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Shortly before Marshawn Lynch announced his retirement – during the Super Bowl, no less – a report began circulating that he had never spent any of the $49 million he made during his nine-year career.
Presumably, Lynch had been living off of the estimated $5 million per year he made off of endorsements and other business ventures.
Lynch recently sat down with Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim in a wide-ranging interview and discussed the rumors of Lynch’s financial savvy.
When asked whether he ever spent any of his NFL earnings, Lynch told Wertheim, “That’s false. I’m human. I’m very much human. If you pinch me, that hurts. I make mistakes, [but] I’ve also made some good decisions.”
When Wertheim then said that people close to Lynch say that he’s extremely smart with his money, Lynch gave a powerful reason why. He first asked Wertheim if he’s ever eaten cereal before.
When Wertheim said yes, Lynch responded, “Alright. Have you ever had a roach in your cereal before?”
Wertheim said no and Lynch continued:
If you came from eatin’ cereal with roaches in it before, Dawg… Feel what I’m sayin’? You wouldn’t want to do that again, right? Once you’ve seen the lowest of the low, you don’t want to go back. But, like I told you before, it’s not me-I have a good team and some smart family members around me.
Wertheim followed by asking what wealth means to Lynch, and Lynch again gave a meaningful answer:
You’ve gotta understand where I came from, Baby Dawg. Money wasn’t s—. It was the love and respect that I had for my family and for my peers [that mattered]. … Let’s say I went and got all that wealth – and then I had none of my family, none of my friends, none of my peers to enjoy that with. What would it have been [for]?
If Lynch is truly done with the NFL – and he insists that he is – he seems well-off, thanks to some smart planning ahead of time. He may not have all of that $49 million he’s made, but he has enough and he has his family and friends, which is all Lynch seems to care about.