No topic an 11-year occupation that included Skilled Bowl and Sizable Bowl appearances, former Chicago Bears defensive discontinue Adewale Ogunleye says that one of his biggest takeaways from his time within the league used to be studying the cost of a dollar.
Though he had been projected as a necessary or 2nd spherical snatch after a solid college occupation, Ogunleye ended up entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent on account of injuries sustained in some unspecified time in the future of his senior season.
This intended he did now not receive with regards to as excessive a wage as the discontinue draft picks that year. His $200,000 rookie wage paled when put next to the $6 million earned by No. 1 snatch Drew Bledsoe. But Ogunleye says that in a style, his financial position used to be a blessing.
“I knew I couldn’t dwell off of $200,000 for the relaxation of my life [if I got hurt],” he tells CNBC Spoil It of his rookie wage. “So I came into the league with that mentality that I’ve received to reduction working and that if it did now not determine, I needed to make a selection up one other job.”
While he did eventually exact a $33 million contract from the Chicago Bears in 2006 and finished his occupation with with regards to $36 million in earnings, Ogunleye says the necessity to grind for a necessary NFL contract in preference to having one perfect off the bat helped him steer sure of miserable scenarios almost about of us in his life asking for money.
“I absorb the set I had a puny bit bit of an wait on [over the drafted players] used to be I did now not accept the money,” Ogunleye, who grew up within the Park Hill Initiatives in Staten Island, says. “The total handouts, your total those that wished to set their palms in my pockets, I instructed them I did now not accept that form of cash.”
Over the years, he still loved the trappings that came alongside with being a excessive-paid athlete. But by the discontinue of his occupation, Ogunleye’s material appetites had changed.
“My first year within the league I’m 21, 22 years outmoded. I advance into the locker room and I look Lamborghinis and Ferraris and I’m treasure ‘Wow, that is it!'” he says. “By year 10, I would possibly perchance presumably well care less. I real desire a automobile to make a selection up me from point A to point B.”
He says that as he received older, he started to worship how short an athlete’s occupation is when taken within the context of their life.
“As you change into older and more outmoded and those issues start to seep in, moreover they seep into how you arrange you money,” he says. “At the discontinue of the day, that is a transient length of time you accept got. Tom Brady has performed 20 years within the NFL, however he’s still going to pray to accept something to attain alongside with his time and energy when he’s finished. He is still a younger man.”
Now 44, Ogunleye is the head of the athletes and entertainers section on the realm financial companies and products agency UBS. He talks to younger males and girls who’re, in many circumstances, coming into huge sums of cash about how they are able to void the pitfalls and errors that he saw doom teammates within the NFL.
“I made errors, and by the grace of god my errors weren’t catastrophic,” he says. “I knew nothing about funds. The truth that I did now not lose all the pieces used to be luck.”