Vernon Davis declined Dancing With The Stars

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The current season of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars doesn’t include a current or former NFL player, for a change.  Previously, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said he passed on the opportunity to join the cast.

As it turns out, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis said “no thanks,” too.

“I got an offer to do Dancing With the Stars this year but couldn’t, even though it was a beautiful opportunity,” Davis told Robert Klemko of  “I have a feel for [the demands] now.  I know what could be too much for me.”

A potential factor in assessing the opportunity may have been his obligation to Fantex, which has purchased 10 percent of his future earnings for $4 million.  If any money earned on Dancing With The Stars would have been subject to the Fantex arrangement, the ultimate assessment of the offer surely would have taken into account the reality that 10 percent of the compensation would have been forfeited.

Even if the agreement with Fantex exempts potential Dancing With The Stars revenue, doing the show could have expanded the Vernon Davis brand, setting the stage for other opportunities that would have fallen within the scope of the Fantex arrangement.

While Davis presumably has the ability under his agreement with Fantex to reject opportunities to earn money that would be shared with the Fantex investors who are being solicited to buy shares in the player, folks who lose money on investments sometimes look for ways to sue.  If a player rejects enough opportunities to earn money that would be shared with Fantex investors, one or more could decide to take legal action.

That’s why one agent explained to PFT when the concept first emerged last year that he’d recommend against his clients taking the money in exchange for an obligation to share future earnings.  The process entails plenty of risks and potentially unintended consequences, up to and including a player being tempted to hide income from Fantex in order to avoid sharing 10 percent of the money.  Which then could result, if the hidden income is discovered, in charges of tax evasion.

While it may seem to the player that it’s worth the large check that’s cut at the outset of the process, the obligation to share revenue lingers for decades.  With taxes and agent fees and other expenses sucking away the money that the player ultimately takes home if he becomes a broadcaster or coach, men who aren’t inclined to think five years into the future need to consider the possibility of spending the next 50 years worrying about paying money to Fantex, along with everyone else who takes a piece of the pie.

Of course, the company may not last 50 years.  And if/when it goes belly up, it becomes even more likely that the folks who lost money by “investing” in athletes will sue anyone and everyone — and any player with assets will bear the risk of expensive litigation ending with a judgment that, combined with legal fees, could wipe out the after-tax money that the player was paid by Fantex in the first place.

18 responses to “Vernon Davis declined Dancing With The Stars

  1. Johnny Manziel is very shy and needs the exposure that Dancing with the Stars could bring to market the house the he is set to build.
    Johnny Football does the cha cha.

  2. Dancing With The Stars shouldn’t go after big-name NFL players like Vernon Davis and Russell Wilson. They should settle instead for third- and fourth-tier players. You know, like members of the Minnesota Vikings.

  3. Isn’t that kind of what businesses do? I kind of thought this is like buying stock in a player; some of the business proceeds always go back to the original investors. I’m no lawyer but this sounds like a good proposal to me — if a player makes nothing, he is not penalized for taking the money originally; if he makes money he pays back his original investors. Sounds like a win win.

  4. Fantex is a joke.

    Think about this, he gets 4 mill up front than by the time he gets his next deal he is 33 years old. Being a 33 year old TE is probably going to net him like 20-25 mill on a short deal, so that’s like 2 mill or so coming back to Fantex investors. That leaves Fantex out another 2 million. Say he gets a 2nd deal which by then we are talking him being 35 plus years old how much does he get then?

    The odds of them breaking even are low, the odds of them making money are even lower. The only thing they can do is hound him every step of the way till he dies to recoup enough to turn a profit. If he opens a landscaping company they are going to have to chase that money. The only way this could work is if Fantex went after guys fresh out of the NCAA which carries a huge risk.

    I see why a player would do it because it’s sort of like another insurance policy but as an investor it makes 0% sense that as Mike pointed out is only going to end up in nasty litigation at some point when Davis in his post football life decides to hide income.

  5. If it is called “Dancing With The Stars”…Shouldn’t it only be for “stars”?

  6. FANTEX isn’t a good deal for anybody, and will cause considerable issues in the future….

  7. They should have asked Colin Kaepernick. He is starving for attention and would have done it in a heart beat. That guy loves himself a bit too much

  8. He’s smart.

    Why be out of football shape by going onto the show?

    People lose weight on that show and that won’t keep players in football shape. Guess who advocates football players to do DWTS too much, people who don’t exercise.

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