The PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW reports how some ex-NFL stars are still cashing in on their popularity through endorsement payments to the players’ union.
Over $117 million has been paid by companies to the NFL Players Association to use their stars to hawk their products. For example, Peyton & Eli Manning received a combined $4 million for their selling success in 2005-06.
Yet, you don’t have to be an active player to get such money from the NFLPA. Former Cowboys RB and “Dancing With The Stars” champ Emmitt Smith tapped in $757,000, while John Elway snapped up $616,000 and Joe Montana struck gold with $556,000 in endorsement payments.
Even gridironers who have gone to that Great End Zone In The Sky can still rake in the dough. Ten dearly departed players earned over $500,000 combined from beyond the grave, paced by Walter Payton’s sweet take of $267,000.
But not everyone is happy with their payout. A group of former athletes led by ex-Browns DB Bernie Parrish claim that the NFLPA is skimping on some of the promotional payments to many retirees with medical problems, and pocketing a large chunk for themselves.
Union chief & Hall of Famer Gene Upshaw was given $2.4 million from the promo fund, while players like concussion-strained Merril Hoge only got about $6,000.
Still, it could be worse. O.J. Simpson has received the same amount from the NFLPA that most of you reading this have gotten in your mailbox - zero.