78 percent number (i.e., 78% of NFL players go bankrupt within two
years of retirement) is buoyed by the fact that the average NFL career
lasts just three years. So, figure a player gets drafted in 2009, signs
for the minimum and lasts three years in the league: He will have
earned about $1.2 million in salary. Factor in taxes, cost of living
and the misguided belief that there will be more years and bigger
paydays down the road, and it becomes a lot easier to see how so many
players struggle with money after their careers end.