The NFL is a tough game. Make it there, play your cards right, and you, your family, and even your grandchildren can be financially secure for the rest of their lives. For most guys this means negotiating a killer contract with lots of incentives, tons of guaranteed money, and a bonus that would make an investment banker cry.
Things do not always work out that way. Sometimes a player has to prove their worth millions before they can be paid millions. Wes Welker, wide receiver of the New England Patriots, understands this. It doesn't mean he likes it though.
The undrafted Texas Tech product had to work his way up through the ranks, but ever since he teamed up with Tom Brady in '07 he has been one of the best possession receivers in the game with over 100 catches in four of five seasons along with more than 6,000 yards and 31 touchdowns.
To say the man has earned his big pay day is an understatement. He knows it and the team knows it; they just don't want to pay it--yet.
The Patriots used the non-exclusive franchise tag on Welker this season meaning that he'll get paid a cool $9.5 million (the average of the top 5 wide receivers in the league). At 31, he was hoping for a long term deal (and more pay), but it looks like he'll have to wait till 2013 for that to happen (if it happens).
Since the Patriots don't want to pay him what he's worth right now, Welker has opted to do what every good athlete does to supplement his salary--endorsements. Earlier this week it was announced that he was the new spokesman for Dr. Robert Leonard of Leonard Hair Transplant Associates.
Yep--he's hawking hair plugs. If you like that, check out one of his other endorsements. Laugh, but not too hard; you'd do it too for a fraction of what he's getting paid.