Most football fans assume that all professional football players are multi-millionaires. Plenty are, but more than plenty aren’t. Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton most definitely isn’t.
“Kendrick’s football career has come to an end and his family is asking for any donation as soon as possible to help with medical bills moving forward,” Norton’s agents wrote at a GoFundMe page, via Safid Deen of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
They also explained that Norton has undergone three surgeries since the accident, and that he needs at least two more surgeries “before he can proceed towards having a prosthetic.”
They hope to raise $350,000 for Norton. As of this posting, the account has raised $2,680.
Meanwhile, Norton posted his own message on Instagram: “I’m good thank you to everyone that checked on me!!! I’m good thanks for the prayers to God be the glory.”
The good news for Norton is that, per a league source, his medical bills will be fully covered by the team’s and/or the NFL’s insurance programs. That said, Norton and his family may have other financial needs arising from the tragic accident and catastrophic injury, especially since he won’t be playing football again.
A seventh-round pick in 2018, Norton received a signing bonus of less than $75,000, but the Panthers cut him before the regular-season started, avoiding what would have been a $480,000 salary. He spent most of the year on the Carolina practice squad (making far less than the $28,235 in weekly game checks he would have gotten), before joining Miami’s active roster in late December.
Norton has a base salary of $495,000 for 2019, and he technically continues to be a member of the Dolphins’ roster. Unless he is released, he will at some point be placed on the non-football injury list. By rule, the Dolphins can choose to pay, or not pay, his 2019 salary.