Antonio Cromartie is not just known for being a great player, he is also known for being quite fertile. Cromartie has fathered 12 children by 8 women all across the country and had to ask the New York Jets for a $500,000 signing bonus in order to support his children.
According to Andrew Scot Bolsinger at BOSS Sports, Cromartie was recently sliced from the roster in order to make room under the salary cap for the team this year. This is a huge blow to Cromartie’s career, and to the child support courts.
With a $5 million roster bonus coming due, the Jets cut Cromartie. By saying good-bye to their All-Pro cornerback, the Jets freed up $9.5 million in cap space. The Jets are expected to pursue a younger and less expensive cornerback in the free agent market. According to various news reports the team has already had discussions with Alteraun Verner of the Tennessee Titans.
The Jets may bring Cromartie back at a lower price in the near future, but they are worried that he’s starting to be hit by the injuries of an old man. He suffers from regular hip problems, which reduces his value as an athletic asset to the team. He had his best season in 2012 and his worst season in 2013. This hardly makes him worth the $3.8 million that the Jets were paying him.
Financial Juneteenth lessons from this story:
1) No matter how much money you make, poor family planning is a great way to end up in a huge financial hole. Hundreds of millionaire professional athletes have ended up in bankruptcy due to child support obligations and sloppy family planning. Let’s hope that he’s not one of them.
2) A capital asset is something that you use to earn income. Your body can be a capital asset, just like a truck, cash or a building. This is true whether you are catching footballs for a living or sweeping floors. The problem for professional athletes is that the body is also a quickly depreciating capital asset, which means that you have to have a clear Plan B for when that asset is no longer generating revenue for you. Sitting back and hoping to become the next Charles Barkley in sports commentating is not a good Plan B.
3) NFL careers tend to be very, very short. It can also be a horrible way to make a living. Not only is the chance for big bucks slim-to-none, many former players walk away from the league sooner than they expect and are stuck with long-term injuries, including severe brain damage. It’s easier to become a heart surgeon or entrepreneur and you can make money for a lifetime.