Regardless of an 11-year career that included Pro Bowl and Gargantuan Bowl appearances, outmoded Chicago Bears defensive finish Adewale Ogunleye says that one of his greatest takeaways from his time in the league was learning the value of a dollar.
Although he had been projected as a first or second round take after a stable faculty career, Ogunleye ended up entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent on account of injuries sustained during his senior season.
This meant he did not receive nearly as high a salary as the high draft picks that year. His $200,000 rookie salary paled in comparison to the $6 million earned by No. 1 take Drew Bledsoe. But Ogunleye says that in a way, his financial situation was a blessing.
“I knew I may well not are living off of $200,000 for the relaxation of my lifestyles [if I got hurt],” he tells CNBC Make It of his rookie salary. “So I came into the league with that mentality that I’ve acquired to retain working and that if it did not determine, I had to earn another job.”
Whereas he did eventually stable a $33 million contract from the Chicago Bears in 2006 and finished his career with nearly $36 million in earnings, Ogunleye says the have to grind for a major NFL contract instead of having one accurate off the bat helped him avoid uncomfortable situations with regards to of us in his lifestyles asking for money.
“I think the place I had a itsy-bitsy bit of an advantage [over the drafted players] was I did not have the money,” Ogunleye, who grew up in the Park Hill Initiatives in Staten Island, says. “All the handouts, all the those that wanted to position their hands in my pockets, I instructed them I did not have that kind of money.”
Over the years, he peaceful loved the trappings that came along with being a high-paid athlete. But by the finish of his career, Ogunleye’s material appetites had changed.
“My first year in the league I’m 21, 22 years faded. I near into the locker room and I inspect Lamborghinis and Ferraris and I’m like ‘Wow, that is it!'” he says. “By year 10, I may care much less. I perfect want a car to earn me from point A to point B.”
He says that as he acquired older, he began to appreciate how brief an athlete’s career is when taken in the context of their lifestyles.
“As you was older and more mature and those things start to seep in, they also seep into how you manage your money,” he says. “At the finish of the day, that is a brief period of time you have. Tom Brady has played 20 years in the NFL, but he is peaceful going to have to find something to carry out together with his time and energy when he is accomplished. He is peaceful a young man.”
Now 44, Ogunleye is the head of the athletes and entertainers segment at the global financial products and providers agency UBS. He talks to young males and ladies who are, in many cases, coming into massive sums of money about how they can void the pitfalls and mistakes that he saw doom teammates in the NFL.
“I made mistakes, and by the grace of god my mistakes have been no longer catastrophic,” he says. “I knew nothing about finances. The fact that I did not lose everything was perfect fortune.”
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