Although he has a better playoff winning percentage than Peyton Manning, 18-year NFL quarterback Mark Brunell is facing a financial nightmare.
Action News Jacksonville reports the current Jets backup and former Jaguars hero has managed to run through $50 million as an active player and will have to start a 9-to-5 job as soon as his NFL career is over.
And that will be soon. Brunell plans to retire from the Jets after this season and, because of his financial misfortunes, will have to become a regular working stiff. Bankruptcy filings show Brunell has a job lined up to work as a medical sales representative after he's done holding a clipboard in New York.
Brunell, originally a fifth-round selection by the Packers in 1993, was twice traded for third-round picks, first in 1995 when the Packers traded him to the expansion Jaguars and again in 2004 when the Jaguars traded him the Redskins. He won a Saints world championship ring as Drew Brees' backup with the Saints in Super Bowl XLIV. He also started two AFC title games with the Jags.
Mark Sanchez's current backup and one of New York coach Rex Ryan's favorites is appearing more in bankruptcy court than on the field these days, according to the Jacksonville TV station.
Brunell, 40, blew all his money with lousy investments into nine businesses -- more than half of which are already closed. His most ponderous financial disaster was in Champion LLC, a company that invested in high-end real estate properties. That may have worked out great had the housing market not soured over the course of Brunell's NFL career. He also invested in a Whataburger fast-food franchise, and ended up losing every penny he invested and even more according to financial documents. Brunell attempted to cover the loans with his own cash.
If that's not harsh enough, the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback is facing six lawsuits. Brunell is on the hook for a whopping $24.7 million, according to the litigation.
Ken Ruettgers, a former Green Bay Packers lineman and Brunell teammate who is now working to help
retired players who are down and out, claims a majority of athletes have trouble very soon after hanging up the pads.
"It's something like 78 percent of former NFL players, two years after their last game, are either bankrupt, divorced, or unemployed," Ruettgers told WAWS-TV.
Brunell holds the NFL single-game record for most consecutive completions with 22 in a row with the Redskins against the Texans in 2006.
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