition, is a physical freak. He is heading towards his 30’s weighing 250+ pounds with an enlarged heart from the workouts, with multiple lingering injuries from the game. Maybe even concussion effects.

    And all he has is maybe a communications degree from a university that sailed him through without worrying about his marks. So the job prospects are not great, especially if he starts suffering from any of the lloming medical problems.

    This person will eventually need new knees, new hips, fused vertebrae, wheelchair access to his house, as well as medications. Without that health plan, he will run through $3M pretty damn quick.

    So while I generally agree that players need o manage their money better, the league could also do a better job of post-career care of the guys who’s violent collisions earn the ratings.

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