Last week, Terrell Owens signed on with the Allen Wranglers, who are apparently in something called the Indoor Football League. If you were looking for a reason why a player who is a likely Hall of Famer, played 15 seasons in the NFL, and made at least $80 million in the NFL is signing with a team that is about 45 miles from Jerry World but still a million miles away, well, it’s money. Sadly, if this profile in the latest issue of GQ is believed, Terrell Owens has very little left.
A combination of bad investments, large child support payments, and trusting the wrong people have left Terrell Owens with very little to show for his time as a star player.
The problem, he says, is that he’s by nature too trusting, loyal to a fault, despite everyone’s carping that he’s selfish. It’s the sad old stereotypical song of the up-from-nothing black athlete: He let other people take care of things. He says his financial advisers (informally recommended by Rosenhaus) put him in a series of risky, highly leveraged ventures that he didn’t discover until autumn 2010, when he finally demanded a full accounting. And of course there were the houses and condos, which he had always figured he could rent out; they became dead weight when the real estate market collapsed in 2008. Individually they weren’t terribly lavish, but together the mortgage nut is reportedly almost $750,000 a year. The Atlanta house is on the market; the south Jersey place he paid $3.9 million for was sold for $1.7 million in late 2010. Most egregious of all was the ill-fated Alabama entertainment complex (with an electronic-bingo component) that cost him $2 million. He invested, he says, at the suggestion of his advisers and a lawyer they steered him to, Pamela Linden. The venture turned out to be illegal in the state, not to mention a violation of the NFL’s policy prohibiting players from investing in gambling. Owens is suing Linden, as is Clinton Portis, the former Redskins running back who also invested. (Several other players and the boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. also got sucked into the venture.)
Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Drew Rosenhaus. Then there’s this little exchange:
When Drew [Rosenhaus] heard about what had happened with my money, he said, ‘Oh man, is there anything I can do?’ ” says Owens, pushing back from the table with disgust. “And I said, ‘Dude, are you going to give me my money back? I don’t think so, so why bother trying to appease me?’ ” (“In my opinion,” says Rosenhaus, “the conversation did not go down that way.”)
Terrell Owens has four children with four different women, with child support totaling $44,600 – each month – and he needs to come up with money at the same time he tries to lower the support amount because he is no longer working.
Owens had no father figure growing up (he found out who his father was when he got a crush on the girl across the street and was told it was his half-sister). He could have used one at some point. Despite the outward success of being one of the best receivers in NFL history, he has little to show for it, just a year after what might have been his last season. He’s holding on to hope for another chance to play, another call from a team willing to give him a chance to play once again. I just pray he holds on to hope once he realizes those locker room doors may be shut for good.
[photo via Getty]